Castile soap is an amazingly versatile vegetable-based soap that’s made free of animal fats and synthetic ingredients. This natural, nontoxic, biodegradable soap is available in bar or liquid form.
Castile soap was made in the Mediterranean area before its use spread to Europe. Traditionally, castile soap was made of olive oil. It gets its name from the Castile region of Spain.
These days, the soap is also made with coconut, castor, or hemp oils. Sometimes it’s made with avocado, walnut, and almond oils as well. These oils give the soap its lathering, moisturizing, and cleansing properties.
Castile soap is an exciting product since it’s not only environmentally friendly but also incredibly useful and effective for certain purposes. You can use it on your body, to clean your house, and even on pets.
You may find that a bottle or bar of castile soap conveniently replaces a plethora of other products in your home.
Castile soap is also safe and gentle to use as long as it’s diluted properly.
You may be surprised by all of the ways that you can use castile soap. Some types of castile soap are made with essential oils. If you buy plain or unscented castile soap you may choose to add essential oils to the following solutions at your own discretion.
Feel free to experiment a bit with the recipes to find a ratio that works to suit your personal preference. But know that when you dilute the soap, you’re shortening its shelf life, so be sure to use the solution within a few weeks.
1. Wound cleaning
Castile soap can be used to clean minor wounds. Add 2 teaspoons of soap to 2 cups of filtered drinking water to create a cleansing solution.
A 1999 animal study found that castile soap was effective in healing wounds and lowering the rate of wound complications. It was compared to a saline solution, benzalkonium chloride, bacitracin, and a combination of all of these.
However, research from 2015 found that saline solution works better than castile soap in cleaning open fractures. This research followed 2,500 people for a year and found that people who used castile soap at the start of surgery were 32 percent more likely to require a second surgery compared to people who used saline.
Castile soap can be used to make a natural deodorant. Add 1/2 teaspoon of castile soap and 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a small spray bottle and use in the underarm area as needed.
3. Dish soap
Add 1 part of castile soap to 10 parts of water to make a liquid dish soap.
4. Dishwasher detergent
Use a natural option to replace your usual dishwasher detergent. Mix equal parts of castile soap and water in a bottle. Fill your detergent compartment as normal.
5. Window cleaner
Freshen up and shine your windows with a natural spray. Use 1 tablespoon of castile soap in a quart of water to clean your windows. Then rinse using soda water and dry the windows with newspaper.
Pre-make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of castile soap in a cup of water. Use a small amount of this diluted castile soap to wash your hair. Or simply work a small amount of neat (undiluted) soap into wet hair.
7. Face wash
Castile soap is mild enough to use on your face and strong enough to potentially prevent acne and kill harmful bacteria. Rub a few drops of soap onto your face and rinse as usual.
8. Body wash
Squeeze a small amount of castile soap into your hands to use as a body wash. Use a washcloth or loofah to gently exfoliate your skin.
9. Hand soap
You can easily make your own hand soap or foaming hand soap. Add 2 tablespoons of castile soap to 12 ounces of water. It’s optional to add 1/2 teaspoon of a carrier oil or any essential oil. Fill your soap dispenser with the mixture.
You can use castile soap in place of shaving cream. Lather up a bit of pure soap in your hands and then apply it to the area you want to shave. You can add a small amount of a carrier oil to help moisturize your skin.
11. All-purpose household cleaner
An all-purpose castile liquid cleaner can tackle all sorts of cleaning jobs. Use 1 to 2 cups of soap in a quart of water as a cleaning spray.
12. Foot bath
Use castile soap to make yourself a relaxing foot bath. Simply add 2 teaspoons of liquid soap to a small bucket of hot water. You can add a few drops of an essential oil to enhance the experience. Sit back and unwind as you soak your feet for up to 20 minutes.
13. Laundry detergent
Add 1/2 cup of castile soap to a load of laundry. You can use less soap if you’re using a high-efficiency washing machine. This may be a particularly appealing option for those who get rashes from traditional store-bought laundry detergents.
Make your bath more luxurious by adding 2 tablespoons of liquid soap to a hot tub of water. You can add 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil if you want some extra moisture for your skin.
15. Sinus decongestion
A castile soap steam is a convenient way to clear your sinuses. Simply add 1 tablespoon of soap to a bowl of boiling hot water. Place your face over the water, drape a towel over your head, and breathe in the mist.
Castile soap can be used to make your floors sparkle. Add 1/2 cup of soap to 3 gallons of hot water and mop as usual.
17. Toilet cleaner
Mix 1 cup of soap and 4 cups of water and put in a spray bottle. Use this solution to clean your toilet.
18. Ant spray
Add 1/4 cup of soap to a quart of water to make a spray that can be used to keep ants away from plants. Always test it on a small part of the plant before using it on the entire plant.
19. Fruit and vegetable rinse
Castile soap is a great way to clean any pesticides or residue from fresh fruits and vegetables. Add 1/4 teaspoon of soap to a bowl of water. Soak and then gently rub the produce using your hands. Then rinse with plain water.
20. Teeth cleaner
If you can handle the taste, you can use a drop of soap on your toothbrush to brush your teeth. You may wish to use a peppermint or tea tree oil castile soap.
21. Pet wash
Castile soap can even be used to wash your pets. The exact amount of soap you use will vary depending on the amount of hair and the size of your animal. Use a small amount of soap mixed with water to wash your pet. Then rinse with clean water.
Essential oils can be toxic to animals, so use an unscented soap.
Also note that castile soap is sometimes made with avocado oil. While many parts of the avocado are toxic to animals as well, the oil is generally considered safe. Even so, you may prefer to use a castile soap that is formulated without avocado oil.
22. Plant spray for bugs
Keep bugs off of your plants by mixing 1 tablespoon of castile soap in a quart of water to make a spray.
23. Makeup remover
Castile soap can be combined with witch hazel and a carrier oil to make a natural makeup remover. Mix equal parts of all three ingredients together and use a cotton ball to gently remove makeup. Then use a washcloth with warm water to remove any remaining residue.
Make a mouthwash by adding 1 drop of castile soap to a shot glass of water. Use peppermint soap to improve the taste.
25. Scouring scrub
You can use a castile soap scrub cleaner in your kitchen or bathroom. Mix 1 cup of castile soap and 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake some baking soda and then spray the cleaning solution on the area that needs to be cleaned. Use a sponge or brush to scrub away any dirt or grime.
26. Makeup brush cleaner
Remember to wash your makeup brushes every week if you can. Simply fill a cup with warm water and a few drops of castile soap. First rinse your brushes in water, then place them in the cup for about 10 minutes. Rinse the brushes again and allow them to air dry.
There are a few things to avoid when using castile soap:
- If you have hard water, it will react with castile soap and leave behind a white film residue. Install a water softener if it’s possible.
- Combining vinegar with castile soap can also leave behind a white film. This is because the alkaline nature of the soap reacts with the acid vinegar, and they cancel out each other. This changes the soap back to its original oils.
- Castile soap shouldn’t be combined with lemon juice for the same reasons it doesn’t combine well with vinegar.
- Don’t use castile soap on color-treated hair as it may strip away some of the color.
Castile soap is a multipurpose item that can be used for both household tasks and beauty.
Always buy pure 100 percent natural castile soap from a reputable brand to ensure you’re buying a high-quality product.
Adapt the recipes to suit your needs and look into other natural products that can be combined with castile soap for even more options.