A composting bin

Can I put shampoo in my compost bin?

NO ✋🏼

You can't put shampoo into your composting bin!

Key info
No category📂
6 months - 2 years

Get the right balance of brown and green composting materials in your bin with our expert guide.

Unveiling the Effects of Shampoo on Your Composting Bin


Being environmentally conscious, we often wonder about what materials can be composted and what cannot. One question that plagues our minds is: Can we put shampoo in the compost bin? The answer is a resounding NO. Here, we'll delve into the reasons behind this and explore the various impacts shampoo can have on your compost bin and, eventually, the environment.

Composting Elucidated

Composting is a natural process that turns organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner. The compost browns (carbon-rich materials) and greens (nitrogen-rich materials) together form a balanced mix beneficial for composting. However, adding shampoo to this mix might disrupt the harmony.

Shampoo: A Non-Compostable Material

Why Shampoo can't be Composted

Shampoo, although a daily hygiene essential, is not suitable for composting. In truth, shampoo typically contains synthetic chemicals that can harm the biological process involved in composting.

Impact on Decomposition Process

The decomposition process in compost happens due to various microorganisms in the bin, breaking down the organic materials into a nutritious humus. When shampoo, with a decomposition timeframe of 6 months to 2 years, is added into the mix, these chemicals can deter the microorganisms' activity, affecting the breakdown of other compostable materials.

Disbalancing the C:N Ratio

In composting, the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio) plays a pivotal role, where an ideal balance is crucial for successful composting. Shampoo does not have a C:N ratio, meaning it neither provides carbon nor nitrogen to the compost, disrupting the balance between browns and greens, ultimately delaying the composting process.

Environmental Impact of Shampoo in Compost

Beyond the immediate impact on a compost bin, shampoo in composting can pose broader environmental concerns.

Soil and Aquatic Life Toxicity

Chemicals present in shampoo can slowly leach into the soil with time, causing soil toxicity and thus harming the root growth of plants. Furthermore, sometimes, these chemicals can find their way to water bodies, risking the survival of aquatic life.

Disruption of Ecosystem Balance

The presence of shampoo in the compost, when used in gardens or farms, can disrupt the ecosystem by inflicting harm to earthworms and other soil-dwelling creatures, affecting the overall biodiversity.


While we might be tempted to compost shampoo for waste reduction, our responsibility lies in understanding and weighing its far-reaching implications. We recommend finding environmentally-friendly ways of disposing of such products and promoting the use of organic and natural shampoos capable of being broken down naturally.

So, the next time when doubt engulfs you, just remember that shampoo has a rightful place in your bathroom, keeping you clean — not in your compost bin harming the ecosystem. Let's compost right and keep the planet green.

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