How To Clean Cookware While Camping Without Soap?

When camping, cookware can be hard to clean. There are a few methods for cleaning cookware while camping. Most involve using an alternative material to dishwashing soap and water.

The soap and water combination require storing large amounts of freshwater while washing the dishes, which can be difficult when camping.

After you’re done with dinner, it’s important to have hot soapy water available to clean dirty cookware before putting them away for the night.


However, we all know how to wash dishes in the traditional way with soap and water. But on the campsite, maybe you don’t have access to those things.

Alternative Ways To Clean Dishes If You Don’t have Soap When Camping

Here’s how to clean your dishes with two common materials found on most campsites:

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a good alternative to dish soap. It has a granulated texture that can clean and scrub tiny food particles and grease stains from pots and pans without leaving any residue. It can also be used on cast iron skillets without damaging the seasoning.

2. Salt

Salt, unlike baking soda, doesn’t have granules. It must be dissolved in water before washing your cookware and leaves no residue after you’re done with the cleaning process. Salt can also be used to help maintain the seasoning on your cast iron pans.

Warning: When using salt to wash your cookware, you may notice some water spots. This is normal. To remove the water spots, simply rub them with a clean cloth.

How To Wash The Cookware Using Baking Soda when Camping?

First, fill your pot or pan with hot water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Swish around the mixture with a wooden spoon to help break up any stuck-on food particles.

Let it sit for five minutes before removing the dish and rinsing it under running water for several seconds. Finally, dry it with a clean cloth and you’re done!

How To Wash The Cookware Using Salt While Camping?

Salt is a great alternative to soap or chemicals. First, fill your pot or pan with hot water and add about 2 tablespoons of salt.

Let the mixture sit for five minutes before using a wooden spoon to break up any stuck-on food particles.

Finally, remove the dishes from the pot or pan and rinse them under running water for several seconds. Dry the dishes before storing them for the night.

You’ll need to do this every time you cook, but it’s worth it when you’re in the middle of nowhere and don’t have any soap or water to wash them with.


Cleaning cookware while camping can be a little tricky when you forgot to carry dishsoap. However, if you have baking soda or salt on hand, you can clean your dishes quickly and easily. 

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