Dr. Bronner's Soaps & Sal Suds

What does "Castile" mean?  Is the bar soap also a castile soap like the liquid? What is the difference between the bar and liquid soaps?
Does the Rosemary Extract contribute any scent to the soap?
How should I dilute the liquid soap?
My liquid soap turned cloudy.  What happened, and what should I do to clear it up again?
What is "potassium solution"?
What is the difference between a "fixed" and an "essential" oil?
Do your soaps contain any foaming agents/detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?
What is the difference between a soap and a detergent/surfactant?

 

Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds


Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soaps

LIQUID INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Coconut-Hemp-Olive Oils (with retained Glycerin), Olive Fatty Acids, Bitter Almond Oil (or) Aloe Vera (or) Eucalyptus Oil (or) Lavandin & Lavender Oils (or) Peppermint Oil (or) Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Extract

BAR INGREDIENTS: Saponified Coconut & Palm Oils (with retained Glycerin), Water, Olive Fatty Acids, Hemp Oil, Bitter Almond Oil (or) Aloe Vera (or) Eucalyptus Oil (or) Lavandin & Lavender Oils (or) Lemon Oil (or) Natural Rose Fragrance (or) Peppermint Oil (or) Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

     Soap is made by saponifying a fat or oil with a strong alkali. A fat or oil is a triglyceride, which means that three fatty acids of various carbon lengths are attached to a glycerine backbone. The strong alkali is either sodium (for bars) or potassium (for liquids) hydroxide. The saponification process is a simple one-step reaction with no waste generated: the glycerine is split off from the fatty acids, and the fatty acids combine with the sodium or potassium to form soap, while the hydroxide forms water. The result is soap, glycerin and water (no alkali remains).     

     Quality soap-making consists in great part in choosing the right proportions of the right oils with their different fatty acids. Most commercial soaps skimp on quality because of cost, and use lots of tallow from beef fat with a little bit of coconut or palm kernel oil. Our unsurpassed soaps use olive, hemp, and palm oils instead of tallow, and use three to four times more coconut oil than commercial soaps. Saponified coconut oil generates high-lather cleansing even in hard water because it has shorter-chain saturated fatty acids. Hemp, olive, and palm based soaps make a mild, smooth, creamy lather, because these oils contain longer chain unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.      

     Dr. Bronner's makes a higher quality soap in other ways as well. Unlike most commercial soapmakers who distill the glycerin out of their soaps to sell, we retain it in our soap for its superb moisturizing qualities. We also superfat our soap with olive fatty acid, which both ensures that there is no free alkali, and lowers the pH, making a milder, smoother lather. We use rosemary extract and plant-derived vitamin antioxidants to protect freshness (the rosemary is effective at 0.005%, so it contributes absolutely no scent). We do not add any chelating agents, dyes, whiteners, or synthetic fragrances.      

     We use only 100% pure high quality essential oils. Our liquid soaps are so concentrated that they are only a few percent away from being a solid, which ecologically saves on packaging materials. They are a superb value, costing less than less-concentrated inferior detergent body-wash "liquid soaps." Our soaps are most popular for at-home washing, but they also are the choice when camping and hiking, as our soaps are so biodegradable and nature-friendly. Dr. Bronner's soaps have spread by quality and word of mouth alone into virtually every health food store in the country. Unsolicited articles raving about our soaps have appeared in magazines and newspapers as diverse as Natural Health, Outdoor Gear, Vogue, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Parenting and New Age.


Dr. Bronner's PEPPERMINT Pure-Castile Soap is our most popular variety. The peppermint essential oil creates an exhilarating chilly-tingly-cool body space. Because therapeutically peppermint oil is a mild stimulant, it increases vitality and clarity, enabling constructive-selfish Peppermint-Castile users to work hard and get done! then sing-dance-play until we're All-One! Naturally, morning peppermint power showers lead to a fulfilling life of service and fun! Exceptions Eternally? Absolute None!

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [153 k] or a label.pdf
  Dr. Bronner's ALMOND Pure-Castile Soap has our most controversial label, as it includes Dr. Bronner's ecstatic love poetry. When the Almond-Castile label is rhythmically recited while bathing and breathing in the almond-scented steam-misted waters of the inner bath-tub sanctum, people enter deep, dreamy, mystical trance states of super-sensuous luxuriousness and consciousness, and emerge from their bath as if from the Fountain of Life--reborn, renewed, refreshed and ready to help unite the human race! All-One! All One!!

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [140 k] or a label.pdf

 Dr. Bronner's ALOE VERA BABY-MILD Pure-Castile Soap is formulated to be a mild smooth soap for use on newborns (but still make sure to keep it out of the eyes). Because the Baby-Mild contains no essential oils, imaginative grown-up babies can add their own favorites to craft personally unique bathing spaces (the Rosemary Extract is effective as an anti-oxidant in our soap at 0.005%, so contributes absolutely no scent).

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [133 k] or a label.pdf
Dr. Bronner's LAVENDER Pure-Castile Soap contains both Lavandin & Lavender essential oils to create a soothing and harmonizing bathing experience for the body and mind. Like long serene sunsets over still calm waters, Lavender-Castile showers replenish and recharge the soul.

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [143 k] or a label.pdf

click image to see large picture

Dr. Bronner's EUCALYPTUS Pure-Castile Soap generates an intense and invigorating showering space. Inhaling the shower-steamed Eucalyptus is a powerful way to dissolve sluggishness and sloth of spirit. Many people also use this soap as their favorite pet wash.

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [153 k] or a label.pdf

Dr. Bronner's TEA TREE Pure-Castile Soap is our phenomenal new soap for the millennium. The therapeutic benefits of Tea Tree Oil can now be reaped in our unsurpassed pure-castile base. Use for facial cleansing and cleaning minor cuts and scrapes, as well as everyday bathing.

(Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., 1/2 Gal., 1 Gal., & 5 Gal. bottles, and 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [143 k] or a label.pdf

click image to see large picture

Dr. Bronner's LEMON and ROSE Pure-Castile Soaps are available only in bar soaps. Lemon essential oil, being a citrus oil, is stimulating for the skin. The Rose bar, with beautifully blended natural essential oils & isolates, has an elegant and romantic traditional feel. (Available in 5 oz. bar)

Click to see a large picture [123 k]

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Castile" mean?     Is the bar soap also a castile soap like the liquid?     What is the difference between the bar and liquid soaps?

    In earlier centuries, an all-vegetable based soap was made in the Castile region of Spain from local olive oil. By the turn of this century, "Castile" had come to mean any vegetable oil-based soap, versus animal (tallow) fat-based. "Pure-Castile" is now also your guarantee that what you are consuming is a real ecological simple soap, not a complex blend of detergents with a higher impact on the Earth due to the waste stream during manufacture and slower biodegradability: unfortunately, many synthetic detergent blends are deceptively labeled as "Liquid Soap."

    Both our bar and liquid soaps are pure-castile, as they are all vegetable oil based. The new bar soap wrapper prominently states that it, too, is pure-castile, like our liquid. The difference between the liquid and bar is that the liquid soap uses potas-sium hydroxide to saponify the vegetable oils, versus the sodium hydroxide used to make the hard bar soap.

Does the Rosemary Extract contribute any scent to the soap?

    No. The Rosemary Extract is effective as an anti-oxidant in our soap at 0.005%. It contributes absolutely no scent, even in the unscented Aloe Vera Baby-Mild soap.

How should I dilute the liquid soap?

    For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour drops of soap full-strength onto hands-washcloth-loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh & clean. For other uses, dilute from one part soap into 40 parts water for light cleaning, to cutting it in half or using it full strength for heavy-duty grease-cutting jobs.

My liquid soap turned cloudy.     What happened, and what should I do to clear it up again?

    Our liquid soaps are so concentrated that they are nearly solid. Thus, when the temperature drops to about 50 degrees F, the fatty acids begin to cloud out. Put the soap in a warm room, or warm water, and it will clear up about 70 degrees F. Clear or cloudy, the soap works just the same.

What is "potassium solution"?

    Dr. Bronner used to list the ingredients as they exist before the saponification reaction turns the vegetable oils into soap. "Potassium solution" refers to the alkali in water, potassium hydroxide, that is used to saponify the whole coconut and olive oils to make the pure-castile soap base. We now list the ingredients as "Saponified Coconut-Hemp-Olive Oils (with retained glycerin)," which are the soaps (and naturally liberated glycerin) resulting from the reaction of these oils with the alkaline "potassium solution."

What is the difference between a "fixed" and an "essential" oil?

    The oils used for saponification are "fixed," while oils used for fragrance are "essential." They are quite different in structure and function. Fixed oils are bland non-volatile triglycerides, with relatively faint odor and taste, like cooking oils. Essential oils by comparison are super aromatic, composed of highly volatile compounds of certain plants.

Do your soaps contain any foaming agents/detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

    Absolutely not. Our soap is a 100% true pure-castile soap. The high foaming lather of our soap is from the high coconut soap content, which makes a more luxurious and rich lather than any detergent can ever create. "Pure-Castile" is your guarantee that what you are using is a real ecological simple soap, not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to waste stream during manufacture and slower ultimate biodegradability. Unfortunately, many synthetic detergent blends are deceptively labeled as "Liquid Soap," when they contain absolutely no soap whatsoever.

What is the difference between a soap and a detergent/surfactant?

    A soap is a very simple, low impact cleaning agent that improves water's ability to clean particulate and oily soils. It is made in a one-step process, with no waste products, and quickly & completely biodegrades.

    A surfacant is the same as a detergent. The word itself is a compression of "Surface Active Agent." Surfacants were developed in the first place because they clean and rinse better than soap in hard water. They usually are much more aggressive cleaners. Their virtue lies in all-purpose, industrial, and specialty cleaning applications. Unfortunately, they are often used in personal bodywashes, for which soap is superior.

    The synthetic manufacture of many surfacants, especially those built from petroleum, generates undesirable waste. Surfacants also do not biodegrade as rapidly as does soap. However, within detergents, there is a wide range in both effectiveness and ecological impact. Renewable resource plant-based detergents usually have less ecological impact than those that are petroleum-based.

    Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds is a blend of plant-based surfactants for all-purpose cleaning applications, and is a stronger cleaner than soap. It is not for bodywashing, although it uses ingredients found in detergent-based bodywashes.

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Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds

 Dr. Bronner's SAL SUDS is our hard-surface all-purpose cleaner. It is a balanced formulation of plant-based surfactants with natural spruce and fir-needle oils: it cleans and rinses with exceptional power, yet is mild and gentle on the skin. Sal Suds is equally effective in hard or soft water, rinsing freely, hot or cold. It is 100% cruelty-free: no animal testing. Sal Suds will biodegrade rapidly after it has done its job. (Available in 16 oz., 32 oz., and 1 Gal. bottles)

Click to see a large picture [181 k]

For detailed information on ingredients and use,
click to view an Acrobat .pdf [817 k] of the label.