The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap


The first Dr. Bronner’s packaging

The first Dr. Bronner’s packaging     Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Bronner's

German Jew and third-generation master soapmaker Dr. Bronner traveled widely to speak out against religious intolerance. He lectured on soapboxes and in auditoriums, giving those who came to hear him speak an unlabeled bottle of his home-crafted peppermint liquid soap as a thank you. When he noticed people were coming for the soap and not the lecture, he wrote his philosophy on a label and glued it to the bottle so people would read it in the shower.

As his soap grew in popularity, Dr. Bronner went from making soap at home to secretly renting out a chemical factory just on Sundays to recruiting his son, Jim, to head soap-making full time at the factory. Because Dr. Bronner’s soap is biodegradable, it has become the go-to camping soap for backpackers and outdoor lovers. Not only is it safe for the environment, but it’s also tingly, refreshing and cooling on the skin.

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