Lead Photo
Innovation Zero Waste

A change of texture

You can often tell a Rambler when you see one. They’ll have a thick winter coat, unforgiving school spirit, and the sweet smell of Biosoap on their hands.

Loyola University Chicago’s soap isn’t just from a bottle, it’s a specially crafted product made by students in the Searle Biodiesel Lab. Since its creation in 2008, Biosoap has been tweaked and reviewed to ensure the best quality, but a recent change from a liquid to foaming consistency will be the biggest shift yet.

The process of making Biodiesel, a fuel alternative made from leftover cooking oil, produces a byproduct called glycerol, a less refined version of glycerin which is the key ingredient in most soaps. Once students in a Solutions To Environmental Problems (STEP) class realized the glycerin could be utilized, the entire lab became zero waste.

According to Biodiesel lab manager Zach Waickman, the change was sparked from student, staff, and faculty feedback, along with a desire to constantly improve the user experience of the soap.

“The main reason we updated the formula and came up with the foaming Biosoap is because we're committed to continual product improvement,” says Waickman. “Feedback we receive like surveys, passing comments, emails, and so on help guide us to prioritize what we concentrate on improving with each new formulation.

“We've made numerous changes to the soap over the years, but this is going to be the most significant and impactful.”

In addition to the texture, the new soap has a changed look. Due to diluting the consistency in order for the soap to aerate and foam, the mixture is now a light yellow color instead of a dark brown. A natural, lavender essential oil will also be the new signature smell.

The foaming Biosoap debuted in some locations last fall, and in early 2020 dispensers containing the new and improved soap began rolling out widely across Loyola’s campuses. 


gallons of Biosoap produced each year


soap dispensers across Loyola's Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses


waste from the biodiesel production process

Be a part of the change

Across the country, the climate crisis has mobilized young people to action. Listen to their stories, respond, and become inspired to act on behalf of the planet during this year’s keynote conversation at Loyola’s sixth Climate Change Conference. REGISTER TODAY