Peppermint Soap Burns Your Balls


Mint is a lovely herb. The Greeks pair it with lamb; Martha Stewart infuses it in her lemonade. A chiffonade of mint graces Babbo’s glorious “Mint Love Letters,” a pasta that confirms mint’s extraordinary versatility. I applaud the use of mint in the kitchen, both restaurant and home. Where I draw the line, though, is the bathroom: mint does not belong in soap. Especially the soap in Craig’s sister’s bathroom. This being the soap:


As a final addendum to my Seattle trip, I’d like to tell you a story. The story begins with yelping. We were staying at Craig’s sister’s apartment and Craig heard me yelping in the bathroom. Craig knocked on the door, “Why are you yelping?” And I answered, “This soap…this peppermint soap…it’s burning…it’s burning down in my special private place.” I heard vicious laughter and Kristin (Craig’s sister) joined in. “Adam, how do you like my soap?” “It hurts!” I yelped, as my special private area felt like it had frozen over like a lake in winter. With fat kids ice skating on it. I thought I was damaged for life. My children would have four eyes and eight ears and would audition for American Idol.

Peppermint works in toothpaste. It also works in mouthwash. But that’s where the marriage of food and hygiene ends: peppermint doesn’t work in soap. Especially if you’re male. Especially if you value your privates. Male readers: consider yourselves warned.

29 thoughts on “Peppermint Soap Burns Your Balls”

  1. I *heart* Dr. Bronner’s Soap!!! It comes in other varieties, too. You can find it at most natural food (the ones that used to be called ‘health food’) stores. I really like the peppermint when used for shampoo and, as a bonus, it doesn’t make your hair feel like you just washed it with Dawn dish liquid, either. You can actually brush your teeth with it if you want, but it doesn’t really taste that great, it just works.

  2. If that picture up there is the bottle that you used, you should have known better. With all the writing on the bottle and its industrial looking label, it looks more like the wax stripper fluid I used to use when I had summer cleaning jobs in my high school years. :-) I’m assuming your gonads made it relatively unscathed after a period of time? :)

  3. I just have to say that the juxtaposition of this post and the photo directly below it (on the homepage) is, um, interesting, to say the least. ;)

  4. fyi — it’s not so good for the ladies nether regions either. . .perhaps not quite as painful but definitely tingly. the lavendar dr. bronner’s is much more gentle on your delicate parts. in case you’re willing to give dr. bronner’s another go. . .but it sounds like you’re pretty scarred.

    i hope you’re not damaged for life.

  5. wow,

    that sucks to hear but i have to give it to ya, it sure did make me chuckle this morning.

    it’s odd though… i know there are some people that enjoy the sensation… HAHAHAHA.

    you’ll be fine.


  6. If you read the label of Dr. Bronner’s Mint Soap, it says over and over “Dilute! Dilute! 10 to 1″ Of course, this is hard to see as it is buried in his philosophical statements about ” All in one!!!!”.

    Well, now we know what the penalty is for not diluting :-)

  7. I kind of like the tingling sensation that only Dr. Bronner (or syphilis, I suppse)can provide….just kidding. I try to stay away from soap that can double as mouthwash. You wouldn’t wash your junk with Listerine, would you?

  8. dr. bronner's huts

    it’s the same for the ladies! and i can only chuckle a little because i made this mistake with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap. it’s like inserting an Altoid in your you know what….

    so, i feel your pain.

  9. I used to work in market research and one of my first projects was having women test out these new bath products, and they were mint and lemon ones… the mint users eventually revealed that the soap burned their nether regions…

  10. I love, love, love Dr. Bronner’s. I find the peppermint refreshing, it will definitely wake you up on the mornings you are dragging. But like some others have recommended I prefer the lavender. It’s especially great to take along camping, doesn’t require nearly as much water to get rid of that slimy soap feel. You camp in NYC right? ;o)

  11. *snerk*

    I’m laughing with you, really. Because I made the same misteak once (peppermint soap doesn’t make girl parts happy, neither).

    ‘Refreshing’, like sleeping on a bed of nails or getting smacked in the face with a cricket bat is refreshing.

  12. I haven’t experienced this particular product, but peppermint is fabulous in shampoo (specifically, Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo). It makes your scalp feel all tingly and fresh!

  13. Adam, quit hating on my soap! Real men can take it…you just have to pretend you are a lumberjack scrubbing up in a cold mountain stream.

    Dr. Bronner’s, for those who don’t know, is 100% pure castile soap that is super gentle because it DISSOLVES dirt instead of attacking it with tons of nasty surfectants like conventional soaps do. Dial soap makes me all red and blotchy when I get out of the shower. If your soap makes you red and blotchy too, you have to try it.

    Besides, how could you not want to buy a product whose label warns us against “Easter Isle type overpopulation destroying God’s Spaceship Earth”

    Yay Dr. Bronners!

  14. um, it also burns your ass. Well, maybe not YOUR ass in particular, since you were complaining more about your, um, berries. But it certainly burned my ass.Gave new meaning, entirely, to “that really burns my ass!!”

  15. Yes, it does hurt women. In the 70’s when we all got “natural” I tried the same soap in the picture. Little Virginia did the same thing Craig did.

  16. Love the Dr. Bonners, but I am careful with the mint.

    Funny thing is, my husband loves the mint soap. Has actually been known to refer to it as “manly” (because I tend to buy soaps with oatmeal, honey or clove as the predominant flava/smell).

    Sorry ’bout the burn, Adam.

  17. Okay, my story tops your story. I once rode my bike down the entire west coast by myself. I was at a campground that had coin operated showers. I lathered up with the Dr. Bronner’s and the shower ran out!!!! I had to actually throw clothes on and run back to my tent to get more quarters with every inch of my skin aflame.

    I still love Dr. Bronner’s though. There is NOTHING more refreeshing than skinny dipping in a mountain stream with a little Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. Try it, you’ll like it.

  18. dr bronner’s soap is great for hand washing clothes especially underwear & shirts . it really gets the stains out fast n easy like nothing else. i use it in the washing machine as well instead of laundry soap and as a laundry cleaning booster. i didnt like it for washing in the shower but its great with healing qualities on cuts scrapes . i’m going to try “tooth soap” brand for brushing teeth instead of dr bronners.

  19. It coulda been worse if went in somewhere else. If ya know what I mean. Ya do know what I mean…right?

  20. Your first story had me laughing until I cried. My husband of 17 years had the same experience when I introduced him to Dr. Bonner’s peppermint soap many moons ago. Don’t worry, your body gets used to it and after about a month of using it sparingly in those private places, it will begin to feel good. Let me tell you, today, my dear husband does not want to use any other soap.

  21. I actually quite like the way it feels on my lady parts. ;)

    However, my husband is inclined to agree with you.

  22. I heard the soap was good for dreadlocks so i gave it a shot and the first time i tried it i thought my scalp was on fire. after the hair i started to wash down there and i gasped a little with shock when my babies and anus slowly started to feel like i put bengay on them. Im ok with it for my hair but is it really safe to use on your genitals?

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