How long do solid travel toiletries last compared to liquid travel toiletries?

Remember the post I wrote about travel toiletries and how long they really last? Well I decided to try another experiment to see how long SOLID travel toiletries last and compare them to their liquid counterparts.

In general, solids go further. A lot further.

solid travel toiletries last comparison
In general, solids go further than liquids when it comes to travel-size toiletries.

Solid shampoo

I have been using a shampoo bar on my trips for years now. I love them. Recently, I experimented with making my own and on the third try, I finally got it right. By making my own, I know exactly what is in my shampoo bar and I can tailor the scent to my preference. Lush carries a wonderful selection if you are not interested in a DIY option.

As your shampoo bar gets smaller, using it does become a challenge since it is harder to hold onto. But that is about the only con I have found with a solid shampoo bar.

Solid v. Liquid:

A one-ounce solid shampoo bar lasts me 44 washes. Compare that with one liquid ounce of shampoo, which lasts me nine washes. Talk about a bigger bang for your buck! Note: I have short, fine hair that does not require a lot of shampoo. But even if you require a lot of shampoo, a shampoo bar should last longer than liquid shampoo.

Solid lotion bars

Lotions bars are a different animal compared to their liquid counterparts. They often require you to warm them up using your hands before you can start applying. However, they go a lot further. If you do not mind a little extra effort in the application process, they make a fine travel companion.

They are also SUPER easy to make with only four ingredients. See my DIY lotion bar recipe.

homemade DIY travel lotion bars
DIY travel lotion bars are easy to make. They only have four ingredients!

Solid v. Liquid:

One ounce of lotion last just over a week for me at eight uses. Compare that to a one-ounce lotion bar that lasts through 22 uses.

Powdered toothpaste

Powdered toothpaste is a new find for me. Even though it predates liquid toothpaste, I had never tried it before this experiment. I like it…a lot. I have started using it even when I am not traveling. I just like the way my teeth feel after using it.

I have also tried Lush’s toothpaste tabs. They are interesting. I like them in theory, but in practice I find them a little weird. They do not go as far as powdered toothpaste. In fact, they lasted the same as liquid toothpaste. But they have the same benefits as other solid toiletries and come in unique flavors like limelight. I really like that you can take the exact number you will need for a trip (e.g. a two-night stay is four tabs). Overall, I am still on the fence about these little guys.

Solid v. Liquid:

One ounce of powdered toothpaste gets me 90 brushes compared to the 50 brushes I get from one liquid ounce of toothpaste. Note: one ounce of Lush’s toothpaste tabs equals 49 tabs which equals 49 brushes.


There is not a lot to say here other than to note that soap goes a lot further than body wash. You have got to find a good container (such as a tin), but life is easy after that. I like to make my own. R really enjoys picking up soap on our various adventures. The nice thing about a bar of soap is that you can cut off a chunk from a larger bar and take that on your trip.

Solid v. Liquid:

Once ounce of body wash was good for 15 washes. Compare that with a one-ounce bar of soap which was good for 88 washes.

Face Wash

I was not aware solid face wash existed until I started researching solid travel toiletries. Options are limited, but they do exist. The problem I found was that even though solid fash wash is available and goes a lot further than a liquid face wash, I could not find a travel-size option. So I ended up with way too much solid face wash. I suppose I can just cut off a chunk for my next trip and store it in a small tin.

Solid v. Liquid:

I was able wash my face 116 times with one ounce of solid face wash compared to the 31 washes I got out of one liquid ounce of face wash.

Reusable travel containers and bottles
Reuse and refill to your heart’s content.


Like solid face wash, I had never heard of solid moisturizer until I began researching solid travel toiletries. Also like solid face wash, options are limited. So I decided to make my own because it is easy to do and recipes abound on the internet. The end result was a nice vanilla-scented moisturizer with minimal ingredients.

Solid v. Liquid:

This was the only product that ended in a tie for me. Both the solid moisturizer and the liquid moisturizer lasted through 72 uses (for one ounce). Seems weird, but that is what happened. I may have to try the experiment again to see if I get the same results.

Shave soap

Shave soap is another old-school toiletry, like tooth powder. You could probably use regular soap to shave, but shave soap is more moisturizing and a much better option in my opinion. I have never been a big fan of shaving cream and have mostly used conditioner to shave my legs. Now I have made the switch to shave soap and prefer it even when I am not traveling.

Solid v. Liquid:

Get this: my little can of shaving cream lasted through five shaves. A one-ounce shave bar lasted through 56 shaves! That is awesome. Plus, you will not be throwing out cans of shaving cream which is better for the environment.

Best travel razor
The Best Travel Razor in all it’s glory. And convenient traveling package. However, that is not the best shaving cream. A shave bar is a MUCH better option.

Solid toiletries: what’s the verdict?

Okay, so you have seen how long solid travel toiletries last compared to their liquid counterparts. Now let us discuss some basic pros and cons of solid travel toiletries.

Pros for solid travel toiletries

  • They are not subject to TSA regulations. (The exception is toothpaste power. There is a 12 oz. powder limit for both carry-on and checked bags. Given that 12 ounces of toothpaste powder is good for 1,080 brushes…that is 540 days of clean teeth…I doubt most people need to fret.)
  • They do not leak. Let’s say it again: they do not leak!
  • Because they go further, you do not need to pack as much. Yeah for packing light!

Cons for solid travel toiletries

  • They are different to use. A shampoo bar is kind of weird at first. Same with powdered toothpaste.
  • Selection is limited. Lush has a wonderful line of shampoo bars, but finding options for other solid travel toiletries is not easy.
  • They can be expensive. However, given that they last a lot longer than their liquid counterparts, I find that most are worth the investment.


In general, solid travel toiletries last longer than liquid travel toiletries. They can be a bit different to use, but once you get the hang of them, you many never look back. The next time you struggle to get all of your liquids into that TSA-approved bag, look at a replacing a few of them with solid alternatives.

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