What Is Castile Soap?
Named after the olive oil-based soaps originating in Castile, Spain, Castile soap can come in liquid or bar form, but it is made only from vegetable oils — i.e., no animal fats. Dr. Bronner’s, one of the most popular brands of Castile soap, is primarily made of coconut, olive, and hemp oils, but other oils like avocado, almond, and walnut can also be used.
Just pick and choose as you please! And don’t forget, you can add various essential oil herbal infusions to each of these recipes, to customize and diversify your castile soaping experience. Maybe you like orange blossom to clean your tile flooring, and peppermint on your dishes. Lot’s of people prefer lemon in the bathroom, and I love lavender in my laundry. And each oil or herb will confer its own properties. For example, eucalyptus is an antimicrobial, and chamomile is a relaxant. The possibilities are endless and it’s oh-so fun to experiment!
Castile soap can be used for so many things! Washing your face, body, hair, rinsing fruit, doing laundry and cleaning windows are just a few of the uses. Here are a few of my favorite uses and some suggestions on how to create your own products using Castile soap.
Castile Soap for The Home
1. Homemade Dish Soap
Castile soap makes a great dish soap. It’s all-natural, which means no chemicals on your hands or dishes. Just replace your regular store-bought dish soap with Castile soap and few drops will take care of those dirty dishes.
2. Homemade Laundry Detergent
You can have a pure laundry detergent in no time. What is great about this is that your clothes will likely last longer since they will not be exposed to harsh chemicals, and you can avoid irritation of the skin from avoiding heavy dyes and perfumes among other ingredients that are often found in the store bought versions.
3. Homemade Dishwasher Soap
If you can wash the dishes by hand with it, you can make your own soap for the dishwasher, too. I like to make a citrus version, as it not only smells amazing but lemon is a great antibacterial and antifungal agent. Just mix 8 ounces of Castile soap with 1 cup of water and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and shake gently.
To use, add 1 tablespoon of the above mixture into the “open” compartment of your dishwasher and add 1 cup of white vinegar to the “closed” compartment. If you have hard water, add a little more vinegar.
4. DIY All-Purpose Household Cleaner
Using a spray bottle, fill it a quarter of the way up with white vinegar, fill it with water, then add just a squirt of liquid Castile soap, a few drops of tea tree essential oil and a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil. This makes for a safe and effective household cleaner.
5. Homemade Glass Cleaner
Mix half a cup of white vinegar, 2 teaspoons of liquid Castile soap, and 2 cups of distilled warm water into a spray bottle. You can add a few drops of tea tree and lemon essential oil to the mixture to make it a bit more effective. Blend well by giving it a good shake and spray onto your windows. Use newspaper to clean it, leaving it streak-free.
6. Homemade Tub Scrub
Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 Castile soap and 2/3 water. Spread baking soda liberally around the bath and spray the Castile soap mixture on top of it. Scrub with a scouring pad or scrub brush for a squeaky clean tub.
7. Homemade Face Wash
Using a foaming dispenser, add 1/4 cup of liquid Castile soap and fill it to the top with distilled water. Add 5 drops each of tea tree and Frankincense essential oils. Both oils help fight bacteria and can reduce acne.
8. Homemade Shampoo
You can avoid those pricey, surprisingly toxic shampoos , most of which are filled with chemicals that can cause lots of problems for your hair in the long term. Making your own shampoo with Castile soap is very easy. Simply mix together 7 tablespoons of Castile soap with 6 teaspoons of coconut milk and ½ teaspoon of coconut oil. This will make about 7 applications. It will store best in the fridge for a about a week.
9. Homemade Hand Soap
Fill a foaming soap dispenser with 3/4 boiled or distilled water and ¼ liquid Castile soap. You can add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil for its antibacterial properties and lavender oil for its fragrant and relaxing scent.
10. Castile for Shaving
For your face, use about 10 drops; for the underarms, 3 drops should do the trick and for the legs use about a ½ teaspoon. Simply work into a lather in wet hands and then apply to area. You can add olive oil to the mix for some added moisturizing while shaving.
11. Castile for Your Teeth
Put 1 drop of Castile soap and a small dollop of coconut oil on your toothbrush and brush as normal. Just like your toothpaste, do not swallow. It will taste like soap but has amazing cleansing and antibacterial properties!
12. Castile Soap Foot Bath
Use about 1–½ tsp of Castile soap in a small tub of hot water and allow the feet to soak for 10–20 minutes. Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil for added benefits.
13. Clearing Congestion
Castile can even help with congestion! Put 1 tablespoon in a bowl of steamy hot water. Add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil and peppermint essential oil. Breathe in the mist with a towel draped over the head. Be careful as steam can burn your skin.
1. Shampoo: Use castile soap as a stand-in for a harsh detergent-based shampoo. Give your head a break! Just mix castile soap with water at a ratio of 1:3.
2. Laundry Detergent: You can make your own laundry detergent with simple, common ingredients. Save tons money and do the environment a friendly favor. It’s a win-win!
3. Tub Scrub: Make a tile or toilet “soft scrub” out of baking soda and castile soap. Simply fill a spray bottle with a dilution of 1:3 castile to water. Sprinkling the area you wish to clean with a liberal dusting of baking soda, then spray the castile solution over the top. Scour with a sponge or scrub brush and watch the stains disappear. This also works great on crusty stovetops!
4. Mopping Solution: Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of castile soap in a full bucket of water, and mop mop mop your floors to a sparkly new luster.
5. Dish Soap: Make a dishwashing soap (for hand washing) or a liquid hand soap (for washing hands) by simply mixing a 1:1 ratio of castile to water.
6. Dishwasher Detergent: Make a fancier DIY liquid dishwasher detergent that’s inexpensive and eco-friendly.
7. Soap Dispenser Refill: You can refill your foaming hand soap dispenser with 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water.
8. Body Wash: You can use castile soap as a gentle yet efficient bath soap/body wash. They actually sell castile bar soap, but if you want to use the liquid just dilute it in a 2:1 ratio of castile to water.
9. Dog Shampoo: What’s good enough for you is even better for your pet! Use the same ratio listed above for an awesome DIY doggie shampoo.
10. Toothpaste: You can actually use castile soap in place of your toothpaste, and pure soap is much better for your teeth than the nasty chemicals they put in most commercial pastes. Just add a few drops directly to your wet brush. It works wonders, although the flavor can take some getting used to!
11. Veggie Wash: Make a simple veggie wash for cleansing all your produce. Add 1 tablespoon castile soap to 2 cups of water, and keep the mixture in a squirt bottle near the kitchen sink.
12. Carpet Cleaner: Finally, you can make an effective carpet cleaner by mixing 1/4 cup castile into 1 cup water. Place the solution in the blender and let it fly until it forms a stiff foam. Apply as you would any other carpet cleaning product.
What’s your favorite way to use castile soap