Castile Soap: Green Cleaning for Home & Body
Whenever we make soaps and cleansers, Castile soap is the first thing we reach for. In fact, as more and more people look for alternatives to commercially produced products that often contain synthetic chemicals, Castile soap is becoming an increasingly popular choice for a lot of folks in the DIY soap-making world. It's all natural, nontoxic, biodegradable, free of animal products, and gentle enough to use on babies and pets.
What is Castile Soap?
Castile soap differs from other common soaps and cleansers as it is made from vegetable oil instead of animal fat (tallow or lard) or synthetic detergents. Although traditionally made from only olive oil, most Castile soap today consists of a combination of vegetable oils. This can include olive, coconut, jojoba, aloe vera, castor, hemp, palm, and avocado as well as a few other oils. Because of this, it is important to check the ingredients list of Castile soap before buying to ensure that all ingredients are organic and that you don’t have any allergies to any of the plant oils used. It is also a good idea to make sure no synthetic fragrances have been added. Ideally, Castile soap should be unscented.
At Aromatics, our organic liquid Castile soap is made from olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba, aloe vera, and rosemary extract. It has a silky, fluid texture and is unscented, making it a perfect base for your favorite essential oils. We are confident you’ll love this beautiful, all-natural, vegan-approved soap.
History of Castile Soap
Castile soap has a rich history that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. It originated in the Mediterranean area where it is believed to have been an adaptation of Aleppo soap brought back by Crusaders from the Middle East. Since Aleppo soap was made from laurel oil (Laurus nobilis – an evergreen shrub native to Syria), soap makers in Europe had to find another oil to use instead. It was soap makers in Castile, Spain that began using olive oil to make their soap and the idea (and the soap!) eventually spread across Europe. Thus, “Castile soap” was born! Interestingly, Castile soap was even embroiled in a “soap war” of sorts between local protestant soap makers and Catholic Spanish soap manufacturers in 17th century England.
Benefits of Castile Soap
There are numerous benefits of working with natural, organic, Castile soap, and here are few:
- Castile soap is made from real, organic plant oils
- Castile soap does not contain any synthetic detergents or ingredients
- Castile soap is Biodegradable
- No animal products used during formulation
- It contains no harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment
- It's safe for use with children and animals
- It's great for those with sensitive skin
- It can be used on delicate surfaces and fabrics
- It's a perfect carrier base for your aromatherapy blend
- It's a great option for those with fragrance sensitivities that need unscented soap
Doesn’t dry out skin or hair
- Leaves skin feeling silky soft
13 Ways to Use Castile Soap
Whether you want to make your own soaps and cleansers or just looking for something all natural and environmentally friendly to use, Castile soap is a really versatile soap to have on hand in your home. Here are 13 of our favorite ways to use Castile soap:
1. All-purpose Household Cleaning Spray
Castile soap works as a great cleansing base for your homemade, all-natural household cleaners. Mix with some of your favorite hydrosols to create a light, aromatically beautiful spray. This diverse soap can also be used for mopping and as a toilet cleaner!
2. Baby Wash
Castile soap is gentle enough to be used on small children. When using it in a 1% dilution, this wonderful soap is safe and effective for keeping your most delicate little ones fresh and clean. The fact that Castile soap is naturally unscented means you can be confident that there are no harmful additions to your baby’s soap.
3. Bath Salts/Scrubs or Bath Bombs
This soap makes a fabulous, all-natural carrier for your favorite bath scrub recipes. It's also a main ingredient when making your own bath bombs!
4. Body Wash
Combine Castile soap with a naturally moisturizing carrier (like avocado oil, jojoba, etc.) and your favorite essential oils for a wonderful all-natural body wash.
Pro tip: Add energizing, uplifting essential oils like Grapefruit (Rose) Oil, Peppermint Oil, or Rosemary ct Camphor Oil to your Castile soap based body wash for an aromatic pick-me-up in the morning, or calming, grounding oils like Lavender Oil or Frankincense Oil to unwind after a long day!
5. Dish Soap
Use 1 part Castile soap to 10 parts water to make a lovely liquid dish soap. If you want, add a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil like Lemon Oil to help purify your dishes even more.
6. Fruit & Vegetable Rinse
Castile soap is perfect for washing dirt and pesticides off your fruits and vegetables. Add 1/4 tablespoon to a bowl of water. Soak the fruit or veggies and then gently scrub with hands. Rinse and eat!
7. Hand Soap/Foaming Hand Cleanser
Castile soap is our top choice for all of our hand soap recipes, including our favorite foaming hand cleansers. We’ve included 3 fun and easy recipes at the end of this blog that you can make today!
8. Makeup Brush Cleaner
Castile is effective enough to cleanse away makeup but gentle enough it won’t damage your favorite brushes or sponges. Add a little bit to a bowl or cup of warm water and wash your brushes and sponges thoroughly. Rinse with cool water and allow to air dry.
9. Makeup Remover
Castile soap cleanses skin without drying it out, making it perfect for using on sensitive skin areas including your face. We recommend using equal parts Castile, witch hazel, and carrier oil.
10. Pet Shampoo
Castile soap makes a wonderfully gentle and effective pet shampoo. Wet your pet’s fur and work in a small amount of Castile. Avoid getting suds in your pet’s eyes and make sure you rinse them off well. No essential oils needed, but if you do, make sure they are pet safe. This soap can leave your pet’s fur clean and shiny.
11. Plant Spray for Bugs, Fungus, etc.
Add one tablespoon of Castile to a quart of water and spray on your plants to help keep bugs away. Add a drop or two of antifungal essential oil to help with any fungal concerns.
Castile soap makes a gentle shampoo for your hair that can help add shine and softness. Add a small amount of Coconut Oil or Moringa Oil for added scalp moisturizing. Essential oils used sparingly can add depth and therapeutic benefits. Oils that may be stimulating to the scalp include Geranium Oil, Clary Sage Oil, or Rosemary ct Camphor Oil. Lavender Oil or Sandalwood Oil are great additions if the scalp needs extra moisturizing and calming benefits. When using essential oils on the scalp we like to use about 10-12 drops per an 8-ounce container.
13. Window Cleaner
Castile is great for helping with extra grimy windows. Add 1 tablespoon of Castile soap to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with a rinse of soda water or 1 part water to 1 part vinegar.
Those are just a few of our daily use suggestions and hardly the limit for what Castile soap can do. This remarkable soap is gentle, yet effective and can prove itself as a perfect replacement for many commercially produced products that can contain harmful chemicals and harsh cleansers.
Essential oil carriers are natural vegetable oils, butters, waxes, soaps and other substances that you can apply to your skin—either exactly as they are or in blends. We call them “carriers” because we use them to dilute essential oils.
Why should you dilute essential oils in carriers like Castile soap?
Using a carrier is the safest way to apply essential oils to your skin without risking reactions like irritation.
Read our Essential Oil Carriers learning guide to better understand which oils, butters, and other carriers to use for your aromatherapy products.
Castile Soap Recipes
We hope you enjoy these fabulous recipes featuring our organic Castile soap and be sure to tell us your favorite way to use Castile soap in the comment section below!