My first contact with Dr.  Bronner’s products probably happened like it does for most:  I was just walking along all innocently in the aisle of my local health food store, and there it was, just waiting for me looking all plain and docile with it’s clear liquid and almost generic-looking packaging.  Upon my approach, I glanced down at the price label, and – shebang! – I was out of there like a ricocheting bullet.  Yes, sticker shock kept me away for quite some time, many times in fact, but that Sal Suds bottle just bided it’s time… knowing… and waiting.

One day, while passing by once again,  I finally gave into the curiosity and decided to ignore the price tag and read the label.   Hmmm… fir needle oil and spruce oil?  Memories wafted back immediately of the smell of Pine Sol.  Pine Sol is my parents’ most mostest favoritest cleaning product of all time.  Never has there been a time when it wasn’t enshrined in the bathroom cabinet in their home.  I found out the reason one day from my Dad.  He worked for a while with the mentally disabled and physically handicapped.  There were constant problems in the facilities where he worked with bathroom sanitation.  While clients were being encouraged to use the facilities on their own, there were often mistakes and messes made.  The problem was that no cleaner seemed to have the ability to remove the smell.   For months, every possible product was tried, to no avail, until PineSol was put to the test.  My Dad told me that he thought the reason it worked was because of the pine oil.   To his mind, there was absolutely nothing that could top it’s power.  Because of this recollection, I made an educated guess that perhaps Sal Suds might have similar odor-removing powers, seeing that spruce, fir, and pine are all conifer oils.

However…  before I could dole out the money for what looked like a bottle of something I was afraid I’d go through in a week or two, I had to come to grips with trusting this label at all.  Literally.  I thought some of the stuff written on Dr. Bronners  product labels were space-cadet, cosmic-hippie looney-toons!   However, you learn to ignore the label, and accept the fact that some of your friends will think you’ve inherited the same affliction.  Yes, it all happened because I “sniffed the glue”, so to speak.  This stuff smells good!  A regular forest high!  Sniff-sniff-sniff!!! Huff-huff-huff! Better than Pine Sol!  And, being gobblety-gook free, it works better, too!

So I gave in.  I bought it.  It was only a little bottle, at first.  I didn’t mean to get addicted.  It just happened!  First there was the fact that it wasn’t harsh on my clothes. There’s a powdered laundry detergent that I also like, but either the grapefruit oil extract or the oxygen bleach do things to my clothes that I don’t like.  Sal Suds didn’t leave the fibers feeling too wrung-out and chemically-taxed to the touch.  I learned I didn’t have to worry about things getting worse in the dryer, either.  I can’t use fabric softeners.  Their smell and the waxy texture left behind drives me nuts.  I didn’t have problems with my clothes running through the dryer , softener-free,  or hanging on the line with the Sal Suds.  Nothing came out feeling over-scrubbed, stiff and too-dry.  Second, I made the profound discovery, thanks to many generous free and often daily donations for me to practice upon from my little boy, that Sal-Suds removes the smell of pee in the first wash!  No longer did I have to put up with smelling pee and perfumey soap to cover it, or have to rewash a load two or three more times.  Third, Sal Suds removes the smell of perfumes and other detergents!!! Whoopie, hooray, huzzah!!! What a godsend to a hypothyroid’s nose!  Do you know how DIFFICULT that is to accomplish?  Nothing, I mean, NOTHING I have found ANYWHERE else can do this.  So I can let the old ladies kiss all over my babies… and I can put up with my kids coming home with gack-ridden laundry in their suitcases that others think smells clean but which make me want to vomit…   The conifer oils in this product leave hardly an odor at all, and what is there doesn’t bother me because it’s an essential oil, not a perfume.  Sal Suds works better than unscented detergents, and I prefer it’s very delicate smell to anything I’ve tried that says it’s unscented.   Fourth, Sal Suds works on delicate things… like baby clothes and organic cotton cloth diapers or slips and pantyhose.  Nobody in my house breaks out from it.  Nobody complains of itchy skin.  I don’t have to turn to Dreft or Woolite.  It works just as well, and, again, it doesn’t stink!!

Well, recently, when I  got there my cupboard was bare, and then poor Mother Moore had none.  My nearest health food store is quite a drive away, and it only sells the 32-oz  bottle, which I have to buy 2 or 3 at a time.  I tried to lie to tell myself that we could handle things without it.  More donations of #1 AND #2 were coming from a generous child who was old enough to know better.   Ah! Motherhood! Provided once again with another opportunity at science lab!  I tried vinegar.  Nope.   I tried Thieves Cleaner.  Nope… well…  sort-of.  The smell went away but I found that I preferred the smell and texture left by Sal Suds.  The Thieves Cleaner is not a laundry soap, either, so the competition was a bit unfair.

I had to take a deep breath and realize that my life could no longer function without this product.  That sounds like something from the Twelve Step program, doesn’t it?  I am powerless to overcome my addiction to Sal Suds.  I want to buy it by the gallon; buy it by the box of gallons.  I want to hoard it away somewhere in an underground bunker, to make sure that if ever we come under nuclear attack, my family will emerge from our underground rabbit-hole dazed, perhaps confused, with radiation sickness maybe, and yet… clean!   Every mother’s dream!  It’s nearly as good to the motherly soul as knowing your loved one got hit by a car wearing freshly-changed clean underpants.  It makes me want to break into song! I dream of Sal Suds with the fir-needle air!  The spruce-oil air! Smell it in my hair!

May I never recover.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

And if the Lord my soul should take,  I pray for Sal Suds at my wake.