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Non-castile, super-lathery alternatives to Dr. Bronner's soap?
April 2, 2014 6:23 PM   Subscribe

I love Dr. Bronner's soap, but it clogs up my shower drain :(

Looking for a liquid soap with the following properties that make me love using Dr. Bronner's:

-Lathers really quickly/easily
-Washes off really quickly/easily
-Doesn't leave that crackling bubbly sound in your ears

...and, sans the one property that makes me hate it:

-Clogging up my drains, for real

Yeah, not a very long list. I don't care about the scent, soap composition, etc. I just love being able to take quick showers. Price ain't a factor baby, so lay it on me!
posted by Sine_Agraphia to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Are you using the liquid Dr. Bronners? What do you mean by clogging your drains? I've been using it for years and never experienced this at all. Just curious...
posted by punkrockrat at 6:39 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


punkrockrat -

Yeah, I use the iconic minty liquid soap. I dunno, it just clogs drains wherever I've used it, sometimes quickly, sometimes over a period of time (say, a couple weeks to a month). Pouring boiling water down the drain helps alleviate it, but only temporarily. I've moved around a couple places during the past number of years, stayed over various friends' houses... it seems to be a recurrent problem wherever I go. I've actually just moved again and I'm exasperated that the tub is already having problems draining... so, I want to make a switchover.

Granted, this is all my single anecdotal experience, not trying to badmouth the product generally speaking. And I suppose that I don't have hard solid proof that it's the soap which is in fact the culprit. But, I want to at least experiment with a different, non-castile, super-lathery product to see if it continues happening.
posted by Sine_Agraphia at 6:47 PM on April 2


How do you know it's the soap and not your hair?
posted by ShooBoo at 6:49 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I use the iconic minty liquid soap. I dunno, it just clogs drains wherever I've used it, sometimes quickly, sometimes over a period of time (say, a couple weeks to a month). Pouring boiling water down the drain helps alleviate it, but only temporarily. I've moved around a couple places during the past number of years, stayed over various friends' houses... it seems to be a recurrent problem wherever I go. I've actually just moved again and I'm exasperated that the tub is already having problems draining... so, I want to make a switchover.

Um. Could it be...are you a hairy person?
posted by clockzero at 6:50 PM on April 2


I have used regular soap and natural soap. I have, in fact, made my own soap. So soap is not always to blame.

I regularly unscrew the drain and pull out a hair clog (tub/shower) and in the sink, I use a ZipIt, which works great.

Boiling water might remove the soap residue from the hair clog, but that is what clogs drains, not soap. If you are using hot water, soap should melt. Just as if you are using hot water in your kitchen sink to do dishes, soap will melt. Unless you are using bacon grease to wash yourself, it is most likely a hair clog. Because soap is fat mixed with sodium hydroxide and liquid soap is fat mixed with potassium hydroxide (both of which are, in fact, drain cleaners).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:55 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Nah I'm not a hairy person
posted by Sine_Agraphia at 6:57 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


We typically dilute the Dr. Bronners with water a bit. The soap works just as well and lasts longer. And, it might be easier on a drain that is temperamental.
posted by safetyfork at 7:05 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Seconding safetyfork's dilution suggestion. For the sink I dilute Dr. Bronner's 3 or 4 parts water to one part soap in a foaming pump. I bet it would work just as well in the shower, and it lasts a long time.
posted by knot of one mind at 7:18 PM on April 2


I find that soap also clogs my drain, but only if my son, who has OCD tendencies, goes a little crazy washing his hands. One time of forcing him to fix the clogged drain himself abruptly ended his compulsive tendency to wash his hands and lather with too much soap. No more clogged drains now.
posted by zagyzebra at 7:18 PM on April 2


I've been using Neutrogena Rainbath liquid soap for years. I get the huge 40-oz. pump bottle at Costco (this is such an incredible deal for around $15 - at other stores it's as much as $45) and it lasts a loooong time. One pump gives you plenty of suds, it rinses off quickly and completely, and it smells great no matter what "flavor" you get (right now it's pomegranate, but original, grapefruit, and pear/green tea are just as nice) . The only thing that clogs my drains is my hair, which I clean out with a Zip-It.
posted by caryatid at 7:21 PM on April 2


I am definitely not a hairy person. But I shed hairs off my head and shave my legs and arm pits. Just washing my hair clogs my tub/shower drain every month, and somehow, even tho' I throw away all of the hair off my comb, hair gets into my sink drain as well. One or two hairs clings to the drain, the rest builds up, and then it makes a big hair "rat" underneath, literally hanging on by a thread of my hair.

The only answer is to unscrew the drain, pull up the drain cover, and fling it all into a garbage bag while holding my nose and wearing rubber gloves. Same with the Zipit.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:52 PM on April 2


If your hair is longer than about two inches and you're not using a hair trap, it's almost certainly your hair and not the soap. This is good news, because it means you can keep using your favorite soap!
posted by insectosaurus at 8:08 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Doubt it would make a difference, but it's cheaper and the same thing (just not organic), try Dr. Woods. I get it at PriceChopper.
posted by IfIShouldEverComeBack at 8:46 PM on April 2


I found the Tea Tree Tingle body wash from Trader Joe's to be comparable to Dr. Bronner's, and if you are sensitive to the sodium lauryl sulfate family, it does not contain any.

Could you try adding a cup of vinegar to your boiling water? I agree that it is probably a hair clog, but maybe you have some kind of perfect condition in your drain that would cause a soap clog. Sometimes Dr. Bronner's leaves a film on your hair and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar will rinse it out. This hasn't been an issue for me but I have found it on natural-product forums as a known issue/solution.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:35 PM on April 2


Just to confirm the OP is not crazy, Bronner's clogs our shower drain too.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:34 AM on April 3


I think Dr. Bronner's is fattier/oilier than most soaps which makes it stick/clump more. It probably is sticking to hair, even if you aren't that hairy, just a little bit plus the soap can do it. Diluting might help. You might also be interested in this question I asked recently about drain protectors to prevent clogs.
posted by bluefly at 12:39 PM on April 3


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