When I first decided to “overhaul” our home with all natural products I didn’t really even know where to begin. Vinegar, check! That was about all I knew. Next – Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap, it was on all the green cleaning sites and included in every recipe for laundry and dishes. But what exactly is castile soap?
Castile soap is a soap that is made from vegetable oils as opposed to animal fats. It originated in the Castile region of Spain (hence the name) where it was made from locally sourced olive oil. Today castile soap is made from a variation of vegetable oils including coconut oil, palm oil, hemp and jojoba oil.
While there are several good quality castile soaps on the market, I have stayed a loyal consumer of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s eco-friendly soaps are made with organic and certified fair trade ingredients and they are free of harsh detergents, dyes, foaming agents and synthetic fragrances.
Pure castile soap can be purchased in a bar or in liquid form and in a variety of scents. No need to be afraid of “mystery fragrances”, Dr. Bronner’s soaps use only pure certified organic essential oils. The baby mild is completely free of scents and doubles the olive oil for sensitive skin. If purchasing in liquid form, be sure to dilute it since it is about 3 times more powerful than most commonly used soaps. Dr. Bronner’s soaps are widely available in grocery stores, drug stores, and health food stores. I purchase mine in bulk here to save money. The gallon container and 12 pack bars will be the most economical way to purchase this soap and will last a long time. Remember the liquid is concentrated so it will be diluted.
Now that we know what it is and where to get it, how do we use it? Pure castile soap can be used in your daily skin care routine as a body wash, facial wash and everyday soap but for today we are focusing on green cleaning. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this magic soap:
- Hand Soap: Use 1:3 ratio. Pour water into empty soap container and top off with your favorite scented castile soap. Do not put the soap first or the bottle will fill with suds. (Example: 1/4 cup soap, 3/4 cup water)
- Foaming Hand Soap: Use 1:3 ratio. Follow instructions above. You can purchase a foaming hand soap pump here or just use an empty one you have on hand already. Foaming soap pumps differ from regular soap pumps by pumping air into the soap and causing it to “foam”.
- Laundry: Use 1/3 -1/2 cup of soap for a large load. (Half of this amount for HE washers). Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Floors: Add 1/2 cup of soap to mop bucket and fill with hot water.
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Fill a spray bottle like this one, with water, add 1/4 cup soap and shake. Add a few drops lemon, sweet orange, or tea tree essential oils if desired.
- Windows: Mix 1 tablespoon soap with 1 quart water in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe windows dry. Follow with half vinegar/half water solution.
- Ant spray: Mix 1/4 cup tea tree soap and one quart water in spray bottle. Generously spray on areas with ant activity.
- Soft Scrub: 1 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup castile soap. Mix to form a paste. Store in an airtight container.
- Dog Shampoo: Use 1:3 ratio. Depending on the size of the dog dilute one tablespoon soap in 3 tablespoons water. Shampoo as usual.
Lisa Bronner is the granddaughter to the founder of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and writes a blog, Going Green with a Bronner Mom, which will give you many more tips for using this product in your home cleaning and self care routines. It’s worth a quick read.
Related Posts You May Also Enjoy: How to Clean Your Home with Vinegar, The Benefits of Aloe Vera in Your Skincare Routine