February 26, 2011
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Even if you haven’t used Dr. Bronner’s products, you’ve seen them around, or at least heard of them before. They’re the bottles that are literally COVERED in writing. You know the ones. The bottles you’ve picked up out of sheer fascination, only to discover it’s covered with sayings like “Only if constructive-selfish I work hard perfecting first me, like arctic owls – penguin – pilot – cat – swallow – beaver - bee, can I teach the MORAL ABC’s ALL – ONE – GOD – FAITH, that lightning-like unites the Human race!”, or “For we’re ALL-ONE OR NONE! ALL-ONE! listen children eternal father eternally one! EXCEPTIONS ETERNALLY? ABSOLUTE NONE!”, and then your fascination turned to confusion, and you put the bottle back on the shelf. That Dr. Bronner’s soap.
Well I’ve been on the hunt for a more natural hand soap, and have seen several different brands at Whole Foods, Henry’s, Sprouts, and the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The problem is they all come in the same standard size pump that you throw away once you’ve used it up. And while yes, I do want to use natural products, I also do not want to be that wasteful. I have soap dispensers at home that I refill when the soap is out. This is where my dilemma comes in. I do not see many refill options for natural soaps. Which is ultimately what brought me to actually trying Dr. Bronner’s soap.
I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, and happened to notice they sell a large bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, perfect for refilling my dispensers. And, you know Trader Joe’s, it was quite a bit cheaper than what I’ve seen in other stores. So despite all the mumbo-jumbo on the bottle, I decided to go for it. I tried the 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap. It’s called 18-in-1 because it apparently has 18 different uses, but I’m not exactly sure what they are. Although the bottle does say “Towel Massage, Do a Facial Pack, Then Wring Towel Out & Fingertip Massage Your Hair & Scalp. Enjoy the Creamy Emollient Lather on Baby, Bath, Beach (huh? like you clean the beach with it? perhaps this is why they call it “magic” soap?), Body, Dentures, Deodorant, Shaving & Aftershave. Use on Silk, Wool, Pets, Diapers, Car, Hands & Feet.” If you count all those things it does add up to 18, sooo I guess there they are.
It is certified fair trade, and not tested on animals. The ingredients are 100% vegan (yay!), as it says “Health is our greatest wealth”. The ingredients include: water, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, organic peppermint oil, mentha arvensis extract, citric acid, & Vitamin E. I love when a product contains only ingredients I can pronounce and identify! The bottle is also made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Sounds great!
HOWEVER. My one complaint about this soap, is similar to the complaint I had about Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash from Trader Joe’s – it’s very runny. There is nothing creamy or emollient about it. And I prefer my soap to be more, well, soapy. And this just isn’t. But more than that, the bigger problem is it forms soap-clumps on the tip of each of the dispensers. So when I go to use the soap, often times it shoots out at odd angles, as it tries to push past the clump on the tip. I have been sprayed on my shirt many a time. I have learned to adjust by scraping off the clump before pressing down the pump, but hello-o, not everyone that washes their hands while they’re here knows to do that. I mean I suppose I could hang little signs from my soap dispensers, but come on.
Although, I will admit, on close examination of the bottle to write this post, I do see where it actually says “Soap can clog and spurt with pump dispensers.” Huh. So there that is as well.