The Wonders of Magical Soap
If you've ever picked up a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap you know what I mean when I say it is an anomaly among most products at the grocery store. The spiritual ramblings printed spasmodically over every free centimeter of the labels are quirky, thought-provoking at best. But Dr. Bronner undoubtedly knew how to make some darn good soap! And he was right to think of bathing as sacred. The is especially true in a culture where we usually do it every day. Unlike most soaps with their unfamiliar ingredients, Dr. Bronner offers us an organic, oil-based soap that makes both our body and mind feel refreshed.
In recent meanderings through Target I found this atypical product- not quite what I am used to finding in the aisles of a mega mart. Having been engrossed in eco-research the past month, I have a newfound hatred of manufactured soaps and their harsh, cutting chemicals. Most body washes you find at the grocery store contain harmful chemicals such as triethanolane, a known carcinogen. Its in popular soaps with brand names like Dove. Even worse, those body washes dry out my skin like saltwater. Organic options for store-bought bar and liquid soaps are generally quite fancy and expensive and its hard to afford organic in every single soap product you need. Companies love to milk the highest price they can charge for "all-natural" products.
Thats where Dr. Bronner's castile liquid soap comes to the rescue. Offered in a variety of "flavors" from lavender to eucalyptus, this soap can be used for virtually any kind of cleaning you need in the house or on your self, making it quite cost efficient and a stress-reliever indeed. The lavender variety is sweet-smelling, while peppermint offers an invigorating body wash experience. On the other hand the tea tree oil variety offers acne-fighting benefits. Composed of various oils, including among others jojoba, hemp, and coconut, the soap is supposedly organic and undoubtedly healthful. According to Bronner, it is the coconut oil that makes such an incredible lather.
But enough praising it. The real reason why this soap is great is because it can replace all the soap in your house. Products are manufactured with so many chemicals that you can't interchange their use (Would you ever wash your face with Tide detergent?) Its amazing how much you can simplify your life (and support your pocket change) when you take this approach.
Here are the recipes I have settled on:
1) Shampoo: Mix 1 part liquid castile soap with 1 part distilled water. Afterwards you may need to rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar.
2)Body Wash: Mix 1 cup liquid castile soap, 1 dollop of pure aloe vera gel, 1 dollop organic or glycerin-based lotion (I use Jason Glycerine and Rosewater Lotion) plus a few drops of lavender or other nice-smelling oil, if desired
3) Laundry Detergent Use 1/3 - 1/4 cup with a dash of baking soda. The baking soda acts as a fabric softener. This is a safe alternative to harsh detergents, which tend to make holes in my knit shirts and can irritate your skin or through their fumes.
4) Dog/Cat Shampoo Using this on pets is effective for killing fleas and lathers up nice on most coat types. I would recommend using the baby sensitive Dr. Bronner's for this purpose, and to avoid the face.