One of my favorite products in my green-cleaning arsenal is castile soap, a vegetable oil-based soap (not animal fat-based as most soaps are) which comes from the Castile region of Spain. I like that the same product I use to scrub my toilet and wash my hands is the still the same product I use to clean my carpets and wash the dishes. Castile soap is one of the most simple and earth friendly soaps on the market. It’s completely free of harsh chemicals and synthetic detergents which can end up in the waste stream and slow down biodegradability.  But be careful, the term “castile” is used loosely, check the label before you buy and choose only castile soaps with vegetable based ingredients. My preferred castile Soap is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. They are made from certified organic and fair trade oils like organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, plus pure essential oils. Castile soaps come in both liquid and bar form and in a variety of scents to suit different needs, and also with an unscented version as well. The best part though is that a single bottle lasts and lasts making it a great value for the money. Here are some of my favorite ways that I have used castile soap in my home: All-Purpose Cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with mostly water, then add a few tablespoons of castile soap and some essential oils and you have a great all-purpose cleaner. You can also add some baking soda for extra scrubbing action. Dish Soap: Make a dish-washing soap (for hand washing) by simply mixing a 1:1 ratio of castile to water. Laundry Detergent: Use 1/4 cup for top-loading machines or an 1/8 cup for front loaders. Save tons money and does the environment a friendly favor. It’s a win-win! Bathroom Scrub: Make a tile or toilet “soft scrub” out of baking soda and castile soap. Simply fill a spray bottle with a dilution of 1:3 castile to water. Sprinkling the area you wish to clean with a liberal dusting of baking soda, and then spray the castile solution over the top. Scour with a sponge or scrub brush and watch the stains disappear. This also works great on crusty stovetops! Mopping Solution: Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of castile soap in a full bucket of water, and mop mop mop your floors to a sparkly new shine. Hand Soap Refill: You can refill your foaming hand soap dispenser with 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water. Shaving Lubricant: Mix with a bit of water and rub onto your legs/arms/face and shave as usual. Makes your skin all slippery so that shaving is a cinch. Body WashYou can use castile soap as a gentle yet efficient bath soap/body wash. They actually sell castile bar soap, but if you want to use the liquid just dilute it in a 2:1 ratio of castile to water. Also great for a baby’s bath water! Dog Shampoo: Use the same ratio as the body wash for an all-natural, chemical free dog shampoo. Veggie Wash: Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon castile soap. Keep next to the sink to wash fruits and veggies quickly and easily. No need to buy veggie wash products in the store. Carpet Cleaner: Add a tablespoon or two to the water container of your carpet cleaner and skip the conventional carpet cleaning detergents. Castile soap works just as well and it makes your whole home smell divine if you use a scented variety like peppermint. The possibilities are endless! Do you use castile soap and if so how?

Castile Soap