Cosmetics and Body Care ・ Home and Garden

How to use castile soap

Washing hands with liquid castile soap

Castile soap is a versatile eco-friendly ingredient used in many Queen of Green–tested cosmetic and household cleaning recipes. (Photo: Burst via Pexels)

What is castile soap?

Castile soap is versatile and gentle on people and the environment.

It’s named for Castile, Spain, a region renowned for its olive oil. Authentic castile soap is made of plant oils — coconut, hemp, sunflower seed, jojoba and olive. (Avoid brands with palm oil. That’s devastating forests overseas where orangutans live.) Oils are mixed with an alkali — sodium hydroxide for solid soap and potassium hydroxide for liquid.

What makes castile soap eco-friendly?

  • It’s biodegradable.
  • It’s vegan!
  • It’s not tested on animals (check for Leaping Bunny certification).
  • It’s scent-free (no synthetic fragrances, even natural essential oils).
  • Your can refill containers at zero waste and organic grocers or health food stores.
  • You can support a local brand.
  • It’s free of artificial foaming agents, harsh cleansers, deconstructed fatty acids from vegetable oils or fats (a.k.a. oleochemicals), petrochemicals and/or chemical antibacterial agents (such as triclosan).
  • It’s concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
  • It can do the job of at least 11 personal care products and home cleaners.

Note: Read ingredients carefully and choose those with vegetable-based ingredients. “Liquid soap” doesn’t mean plant-based.

Eleven ways to use liquid castile soap

  1. Make hand or body wash. Pour one part soap and three parts water into a pump or foaming dispenser. It’s safe for babies!
  2. Wash fruits and veggies. Add a squirt to a sinkful of water. Rinse.
  3. Make all-purpose spray.
  4. Make all-purpose scour.
  5. Make liquid laundry soap (not a detergent).
  6. Make diaper wipe solution. Add a few drops to a squirt bottle of water.
  7. Clean makeup brushes.
  8. Wash floors. Add a squirt to a bucketful of water.
  9. Use in a carpet washing machine.
  10. Wash the car. Add a squirt to a bucket of water.
  11. Wash the dog.