Is Dr Bronner’s Soap Antibacterial? Facts About This Brand

By Marsha Harrison

is dr bronner's soap antibacterial

Although shelved in the skincare section, Dr. Bronner’s castile soap dominates the housekeeping and DIY communities. Plus, its all organic ingredients make it popular among environmentalists and vegans.

Yet, a lot of people are asking, “Is Dr Bronner’s soap antibacterial?”

Well, it’s not. However, you don’t have to ditch it unless you have an allergic reaction. In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about the brand so you can decide whether to use it.

About Dr. Bronner’s Soap

Dr. Bronner’s roots trace back to a Jewish quarter in Laupheim, Germany. Some time between the 1800s and 1900s, the first Castile soap was invented. Under the brand “Madaform,” the soap was initially sold in the form of a bar.

Emmanuel Heilbronner was born in 1908 and apprenticed as a soapmaker around the 1920s. In the same year, he earned his Soapmaking Master’s certificate and a university degree.

Due to clashes with his family and relatives, Emmanuel moved to the US and began advising US soap manufacturers.

But, it was not until 1948 that Emmanuel founded Dr. Bronner’s. Among its first products was its trademark liquid peppermint soap.

Thanks to the product label’s call for peace, the soap instantly became a hit between the 1960s to the 1970s. Eventually, his children got involved in running the business.

The brand’s activism also somewhat defines the business. As you can see, Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle is covered with a label where he crammed statements describing his beliefs, which were a mix of spirituality and environmentalism.

Later on, Dr. Bronner’s philosophies became the guiding principles that his grandchildren follow as they take over the business.

Among these is the commitment to combat climate change through regenerative organic farming. This explains the company’s use of all-natural ingredients in their products!

The Products


Dr. Bronner’s hygiene products expanded to balms and lotions when Sue Kastensen joined the company in 2005.

Currently, the brand offers original liquid soaps, soap bars, hand sanitizers, virgin coconut oils, toothpastes, organic sugar soaps, shaving soaps, lotions, balms, and biodegradable cleaners.

Despite the expansion of their business, you will never find “Dr. Bronner’s antibacterial soap” in their catalog. To get rid of disease-causing germs, you can use the brand’s pure castile soap, hand sanitizer, or biodegradable cleaner.

Lisa Bronner, the granddaughter of Dr. Bronner, emphasizes that their Castile soap does not kill germs. Furthermore, it does not contain Triclosan, which is an ingredient that is used to make soap antibacterial.

Even without Triclosan, though, Castile soap can remove germs from all kinds of surfaces. As many scientists pointed out, this alone is effective in protecting ourselves against diseases.

Does Dr. Bronner’s Kill Coronavirus?

Rest assured, you don’t need to create a DIY version of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap antibacterial recipe. As long as you dilute the soap based on the product recommendation, you can wash your body or clean surfaces effectively.

Understandably, many of us worry about getting infected with COVID-19. Hence, we tend to buy into the idea that we need to buy cleaning products containing chemicals like Triscolan that can kill bacteria or viruses.

While this is a valid concern, there is not enough evidence to support that antibacterial agents can provide additional protection.

Therefore, it does not matter whether Dr. Bronner’s soap has antibacterial agents or not. What is crucial, according to Michele, is following handwashing practices.

If you want to use Dr. Bronner’s products, I highly recommend its hand sanitizers as it is listed on Canada’s authorized products to fight against COVID-19.

Natural Antiseptic


It is worth noting that the brand added a hemp tea tree variant to their line of castile soap. Note that tea trees are believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

In Dr. Bronner’s website, it is said that the tea tree oil was used as germicides, which is why it was included in the Australian Army and Navy’s first aid kits.

At any rate, the manufacturer recommends using Dr. Bronner’s hemp tea tree pure castile soap to clean body or ear piercings, soothe razor burns, treat cuticles, and help with acne. Of course, that’s on top of all the general cleaning tasks that pure castile soap can do!


In this article, I presented some facts to answer your question, “Is Dr Bronner’s soap antibacterial?”

Even though the brand does not make soap that meets the regulatory definition of antibacterial soap, its product is capable of getting rid of germs.

Moreover, experts agree that you can protect yourself simply by practicing proper handwashing, regardless of the brand of soap that you use.

If you want to stick with Dr. Bronner’s products, that’s all well and good. After all, the brand has received numerous certifications confirming that it follows the highest standards of social and environmental sustainability.

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