What is Castile Soap & How To Use It?
You've probably heard of Castile Soap being a much-loved versatile soap for cleaning your home and body, but you don't really know why it's so versatile, what it is and why it's so good...or how to use it, so here's our quick guide to Castile Soap.
What is Castile Soap?
Castile Soap is a vegetable-based soap made from olive oil and gets it name from the Castile region of Spain. It's made from completely natural ingredients and free form animal fats and synthetic ingredients. It' non toxic and biodegradable. See our collection of natural castile soap here.
Why is it so good at cleaning?
Most soaps are on the basic or alkaline side of the pH scale, whereas Castile Soap is around 8.9 which is the same level as baking soda, more alkaline than mild dish soap, but not so much as bleach or tile cleaners. This makes it perfect for a variety of household uses.
How does it work?
The soap molecules have grease-grabbing properties that when mixed with water attract and capture dirt and other types of non-water soluble molecules.
Don't mix it with an acid based product such as vinegar as the reaction cancels out both and can leave a white film that is difficult to remove.
What about Dr Bonners?
Our soap is a Castile Soap like Dr Bonner's but made with completely natural ingredients and only with Olive Oil, not other oils. Dr Bonner's market their soap as 18-in-1 uses which is the same for all Castile Soaps, if not more.
Our range of Castile Soaps
- Pure is a plain, unscented bar castile soap, ideal for household use for all applications and bath. Use the bar directly on dishes when washing up, scrub at persistent stains, or grate the soap to add to a spray bottle of warm water for a great household cleanser. It's also suited for those with sensitive skin.
- Wild Woods is warm and woodsy castile bar soap that contains a blend of natural scents and a splash of Moroccan Lava Clay for a gentle scrub on one side. It is a great “bloke soap” that is ideal for surface cleansing (like countertops and tiles) with a fresh woodsy scent.
- Lemon Sherbet is a bright and uplifting castile bar soap scented with lemongrass essential oil. It is ideal for a fresh lemon scent in cleaning, as well as for summer use as lemongrass is said to repel mosquitoes!
- Sweet Mint featuring a combination of mint essential oils, this castile bar soap is fresh and clean smelling. It has a layer of scrubby green mineral clay, and is ideal for household applications as mint essential oils are said to be antibacterial and anti-fungal.
- Ruby Tuesday is a feminine castile bar soap scented with warming rose and grapefruit essential oils, topped on one side with pink mineral clay. It is ideal for bath time, or for a bright, floral scent in the home.
- Good Morning Sunshine is a citrus-scented castile bar soap that contains a blend of uplifting essential oils and a splash of raw turmeric powder on one end. It is a fabulous pick-me-up for starting the day right, and is great for facial use. Use the turmeric-orange side for exfoliating, and the cream-coloured side for gentle cleansing.
- Sweet Dreams has been specially formulated for bath time and night time, for household and bath/body use. It contains lavender and oats, and is topped with chamomile flowers which are particularly lovely when dropped into a hot bath to create a soothing “bath tea” for your body. It is scented with lavender essential oil.
What can castile soap be used for?
It is an all-purpose soap for cleaning counters, sinks, baths, showers, floors, toilets, dishes, washing clothes, people (including kids), pets and vegetables so long as it's adequately diluted and much more!
Soap Bar vs Liquid
Castile Soap can be purchased in liquid or bar form. To make a liquid Castile Soap at home, you simply melt your bar with water. See further instructions below. There is no need to buy liquid Castile Soap straight from the shop when it is so quick, easy and much cheaper to make at home.
Scented Castile Soap
Pure Castile Soap has a sweet smelling natural fragrance with no added essential oils making a great starter soap or one for those with sensitive skin. It can also be scented naturally with essentials oils which are great for different uses such as Tea Tree for it's anti-bacterial properties and thus great for the kitchen.
Liquid Castile Soap Recipe
In its liquid form it is most versatile so here's how to make liquid Castile Soap from your Castile Soap bar. This will be a thick mixture, much like a hand soap which can be diluted further for different uses.
For roughly 35g of soap, use 250ml of water.
Measure your water (based on the above quants) and bring to the boil in a saucepan or with a kettle. Grate your soap bar, or chop up into small pieces and add to the boiling water. If boiling with a saucepan, remove from the heat. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Since the soap is oil based, it will immediately start to melt into the water. After 20 minutes, stir thoroughly to combine.
If you want to add essential oils, wait until the liquid soap has cooled.
Store the liquid Castile soap in a glass bottle, such as our 500ml amber glass pump bottle.
For more information on how to make this liquid hand soap, please check out our clog post DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe.
Uses for Castile Soap
Where measurements are given, this is based on the soap in liquid form.
- General surface cleaner: 1-2 cups liquid Castile soap per litre.
- All purpose spray: 30ml Castile soap liquid to 500ml water.
- Mop your floors: 1/4 cup Castile soap in a bucket of warm water.
- Wash your dishes: Use a dish brush directly onto the soap bar or add your liquid Castile soap direct to your bowl of warm water as per usual washing up liquid.
- Vegetable wash: Fill your bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon of liquid Castile soap. Rinse veggies afterwards.
- Hand soap refill: You can use your liquid Castile soap direct.
- Soft scrub cleaner: 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup Castile soap, 1tbsp water, optional 10-15 drops of essential oil such as Tea Tree.
- Wash your clothes: Use equal parts liquid Castile soap and water and fill your detergent compartment as normal.
- Window cleaner: 1 tablespoon Castile Soap to 1L of water.
Bath & Body
- Body wash: Use the bar, or liquid, directly on your body.
- Baby soap: 1 part Castile soap to 2 parts water, so you are effectively diluting you liquid Castile soap even further. You can add 3-5 drops of essential oil, if desired, such as Lavender, per 100ml of liquid.
- Shaving Soap: Use the bar or liquid soap directly onto your skin and lather up.
- Dogs: One part Castile soap to 3 parts water. Or wet your dogs coat and work a small amount of the bar direct to achieve a good lather.
Skincare & Beauty
- Wash your face with the soap bar or liquid.
- Clean your make up brushes - Fill your basin with warm water and either squirt a small amount of liquid soap into the basin or lather up the soap bar in the water for a minute.
- Wash your face wipes - Use the bar directly on your face wipes of cloth to remove make up stains immediately after you have used them.
I hope our round-up has been useful. If you have any other uses for the Castile soap, let me know.