12 Uses for Liquid Castile Soap

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Uses for liquid castile soap
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Castile soap is a valuable tool for natural living. It is very versatile and can replace many, if not all, of your commercially prepared, chemical-laden detergent cleaners.

What Is Castile Soap?

Traditionally the term castile, in regard to soap, referred to a hard white soap made from olive oil. It was named for the Castile region of Spain where they made soap only using olive oil.

In recent times this term has become more loosely defined as a pure vegetable based soap (void of any animal products). A pure olive oil soap makes a moisturizing soap but it doesn’t lather well, so many soap makers find that using a blend of different oils allows them to customize the properties of the soap better.

Most castile soap today is actually a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, or any other commonly used vegetable oil. Castile soap can be made as either a hard bar soap or a liquid soap.

There are several good brands available. Dr. Bronner’s is the most well known and I get it at a discount here.

Is Castile Soap “Natural”?

Hard soap bars are a result of mixing oils/fats and sodium hydroxide (lye). Liquid soaps are a result of mixing oils/fats and potassium hydroxide (caustic potash). Many people are concerned about using these caustic compounds and wonder how something can be “natural” when it contains them.

The beautiful thing about chemistry is that you can combine two substances to create a chemical reaction which yields an entirely new substance. Take salt, for example. Naturally occurring sea salt is a chemical compound consisting primarily of sodium and chloride. In it’s pure form, sodium is a metal that reacts violently when exposed to water and chlorine is a poisonous green gas that has been used in chemical warfare. But together they are salt; a naturally occurring resource valuable and necessary for life.

The point here is that soap, if made properly, is a useful cleaning tool that is safe and gentle for use on your skin and for cleaning in your home. You are no more rubbing a caustic chemical on your skin than you are trying to clean your dishes with olive oil.

12 Ways To Use Liquid Castile Soap

  1. Homemade Natural Shampoo – You can make a simple homemade shampoo that actually lathers with just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your home. The castile soap gently washes away dirt without stripping the scalp and the coconut milk is nourishing to the hair and helps prevent breakage and hair loss.
  2. Homemade Natural Body Wash – This moisturizing body wash combines the cleaning power of castile soap with the soothing and antibacterial properties of honey for a body wash your skin will love.
  3. Foaming Face Wash – Your face is your most prominent feature and therefore should be treated with delicate care. The beauty industry wants you to strip, exfoliate, and chemically peel your face into oblivion and often times these “solutions” create a vicious cycle of “need” for more products. The best way to care for your skin is to eat healthy foods and to try to preserve the balance of natural oils your body produces. Using castile soap on your face will not strip it of beneficial oils, but will do what soap is meant to do, remove the dirt. It may take a bit for your skin to adjust, but your face will thank you. I use the recipe for foaming hand soap and customize the essential oils for your skin needs. Tea tree and lavender are good for acne prone skin. Use frankincense and lavender for mature skin or sandalwood and chamomile for dry skin.
  4. Shaving– Conventional shaving creams are full of many toxic ingredients. And just like other personal care products, it is relatively easy to mix up some of your own shaving cream. Here is an easy recipe for your legs and one that is more gentle and suitable for a man’s face. If you want to keep it really simple, just lather a few drops of liquid castile soap and rub all over your legs. Then just shave!
  5. Foaming Hand Soap – If your house is anything like mine, you go through quite a bit of hand soap. It can get expensive to buy the foaming versions in the store (we don’t use antibacterial soap anyway) but the good news is that it is incredibly easy to make it yourself by reusing a foaming dispenser and my foaming hand soap recipe.
  6. Homemade Natural Baby Wipes – It is especially important to keep toxic ingredients out of your baby’s life. They are so small and all of those chemicals can have a huge impact on their little systems. Even before I switched to cloth diapers and organic baby clothing, I was making wipes for my little ones. It only takes a minute and they can double as face and hand wipes for all of your children.
  7. Natural Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner – I love this cleaner for just about everywhere in my home. I use it for grimy messes on the floor, stubborn stains on the trashcan, in the bathroom, and on my patio furniture, just to name a few. It is very easy to make and considerably less expensive than other natural cleaners. Give it a try and attack those tough stains!
  8. Mopping – Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket to mop your floor.
  9. Hand-Washing Dishes – Add a squirt to hot running water when you are filling the sink to wash dishes. This won’t bubble and suds up like a detergent would, but the soap is still in there doing its job. For tough, stuck-on food, allow dishes to soak before you scrub them.
  10. Windows – While it isn’t necessary to use soap for regular mirror cleaning in your home, if you are switching from a store bought cleaner you may need to add a few drops of liquid castile soap to your homemade window cleaner to remove the residue left by the commercial cleaner. Also, if you will be cleaning your exterior windows, the added castile soap will help clean away the grime and dirt they are exposed to all year long.
  11. Dog Shampoo – the amount you use will vary depending on the size of your dog and the length of it’s hair. Thoroughly wet your pup’s hair. Pour the appropriate amount of castile soap into your hand and work it around in your hand for a few seconds. Then begin to massage it into your dog’s hair until you have covered his whole body. Work it into a nice lather and then rinse.
  12. Plant Bug Spray – Keep bugs away from your plants by spraying them with a mixture of 1 tablespoon castile soap to 1 quart of water. Or, for an ant spray, increase the soap to 1/4 cup and spray in problem areas. Just don’t use this higher concentration on your plants as it will burn them.

Where I Get Liquid Castile Soap

This versatile soap is now available in many grocery stores and is widely available online. I personally use Dr. Bronners. I’ve ordered at a discount from Thrive (a membership site) or from Amazon.

Will you try any of these recipes? How do you use liquid castile soap?


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


55 responses to “12 Uses for Liquid Castile Soap”

  1. Rho Avatar

    I need the specific ratios for using Liquid Castille in those applications you talked around about. I think the mopping one was the only one that gave the tbsp per quart of watet?

  2. tiffanie Avatar

    I bought Dr woods black soap thinking it waa castile soap. I’ve read it can be used the same. But I’m wondering if the shampoo and foaming hand soap are supposed to not have much of a lather or thickness. It worked well and cleaned my hair but it doesn’t lather up. It’s strange to wash my hands and not get much lather like it’s just washing right off. I’m used to store bought so wasn’t sure if it’s because I bought the wrong soap or this is normal.thanks!

  3. Charmaine Voigt Avatar
    Charmaine Voigt

    Hi Katie. I just love everything about WellnessMama. Thank you for all your research and recipes for a greener household and life which has made my life so much easier. I am so grateful.
    Kind regards

  4. Sally Avatar

    As it’s vegetable oil, does it contain palm oil? Would be great to find an alternative that doesn’t have palm oil in it.

  5. Lauren Avatar

    Does anyone have a good recommendation for a brand OTHER than Dr. Bronners? I personally do not agree with their moral and political ethics and would like to support another brand (and I do encourage others to investigate the company as well). I was thinking of using Mountain Rose Herbs in-house brand. Has anyone tried another brand and enjoyed it? Thank you! 🙂

  6. Rachel Avatar

    I am having a very hard time finding a Castile soap that will not dry out my hands and face. I love that
    Dr Bronner’s is really one of the really true chemical garbage free soaps out there but it is so drying, no
    matter how much you dilute it. I believe this is because there soap is mostly coconut oil, I could be wrong.
    I have been searching everywhere an alternative to Dr Bronner’s that is free of all the chemicals/garbage
    and will not dry or strip all the oils from skin. Any suggestions would greatly appreciated

  7. Kelly Avatar

    Is there a good brand of Castile soap without coconut oil in it? I’m allergic to coconut

  8. Jennifer Avatar

    These are fantastic! So glad I found them. Do you by chance have a “recipe” I can make using castile soap for dish soap that can replace the store bought kind.
    Thank you

  9. Jackie Avatar

    The foaming hand soap work better than the stuff that came in that bottle. ( It was a gift).

  10. mary cegla Avatar
    mary cegla

    Could i use liquid castile soap in your liquid laundry soap, if so how much? I have been havng a hard time getting bar soap to grind up small enough and does not always dissolve.

  11. Kate Avatar

    This post was so helpful! Just what I was looking for! I love J.R. Watkins liquid castile soaps personally! Chances are, you probably have a local sales rep near you!

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