Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Product Wednesdays....Dr Bronners

This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of posts I'll call
'Product Wednesday'...

We've been using the fabulous Dr. Bronner's soap for a while now...and it's just occurred to me to try it in yet another capacity.


So far it's our dish soap, general cleanser for counters and floors, shower and tile cleaner, bathing soap, face soap, and carpet freshener.

If vinegar and baking soda won't do , we grab the Dr. B's.

Why not laundry?
I read around on the internet and found mainly good reviews of the peppermint soap as a laundry soap...a few folks mentioned oil like stains on their clothes.

Dr.B's also sells a 'Sal Suds' which is meant more for this use, but I really don't want to have any more cleaning products in my home than Absolutely necessary. The thought of only needing ONE for everything sounds Amazing!

If you've not heard of Dr. Bronner's...It's a counterculture Classic.

t's a castille soap which is vegan, biodegradable, organic, packaged in 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles, scented with essential oils, and not tested on animals. The crazy labels are printed with organic hemp seed ink.

There is even a documentary about the man himself and the story of how the soap came to be..called Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox. The proprietor, Dr. Bronner, apparently created the soap after escaping from a mental institution and seemed to care more about the soap than his own family.

Interesting stuff.

So...I did it. I washed 3 loads of clothes in Dr. Bronner's soap. I used about 1/8-1/4 cup per full load on warm water wash/cold rinse.

I tested it on one load of lights, one of darks, and one with towels/linens. It worked SO well. It not only worked, It was SO much better than the laundry soap I had been using. I had no trouble with 'oil' spots as I had read I might.

Until now I was using a 'green' brand that's biodegradable and free of perfumes and dyes. My clothes were getting adequately clean, but didn't smell so great and were a bit 'scratchy'.

The clothes and my laundry room now have a great clean smell (I used the peppermint scent). The laundry is also softer than it was with the detergent I had been using. This was a huge (and unexpected) bonus as I had stopped using fabric softener/dryer sheets quite a while ago when I found out that they contained some of the most dangerous chemicals in my home!

From the EPA:

Principal chemicals found in Fabric Softeners/Dryer Sheets are:

Symptoms of exposure are taken from industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Causes CNS (central nervous system) disorders... "highly irritating to mucous membranes" ..."Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact."
Carconigenic (linked to pancreatic cancer). "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer."
Causes CNS disorders ..."irritating to the upper respiratory tract" ..."headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure."
Causes CNS disorders. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Symptoms: "local irritant and CNS stimulant" ..."readily absorbed through body tissues" ..."irritation of eyes, nose, and throat" ..."dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions". "Avoid inhalation of vapors."
Neurotoxic. Anesthetic. Carcinogenic. on EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "Avoid contact with eyes, skin, clothing. Do not breathe vapors ...Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness." "Inhalation can be fatal." "Chronic effects of overexposure may include kidney and/or liver damage." "Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure: kidney disorders, liver disorders, heart disorders, skin disorders." "Conditions to avoid: Heat..." Listed on California's Proposition 65.
Narcotic. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "...Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract" ..."may cause headache and narcosis (stupor)" ..."may cause anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys". "Wash thoroughly after handling."
Carcinogenic. "Prevent its contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer." "Always wash thoroughly after using this material and before eating, drinking ...applying cosmetics. Do not inhale limonene vapor."
Narcotic. Causes CNS disorders. ..."respiratory disturbances" ..."Attracts bees." "In animal tests: ataxic gait, reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression ...depressed heart activity ...development of respiratory disturbances leading to death."
"Danger - Harmful if inhaled ...Avoid breathing vapor." "Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors may cause CNS depression. Contact can cause eye irritation. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis (skin rash)."

So, to get a better than expected result from a product that I not only feel safe using, but that I actually feel good about using, made my day!

(This is a cross post from my other blog)


Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Love Dr.Bronners (makes me want to clean because I love the smell!). I'll have to try it in the laundry, thanks for posting the "recipe".

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

My other favorite natural cleaner is club soda...does wonder for windows, carpet stains, jewelry cleaning.

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