Sunday, February 24, 2008

Product Review: Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

Photo by Kevin on Flickr using Creative Commons.

Part II (of Some Answers and a Few Questions)

Dr. Bronner's update:

In a previous post I mentioned that one day I hoped to use Dr. Bronner's soap for everything. I am in love with the simplicity of the product, with organic, sustainable (in recycled packaging and available in bulk), fair trade and humane practices and with claims of being useful for so many different things. What could be simpler than purchasing one soap to use for all household and personal hygeine needs?

As I do with any new-to-me product, however, I purchased a smaller amount than if I were purchasing of a product which had become my new favorite when I bought it last fall. I opted for the lavender liquid soap in the 32 ounce bottle, noting that later I can purchase the gallon jugs directly from their site, or fill my current bottle at Wild Oats (assuming they still carry it; To-date I have not seen it in any other bulk sections of my favorite natural foods stores.) I introduced it to the beau, who was skeptical of it's all-oneness, spiritually and functionally, by using it to fill one of our existing hand soap dispensers, whose contents were previously used up.

Aside from the occasional clog - which I have experienced with every liquid soap I've ever tried - I was a convert. I love the smell of the lavender, and the near-colorless liquid foamed perfectly, even without SLS. My hands felt clean, but never dry after using the Dr. Bronner's.

And then one day the beau says to me that Dr. Bronner's stained his shirt. I was all, "no way! It says right here that you can use it as a laundry detergent", but he assures me to this day that the shirt in question had to be cut up into rags. My personal experience on the few occasions that a clogged spout shot soap onto my sleeve are that it came out without any problem. I did rinse the soap "stain" immediately with water, but then I let the shirt dry until it was time to do laundry and it came out without difficulty.

I suspected that perhaps the oils in the soap might have caused the stain on Beau's shirt, so I contacted Dr. Bronner's via email to see if they had any awareness of their soap staining clothes or any suggestions about removal if a stain does occur. Sadly, the happy people at Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap company never replied. (Not very One-like of them, but then maybe their email server was down or something.) My thought is that as with other oils, had the shirt been treated sooner (by rinsing with cold water and/or absorbing with baking soda before washing) it would not have stained.

Recently I had also been looking for an alternative to my toothpaste. I was using Tom's of Maine, my favorite toothpaste, until I found out they were purchased by Colgate and contained SLS. Then after researching a few brands I picked Dr. Ken's, but I was unimpressed and looking for a solution which would greatly reduce the packaging involved as well. I looked into using baking soda and water, or making my own toothpaste, but it turns out that baking soda is too abrasive for my sensitive teeth. It seemed silly for me to purchase glycerin and other raw products which I did not presently have further use for.

I decided to try using my lavender liquid soap to brush my teeth as well. While it wasn't my flavor of choice, I have enjoyed lavender-infused desserts and teas in the past, so I figured it could be tolerable. I've been using the soap to brush my teeth for over a week now and have discovered what is definitely THE cleanest mouth feeling I've ever had. The dentist's office? Doesn't compare. And this isn't that gritty/crunchy feeling that the dentist's toothpaste has, either - you know what I'm talking about. The only problem is that after brushing with the teeniest semi-drop of the lavender liquid soap I found that the taste undesirable, and it left my tongue with a sort of unpleasant near-burning tingle. I rinsed with my remaining Tom's of Maine mouthwash and discovered I've never felt so minty fresh. Those gum commercials really know what they're talking about, but they're advertising the wrong products.

And then, divine intervention (or something like it): in the store the other day I found a trial/travel size of Dr. Bronner's peppermint liquid soap (2 oz.), and have been using it to brush my teeth ever since.


Cebette said...

I have had several items of clothing stained by Dr. Bronners and was never able to remove the stains...even when I caught and treated them immediately. In fact, I found your post when I put on a black cotton knit top a few minutes ago and found yet another round of telltale Dr. Bronner stains. If anyone knows of a way to remove these stains I would appreciate it immensely. Thanks.

GreenYogini said...

Wow, Cebette...that's no fun. :( What did you use when you tried to treat the stains? When I get vegetable or olive oil on my clothes, I usually dab baking soda into the stain to absorb the oil, repeating until it appears the baking soda is no longer being absorbed by the oil, and then toss it in the wash (on cool, b/c that's my default wash setting). That's how I have tried treating any instances of errant Dr. Bronner's.

Any other thoughts?

Da Sessions said...

I actually do something else with it... I take 1 C Borax, 1 C baking soda or washing soda, and 2 to 3 tbls Dr bronners and shake it in a jar. Use two to three Tbls per laundry load. But when I have an oil stain I pour dr. bronners straight on it and wash it with the above recipe, and voila no oil stain. Oil attracts oil. Wondering if you tried rewashing your clothes as mentioned above, if it would take the stain out? Something with the baking soda, and borax...


Da Sessions said...
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Cebette said...

Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately the stains are quite set by now and I am a little hesitant to throw more Dr. Bronner's into the mix. I will definitely try the baking soda if I should catch another fresh splash of soap.