Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap
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Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soaps
Nothing brings the warmth and coziness of home and hearth into your shower like Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Liquid Soap. Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap is certified organic to the National Organic Standards Program. Packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Liquid Soap Organic full-strength onto hands-washcloth-loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh and clean. For other uses, dilute Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap 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. For Dr Bronner Shampoo, people have been telling for years that they like using their soaps to shampoo their hair. For the laundry, use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Organic Soap Organic for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on hardness of water. They've been told that adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better. For pets, lather up well and apply Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Organic Soap Organic to their body. Be careful to keep the soap and the lather away from their eyes. For toothbrushing, apply a drop or two of Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Organic Soap Organic to a wet toothbrush. Brush as you normally would, rinsing accordingly. Be careful about using more than a couple drops of soap, as you might start foaming at the mouth ("rabid chic" is not hip). Many people with sensitive or softer teeth like to use Dr. Bronner's soap as toothpaste because it lacks abrasives.
Dr. Bronner's is Environmentally Friendly
"The soaps are all natural, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly", the company points out. "Even the bottles are made of 100% post-consumer-recycled plastic". The company employs 58 workers in California, according to the company.
About Dr. Bronner's
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps are synonymous with Old-World quality and time-honored simplicity, which can be traced back to the family's German-Jewish soapmaking tradition. Born in 1908 to a Jewish family that had been making soap since 1858, Emanuel Bronner was the third generation certified as a master-soapmaker under the guild system of the time. In 1929, he brought his formulas for high-quality liquid and bar soaps to America, starting Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soaps in its current form in 1948.
Renowned for their quality, versatility and eco-friendliness, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps enjoyed a small but loyal following in the early years. In the late 1960s, however, soap sales started to explode, due to the unsurpassed ecological quality combined with Dr. Bronner's urgent message to realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides. Word-of-mouth soon made Dr. Bronner's the iconic soap of that era, and in the decades that followed the soaps spread into every health food store in the U.S. and then into the mainstream as well -- winning over fans from all walks of life on the way to becoming the number-one-selling natural brand of soap in North America.
The 4th and 5th generations of the Bronner family who run the company today continue to make our unsurpassed soaps with care and integrity. 2008 marks both the 60th anniversary of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps in America and the 150th anniversary of our family's first soapmaking activity in southern Germany. We strive to honor our heritage with progressive business practices, while devoting profits to worthwhile causes and charities worldwide.
Dr. Bronner's Timeline
- 1858 Soapmaking Begins
First Certificate of Soap-Manufacture issued to Emmanuel Heilbronner. Manufacture of soaps begins in the basement of the Heilbronner home in the Jewish quarter of Laupheim, Germany. The family also manufactures candles for the Jewish sabbath.
- 1880-90's Heilbronn Factory
Heilbronners innovate the first liquid castile soap and supply public washrooms across Germany. Much larger factory in Heilbronn, Germany opens. Bar soap sold across Germany under the 'Madaform' brand. The three Heilbronner sons of Emanuel including the youngest, Berthold, are running the family soap business.
- 1908 Dr. Bronner Born
Emanuel (Emil) Heilbronner born to Berthold and Franciska, the only male heir of the three Heilbronner brothers. Younger sisters Luise and Lotte are born two and ten years later.
- 1920's Apprenticeship
Emil is apprenticed to another Jewish soap-making family in Southern Germany, according to the tradition of the time. Subsequently attends the guild system trade school and receives his Soapmaking Master certificate. Then attends University and receives a degree in Chemistry.
- 1929 Leaves to U.S.
Emil's powerful personality, Zionist ideals and ideas for more modern soap-making lead to repeated clashes with his father and uncles. Emil emigrates to the U.S.
- 1930's Children Born
Emil works as a consultant to various U.S. soap and chemical specialty manufacturers, primarily in factory design and product development. Emil drops 'Heil' from his last name with rise of Hitler. Meets and marries first wife Paula, a Catholic hotel maid. Emil and Paula bear a daughter and two sons, Ellen (1934), Ralph (1936) and Jim (1938).
- 1936 Lotte
Lotte, as part of the Zionist movement, emigrates to then Palestine and joins the Ein Gev kibbutz, located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee by the Golan Heights. (Lotte currently resides in Haifa, with children and grandchildren living throughout Israel.
- 1938 Vacation
Emil's sisters unsuccessfully attempt to persuade their parents to leave Germany for America, during a family vacation in Switzerland.
- 1940's Parents Murdered
The Nazis nationalize the soap factory in Heilbronn. Dr. Bronner's parents Berthold and Franciscka are deported to and eventually murdered in the death camps, Auschwitz and Theriesenstadt.
- 1940's Wife Dies; Peace Plan Begins
Dr. Bronner's wife Paula becomes sick and is hospitalized, dying in 1944. Emil adopts honorific "Dr." in deference to his university degree, but never actually got a doctorate. However, with his intensity, immense scientific knowledge, and thick German accent, no one would ever challenge him about it. Begins urgent mission to convince Roosevelt, Eisenhower and other American leaders, as well as the American public, about his vision for world peace across ethnic and faith traditions, and about the dangers of Communism alongside Fascism. So devoted is he to this mission that he leaves his children to be raised in various foster homes.
- 1945 Crucifixion/Institutionalization
Fred Walker (willingly) crucified for "Dr. Bronner's Peace Plan" on a Chicago bridge; Dr. Bronner had no direct involvement. In part due to his increasing notoriety, Dr. Bronner arrested while speaking without a permit at the University of Chicago, and was institutionalized in the Elgin State Insane asylum for vehemently espousing his views. Undergoes shock treatments which were thought to be the miracle cures of the time, which he blamed for his subsequent declining eyesight and blindness in the 1960's. He escapes some months later and travels to Los Angeles, where he is fond of saying he fit right in.
- 1948 Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Founded
The first incarnation of the current Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps company begins. Begins manufacture of famous liquid soap and health food seasonings. Dr. Bronner was pleased that the company's founding coincided with Israel's. To see a very interesting video about this time, visit Uncle Ralph's video diaries, "Visit to an Insane Asylum".
- 1950's Pershing Square
Dr. Bronner lectures primarily in Pershing Square in LA, a hot-bed of activism of all stripes. He sees the need for the world to unite before it destroys itself, and he exhorts all people to unite as one, to respect each other and the environment, and he encourages all religions to recognize their universal similarities inspired by the same divine source. Dr. Bronner sees planetariums as being the 'All-One!' temples of the future, where humanity can realize how vanishingly trivial their differences are on Spaceship Earth in the celestial majesty of Creation.
On the side, he sells his soap. He soon realizes that many people are taking the soap and leaving without listening to him
speak. In response, Dr. Bronner begins to write his philosophy in dense tiny script on the labels of each bottle.
In the meantime, sons Jim and Ralph periodically help with the business, Ralph more with the labels and messages, and Jim with the
actual production. Ralph becomes a school teacher in Wisconsin, and Jim spends eight years in the Navy.
- 1960's/70's Counterculture Explosion
Young people, primarily members of the counter-culture, come to love the soap with which they could do everything: from washing their VW vans, to cleaning their bell-bottoms, to washing themselves by the nearby lake. They also groove on the label's call to peace and the fact that Dr. Bronner is a real person, not some corporate mascot.
Word-of-mouth soon makes Dr. Bronner's the iconic soap of that era. Dr. Bronner moves the bottling and shipping plant to Escondido,
CA (North County San Diego) in the 60's. He meets and marries Gladys, his wife until he dies. Jim is now overseeing manufacture of
the soap in the Los Angeles facility full-time, and he becomes the Vice President of R&D and Production.
- 1980's On the March
Dr. Bronner's soaps spread into every health food store in the U.S. and then into the mainstream as well, winning over fans from all walks of life. Ralph Bronner continues to work with Dr. Bronner on refining the message on the bottles. Jim Bronner launches his own chemical consulting company, Bronner Chemical and Technical Consulting, inventing among other things a fire-fighting foam concentrate used in forest and structure fires throughout the U.S. today. His son David Bronner works in the company during high school and college summers.
- 1990's Jim, Ralph & Trudy
Sons Jim and Ralph Bronner and Jim's wife Trudy Bronner assume formal control of Dr. Bronner's due to Dr. Bronner's failing health. Jim is full-time President, with Uncle Ralph as Vice-President serving as the company spokesperson, and Trudy serving as Treasurer/CFO. A generous health benefit and profit-sharing plan for all Dr. Bronner's employees is implemented. Ralph Bronner travels the country, visiting health food stores, playing guitar and befriending people from all walks of life, particularly those working in 'human,' as opposed to 'corporate,' charities which Dr. Bronner's supports with donations.
- 1997 Dr. Bronner Dies
Dr. Bronner passes away with advanced Parkinson's among family and friends. On the same day, his great-granddaughter Maya Lin-Bronner is born to grandson David Bronner and his wife Kris Lin-Bronner.
- 1998 Jim Bronner Dies
Jim Bronner passes away from cancer, having spent a year training his son David Bronner in the business, who had also worked extensively in Bronner Chemical growing up. Under Jim's direction and Trudy's execution, a $1.4 million 1000-acre parcel of wilderness is donated to the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego, which is resold eight years later by the club with the Bronner family's permission to the Nature Conservancy for $2.5 million, to service San Diego's poorer and disadvantaged youth. (Trudy is a current board member of the San Diego Boys & Girls Club.)
- 1998 Enter Crazy Fox
David along with mom Trudy and Uncle Ralph begin running the company. David is only 25, but has graduated from Harvard, lived in Amsterdam for a few months after, worked as a mental health counselor for two years, and had gotten pretty ecological and passionate about many things, reflected in his vegan diet and advocacy for hemp. His middle name is "Emanuel" and has the "crazy like a fox" Dr. Bronner gene.
- 2000 Enter the Ninja
After extensive customer trials with customers, hemp seed oil is added as a superfatting ingredient in the soap, due to overwhelming support for the smoother lather and less drying afterfeel imparted by hemp oil's unsurpassed Essential Fatty Acids.
David's well-traveled brother Michael joins the company, moving from Japan where he had taught English for three years after
graduating from Brown University (where he spent a semester in Ethiopia), and manages operations and purchasing. Before long, Mike
is coordinating Dr. Bronner's soaps into various countries around the world.
- 2001 DEA DOA
DEA under the Bush administration attempts to destroy the US hemp industry, issuing regulations purporting to interpret existing law to declare hemp illegal, and seizing shipments of hemp seed and oil at the Canadian border. Dr. Bronner's funds and coordinates the hemp industry's protracted and ultimately successful litigation with the DEA, culminating in a clean defeat of DEA on February 6, 2004 (Bob Marley's birthday) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- 2003 Certified Organic
Dr. Bronner's becomes the largest personal care company to be certified under the USDA's National Organic Program, with bar and liquid soaps certified by the highly reputable certifier Oregon Tilth. Dr. Bronner's also pioneers 100% post-consumer plastic bottles for its liquid soaps.
- 2003 Elevated Social Responsibility
Family executives implement a 5 to 1 compensation cap between the top salaried and lowest wage warehouse position. The health plan for all employees is improved to a no-deductible "Preferred" PPO (vs HMO) plan. All profits not needed for business development or debt retirement, are dedicated to supporting various progressive causes and charities.
- 2003 Uncle Ralph
Uncle Ralph begins his off-off-broadway one-man show, telling various touching and amazing stories about his life, his father and Dr. Bronner's as a company. The company partners with a Japanese firm to introduce Dr. Bronner's soaps to the Japanese market. By the end of the year, Dr. Bronner's is the top- selling brand of natural liquid and bar soap in Japan, just as in North America.
- 2005 USDA Organic Victory
The USDA due to lobbying by various interests as well as being understaffed and unable to deal with the systemic organic labeling fraud in personal care, attempts to kick certified bodycare companies out of the National Organic Program, which it says is reserved for organic food. Dr. Bronner's coordinates litigation with the Organic Consumers Association against USDA in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The USDA has a change of heart, and issues a formal policy statement explicitly affirming non-food products like personal care can continue to be certified under the National Organic Program so long as it abides by the same rigorous standards as organic food.
- 2006 Fair Trade Constructive Capitalism
Dr. Bronner's begins comprehensive project to source all major materials, including organic coconut, palm, olive and hemp oils from certified fair trade sources. Large investments are made in setting up a fair trade coconut oil project "Serindipol" in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. For the olive oil, Dr. Bronner's coordinates and funds fair trade and organic certification for the Canaan Fair Trade project in the West Bank, as well as Jewish and Arab-Israeli producers in Israel.. In partnership with the NGO Fearless Planet, organic sustainable palm oil is sourced on fair trade terms from farmers and a women-owned mill out of Ghana. Hemp Oil comes from the Canadian supplier Farmer Direct that is certified "Fair Deal", the North American version of Fair Trade.
- 2007 Certified Fair Trade
Dr. Bronner's is formally certified as a Fair Trade company by the respected Swiss certifier IMO, who also certified all the individual projects that supply the raw materials for our soaps.
- Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
"Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox" is an independent production that was not financed by the Bronner family or Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps in any way. However the film has moved the Bronner family to let people know about it.The film features footage of Dr. Bronner, his fourth wife Gladys Bronner, late son Jim Bronner and the late Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers which was shot, directed and produced by Stewart Nelsen in the early 1980's.
- 2008 60th/150th Anniversary!
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps celebrates its 60th anniversary and 150th year of making soap in the family for five generations, with a new line of USDA organic products.
In total over the last five years, Dr. Bronner's spending on social and environmental causes and charities has roughly matched our total after-tax income, and we intend to keep doing so as circumstances allow.Total compensation of executives is capped at five times that of our lowest-paid position.
Employees annually receive 15% of salary paid into a retirement/profit-sharing plan, up to 25% of salary as a bonus, and a no-deductible PPO health insurance plan for themselves and their families.The over 30,000 words spread across all the soap labels were Dr. Bronner's life work of searching every religion and philosophy for "Full Truths" that can be summed up in two beautiful sentences:
- Constructive capitalism is where you share the profit with the workers and the earth from which you made it!
- We are all brothers and sisters and we should take care of each other and spaceship earth!
In following these principles, the Bronner family dedicates profits to "Human Projects" all over Spaceship Earth - from fresh water wells in Ghana to orphanages in Haiti and China; from helping organic farm projects to donating over 1,200 acres of land to the San Diego County Boys and Girls Club.In sharing with our workers, we annually give profit-sharing and bonuses totaling over $10,000 per employee for warehouse positions.Major causes and focuses right now include fighting for organic integrity in personal care, recommercialization of industrial hemp in the US, and promotion of "Fair Trade" certification of product supply chains to ensure fair wages and prices are paid.
Dr. Bronner would be happy to know the business is running better and more socially responsibly than ever.
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 soap. "Pure-Castile" is now also your guarantee that what you are using is a real ecological and simple soap, not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to the waste stream during manufacture and slower biodegradability. Unfortunately, many synthetic detergent blends are deceptively labeled as "Liquid Soap" even when they contain absolutely no soap whatsoever.
Both Dr. Bronner'ss bar and liquid soaps are pure-castile, as they are all vegetable oil-based. The bar soap wrappers prominently state that they, too, are pure-castile, like our liquid soaps. The difference between the liquid and bar soaps is that the liquid soaps use potassium hydroxide to saponify the vegetable oils, versus sodium hydroxide used to make the hard bar soaps.
What is "Organic" and why is it so great?
The term "organic" refers to both sustainable farming practices and to products ecologically made from materials produced on certified organic farms. According to federal standards, such products have to be at least 70% organic by non-water, non-salt weight. Organic products not only support sustainable farming, but also farm worker health and ecological processing methods.
Unfortunately, the hollow market-driven needs of some "natural" body care companies are making a mockery of organic principles. Underneath fluffy, feel-good "organic" floral waters and infusions, many "organic" body care products are really just composed of the same synthetic cleansers, conditioners and preservatives found in mainstream products, often in part or wholly derived from petroleum. Culprit companies are inflating organic content by counting ordinary distilled water in "floral water" as organic, a practice which is not allowed under the National Organic Program.
How should I use the liquid soap?
For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour several drops of soap full-strength onto hands-washcloth- loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh and 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.
- For laundry: Use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on the hardness of your water. Adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better.
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° F, the fatty acids begin to solidify and cloud out. Just put the soap in a warm room, or warm water, and it will clear up at about 70° F. But clear or cloudy, the soap works just the same.
Do Dr. Bronner's soaps contain any foaming agents/detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?
Absolutely not. Their soaps are 100% true pure-castile soaps. The high foaming lather of our soaps is from their high coconut oil 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 and simple soap, not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to the waste stream during manufacture and slower biodegradability.
Unfortunately, many synthetic detergent blends are deceptively labeled as "Liquid Soap" even when they contain absolutely no soap whatsoever.
Where can I buy Dr. Bronner's soaps internationally?
Their soaps are available in Australia, Canada, England, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
What are the uses and dilutions for Dr. Bronner's soap?
Although the label claims eighteen uses, they do not have the space to write all these uses on the label and still accommodate for Dr. Bronner's philosophy, as well as the new labeling laws that are periodically implemented. In reality, there are far more than eighteen uses, as people constantly write in to tell us about yet another utility of the soap. Without detailing them all, but below are some of the major uses and dilutions.
- For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour soap full-strength onto hands-washcloth-loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh and 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.
- For Dr Bronner Shampoo, people have been telling us for years that they like using our soaps to shampoo their hair. Now, paired with our new Citrus Conditioning Rinse and Organic Leave-In Conditioning Crème, it works better than ever.
- For the laundry, use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on hardness of water. I've been told that adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better.
- For pets, lather up well and apply to their body. Be careful to keep the soap and the lather away from their eyes.
- For toothbrushing, apply a drop or two of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (I prefer the peppermint) to a wet toothbrush. Brush as you normally would, rinsing accordingly. Be careful about using more than a couple drops of soap, as you might start foaming at the mouth ("rabid chic" is not hip). Many people with sensitive or softer teeth like to use Dr. Bronner's soap as toothpaste because it lacks abrasives.
Why does Dr. Bronner's use organic grain alcohol in the lotions?
Organic grain alcohol (ethanol) is used as a natural preservative at a level that helps absorption without being drying.
Why does Dr. Bronner's no longer make 'naked' unscented lotion?
Under US law, the certified organic grain alcohol we use must be "denatured" or rendered undrinkable by adding one of various approved substances, and the only options to do this naturally and organically are a small amount (~0.18%) of peppermint, lavender or rosemary essential oils. Our Lavender Coconut variety is "lightly scented" as it contains only the small amount of organic lavender oil needed to denature the organic alcohol. Since no other fragrance is added, the natural delicious coconut fragrance of our organic extra virgin coconut oil combines with the small amount of lavender for a subtle, sublime scent.
Why does Dr. Bronner's use organic beeswax in the lip and body balms?
Although their line is otherwise vegan, we do use certified organic beeswax in the lip and body balms. They could not find a certified organic plant-based wax, and Sue anyway insisted that she has not found a plant- based alternative that can substitute for the amazing qualities of beeswax: based on her experience and extensive training and mentoring under the Native American herbalist Keewaydinoquay, Sue formulated her original lip balms with just avocado oil and beeswax, because beeswax has natural antibacterial and sunblock qualities and provides a superior barrier to keep moisture in. They buy their certified organic beeswax from New Zealand, and we checked to make sure that the queens are not killed each year as happens sometimes with conventional beekeeping to maximize yields.
Can I shampoo and condition my hair organically?
- Shampoo with your favorite Dr. Bronner's soap. True soaps clean hair well but can leave a tangly look & feel; however…
- Rinsing with our new Organic Shikakai Conditioning Rinse results in spectacular look and feel! Just stir 1- 2 capfuls of this rinse into a cup of water, close eyes and slowly pour while massaging into hair. Keep hand combing hair until hair feels entirely sleek (~30 seconds). Rinse out well. Repeat if necessary in extra hard water conditions or with longer hair.
- After drying lightly with a towel, massage in Dr. Bronner's new USDA Organic Leave-In Conditioning Crème for added silkiness and softness.
What are the 18-in-1 uses?
Dr. Bronner recorded the "18 in 1 uses" on his label, which has been left mostly intact since his passing in 1997; however, people have told them many, many more uses for it than that. Below is Dr. Bronner's version. A more paraphrased one follows.
- Dr. Bronner's version:
- Always dilute for Shave-Shampoo-Massage-Dental Soap-Bath!
- A drop is best Mint Toothpaste; brushes Dentures Clean!
- A dash in water is the ideal Breath Freshener & Mouth Wash!
- Netnutri uses Dr. Bronner's soap.
- Dilute for ideal After Shave, Body Rub, Foot Bath, Douche.
- Hot Towel-Massage the entire body, always towards your heart.
- Pets, silk, wool & body tingles head to toe - keeps cool!
- 3 dashes in water rinse most Sprays Off fruit & vegetables!
- 1/4 oz in qt H20 is Pest Spray! Dash, no rash Diaper-Soap!
- For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour 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.
- For Dr Bronner Shampoo, though they now recommend our new Shikakai soaps for this, many people are fond of using it as such. The method of application is to wet hair and scalp very thoroughly, squirt some soap into hands and work into a lather. Wash hair, then rinse well. Afterwards use our new citrus hair rinse and leave-in conditioners as directed.
- For the laundry, use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on hardness of water. they've been told that adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better.
- For toothbrushing, apply a drop or two of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap to a wet toothbrush. Brush as you normally would, rinsing accordingly. Be careful about using more than a couple drops of soap, as you might start foaming at the mouth. Many people with sensitive or softer teeth like to use our soap as a toothpaste because it lacks abrasives.