Pros: Hilarious label; enjoyable shower or bathtime reading; all natural; nice scents; cheap; refillable; multi-purpose
Cons: Slippery feel; not easy to control how much liquid comes out; not very foamy; peppermint flavor can be too strong for sensitive skin.
(Price listed here is from Trader Joe's for a 32-ounce bottle.)
If you haven't entertained yourself by reading scraps of their label in the shower, you haven't truly showered. Their website provides a fine example of the Dr. Bronner writing style:
"Dr. Bronner's PEPPERMINT Pure-Castile Soap is our most popular variety. The peppermint essential oil creates an exhilarating chilly-tingly-cool body space. Because therapeutically peppermint oil is a mild stimulant, it increases vitality and clarity, enabling constructive-selfish Peppermint-Castile users to work hard and get done! then sing-dance-play until we're All-One! Naturally, morning peppermint power showers lead to a fulfilling life of service and fun! Exceptions Eternally? Absolute None!"
The print on these labels is teeny, and wacky quotes like this are crammed into just about every possible space, offering months of stimulating entertainment and showertime laughs.
The label also claims that it can be used for shaving, shampooing, dishes, shower gel, hand soap, laundry, toothpaste (toothpaste??) and probably even more things by now. It doesn't, however, claim that it will do all these things WELL. It is certainly not going to produce thick or fluffy shaving lather, for those that need it. And while it makes a perfectly effective shower gel, it... well, it can be a little TOO effective in some areas, if you get my drift. I've heard some customers suggest that it should be diluted before any use, but it doesn't offer any suggestions for how much it should be diluted to be used as toothpaste or soap.
Nor am I willing to try it as a toothpaste; no matter how great the flavors they offer are, I don't want the flavor of peppermint or lemon-eucalyptus AND soap in my mouth. The one flaw with Dr. Bronner's (okay, besides the potential burning icy-hot sensation of too much peppermint oil where no peppermint oil was ever meant to be) is that it frequently falls into the trap of preaching deprivation instead of eco-friendliness. It is not worth it to me to save a few dollars a year by using Dr. Bronner's Soap as toothpaste (nor am I convinced I would actually be saving money that way). And I absolutely draw the line at following their suggestion of saving water by bathing in an empty tub with a damp washcloth moistened with Dr. Bronner's. Low-flow showerhead and greywater system, sure: damp washcloth "bath," no. No the hell no.
Still, when used appropriately, Dr. Bronner's is a cheap, eco-friendly, multi-purpose product with a wide range of nice scents. I would happily use it to wash my floor or scrub just about anything. It just happens to want you to do the footwork yourself to figure out which of their suggestions for use is actually going to work for you.