Review of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Liquid Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap
A Multipurpose Cleaner
I had heard of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap off and on for years but never paid much attention to it until recently.
Once I became aware of the toxic chemicals found in most soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents and household cleaning products, I started exploring products with organic ingredients. I remembered Dr. Bronner's Soap, took a closer look, and especially liked that it was described as a multipurpose cleaner. In fact, this soap claims to wash everything from your skin to your floors.
Although I was somewhat skeptical, I decided to give it a go. After all, as a minimalist, this product could take minimalism to a whole new level for me!
This review is based on my personal experiences using Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 liquid Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap for washing my skin, hair, clothing, and dishes.
Castile soap is an olive-oil-based soap made in a way similar to that originating in the Castile region of Spain.
Who Was Dr. Bronner?
Dr. Bronner was born Emanuel Heilbronner in Germany in 1908 to Jewish-German parents who were later killed during the Holocaust. His family began making soap in 1858 and began making and selling their first liquid castile soap in the late 1800s under the "Madaform" brand.
In 1929, Emil emigrated to the U.S. and shortly thereafter, he dropped "Heil" from his last name. A decade later, he adopted the title "Dr."—hence the name "Dr. Bronner." In 1948, he founded Dr. Bronner's and the production of liquid Peppermint castile soap began.
Have You Used Any of Dr. Bronner's Soaps?
What Does 18-in-1 Mean?
18-in-1 refers to using one soap for 18 different purposes. The specific uses of this product were rather hard to locate, as they are written in different areas of the label, which is completely saturated in fine print. Here's what I found:
18 Uses of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap
- washing hands, face, body and hair
- washing dishes, laundry, and mopping floor
- bathing dog
- removing residue from fruits and vegetables
- keeping bugs off plants
- shaving face, underarms, and legs
- all purpose cleaner
- washing shower and tub
Ingredients in Dr. Bronner's Liquid Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap (in the order listed on the bottle)
Organic coconut oil
oil extracted from fresh coconuts
an inorganic compound, commonly known as caustic potash
Organic palm kernel oil
a highly saturated vegetable fat derived from the kernel of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis
Organic olive oil
a liquid fat obtained from olives
a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae
Organic hemp oil
obtained by pressing hemp seeds
Organic jojoba oil
the liquid produced in the seed of the Jojoba plant
a hybrid commonly known as peppermint, which is a cross between watermint and spearmint
a weak organic acid that ocurrs naturally in citrus fruits
an organic chemical compound with Vitamin E activity
Benefits of Peppermint Oil
Most of the ingredients in this soap appear to be truly organic. The second ingredient listed on the bottle, potassium hydroxide, raised a red flag for me when I discovered that Wikipedia describes it as "dangerously corrosive" and states that "potassium hydroxide and its solutions are severe irritants to skin and other tissue."
However, the label on the bottle of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap reads, "None (of the potassium hydroxide) remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin." This appears to indicate that the saponifying process, which is basically the process of making soap, cancels out any corrosive effects of the potassium hydroxide.
How to Dilute Dr. Bronner's Liquid Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap (based on directions on the bottle)
hands, face and body
one small squirt to wet hands or washcloth
1/2 tbsp. in wet hair
work into wet hair, rinse with Dr. Bronner's Citrus Organic Hair Rinse
Wash dishes by hand / works best in soft water
1/3 cup soap in large load
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse cycle
1/2 cup soap to 3 gallons hot water
after wetting dog's fur, massage enough soap into fur to get good lather
fruits and vegetables
a dash of soap in a bowl of water
1/4 cup soap to quart of water
use spray bottle
bug spray for plants
1 tbsp. soap in quart of water
May add a dash of cayenne
to shave face, underarms, legs
5-10 drops in wet hands
lather soap in hands and apply to skin
My Experiences and Results
I Used Dr. Bronner's Soap For:
- washing my skin and hair
- shaving my legs
- washing my clothes
- washing my dishes
As of today, I have used this product for a period of two months.
I kept a small squirt bottle of the undiluted soap by my bathroom sink and used one squirt each time I washed my hands. I also used a squirt bottle in the shower and squirted the undiluted soap directly onto my washcloth.
The invigorating peppermint aroma alone made this soap very pleasant to use. My hands and body felt clean after washing with this product. It did not irritate my skin or cause any adverse effects on it.
I found that the cap on my squirt bottle clogged easily, so I ended up pouring the undiluted soap into a pump bottle, which worked much better for both washing my hands and showering.
I confess I was quite reluctant to use this product for my hair, but I gave it a shot.
I can't say it worked for me as a shampoo. I used the recommended soap-to-water ratio, lathered as well as I could, and found that my hair ended up looking and feeling somewhat greasy. I tried using more soap, and although I did get more of a lather this way, it did not seem to help in terms of the greasy appearance and sensation. I did not use Dr. Bronners's Citrus Organic Hair Rinse, as recommended on the bottle of this product.
I think I will stick to my own shampoo for my hair, and possibly use this product as a shampoo for future camping trips only.
I found it very easy to shave my legs with this product. I followed the suggested quantity, and was able to smooth it on my legs and shave them effortlessly. No stubs, no problems.
I used 1/4 cup of soap for each medium size load I washed, and slightly less for smaller loads. I added vinegar to my wash as recommended (something I used to do anyway).
My clothes, towels, and sheets smelled fresh and clean, and the peppermint scent was so soothing as I removed my laundry from the washer and from the dryer. This made doing my laundry slightly more enjoyable.
Rather than prepare a solution with a 1:10 ratio of soap-to-water as recommended, I decided to simply use a squirt bottle with the undiluted soap and use one squirt at a time on my kitchen washcloth as I washed my dishes by hand. I replaced the squirt bottle with a pump bottle shortly thereafter.
I found that this soap lathered and washed my dishes easily, leaving them looking and smelling fresh and clean. I loved the refreshing peppermint aroma, which also made washing my dishes more relaxing and pleasant.
Is It Cost-Effective?
I purchased a 40 oz. bottle on Amazon for $18.99 two months ago and currently have a little less than a quarter of the bottle left. I wash about two medium sized loads of laundry per week, and I shower and wash dishes daily.
I find this product to be highly cost-effective, especially based on the ingredients and the results I have experienced.
I Intend to Continue to Use This Soap To:
- wash my hands and body
- wash my laundry
- wash my dishes
What I like Most About This Product:
- organic ingredients
- the invigorating peppermint scent
- I can control how much I use in terms of soap-to-water ratio.
- I can use the same soap to clean my laundry, dishes and skin.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2019 Geri McClymont