Doc Bronner's soap

The is not a paid endorsement, just an objective fact: Dr Bronner's Soap is the gol-durn best bath soap ever in the whole wide world. Is it cheap? No. At my local market, it's $4.39 for a single 5-ounce bar. A four-pack of 3¾-ounce Irish Spring bars costs $1.89. So the math says, Dr Bronner's is a lot more expensive.

But let's calculate it a different way: For me, a bar of Irish Spring is showered away after a week or so. A bar of Bronner's lasts about three times as long. Do the math on that, and you'll see that Dr Bronner's is still a lot more expensive, so buying this soap can't be justified on a cost basis.

Not everything is dollars and cents, though. To me, the purpose of being a cheapskate is to have a few bucks in my pocket for nice things. This bar of soap is one of those nice things.

When I used Irish Spring I kinda liked the smell, but it was always obvious to my nose that the scent was artificial. Bronner's smells fantastic, and not fake or chemically at all. The ingredients listed are all pronounceable and you probably know what the words mean: Coconut oil is the first ingredient listed, and tocopherol is the last — the only word I didn't know. Turns out it's "a fat-soluble vitamin made from organic compounds."

Irish Spring's list of ingredients, by comparison, starts with sodium tallowate and/or sodium palmate, and ends with sodium chloride, pentasodium pentatate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, titanium dioxide, and then a couple of chemicals for coloring.

Dr Bronner's is a family business, not a subsidiary of any global corporation. Their soap is made in America, with ingredients sourced through fair trade, and it's environmentally sound, and biodegradable. Such green and lefty stuff means something to me, but if you don't give a damn about such things I'll simply say again, it smells great — and I smell great after using it. Seriously, come by my apartment and take a whiff of me.

The company was founded in 1948 by a former mental patient, and that pedigree is still very visible in their mildly bonkers packaging — lots of tiny-print words wrap around the branding, which reads like hippie-speak from the '60s. They sued the federal government for the right to include hemp in their recipe, and they won in court. Wikipedia says the CEO is "a critic of drug prohibition and an activist for the legalization of a number of psychoactive substances." Again, without waxing too political, I'll just say that means something to me.

Mostly, though, I just like the smell.

Doc Bronner's sells their soap by mail, and it's at Amazon, or you might find it at a supermarket. At my local grocery, it's in the "natural products" aisle, not in the soap aisle where I spent ten minutes looking for it the first time, before asking for help.



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1 comment:

  1. Captain HampocketsMay 28, 2021 at 10:36 AM

    Can confirm, Bronner's Peppermint is the best soap I've ever used.


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