The Myth of the Kids’ Foam Soap

I told you about my Big Jug o’ Hand Soap but never explained about the Myth of the Kids’ Hand Soap.

If you don’t have kids you may not have noticed that there are products that parents can buy now that make life much easier for kids today than in the past. They make life easier for parents, too.

Strawberry-flavoured toothpaste, antiseptic cream that doesn’t sting, and yes, brightly coloured, fun-smelling hand soap that dispenses into your hand in a beautiful foamy dollop.

Most parents are wise to the marketing. We understand that we are buying yet another kind of soap when the bar that adults use is perfectly fine for kids. We bought this foamy joy because we thought if they wash their hands more often, develop the habit and get fewer colds, it’s worth it.

Kandoo soap is fun for kids and turtles
Kandoo soap is fun for kids and turtles


Environmentalist parents hate the plastic packaging and the dilute liquid soap makes us suspect it is mostly water. It is small comfort that you can buy a refill container instead of a whole new dispenser.

It has been at least a year since my kids finished the soap in the dispensers in the above picture. They are now helping me use up the generic hand soap dispensed from the Body Shop dispenser (see previous post). I am only keeping these because I believe I could find a new parent to whom I could hand them down instead of recycling them.

Tonight, however, in a flash of genius, I learned the truth.

I took that green Kandoo foam soap dispenser and poured about half a centimetre of generic hand soap into it. Then I filled it with water to the fill line. Then I pumped.

You know what happened, don’t you? Soap came out. What a shocker.

At first, admittedly, it was thick and a little hard to pump. That was due, of course, to the fact the thick hand soap was being pumped from the bottom. I shook it up to mix it and here is what I got:

Foam 1Foam 2Foam 3Foam 4Foam 5Foam 6

The only things that this foam doesn’t have that Kandoo’s does are the scent and the colour. Oh, and the Kandoo product, of course, is designed for kids so it is less irritating than my generic soap.

[I haven’t looked up Kandoo’s ingredients except for the first one, cocamidopropyl betaine which is a sufficant or, that is to say, soap.]

Nevertheless, I am very happy to be able to reuse my foam soap dispensers which will make it easier for the kids to wash their hands more frequently and faster for me to use up my jug o’ hand soap.

In conclusion, we know that if we want to reduce waste, we should reduce packaging. One of the easiest ways to do that is buying more concentrated products.

So don’t buy the super watered down soap just because it has the right brand name on its plastic bottle; instead, water down your own thicker liquid hand soap.

Wait… don’t buy liquid hand soap in a plastic bottle at all; instead, add your own water to a bar of good old-fashioned soap.

When we finally finish all these liquid soaps in the house, I’m gonna go out and get me some nice soap wrapped in a piece of wax paper.

Now that’s living, baby!

Don't worry, it's not a real turtle
Don’t worry, it’s not a real turtle

Next week: more about the house, retrofitting, energy and all that stuff–I promise!



Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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