Dr. Bronner’s Foaming Soap (or the merits of throwing out your anti-bacterial soap…)

Who is Dr. Bronner anyway??? Photo cropped from www.dr.bronner.comDr. Bronner’s has many various uses around the house.  You can wash your body, your beard, your hair, your kids, your dog, your fruits and veggies,  your dishes, your carpet, your car,  your neighbor’s car – you get the picture.   The main thing to remember:  this is highly concentrated stuff, a little goes a long  way!  You need to use the appropriate amount (and type) of Dr. B’s for the job at hand, otherwise you are wasting this precious and wonderful smelling commodity.  The most basic use of Dr. Bronner’s is for hand soap.  What could possibly be better than plain-old supercharged peppermint magic soap?  That’s right:  foaming supercharged peppermint magic soap!  Not only can this foaming magic soap be used at home, it can be used extensively around the campsite! In this post, I’ll show you how to make foaming Dr. Bronner’s hand soap.

//Begin Rant //

Dr. Bronner’s is not promoted, nor should it be, as an “anti-bacterial” soap.  This stuff is too good to be labled anything but “magic soap”.   It is, however, in the “disinfectant” category of soaps.  According to my extensive research (not!), and the Bronner family’s blogger-mom, Lisa Bronner, anti-bacterial soap kills 99.9% of the “bad stuff” and disinfectant soaps kill 99%.   Big whoop.  Before the advent of “anti-bacterial” soap, what did we ever do?  Lions and tigers and germs, oh my!  You don’t need “anti-bacterial” to have clean hands.  Soap and water people, soap and water.  Sure, if you are about to go into surgery or are a dental hygienist, by all means, anti-bacterial is probably preferable for your given trade, but for the average person at home – why subject yourself to even more chemicals that you cant spell, pronounce, or be reasonably sure of the source?  I personally have no earthly idea where or what labs sodiom lauryl sulfate or triclosan are concocted in.  I can, however, wrap my brain around the origins of coconut, hemp, olive, and other oils/extracts that go into Dr. Bronner’s soaps.  Call me crazy.

Prior to using Dr. B’s exclusively around the house for my hand soap, my hands would become itchy, dry, flaky, and sensitive, especially during the winter months.  It didn’t dawn on me until I had switched to Dr. B’s that the cause of this was the “cleaning” agents in the anti-bacterial soaps.  Yep, it was cleaning the skin right off my sensitive little girly guitar playing man-hands.  Try  bending a G string on the 9th fret with no skin on your knuckles.  It really makes guitar playing interesting!   But there is hope for you, as there was for me.  I ‘ve had two problem free winters now, since using Dr. Bronner’s when at all possible.  Now, I’m not saying I bust out the Dr. B’s at a rest stop, but at home, where the majority of the hand washing gets done, it’s the good doctor and nothing else for me.  Furthermore, my rate of illness (cold, flu, whatever) has neither increased nor decreased over the past two years.  Even more further more (if there can be such a thing), my little Joe used to get rashes and blotchy skin from the “regular” soap we would buy at the store.  This condition has disappeared now that he uses Dr. Bronner’s 85% of the time for hand washing.

To appease my better half, who is a self-admitted germ-a-phobe, we have been buying “lotion soap” for her (but not anti-bacterial) to use in the kitchen for the past year or so.  But, seeing that her family isn’t dying a slow and painful death by discontinuing the chemical onslaught, she is slowly converting to Dr. Bronner’s for hand soap as well.   Recently she has conceded to 100% Dr. B’s in the bathrooms, which is big step in the right direction for this ANTI-anti-bacterial dad.  //End Rant//

I was going to end this post by giving you instructions on how to make foaming Dr. Bronner’s soap, but given the length of the previous tangent, you’ll have to wait for part ii.

I promise to stick to the paved road in that one…


  1. [...] After another peaceful night in the tent, we woke up to a beautiful and crisp fall morning.  We had a lazy time getting up and after breakfast we broke camp and made a last stop to the visitor center before heading home.  Joe really had a great time on our little adventure, and Dad did too.  It was nice to be able to spend some quality time in the woods together; just the boys, free from school and schedules.  We even managed to avoid several calamities, and survived just fine without the anti-bacterial. [...]

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