Getting on my soapbox about Dr. Bronner's
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid soap is truly a magic soap, like the bottle says. Actually, the bottle says a lot of things. The label offers a library of literature from Kipling's "If" to Dr. Bronner's "Moral ABC." There's so much shower reading you could do with that bottle, that within the 2 years I've used it daily, I still haven't read it all. But one thing that doesn't have a lot of words on the label is the ingredient list:
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Citric Acid, Tocopherol
* CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin
Let's go over some of its best features: organic, fair trade, no harmful chemicals, vegan, no animal testing, comes in a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottle.
The liquid soap comes in a variety of sizes and scents. I get the large 32-ounce size of the peppermint scent, and even though I use it for everything, it lasts me a couple of months. For a large bottle, Trader Joes sells it the cheapest, at about $9. Food Lion (look in the organic section) carries a smaller bottle for about $12. You can also find it in health food stores and online.
There's nothing Dr. Bronner's can't do. Here are some of the ways I use it regularly, though I'm sure I'm not even scratching the surface:
- In the shower. Excellent as a shower gel, though be warned, the peppermint scent is quite tingly. You get used to it. The first time I used this stuff my body would tingle for hours. (For parents, there is an unscented baby version of the soap). I also use it for shaving. I am a bit more particular with my hair, but my roommate uses it as shampoo. If you're a dude, it's definitely the only soap you need in the shower. It's a gentle soap, and I use it on my face too.
- Hand soap. No need for fancy soaps filled with chemicals. Just fill a small bottle up with 1 part Dr. Bronner's to 3 parts water and use it for hand soap. I fill small travel size bottles with it, but you could also use it in a soap dispenser. It's important that you dilute it, because it will clog up the bottle or dispenser if you don't.
- Pet shampoo. My dogs take their baths with Dr. Bronner's. Makes them happy and they smell good. Much cheaper than pet shampoo filled with harmful chemicals.
- Insecticide. The peppermint scent will keep bugs out of your garden! I used it all summer on my tomatoes, basil, peppers and lettuce. Just mix about 2 tablespoons with water in a spray bottle.
- Clothing rinse. Living at the beach, I have to rinse out a bathing suit just about about everyday. I use a tad of Dr. Bronner's in a small sink full of water and just soak my bathing suits for about 5 minutes. It gets them clean without fading. Attention, surfers: Dr. Bronner's also gets that funk smell out of wetsuits and rashguards.
- Gentle cleanser. Cleans things around the house that you wouldn't want to use a harsh cleanser on, like my yoga mat and my dog's lampshade she had to wear after surgery.
- Deodorant. Okay, natural deodorants are a whole other topic for a future blog post. I have a lot to say about that. Dr. Bronner's works as deodorant and just as good, if not better, than natural brands you can buy in the store. Just dab a little under the arms. For better protection, follow up with a sprinkle of baking soda.
- When you're not sure. Most times, if you are not sure what to use, Dr. Bronner's will do the trick. Once I ran out of dishwasher detergent. I filled the soap compartment with Dr. Bronner's and ran a load. Clean, minty fresh dishes.
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Bronner's soaps. If you're using Dr. Bronner's in a way I didn't mention, please share.
This soap even inspired a documentary. Apparently, Dr. Bronner was as quirky as his soap labels. I have this movie on my Netflix queue. Here's the trailer.