All-Purpose Cleaning

Okay, this is not a post about cleaning the house as the title may suggest. When it comes to beauty/personal care products, I have pretty much use one thing:  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap.

Dr. Bronner's is a castile soap, which really just means that it is an all-vegetable oil soap. The (few) ingredients are listed clearly on the front to show that this soap is truly organic and all-natural. There are no questionable ingredients with potentially harmful side-effects. Dr. Bronner's is biodegradable and no harmful waste is produced when it is manufactured.

The soap comes in liquid and bar form, with the liquid being very concentrated. The liquid is what I personally use everyday. What do I use it for?
  • Body wash. I put 2-3 squirts on my body poof, lather it up, and wash.
  • Shampoo. I tried this after I just couldn't get my hair clean with baking soda. So I just use a a squirt of Dr. Bronner's on my hair, making sure to work it all over. I have found, however, that occasionally switching the Dr. Bronner's out for baking soda works really well.
  • Face Wash. Since it doesn't take much to clean my face, when I wash my face in the shower I like to wash my face after I have lathered my hair but before I rinse so that I can use the suds already on my hands. If I am out of the shower I just use a couple pumps of my hand soap.
  • Hand soap. For this use it is best to dilute the soap. How much, though, depends on your preference and what kind of pump you use. A regular soap pump will require more soap but a foaming soap pump will allow you to use much less. For my pumps I filled the dispenser up about 1/2 inch or so and filled the rest with water. You can always buy a nice pump, but I simply went to the Dollar Tree, bought some foaming soap, then rinsed all that soap out so I could use the pump. For this use I have found that it is best to thoroughly wet my hands before using 2-4 pumps of soap.
  • Toothpaste. Okay, this one is a lie. One of the many uses of the soap is toothpaste, so since I was going to be talking about personal care/beauty products, I figured I should try it so I could talk about it. Unfortunately I didn't like it AT ALL! But I think that is my fault. The peppermint soap is what is recommended for brushing your teeth, but I only have almond in liquid form, so that is what I used. But I like having versatile products, so I think I may get the peppermint soap so I can add one more use to my Dr. Bronner's.
  • Baby wash. I either put a squirt on a wash cloth and wash his hair and body or put a couple squirts in the bath water and just wash him from that. They even make one without any scents so it is mild enough for baby. Sometimes I use that (I have it in bar form) and sometimes I just use my almond.

Using Dr. Bronner's has really only been different that using conventional products in one way - it does not lather as well. You can still get a good lather if you want it, thanks to the high fat of the organic coconut oil used, but just not as easily as other products. This is because those products use ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemically-derived surfactant, to produce the rich lather. But I will gladly substitute that lather for my health.

Along with the many personal care uses for Dr. Bronner's I also use it in other cleaning around the house (but I will save that for another post). The initial cost may seem a little high up front, but since it is concentrated a little goes a long way and it lasts forever. I bought a 32-ounce bottle a few months ago and am not even 1/5 of the way done with it. Plus you aren't having to buy multiple products! So not only does it save you money in the long run (or even short-run if you are needing to buy multiple products at once) but it produces far less waste from the packaging. That makes it green and thrifty :)


  1. [...] a green product without reading the label. I bought some foaming handsoap (yes, I know I have the Dr. Bronner’s in my house for this, but there are a couple guys in my house who don’t like the smell/lack [...]

  2. Over 30 years ago, I worked at a health food store for several years, and with all that fresh flour, grains, and other moth-attracting foods, we had to be especially vigilant about bugs that could end up costing us huge amounts of ruined inventory. The only thing we needed to use to keep those moths away was to wash down our shelves and bulk-bagging area with diluted Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap! It smells good, and is completely safe. I've started using it in my own home, now that I can't seem to find the pheromone traps for those pesky bugs anymore. Even if I do find the traps again, I'll keep using Bronner's Peppermint in the kitchen.



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