Dr. Bronner’s soap has been around since 1948 and is still going strong today. I’ve been using it for over 30 years, and I thought it was about time to write a review!
The reason I love this brand so much isn’t just because of its versatility—it’s also because of how affordable it is, considering how many ways you can use it! It’s just $16.99 for a 32-ounce bottle, which will last you for ages and ages. And it’s biodegradable, too—no need to worry about hurting the environment when you use this product.
It has a pH of around 9 (which is partially alkaline), so it’s very mild and gentle on your skin, but it’s also strong enough to do its job as an all-purpose cleaner. No matter what kind of job you’re doing—whether you’re washing dishes or cleaning up after your kid threw up on the floor—Dr. Bronner’s can do the job!
I’ve used it many times when traveling, and I’m glad to have it with me rather than hotel soap. If you use it undiluted or leave it on your skin too long, it will sting a little. To dilute it properly and learn other uses (such as shampooing pets and mopping floors), instructions are available online.
Dr. Bronner’s soaps are known for their wide variety of scents, and I’ve had the pleasure of trying most of them at some point or other. Some definitely rank higher than others—so here is my personal ranking (from favorite to least) based on which ones I enjoy using personally.
Peppermint is my favorite Dr. Bronner’s soap scent. It smells like a fresh, minty breeze.
It’s a lot stronger than I was expecting when I first opened the bottle, but once diluted it gives off a wonderful, fresh aroma—so invigorating and soothing at the same time!
The scent lasts for a long time—even when diluted, my whole bathroom still smells like peppermint after use! I would recommend pairing this soap with an African sponge net—it’s perfect for exfoliating and removing dirt from your face while leaving you feeling fresh and clean.
Peppermint is a great wake-up scent; it’ll open up your pores and make you feel energized. Try not to use it right before bedtime or you might have trouble sleeping.
I have sensitive skin and sometimes dry patches on my legs, so when I use this soap, I feel a tingly sensation—but not in a bad way! Maybe that’s because of the peppermint in it. But maybe cold water enhances the effect? Either way, this soap has the most lasting scent of all their offerings—it lingers on my hands after washing.
This is not the most moisturizing soap out there—you’ll probably still want to use lotion after washing up with this stuff. But it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry or itchy either. It’s just right!
If you have persistent acne like I did, then I suggest you give this soap a try and follow up with Thayer’s witch hazel toner. You will see results like you’ve never seen before! But dilute it before getting this anywhere near your sensitive parts or shaved skin. It will sting if used undiluted.
Because it is highly concentrated, a little goes a long way. Just two to four drops are enough to create lots of lush suds. If you use a washcloth or puffy scrubber I would recommend only using 2-3 drops on your skin at once (you can always add more if needed).
It won’t leave a sticky residue like some soaps can, and because it’s biodegradable—i.e., decomposable by living organisms (such as bacteria)—I use this soap for camping trips because I know it will work under a variety of circumstances.
2. Tea Tree
My mom-in-law introduced me to this scent several years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since! The scent is mild and dissipates shortly after use, so it doesn’t overpower the room or linger on your skin. It has a subtle but pleasant tea tree oil smell that’s not feminine or masculine—it just smells clean and fresh.
The bottle says DILUTE, DILUTE, DILUTE—and they’re not kidding. As with any castile soap, you need to dilute it before use—otherwise, it can leave behind a lot of suds that are hard to rinse away. You only need a tiny bit of this soap to get a nice lather, so a bottle will last you a long time.
I love that this soap works so well as a shave gel—it leaves my legs feeling soft and smooth instead of dry like other shaving creams can do. I also use it to clean my yoga mat after a sweaty vinyasa class.
I don’t recommend using this soap near your eyes—it can sting if you get it in there! My husband has been using it as well and hasn’t had any ingrown hairs or irritation from shaving with it, so he loves it too!
It foams up well in hard water (like ours!), so you don’t have to worry about using more than you need when cleaning dishes or washing clothes. It also removes makeup really well!
The only downside is that this soap can be pretty drying if you use too much of it at once—so I recommend moisturizing right after using this product if your skin tends to get dry easily.
I also recommend transferring the product into a reusable pump bottle, as it comes out of the original bottle very quickly and you may waste some if you aren’t paying attention when pouring.
I love that it doesn’t irritate my eczema and leaves little soap scum behind. Plus! It works great at killing off aphids in our garden—a big win if you ask me!
For those who like the scent of tea tree, this soap is a good choice—its added antimicrobial benefits and antiseptic effects make it especially effective on problematic skin. It’s fair trade goodness in a bottle that’s worth every penny.
3. Baby Unscented
I love this soap because it doesn’t irritate my eyes like the scented ones do. It has no added fragrance so you can add your essential oils to create your own scent. It has coconut oil, hemp oil, and jojoba oil and double the olive oil compared to other soaps in their lineup. I also love that it’s gentle enough for babies and pets!
The only downside is that it’s not as moisturizing as some of the other varieties, which means it might be too drying for people with dry skin. If you have oily or greasy skin, though, this soap will be right up your alley.
It cleans really well and rinses off easily—I’ve used it everywhere from my kitchen countertops to my cat’s litter box without any problems at all. To clean toilets, I combine a few squirts of this soap with some citric acid powder.
I also love that it doesn’t require much scrubbing effort, which makes it a great choice for cleaning up mild messes like spills or sticky spots on the floor. You can use it on literally anything—from your painted walls to your car carpets and throw rugs.
I use this soap as a feminine wash, and my gynecologist recommends it. It is gentle and doesn’t cause any irritation—unlike other soaps, which have caused me discomfort in the past.
After getting a new tattoo, my friend asked his tattoo artist what soap he should use and the artist recommended this one. He said it worked great for keeping the ink clean during those first couple of weeks—reducing the chances of infection!
The 32-ounce bottle is a better deal and only costs a few dollars more than the 16-ounce one. It lasts me about 4 months with daily use—which makes it an even better value! Overall I definitely recommend this soap if you hate scented products or have sinus allergies.
It’s a citrus scent, but it’s more of a mix of lemon and orange—maybe a little tangerine in there as well? It smells amazing—it’s light and uplifting, invigorating without being overpowering. You can definitely smell it when you’re using it, but it doesn’t linger once you get out of the shower.
It was gentle on my sensitive skin and helped improve the condition of my eczema. I did feel a little dry when I showered with it—but some shea butter fixed that in no time!
I use this product with the foaming container, and a 32 oz bottle lasts me for over six months. Some people complain that the soap is too thin or liquidy—but that’s how it’s supposed to be! (Be careful pouring out so you don’t lose any.)
And because it’s so concentrated, it saves me lots of money over time by not having to buy multiple bottles all the time.
I’ve used it to make a kitchen cleaner by diluting a small amount of it in a spray bottle. However, I discovered that over time this leaves behind a filmy residue on our stainless steel sink. But luckily it wasn’t too hard to remove using a Comet Cleansing powder!
I buy mine at Meijer because it’s cheaper there. However, Kroger sometimes puts this product on sale, and that way I get it for almost a third less than usual. You can also buy in bulk and save even more!
My husband’s favorite Dr. Bronner’s soap is Almond, and I agree: it smells just like sweet almonds without being too overpowering. The scent isn’t quite as potent as some of the others on this list; it’s more subtle—but still pleasant enough to make me hungry for marzipan!
This soap cleans with ease—but you’ll want to put on moisturizer if you have dry skin! It doesn’t leave behind any residue or film on your skin like some other soaps do; after using this one, your skin will feel squeaky clean without feeling stripped of its natural oils.
The only downside to this soap is its consistency: it’s very runny and can squirt out too much product if you’re not careful. I brought an 8oz twist-top bottle with measurements—half filled with the soap itself, half filled with water. And I am so glad that I did so!
The lather isn’t as thick as some other scents, but it still gets the job done. The scent didn’t conflict with any of my favorite skincare products, which was nice. I use it to clean almost anything in my home by mixing it with lemon juice, vinegar, or essential oils.
The 32-ounce bottle size of the almond scent seems to be out of stock a lot in my area. I’m sure that this is because so many people are buying it.
My husband prefers this scent in the cooler months, and I think it’s a terrific soap if you’re trying to lower your carbon footprint.
If you love the scent of lavender and have been looking for a good all-purpose cleaner, Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap is for you. It gives me a sense of calmness that helps me sleep better at night.
The scent is very concentrated; it smells medicinal and resinous but in a pleasant way—it can be overpowering for some people, but I love it! The scent does not linger too long on the skin—I’d say maybe an hour or two before it fades away.
I also add a little of this to my laundry whenever I wash sheets or towels. The scent of lavender seems to stay on clothing long after it’s been washed—it also complements any perfumes you’re wearing rather than clashing with them.
I used to use Lysol and Clorox to clean my house, but they were expensive and left me breathing in chemicals all day long. Ever since I switched over to this soap, though, I’ve felt more at ease knowing that my house is clean without having to worry about the chemicals—and we’ve saved a lot of money too!
Not only that, but I also use it to wash my makeup brushes! I love the way it leaves them smelling fresh and clean.
For best results, I strongly recommend using a foam soap dispenser with this soap. During the pandemic, I kept a dispenser at every sink—even at work! Using the dispenser makes it last longer and reduces clogging risks—which are common when soaps get old or thickened.
I hope you found this review helpful in your quest to find a great all-purpose cleaner! Dr. Bronner’s is a great company that provides customers with top-quality products and also has a strong commitment to ethical business practices, including paying their employees fairly, not testing on animals, and making their products in the USA.
I love the versatility of this soap—it can be used to clean anything! This makes my life simpler and more minimalist, as I no longer need different cleaners for different purposes.
I love that it comes in a variety of sizes (64 oz, 32 oz, 16 oz, 8oz, 4oz, and 2oz), so I can buy just the right amount for me. The only thing I don’t like about this product is the lack of a pump—but luckily it’s easy enough to put some into another bottle or refillable dispenser if you need one!
I also appreciate that it comes in a one-gallon bottle, which is great for those of you who are taking this on backpacking trips or have large families.
I prefer to use the peppermint scent in the fall and winter months, but I switch to hemp citrus during spring and summer. Eucalyptus, Rose, and Cherry Blossom are not my personal favorites, but they may appeal to people who enjoy those scents. I sometimes mix eucalyptus and almond soaps because I like the way they smell together.
If you’re interested in learning more about how this company got started and how it has stood the test of time over the decades since its founding by Emanuel Bronner himself (who passed away in 1997), there’s a documentary available online called “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox (2006)” that will give you insight into the company’s history, its founders’ beliefs, and religious labels printed on their bottles.
If you’d like to try one for yourself, I recommend buying bulk from their online store or your local retailer. This will not only save you money but it’ll also help keep this company in the business!
Never use biodegradable soaps near streams or lakes. These soaps break down in soil, not water.