Dr. Bronner’s Soap: Why Hippies Love It and Preppers Should Too


Maybe you’ve heard of Dr. Bronner’s Soap, maybe not. If you haven’t, here’s a little background information about the company’s founder and philosophy.<!– –>

by Jolina Flowers, SHTFblog’s Expat Prepper

Dr. Bronner’s Founding Father 

Emanuel Theodore HeilBronner was born in Germany in 1908 as the third-generation of soap-makers in the town of HeilBronn. He later obtained a degree in chemistry in addition to his master soapmaker certification. Having sufficient foresight to see where the country was headed, he left Germany in 1929 and became an expatriate, then a citizen of the U.S.

Related article: Top 7 Items for DIY Home and Body Cleaning<!– –>

In the United States, Mr. Bronner began making castile soap by hand and giving them out at his lectures where he crusaded against communism, poor health practices, fluoridated water, and false religion. When he realized that people were coming for the soap, not his message, he started labeling the bottles and bars with platitudes that he called his Moral ABC.

He eventually opened a factory for Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in Escondido, California in 1948. Since his death in 1997, his family has continued the soap-making tradition. 

Why Hippies Love Dr. Bronner’s Soap

What’s so great about Dr. Bronner’s Soap? All the major ingredients are organic and fair trade. In fact, the company has set up several organic and fair trade production systems in Sri Lanka, Samoa, India, Ghana, Palestine, Israel, and Kenya.<!– –>

In 2018, the company became part of the board of directors for the development of a Regenerative Organic Certification label. To qualify for this label, all ingredients must have been produced or obtained under conditions that support environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and worker’s rights.

Related article: Homemade DIY Shampoo and Conditioner Recipes

The company also believes in constructive capitalism. In addition to fair trade and sustainable ingredients, the company pays its executives no more than five times the wages of the lowest-paid employees. Employees are also paid a share of the company’s profits every year. Imagine a Fortune 500 company utilizing that pay structure!

Furthermore, the company encourages social and environmental activism by its employees and executives. In fact, the current CEO, grandson David Bronner, has been arrested several times for protests supporting the legal use of hemp in the U.S. For his efforts he was named Cannabis Activist of the Year in 2015. 

Dr. Bronner’s Soaps

You can see why hippies are all about this soap! All that talk about Spaceship Earth aside, preppers really should get on board with Dr. Bronner’s soap because it’s a darn good product to have on hand. There are no dyes, whiteners, chelating agents, or synthetic fragrances in any of the products. Literally, this liquid soap can be used on ANYTHING, from your body to the floors.

dr. bronner's soapdr. bronner's soap

Let’s take a look at the soaps available. 

18-in-1 Pure-Castile Liquid soap comes in a variety of types and sizes. They sell:

It can be used as a shampoo and body wash for people and animals. It can also be used for dish washing, laundry, mopping, windows, and as a fruit and vegetable rinse, or ant and bug spray. 

Now let’s look at the All-in-one Pure-Castile Bar soap. As it is, it’s perfect for hair and body cleansing. But if you want to expand its versatility, you can grate it (dilution sheet) for mopping, making an all-purpose cleaner, and even tooth cleaning, although it will taste a bit soapy. As a bar soap, it’s also a great cleanser when you use the washboard on those stubborn stains, or to pre-treat before you toss it into your washing machine.

The liquid and bar soaps come in peppermint, baby unscented, lavender, almond, citrus, tea tree, rose eucalyptus, cherry blossom, and green tea scents. 

Then there is the 4-in-1 Organic Pump Soaps, which are great for hand and face washing, as well as a shampoo and body wash. You can use it as a shaving cream too. The pump soap has fewer scent options. It’s available in peppermint, baby unscented, lavender, lemongrass, and tea tree. 

Why Preppers Should Love Dr. Bronner’s Soap

All-in-One Product

Any prepper worth his or her salt should have a supply of hygiene products including soap, laundry detergent, and all-purpose cleaners in their stockpile. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that beyond any shadow of a doubt. Bulky cleaning products take up quite a bit of space that can be better utilized for other supplies. So right here is reason #1–one product to rule them all.

As mentioned earlier, this little gem of a formula can do it all–from body and hair cleaning to tick and flea repellent. Fruits and vegetables can be dipped in a diluted solution to be cleaned, as can the toilets, dishes, laundry, and floors. You can even brush your teeth with it!

Dr. Bronner’s Long Shelf Life

Castile soaps, because of their concentrated composition, last longer than many cleaners. The company says that because of the organic nature of their products, they have a shelf life of three years (24 months once opened). That’s still an incredibly long time! Cleansers, like Pinesol or Mr. Clean, have only a 2-year shelf life. Dish soaps are effective only for about 18 months. 

dr. bronner's shelf lifedr. bronner's shelf life

Concentrated Cleaning Power

Since the soap is highly concentrated,  ½ teaspoon is enough to wash your hair while ½ cup is the recommended amount for a large laundry load, a gallon will last quite some time.  Because a little dab will do ya, you won’t run out as fast as you do with other types of detergents and soaps, which is a boon in a disaster situation where weekly grocery purchases are not feasible. Think pandemic, earthquake, economic collapse here. 

Insect Repellent

My favorite use of Dr. Bronner’s soap is for pest control. Even urban preppers should have their kitchen garden up and ready these days. Insects are a pest that can be avoided with a quick spray made from Dr. Bronner’s soap. 

Since gardens are meant to be eaten, wise preppers will want to avoid any unnecessary chemicals on their food. With all organic components, Dr. Bronner’s soap fits the bill here too!

It works effectively as an ant, flea, and tick deterrent as well. So go ahead and scrub the children and the animals with it. You can safely spritz some around your food supply to discourage those ants too. 

So now you know about Dr. Bronner’s Soap and why you should have it on hand when the SHTF!

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