Here's why you shouldn't use any soap or shampoo in lakes

It’s summertime.

For many of us, it could mean spending weekends at the cottage, going camping, enjoying nature, doing hiking, swimming in lakes.

When comes the time to take a "shower", you may think that bringing your soaps and shampoos in the lake sounds like a good idea.

Indeed, avoiding waste of water sounds great, but did you know that ingredients found in shampoos and soaps are damaging for our nature? 

Let me explain.

Lake chemistry affected by detergents and phosphates

Soaps and shampoos contain detergents, which helps to remove the dirt faster than just with water. Detergents break the surface tension of the water, which reduces the oxygen level in the water, causing harm to fish and other aquatic wildlife. Not to mention all the toxic ingredients, such as perfumes or dyes, found in popular body/hair care products that are damaging for lake life.

Also, soaps may contain phosphorus, and this ingredient creates algae blooms. It clouds the water’s clarity, turning it in icky water.

never use shampoo in lake

What if my shampoo is biodegradable? 

You may think that using an ecofriendly and biodegradable product is better choice for bathing in the lake.

Biodegradable doesn't mean, unfortunately, that contents will break down immediately. 

According to the EPA, an ounce of biodegradable soap needs to be diluted in 20,000 ounces of water to be safe for fish. Now imagine all of your neighbors scrubbing down on their docks, and you can see how the health of your small lake could be significantly compromised. "

In the end, even if your soap or shampoo is branded "eco-friendly" or "non toxic", it still doesn't belong into a waterway. 

A safer approach

There's a safer way to wash yourself while being respectful of our ecosystem. 

First of all, choose a biodegradable and ecofriendly shampoo and soap, like our shampoo bar. Fill a bucket with water from the lake and set yourself about 50 meters from the shore. Dig a little hole about 6 inches deep in the soil for disposing of soapy water. Bacterias in the soil will biodegrade the product safely! 

 

Friendly reminder: be kind and enjoy nature while respecting our environment 

Clémence Dumurgier

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