Castile soap is named after a similar style of soap that originated in Castile, Spain. These soaps are made from vegetable oils rather than animal fat. Castile is made from a variety of oils, including coconut, hemp, and olive, and sometimes almond, avocado, and walnut. The pH level of Castile soap is also much higher than average soaps, at 8.9. This makes it as alkaline as baking soda, though not so much to be corrosive.
The way Castile soap is made, and its ingredients, make it nontoxic and biodegradable. This means it is safe to use on children and pets – and even your vegetables.
Do not use it with vinegar, lemon or other acidic cleaners, because this causes a reaction that will cause both to become impotent and, because it separates the Castile soap into its original oils, may leave behind a white film that sticks and is very difficult to remove. This may also happen if you have hard water and do not soften it first.
The way soap, in general, works is that the molecules of soap have one side that is attracted to water, and the opposite side repels it. Soap that has been mixed with water will create atoms that float around and capture dirt and molecules that are not water soluble, which is what allows us to rinse these things down the drain.
You can get Castile soap in a solid bar or a liquid, which is usually concentrated. Either one is likely to last you a long time, even with the large variety of uses for which you can use this soap.
Castile soap especially works well on grease, due to its makeup. This means it does a great job in the kitchen, where much of the grime is grease-based. However, this is only one of its many uses. It has benefits in a variety of applications.
- Body wash and hand soap are the most common expected uses of Castile soap. A mix of two tablespoons of Castile soap with 12 ounces of water will go nicely in a soap pump and can include a drop or two of essential oil for scent, if desired.
- A quarter cup of soap in a quart of water will make a great ant spray to keep ants from your garden. Check on a small part of the plant before spraying the whole thing.
- Castile soap can be used in steam for decongestion of your sinuses. Add a tablespoon to hot water, cover your head and the bowl with a towel and breathe the vapor.
- Deodorant can be made with liquid Castile soap and sea salt mixed 1:2 in a small spray bottle and spray under your arms as needed.
- Dish soap made of Castile soap and water 1:10 will result in nice, clean dishes.
- Dishwashers can even use it, with a 1:1 mix of Castile soap and water.
- Face washing with Castile soap will help prevent acne and kill bacteria.
- Create a nice foot bath with two teaspoons of liquid Castile soap and a few drops of essential oil in a bucket or a footwash.
- Household cleaning can be done with a mix of a few tablespoons of soap in a quart of water.
- You can use it in your washer for nice clean laundry. Just a half cup of Castile soap will clean a whole load of laundry.
- Clean your makeup brushes with a cup of warm water with two or three drops of soap. Rinse, soak in the cup for a few minutes, rinse again, and allow to dry.
- You can mop the floor with a solution of a half-cup of soap in 3 gallons of hot water.
- Wash your pet with a bit of Castile soap. Unscented is best for pets, as many essential oils are toxic to animals.
- Scrub the kitchen or bathroom with a mix of a cup of soap and three cups of water. Sprinkle some baking soda on the area, spray with the soap mix, and scrub with a brush or sponge.
- Shampoo made of 1 tablespoon of Castile soap and a cup of water in a small bottle will last for several shampoos. If you do not want to mess with mixing, a small amount of Castile soap by itself works well, too! However, do not use it on color-treated hair because the color may be negatively affected.
- Shave with Castile soap instead of shaving cream. You can lather it nicely, and a drop or two of oil will help moisturize.
- Because it is nontoxic, you can use a drop on your toothbrush to clean your teeth. Some people may dislike the taste, but some may find that the peppermint version works well.
- Use a 1:4 mix of soap to water in a spray bottle for an excellent toilet cleaner.
- Window cleaner using 1 tablespoon of Castile soap in a quart of water will clean nicely. Rinse with soda water and dry with newspaper or a soft cloth.
- Wound care is another application of Castile soap. Used to clean minor wounds in a mix of two teaspoons of soap to two cups of clean water has been found to be as effective as any other wound cleanser.
Castile soap is available from most places that sell soap of any kind, including online. There are a number of different brands that make Castile soap.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap comes in several scents.
Best for use with babies and pets, this unscented liquid soap has all the benefits of Castile soap with double olive oil and no scent.
Pure lavender and lavandin oils give this soap a soft, pleasant scent.
This minty soap is great for so many things, including repelling insects. The steam from using this as a soap in a hot shower is refreshing and can help with opening up sinuses, as well!
A light, clean citrus scent makes this a wonderful choice for hand soap and general cleaning.
This woodsy and medicinal scent is also good to treat and prevent dandruff and acne.
Sweet amaretto scent makes this one warm and comforting. Excellent as a hand soap or shampoo.
This warm, menthol scent will clear congestion. Great for general washing, and comforting for sinus issues, this is a good choice for all winter.
This floral scent is pleasant and feminine, perfect for a body wash.
If you cannot decide which scent to try first, try this sampler, which includes almond, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree.
While liquid soap is the most popular of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, they also have bar soap. This gift pack contains six bars in six scents: rose, citrus, almond, unscented, peppermint, and lavender.
Another brand that offers Castile soap is the one that is most well known in a bar soap – Kirk’s Original Coco
Probably the most iconic Castile bar soap, and most recognizable, Kirk’s has been offering its USA made simple clean soap since 1839.
If you prefer a lemon scent for your house cleaning, this may be your best option.
Coconut and olive oils are processed and scented with lavender and juniper essential oils for a warm, relaxing soap that hydrates skin.
This unscented soap is mild and good for those who have allergies or sensitive skin. It uses argan, jojoba, coconut, and hemp oils.