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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Toiletries > Burts Bees All-in-One Wash > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters


July 13, 2009


NAME: Kathleen Waters
AGE: 58
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

I started hiking in 1998 after an eye-opening climb up Hahn's Peak in Colorado. Hooked, I return to Colorado often. I've hiked/snowshoed glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in domestic and exotic locations, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. At home, I plan for 2-3 hikes of 6-8 mi (10-13 km) weekly and one weekend hike monthly. Weekday hikes take place in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a mixture of heavily-wooded moderate hills and flat terrain. Weekend hike locations vary. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) including food and water


Manufacturer: Burt's Bees
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $5.00
Listed Weight: 4 fl. oz (118 ml)
Measured Weight: 5 oz (142 g) including packaging

Ingredients: water, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, coco-betaine, sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein, sucrose laurate, glycerin, betaine, coco-glucoside, glyceryl oleate, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) fruit oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, salvia officinalis (sage) oil, glucose, xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium chloride, lactoperoxidase, glucose oxidase, fragrance

97.7% Natural
Burt's Bees All-in-one Wash
Picture Courtesy of Manufacturer


Part of Burt's Bees Outdoors line, the All-In-One Wash (hereafter simply referred to as "Wash") is packaged in a 5 in (13 cm) high, 1.5 in (4 cm) diameter plastic-like squeeze bottle. As with the other products in the Burt's Bees Outdoors line, the label is sage green with a darker green foliage graphic rather than the familiar (to me) yellow packaging of the rest of the Burt's Bees line. However, the bearded Burt logo prominently displayed front and center, remains the same.

The cap of the Wash, in addition to being a twist on/off cap, has a push top which opens for dispensing by pushing down on the marked indented section of the top. The opposite side of the top raises up and an opening on the raised side of the cap allows dispersal of the product. Pushing on the raised top closes it.

The Wash labeling lists its ingredients (see above) and information about how the ingredients "work". A statement of environmental philosophy regarding using waste products in packaging (80%) and consumer recycling, along with the lack of animal testing and the Wash's biodegradable formula rounds out the fine print.

Highly aromatic, the Wash is clear in color and slightly thickened. The fragrance is a clean rosemary and mint.


First off, let me say, I'm no clean freak. Especially in the outdoors. I believe firmly in the adage "we all eat a pound of dirt before we die" and being overly antiseptic and antibacterial only makes for more resistant germs. However sometimes - albeit rarely - even on the trail I just have to clean something, be it cookware, clothing or me. That's where my Burt's Bees All-In-One Wash comes in.

My first purchase a year ago was made hastily without reading the whole product description. I didn't realize the Wash was "all-in-one" for my face, skin and hair. I was looking for more than personal hygiene. It wasn't until I needed to wash out a pot with sticky tomato sauce that I noticed my misinterpretation of "all-in-one wash".

No matter, as it is said, the mother of invention is necessity. I squeezed just a slight dollop (barely a thin dime size) of the wash into the mess, added some boiled water and let the pot soak for a bit. When I swirled the water in the cooled pot a bit later, most of the sauce dissolved. The rest I was able to swipe out with a towel. Rinsing was easy as the Wash did not create copious suds.

For cookware, I have found the Wash and soaking to be adequate for all but the most baked on stuff - like when a momma deer and her twins are grazing nearby and the dinner burns to a crisp because no one wants to move and disturb them. On those occasions I just wait until I get home. Food bars will just have to do!

On the night of that same first dishwashing experiment, I had another "ah-ha" moment when I noticed the same tomato sauce managed to dribble onto my white (!) tank tee. (This is why I eat lots of food bars and jerky on treks!) From experience, I know how tomato sauce can stain synthetics if not treated quickly. So I squeezed a mere "dot" of the Wash directly onto the stain, rubbed it a bit and then rinsed out the minimal amount of created bubbles. Voila! Clean! Yay! Again, since I'm not a clean-a-holic, I have only washed a handful of stains on the trail in the last year - most of them blood. (Don't ask.) But when necessary, the Wash works great for this use.

Note - Burt's Bees does not advertise the Wash for anything other than personal hygiene! The Manufacturer states on their website: "How to Use It: Apply to wet face, body and hair, lather, rinse well, and repeat as necessary."

So, on to the real purpose of the Wash, body parts. Again, I don't generally do more than a cursory swipe of my face with a wet-wipe or a dunking of my hands and feet in a cool stream on a backpack, and never more than that in the winter no matter how long I've been out or how grimy I get. In the summer though, particularly in my new desert home territory, heat and dust sometimes get to me. And that's when I need/want a biodegradable, all natural, gentle but thorough cleanser. Burt's Bees All-In-One Wash fits the bill for me.

Using the Wash with cold water, there is minimal sudsing so no huge amounts of water are needed for rinsing. This is good as I don't particularly like toting water from whatever available water source to the recommended 100 ft (30 m) away from that source. If I'm talking face, hands and forearms, I can rinse with just a couple of judiciously poured cups (8 fl oz/237 ml) of water. Not bad. Obviously the more surface area added to the washing, the more water, but face and hands are usually all I need to clean off whatever grease, soot, dirt or blood is causing the problem.

Blob of Wash
Clear All-In-One Wash
In the interest of this review, I actually tried recently washing my hair using the Wash on the trail. To save on water lugging, I stuck my head in a nicely flowing freezing-cold-from-snowmelt creek. Don't know that I'll ever do that again! I squeezed out a nickel-sized blob of the Wash and quickly rubbed it into my hair. I didn't do a great job of getting the Wash to cover all of my head evenly, but it worked well enough. I have thick but very short hair and it still took several ounces/liters of the aforementioned freezing cold water to get all the bubbles out. At least, my husband TOLD me I still needed more as he laughed at my exclamations of "dang, that's like ice"! The results of the shampoo were mixed. My hair definitely was clean and no longer wreaked of smoke, but was dismally limp and flat. I definitely could have used a blow dryer. That's what hats are for I guess.

Again, in the interest of this review, I used the Wash in a real shower at a campground with hot (more or less) water to see if the sudsing increased significantly over cold water and I don't think it did - somewhat, but not enough to matter. I now feel content with results of cold water and the Wash when I need it on the trail.

Consistency of the Wash is somewhat thin and I have to be careful not to use too much and waste it. At five bucks a bottle, this is not a product I care to be liberal with. The feel of the liquid is the same as most other similar products, silky smooth. The smell is wonderfully fresh and herbal and initially strongly scented, but it dissipates quickly which in the woods is a good thing so as to not smell like a potential meal.

My biggest complaint is in the packaging. Burt's Bees is not an adventure-oriented manufacturer, but this is advertised as "outdoors". So I would hope there would be some consideration of what "outdoors" people need and backpackers need lightweight, leak-proof packaging. The bottle is too heavy and clunky and the top can easily flip open with any pressure in my pack and leak all over. Not a nice thing to see. A squeeze tube would render this problem moot. In the meantime, on longer treks, dustier, hotter treks or treks with my chef son who cooks real meals, I will be toting my Wash carefully transferred into my GoToob to clean up whatever absolutely can't wait until I get back into civilization.
Wash & GoToob
GoToob with Retail Wash Container


1.) Multi-purpose use
2.) Natural ingredients
3.) Light fragrance that dissipates quickly


1.) Manufacturer's container not leak-proof.
2.) Packaging is heavy.
3.) Pricey


I am a huge Burt's Bees fan and generally love to try new and useful products. The All-In-One Wash is definitely useful. It isn't something I will carry on a day hike nor a weekender, but depending on the season (hot, dusty and/or humid) or planned activities (smoky camp fires, REAL meals and/or trail maintenance); I will pack along a bit of it to freshen up and to clean-up cookware. The packaging is too clunky for backpacking but transferring the Wash to a GoToob is worth the effort for extended treks.

I'm glad I tried the All-In-One Wash from Burt's Bees and recommend it!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Toiletries > Burts Bees All-in-One Wash > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

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