I love me a good zero waste swap, but what I love even more is a sustainable brand that is also a small business. It means so much to me that someone would dedicate hours upon hours to creating products to help us live more sustainably and work to make their brand as eco-friendly as possible as opposed to ordering a random water bottle someone drop shipped from Ali Babba.
One of those small zero waste brands is CONCENTR8ED started by my good friend Sarah. I’m not just saying I love this product because she’s my friend, no, this is a truly fantastic product. Let's dive into this eco bar review!
What exactly is CONCENTR8ED?
CONCENTR8ED is just that, a concentrated formula. Sarah’s mission isn’t only to reduce plastic but also save water! Did you know that the majority of your beauty, cleaning, shower, etc products are water? So, when you’re paying for a big purple bottle of Aussie shampoo, you’re mostly just paying for water and plastic. Not with CONCENTR8ED. Instead, you’re paying for only the active ingredients and you activate them yourself with water from the tap.
Not only are you paying for more water with conventional products, but it creates so much more emissions because they are heavier and larger. I explain it more in this video comparing eco laundry detergents, but in short, concentrated laundry sheets that equate to 96 loads weigh only half a pound while liquid detergent of similar capacity (99 loads) weighs in at 8 pounds! This means that if we switched to concentrated formulas, we could ship 15x the product for the same weight!
Some other perks about CONCENTR8ED is that Sarah aspires to be plastic free, locally made, and palm oil free. What great benefits for the planet? It means so much to me when I see business owners taking responsibility and not just striving to make a quick buck with green washing.
Let’s get into the product review. There are 8 bars:
Kitchen cleaning bar
This bar is designed to tackle any grime in your kitchen. I use it on my oily stove top and even on my counters that are sticky from juice and coffee spills. It works great on table tops or cleaning the fridge too. All you have to do to use it is wet your sponge or rag and then rub it on the bar to get it sudsy. Now, your rag or sponge is ready to use! I recommend following up with wet cloth with no suds and then air drying or following up again with a dry rag. I pair this with my homemade all purpose cleaning spray to get the ultimate kitchen clean!
As compared to commercial cleaners, I’d choose this over those any day. There are minimal ingredients, none of which will be harmful to me, my pets, any potential children that enter my home, and marine life after it gets washed down the drain. Plus, plastic free!
Bathroom cleaning bar
Like you might have guessed, this bar is designed for bathroom messes. I asked Sarah if I could just get away with one or the other kitchen bar or bathroom bar and she said yes, but they are designed with kitchen germs and bathroom germs in mind. They’ll do the job, but each one has its own potential.
Like the kitchen bar, though, all it takes is a wet rag or sponge to get it sudsy and then rub on all your bathroom surfaces. This bar got some serious grime out of my sinks and bathtub, I was impressed! I again recommend following up with a wet rag (sans suds) to really get a sparkle and leave no soap residue. Also like the kitchen bar, this bar is safe for me, my pets, any children that might visit, and marine life which makes me adore this bar over its competitors!
Body moisturizer bar/Hand moisturizer bar
If you want a great plastic-free lotion, look no further! I had never tried a lotion bar before, but I can now truly attest to their greatness. There are no alcohols in these bars meaning only moisturizing properties.
What’s the difference between the two, though? Ultimately, not much. They are the same ingredients just in different proportions. If you want a thicker formula (that can be used on your whole body and hands), go for the body bar. If you want a not-so-thick formula (that can be used on your whole body and hands), go for the hand bar. They both work wonders, though. My preference is the thicker body bar.
I’ve tried a handful of shampoo bars, a few worked for me, a few didn’t, and I can honestly say the CONCENTR8ED shampoo bar is one of my favs! It suds up SO well and lathers nicely too. A tip I learned from Sarah is to lather in your hands so as not to damage your hair by rubbing it directly on your head. I was using commercial shampoo and conditioner prior to this bar (I dumpster dove it and wanted to give it new life), and they made my hair sooo greasy. Now, I only use this shampoo bar, no conditioner, and my hair feels great!
Hand soap bar
Honestly, not much to say here. It’s a hand soap bar, nothing crazy about it. You use it like any hand soap bar, but the big perk here is that it is unscented so if you’re allergic to any scents, this is your go to bar. It is also palm oil free which a lot of their competitors can’t say!
I’m willing to bet a lot of you haven’t heard of a dish soap bar, so allow me to explain. Firstly, I used to hate them, but I realized I was just using them wrong (or not to the best of their ability). I used to try getting suds on my wooden dish brush but the suds never stayed. So, I tried my new dish bar with a rag and it works wonderfully!
Like the other bars, simply get your rag wet, rub the bar until your rag is soapy (rub it over your dishes so you don’t waste soap!), and then use it like normal dish soap! How cool?! Once I figured out how to use it, I fell in love. I haven’t been able to find an eco-soap option that tackled grease quite like Dawn but this bar even got coconut oil and other oils off my dishes!
If you’re like me, this is probably a new swap to you. Laundry soap in a bar? How do I use it? Simple! There are a few methods but here are two easy ones:
Grate some of the bar directly into your wash. You don’t need much as it’s a concentrated formula. This works best for warm water loads.
Since I use cold water (it is the more eco-friendly option), I had to come up with a better solution so that the soap would dissolve. I got this tip from Sarah: grate the entire bar and store it in an upcycled container. When you need to do a load, simply dissolve 1-2 tsp (depending on the size of your load (I get away with just 1)) of your grated bar in warm water and use as a liquid detergent!
I adore this method. It is so small and compact compared to huge jugs and my clothes come out feeling so fresh and clean. I was a bit skeptical but it works wonders!
Review of CONCENTR8ED as a brand
Pros to CONCENTR8ED:
Plastic free (even paper tape?!)
Palm oil free
Unscented (scents can cause allergies to some people or even headaches)
Last just as long as commercial products, if not longer
Less emissions when shipping due to no water weight
Smaller than their bottled cousins meaning more products can fit during shipping
Work incredibly well, I had no issues with any of the bars
Made entirely in the UK, no extra overseas shipping
Cons to CONCENTR8ED:
Unscented. I know myself and others like a little scent in our soaps and cleaners. This isn’t a complete turn-off, though, and I know Sarah is working to have scented options!
Bars admittedly are harder to store than bottles but see below for storage tips!
Price rating: 9/10 (might be a little pricey for some, but they are comparable to competitors if not cheaper and the products last longer)
Eco rating: 9/10 (this is just for me personally. I live in Japan so emissions are high for me. If you live in the UK or even the US, it’s a lot less! Other than that, perfect score for being eco-conscious all around!)
Product rating: 9.5/10 (again, perfect use and all, but a little natural scent would give it a perfect score for me. Very minor detail!)
Overall rating: 9.16/10
Like I mentioned, bars are hard to store. They are wet and can cause residue and stick to things easily, so here are some tips:
Use old lids from things like salsa, coconut oil, peanuts, etc. Stretch upcycled rubber bands from veggies over the lid (4 rubber bands work best). Now you have a DIY soap holder!
Just use an old bowl or plate to store them on under your sink or on your counter. If you use a flat surface (like I did for my hand bar) I recommend storing it long ways or just letting it rest over the edge a bit to prevent sticking
Upcycle old bamboo toothbrushes. Remove the bristles and hot glue or super glue them together so that your bar can drain.
Upcycle a soda bottle cap to prop your bar up. Just get the bar a little wet and press hard to get the cap to stick. Store the bar with the cap on the bottom so it drains.
Store bars upright to make them last longer
The bars also come in sets!
The body set (above) is the orange tones:
- Hand bar (bigger yellow)
- Body bar (smaller yellow)
- Hand soap bar (peach)
- Shampoo bar (orange)
The house set (below) is the blue tones:
- Bathroom bar (dark blue)
- Kitchen bar (light green)
- Laundry bar (white)
- Dish bar (turquoise)
Thank you so much for reading along, I hope you enjoyed this review! If you’d like to read more eco-product reviews, see these:
As always, remember that your small changes have a big impact in the long run :)