One of my favorite products in my green-cleaning arsenal is castile soap, a vegetable oil-based soap (as opposed to animal fat-based) which gets its name from the Castile region of Spain. Castile soap is also one of the most simple and ecological-friendly soaps on the market. It’s completely free of harsh chemicals and synthetic detergents which can end up in the waste stream and slow down biodegradability.
My castile soap of choice is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. They are completely biodegradable and vegetable-based, and made from certified organic and fair trade oils like organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, together with pure essential oils. They come in both liquid and bar form and a variety of scents to suit different needs, along with an unscented version as well.
Dr. Bronner’s claims “18-in-1 Uses” on their bottles, but people all over have found even more ways to use these truly magic soaps! Here are the top 10 uses for castile soap:
- Hand Soap: Fill up your foaming soap dispenser with 4 parts water and 1 part castile soap.
- Body Wash: Squirt the soap directly on your wet sponge or wash cloth and lather your body, then rinse. Alternately, mix up a larger batch of 1 part water and 2 parts castile soap.
- Shampoo: Pour a small amount into your hand, work into a lather, then apply to hair. You can also mix up a batch of 1 part castile to 3 parts water and keep in an old shampoo bottle. Rinse and condition either with your favorite conditioner or some vinegar diluted in water.
- Shaving Cream: Apply directly to skin for a smooth, silky shave.
- Toothpaste: Apply a few drops to your wet toothbrush and brush as normal. The taste will take some getting used to, but it’s much healthier than all the chemicals present in commercial toothpaste.
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with mostly water and add a few tablespoons of castile soap to use as an all-purpose cleaner. You can also add some baking soda for extra scrubbing action.
- Laundry Detergent: Use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for a regular load. You can also use it to make up a batch of either liquid detergent or powdered detergent!
- All-Purpose Cleaning Scrub: Fill a spray bottle with 3 parts water and 1 part castile soap. Sprinkle baking soda on the area to be cleaned, then spray the castile solution over it, and scrub away with a brush or sponge. This works great for toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and stovetop messes.
- Veggie Wash: Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon castile soap. Keep next to the sink to wash fruits and veggies quickly and easily.
- Dog Shampoo: Use the same ratio as the body wash for an all-natural, chemical free dog shampoo.
This month (until April 3rd), Healthy Planet has the small 472mL bottles of Dr. Bronner’s soaps on sale for 10% off! The small size bottles are great for those wishing to try these soaps and experiment with different scents to find which one they like best.
About the Author:
Sarah UmmYousef is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, Nature’s Nurture, began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.