Unlike some naughty beauty heathens, I read the label. It gets me all riled up, you see, like a weird kind of foreplay for the cosmetics-obsessed. ‘Transformed skin’ says the label. ‘Yes please’ say I. ‘Banishes cellulite’ it promises. On I slap it in a nanosecond. But, as with all foreplay, sometimes the play itself leaves me disappointed and, I’m afraid to say, I’m used to being disappointed by labels.
When I went to read the label on Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Green Tea Pure Castile Liquid Soap (which, trust me is a task – it’s bloody covered in information, quotes and uses), I was overwhelmed. Oh the promises it makes. Cleanliness of tooth, face, hair and dog among many other things. I decided the only thing to do was to test each and every one of the 18 uses. Here’s how that went:
1) Shampoo. Bronner’s went onto my scalp without any burning or discomfort. I gave it a good scrub for extra measure and niente. I needed conditioner, but my hair wasn’t traumatised by the experience in the slightest.
2) Body Wash. The standard use, this a perfectly good body wash that left my skin on the squeaky side of clean.
3) Face Wash. Hmm. Acceptable in the morning (though not around eyes), a little too harsh for my liking to use daily. But, in an emergency, I’d use this over face wipes.
4) Bath Foam. Bronner’s produced a respectable level of foam and scent. Once in, it was sort of nice (read: EASY) to reach for the same bottle to wash my body and hair.
5) Tooth Paste. No. I’m sorry to those of you who are sold on the 18-in-1 concept and want to douse yourself in this, but I cannot encourage the madness of brushing your teeth with this stuff. It FOAMS. Surely that’s all the information you need to discourage you from putting it in your mouth?
6) Hand Wash. A slight cheat on the part of Bronner’s labelling, I feel. Hand wash is basically body wash used on the hands. But, in the spirit of broad-mindedness, I’ll give this one the thumbs up. Clean hands I had.
7) Aromatherapy. This baffled me. The stuff is pretty pungent in any case, so I just assumed I was getting aromatherapeutic benefits while using elsewhere. Based on that: yes. I liked the smell and it made me feel uplifted.
8) Washing Dishes. I did this, though I actually felt it was a little decadent for my liking. My dishes usually are washed in Fairy and there they were cavorting in a liquid I’d put on my face. But, there you have it. They were clean and shiny post.
9) Doing Laundry. Now this is handy. Particularly when travelling and in need of a clean garment but without travel wash. As the scent is strong, I only put this on my underwear or cotton t-shirts. They emerged undamaged and fragrant.
10) Mopping Floors. See use 8.
11) Cleaning. Once diluted, this is actually a rather economical and chemical-free way to wash down work surfaces. I wouldn’t apply this to silver or wood though, obvs.
12) Washing Windows. Dirt came off, but a slight streak was left in its wake. A desperate measure only, I fear.
13) Scrubbing Toilets. Scrubbing toilets?! Does a toilet need scrubbing? I suppose a very filthy one might, but as I tend to keep mine rather clean a little wipe action tends to do the trick. My thoughts on this? See use 8 again.
14) Washing Dogs. Not such a success on this front. The soap worked – Maggie the labrador was malodorous prior and clean, shiny and lightly-fragranced subsequently, but unfortunately she didn’t like the smell and was therefore a little distressed during the process.
15) Controlling Dust Mites. Doesn’t cleaning in general do this? Am I neglecting a whole realm of housekeeping? Dear. God.
16) Killing Ants and aphids. Can’t bring myself to kill ants, couldn’t find any aphids. Based on Maggie the labrador’s feelings about this stuff, I think its safe to say it’d do the trick.
17) Rinsing Fruit. More bafflement here. Surely water cleans fruit? I washed fruit in it anyway and said fruit tasted okay. I still feel nonplussed.
So there we have it. Experiment over. Bronner’s has been firmly put on the bathroom shelf, despite the overall verity of the label’s claims, as I feel this is its natural home. It’s nice, however, to have something around that in an emergency could do a couple of other jobs…