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Bronner Castile Soap
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Dr. Bronner, Magic Soap, and the Moral ABC

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It is no coincidence that Dr. Bronner castile soap is often referred to as magic soap!  With an endless amount of uses, non-toxic ingredients, and a wide variety of safe scents, this soap should be a staple in every home.

An Interesting History

Have you ever taken a close look at your Dr. Bronner product and read the somewhat incoherent messaging all over it?  No?  Go look now and read on!

In the late 1920s, Emanuel (Emil) Heilbronner, a second generation soap maker arrived in the US from Germany.  In the 30s, as Hitler began to come into power, Emil chose to drop the “heil” from his name and in laters years, without a degree but with a solid reputation, added Dr. to his name.  Unable to convince his Jewish family to immigrate to the US from Germany, he lost them during the Holocaust.  This turn of events convinced him that he needed to create and spread a plan for world peace, and with this All-One-God-Faith and the associated Moral ABCs were born.  This quasi-religion was based on Bronner’s philosophies molded together from different religions.  In the 1940s, while preaching his thoughts at the University of Chicago, he was arrested and institutionalized but later escaped the asylum.

In 1948 Dr. Bronner officially became a brand with liquid peppermint soap (the stuff sitting in my shower!).  As Bronner continued to preach All-One-God-Faith and the Moral ABCs, he sold soap on the side.  After realizing the soap was taking off much better than the adoption of his philosophies, he began printing his thoughts directly on the soap bottles.

As Bronner aged, his children became more involved with the company and today the Bronner brand continues to be run by family since his passing in 1997 from Parkison’s.

While his thoughts may not make total sense, you can clearly see from reading the labels that the deep loss he experienced in his life left him searching for a better tomorrow and wanting to create good in the world.  In his memory, his family continues to publish his teaching and thoughts on their products.

The Ingredients

The liquid castile soaps are primarily made out of a combination of oils (hemp, coconut, jojoba, palm) and natural fragrance made up of one or more essential oils.

So what do I do with this magic soap?

Formulated with organic and fair trade ingredients, this soap is gentle enough to use on your skin yet powerful enough to clean your toilet!  Below are just a few of my suggested uses and you can find more recipes on the side of your bottle and online.  While I make recommendations for which soap scents to use, know that you can use any of them and since Dr. Bronners comes in a pretty large bottle and a little goes a long way, you don’t have to stockpile every different scent. However, no matter what you read do not brush your teeth with this!  You literally can’t get the taste out of your mouth, believe me, I’ve tried it.  Secondly, under no circumstance should you use this soap as a method of birth control or as a douche – no matter what Emil Bronner says on the bottle.


Squirt a dime-sized amount of soap into your hand, washcloth, or loofah and work into a lather.  I recommend using the lavender, almond or rose for a nice mild wash and scent.  Be careful using the peppermint down below – it’s…minty.  On the flip side, I actually really love washing my face with the peppermint because you get that nice clean tingle on your face and tea tree is fantastic for acne-prone skin.

The baby unscented formula is an excellent choice for babies and kids, especially those with highly sensitive skin due to allergies or eczema.

I also really love adding a squirt of the soap to my bath.  It doesn’t bubble, but it smells good!

IMPORTANT: While you can use this soap to wash your dog, do not use it on cats.  Essential oils can be toxic to cats and they are a primary ingredient in Dr. Bronners castile soap.


The combination of oils in the castile soaps are all fantastic ingredients for your hair.  Tea tree is the most popular scent used as a shampoo because tea tree essential oil is great for conditioning the scalp.  Additionally, if you’ve got a child in school, you know that head lice is rampant and washing your kid’s hair with the tea tree castile soap can guard against this.  IMPORTANT: Be sure to follow it up with a conditioner.


All you need is about 1/4 tsp. of soap in a sink full of water and give your produce a little scrub.  Follow up by rinsing everything in clean water.  I recommend using the unscented formula for this.


Combine 1/4 cup tea tree castile soap with a quart of water in a spray bottle and spray it right on those pesky ants in and out of your house!  If you don’t have the tea tree castile soap you can also use any scent and add 5-10 drop of tea tree essential oil to your mix.  IMPORTANT: Do not spray this directly on plants to get rid of aphids or any other bugs as it will kill your plants.


One of my favorite ways to clear up congestion is by diffusing eucalyptus essential oil.  If you don’t have have a diffuser, you can also use the eucalyptus castile soap – 1 Tbsp. in a bowl of steaming hot water with a towel over your head to lock in the steam and breathe deeply!


Use 1/4 cup of the soap scent of your choosing with a quart of water and combine in a spray bottle.  You can also in a few drops of tea tree essential oil for its anti-bacterial properties.


A few drops combined with water is all you need to work up a good lather to shave your underarms or legs.


Mix 1/4 cup of your castile soap of choice, 1-1/2 cup of water and 2 Tbs. of baking soda.  You can also add in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent.  Combine all ingredients in a squirt bottle (grab this at the dollar store!).

Images and history courtesy of https://drbronner.com

Larisa Explains It All is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

5 Comment

  1. Great post, love the history. Dr. Bronner’s peppermint lathers up so well in a Norwex body Cloth- love it!!!

  2. I love that you can use this for so many things! My friend cleans her floors with it. It also smells so delightful! Thanks for sharing all these amazing tips.

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