Castile soap is an all-natural vegetable oil-based soap that originates from the Castile region of Spain.
The pure castile soaps are in fact genuine soaps, unlike the liquids soaps (if they can even be regarded as soaps) that are a complex blend of many chemicals. Given this, it would be best that you start considering to replace your common “soap” with a castile soap. If you’re still not convinced to do so, here are seven more reasons you should:
- Natural and toxins-free
The common soaps we use contain a myriad of toxic chemicals that are bad for our health.
Dr. Mercola warns that putting chemicals on the skin may actually be worse than eating them, since through the skin they are directly absorbed into the bloodstream without any of the filtering that would happen if the toxins went through the digestive system.
Castile soap on the other hand, contains vegetable-based ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil and jojoba oil, along with water and essential oils. Also, when purchasing this soap, make sure it is made by a reputable brand or check labels closely for chemical additives.
- Organic, Vegan and Fair Trade
The ingredients of castile soaps are of way better quality, and are superior in terms of their ethical and environmental impact.
Being made only with vegetable oils – as opposed to animal (tallow) fat-based soaps – these soaps are great for vegans, but always check the label before purchasing. The most popular brand on the market, Dr. Bronner’s, offers a certified vegan and cruelty-free liquid and solid castile soap. Moreover, the ingredients are labeled GMO-free and have been sourced using Fair Trade principles.
- Doesn’t encourage Super Bacteria
The “anti-bacterial” liquid soaps actually encourage hard-to-kill super bugs since they contain triclosan, a chemical registered as a pesticide with the EPA. Furthermore, studies show that triclosan contributes to antibiotic resistant bacteria, may alter hormone regulation, interfere with fetal development in pregnant women, and cause allergies, weight gain, inflammatory responses and thyroid dysfunction.
Even the FDA doesn’t claim that these anti-bacterial soaps are more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.
- Lathers easily
Many natural soaps don’t foam because they don’t contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a chemical whose primary function is to foam up.
The reason why producers of natural soaps decide to keep away from this ingredient is because there are nearly 16,000 studies in the PubMed science library relating to the toxicity of SLS. Namely, animals that were exposed to this common soap ingredient – found in 90% of personal care products – experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and even death.
So, if you want a bubble bath rich in bubbles, but don’t wanna risk your health for the sake of it, castile soaps can give you that experience. They don’t contain SLS by any means, but lather easily because of rich oil content. The potassium hydroxide converts the vegetable oils into soap and glycerin, meaning you’ll require less water for a lather than with traditional liquid soap. Castile soap will also foam up in either hard or soft water.
- Safe for babies and pets
The castile soaps that don’t contain any essential oils are mild ad great for the baby’s sensitive skin (but make sure to keep the foam away from the eye area as they are not ‘tear-free’). Speaking of “tear free” soaps, you should re-consider when thinking about purchasing one, because they use a synthetic numbing agent – yet another chemical additive.
The unscented varieties are also great for your pets, because they won’t cause irritation. Note that most essential oils can be toxic to cats so always read the label before using castile soap on your pets.
- Environmentally friendly
Being free of artificial foaming agents, colors, fragrances, chemical detergents, petrochemicals and toxic anti-bacterial agents, the castile soaps are gentle on the environment. They are also biodegradable.
- An incredibly versatile product
One of the most important reasons why you should choose this soap is the fact that it is versatile. Here are 18 ways you can use the castile soap:
- As a foaming hand wash – you can always add a little extra to the mix. There is a recipe to make the bottle of the liquid castile soap go further. A recipe by Wellness Mama only requires two tablespoons of castile soap, along with water, essential oils and sweet almond oil.
- Sensitive Skin Face Wash – if you have a sensitive skin, just add chamomile tea and lavender essential oil which will cleanse the face without stripping the skin of its much-needed natural oils.
- Nourishing Body Wash – add honey and natural oils to the mix.
- Coconut Milk Shampoo – mix coconut milk with castile soap to create a creamy, lathering shampoo which will nourish and cleanse your hair and scalp. Finish with anapple cider vinegar hair rinse to smooth and condition.
- Bubble Bath – create a silky soft and non-irritating bubble bath by mixing vegetable glycerin and essential oils of your choice.
- Unisex shaving cream – both men and women can enjoy a close, smooth shave thanks to this cream containing raw honey (great for acne prone skin), olive or avocado oil and castile soap.
- Soap Toothpaste – who would’ve thought, right? Technically a tooth soaprather than a paste, it’s made with unscented or peppermint liquid castile soap, melted coconut oil, Xylitol or Stevia and essential oils of your choice.
- Hair and Make Up Brush Cleaner – 72% of women never wash their cosmetics brushes or sponges, making them one of the most germ infested things in the home, that causes facial outbreaks. Wash your make-up and hair brushes weekly in a solution of water and castile soap.
- Removing Pesticides from Fruit and Vegetables – Mix a little castile soap in water and gently rub this over your fresh produce before rinsing thoroughly.
- DIY Dish Soap – it works just as well as a store-bought, only without all the chemicals. Mix with both liquid and solid castile soap, washing soda and optional essential oils.
- Dishwasher Detergent – made with castile soap, water and essential oils. Follow with a white vinegar rinse aid to help remove residues after the wash and you’ll be left with sparkling dishes time after time.
- Laundry Detergent – mix castile soap, borax, washing soda and essential oil, add ten minutes of your time and enjoy spotless laundry at a fraction of the price. It fights stains, odors and even removes melted in chocolate chips.
- Floor Cleaner – add half a teaspoon of castile soap to a bucket of warm water and mop as normal. Works both on hardwood or tiled floors.
- All-Purpose Household Cleaner – this couldn’t be easier. Just follow the steps from the video
Use it to wipe down all manner of surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Exterior Window Wash – It acts as an emulsifier, binding the dirt and water together. Follow with white vinegar to give the glass extra Just mix it in water.
- Non-Toxic Toilet Cleaner – just mix castile soap, baking soda and antimicrobial essential oils.
- Natural Dog Shampoo – to keep the natural oils on your dog’s skin and remove odors and leave him with a glossy and healthy coat, mix castile soap, coconut oil and ground oatmeal.
- White Oil Natural Pesticide – all you need is castile soap and oil. It is especially effective on soft body insects like aphids and mites.
While it is indeed an incredibly effective natural product to keep in the home, you must know how to use it. Avoid mixing it with vinegar or other acids like lemon juice, because we all know from our high-school chemistry class that acid and base don’t go well together. The vinegar ‘unsaponifies’ the soap – reducing it back to its original oils. You’ll be left with an oily, filmy substance on top of whatever you were trying to clean.
Still, you can use the soap to clean first and, once thoroughly washed off, employ the vinegar as a rinse agent to remove all traces of dirt and build-up and add shine.
As for purchasing, Dr. Bronner’s is widely regarded as the best brand of castile soap. You can buy your bottle of classic Dr. Bronner’s Organic & Unscented Castile Liquid Soap from Amazon.