Is your tap water using up your soap faster than you are? Sounds like you need the best bar soap for hard water, to save you money and frustration.
Here’s the really tragic part about your water situation: I won’t be recommending any luxurious handmade natural soaps for you. Hard water destroys handcrafted, gentle, artisan soaps, so you’re not going to get any help in the high-end soap department.
But on the upside, referencing amazon reviews, brand reputation, and hard-water-happy ingredients, we’ve collected a list of the soaps that will survive your shower and keep your skin feeling happy.
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Kirk’s Castile Bar Soap (Our Top Pick)
As far as grocery store soaps go, Kirk’s is one of your best options. They’ve built a century-long reputation as a natural castile oil soap manufacturer, so this is as gentle as a commercial, hard-water-proof soap is going to get. Hence why we think it’s the best bar soap for hard water.
In fact, if you don’t have hard water, you probably don’t want to use this bar. It’s so hardy that it’s meant to be used with hard water. The oil-based soap ingredients will combat the minerals nicely. In soft water, it’ll be hard to rinse off the soap.
• It sure is going to withstand your hard water. Will most likely even function better in hard water, as opposed to soft water.
• For most guys, it’ll leave your skin feeling acceptable. If you don’t care about hard water though, then you’ll want to grab yourself one of the best shea butter soaps instead.
• I don’t believe for a second that it’s all-natural, even if they’re trying to market themselves that way.
• Mystery rashes for some users. Don’t use it if you don’t have to. NOT facial soap.
Like Kirk’s, Dr. Bronner’s is a castile-oil based soap. So, in many ways they’re comparable in how their ingredients withstand hard water.
I actually had a difficult time deciding which of these two to rank first, considering how similar they are when you boil them down to their basic ingredients. Dr. Bronner’s has more scent options, is a 3-in-1 soap, and has higher Amazon reviews, but here’s the thing…it’s a baby soap.
So will your skin feel better using Dr. Bronner’s? Yes. Will it still withstand your hard water? Yes. Will it make you feel like a man? No. Forget man, you might not even feel like an adult using this particular bar.
If you’re willing to make sacrifices in the “manly soaps” department, this bar is one of the best bar soap for hard water.
• It’s incredibly gentle, considering it’s a hard water soap.
• Comes in a variety of scent options.
• Has the highest ranked Amazon reviews.
• It’s for babies.
I don’t usually follow commercial soap brands (only natural soap brands), but Olivia Care has carved out a nice in-between space for themselves. Their ingredients are mostly natural and gentle, despite the fact that they are a commercially produced brand. They also have 20 years of soapmaking experience behind them. Old enough to know what they’re doing with soap, young enough that they have yet to be corrupted by the industrial skincare complex.
This bar in particular is satisfyingly gentle and moisturizing. The catch? It’s not going to withstand hard water as well as some of the other bars we mentioned. I put it here, right in the middle of my list because it has a lot of promise in the “gentle, cleansing, moisturizing,” department, but less credibility as a “firm hard water survivor.” Feel free to check out this list of best lavender soap for alternatives.
• THIS one is all natural!
• It’s oh-so-soft, and has a subtle scent.
• With how inexpensively a 6-pack is priced, this is a real steal.
• It’s more of a middle-ground soap in its ability to withstand hard water. It’ll still be relatively long-lasting, but not nearly as long-lasting as something with an artificial preservative or detergent thrown in.
When in doubt, glycerin soap is always a classic choice. Clearly Natural specializes in plain, soothing glycerin bars, gentle on skin, and just solid enough that it’ll hold its own against your hard water.
If you’re not sure what I mean by glycerin soap, it’s basically the plainest soap you’ll ever meet. Soap requires two ingredients – oil and lye – and glycerin soap is just that. No more. Clearly Natural did a pretty good job of following that mold. If you check out their ingredient list, you’ll notice how insanely short it is. I consider that a plus in the commercial soap world; the fewer ingredients involved, the easier it is to avoid ingredient-related breakouts.
As a bare, basic bar, this soap won’t have an amazing lather, but it will get you clean, and it’ll last. My one concern is, looking over other reviews, a small but significant portion of Amazon buyers seem to be getting defective bars. So you’ll have to cross your fingers that Clearly Natural gets it right for you.
• The risk that you’ll have any type of skin reaction to a glycerin bar is just so low, almost nonexistent.
• Glycerin soap doesn’t have a reputation as a hard-water-resistor, but it’s also known for its hardiness. I’d say it’s a safe bet for most water types.
• Glycerin soap is the mother of all soaps. So basic and uncomplicated! If you haven’t tried it before, I’d recommend it just for the experience.
• Other reviewers look like they’ve gotten defective bars. Cut too small, weird hair baked in, things like that. Clearly, Clearly Natural needs to up their quality control game.
• It’s really plain.
Zest has been serving frugal soap customers for decades now. What used to make them shine in the hard-water arena is the fact that they weren’t afraid to market themselves as a detergent-based soap.
Detergents aren’t amazing for your skin, but they are really, really good with hard water. Nowadays, if you stumble deep into the world of soap, you’ll see customers complain that Zest isn’t’ what it used to be without its detergents.
It does leave behind slightly more scum than it used to, but if you’re working with hard water, you’re probably used to the scum by now. Any soap you use is going to leave it behind. And Zest is still up there in it’s sheer ability to last. If you don’t enjoy it, there’s no getting rid of it. It’s going to hang out in your shower for months. And if you do enjoy it, you’re in luck. This 20-pack is basically a lifetime supply.
• Most likely (of any soap on this list) to survive your hard water.
• Will feel just fine if you’ve never experienced the benefits of all-natural soap.
• It’s just so…bad. Overpriced for its quality, will make your skin feel tight.
• Zest isn’t a detergent soap anymore, which means it’s now better for your skin but worse for your hard water situation.