Update December 2017: Dr Bronners switched back to citric acid from tapioca, but says they will switch periodically depending on the availability of different sources of citric acid. It is always the same across all castile soaps when they switch.
They cannot tell me when they last changed the source or lot #’s that might be safe. June of 2016 was when they confirmed the citric acid was from corn, so they changed at least once in 1.5 years. https://www.facebook.com/DrBronner/posts/10155400347672779
Update June 2016: Dr Bronners has confirmed they are using citric acid from corn still/again: https://www.facebook.com/DrBronner/posts/10153747314102779
Original Post (June 2014)
Dr. B’s unscented baby mild has been a staple for me for a long time. Body wash, hand wash, cleaning product. About 6 months ago people started reporting reactions, and I noticed that I was getting more and more eczema on my hands that went away when I didn’t wash it with the Dr B’s.
Yeah, someone just went to their web site and saw that they now state that their citric acid is from non-GMO corn. Previously the citric acid was from tapioca, and in fact they currently state on another page of their site that the citric acid is from tapioca, and in September of 2013 they responded in an email to one of our Facebook members that the citric acid was from beets, so this is clearly a somewhat recent change.
A contact from Dr Bronner’s customer service department tells me that they have been using the corn source for over a year, which can’t quite be the case since they last told us beets in September. But I do think it’s likely that they changed shortly after that and a lot of the older stuff didn’t rotate out of stock until 6 months ago or so. One of our Facebook group members has asked for a date/lot #’s so that we can perhaps identify older bottles that are still safe.
I have updated my product list to remove this product but I don’t have a perfect replacement yet. For now I am using Olivella Fragrance Free Bar Soap and making it into a liquid when I need it to be liquid. But it doesn’t work for dishes that well, so I’m not really sure what I’m going to do long term. I’m looking into using soap nuts for cleaning and personal care, but I read that when you make liquid out of soap nuts they go rancid within a couple weeks, so just not sure.
2 thoughts on “Dr. Bronner’s is Intermittently Corny”
I knew it. We just bought a new bottle of the unscented baby liquid soap. My daughter reacted to it immediately. We have used this previously, and had no issues. I’m sure the other bottle was purchased awhile ago. Recently, I found a brand Herbal Choice Mari . They make bath and body items, along with a nice line of make up and hair products. No reactions, the ingredients are organic and minimal. Their toothpaste is even decent!
I know a lot of people make soap at home with a blender. If you can get a lye and a fat that are corn free it might work.