Soap is a necessary essential for everyday life. We use it for cleaning the dishes, doing the laundry, washing our bodies, and even keeping our hands clean during the COVID-19 pandemic. But although soap is highly effective, many commercial soap products are harsh on our skin, hard on the environment, and also quite expensive.
If only there was an affordable alternative…
Turns out, there is!
It’s called castile soap, and although the name might seem a bit funny at first, don't let that dissuade you from trying it out. Castile soap is just as effective as other types of soap, but it's also much easier on the environment, isn't harsh on your skin, and is even safer for everyday family use. That's because it's made from ingredients other than harsh chemicals.
We’re about to take a deep dive into what castile soap is, how it works, and why exactly you should consider replacing your soap supply with castile soap. Let’s get started!
What is Castile Soap?
Castile soap is a kind of soap made from vegetable oil, as opposed to other types. Additionally, castile soap doesn’t have synthetic ingredients and certain types of animal fat, making it one of the most environmentally friendly soaps you can purchase. Although it’s made differently from typical commercial soap, you can find it as both a liquid castile soap and bar versions depending on your needs.
Originally, castile soaps were only made in the Mediterranean area, though they eventually came to Spain – this is where the name comes from (the Castile region, specifically).
How Is Castile Soap Made?
Castile soap is made with one or more vegetable oils as the primary ingredient(s). These can include oils from coconuts, walnuts, almonds, avocado, and even hemp. The oil used can affect the overall properties of the resulting soap, its fragrance, feel, and much more. You may need to try multiple types of castile soap in order to determine which type you like the best.
How Does Castile Soap Work?
All soap products are basic in terms of the pH scale. But good castile soaps will be even more basic, usually registering at 8.9 or so out of 14. They’re almost as basic as baking soda, and slightly more basic than your typical mild dish soap.
While they aren’t as alkaline compared to more corrosive products like bleach, castile soap is alkaline enough to get most cleaning jobs done. Castile soap also works in basically the same way as other soap products: the soap contains molecules that can attract other molecules besides water.
Grease, dirt, and other types of debris are therefore attracted to the free-floating soap molecules, which removes them from the surface being cleaned. Combine the soap with water and you’ll be able to wash away debris in no time.
As a result, castile soap can clean:
- Oil spills
- Food residue
Plus, castile soap has an advantage over other types of soap – it’s not toxic! That means it’s not a problem if either a family pet or a child accidentally consumes a little bit. While it obviously shouldn’t be consumed regularly, it won’t cause the same immediate health problems that other types of commercial soap products are known for.
In fact, castile soap is so gentle that you can even clean vegetables and other food with it, provided you dilute the soap properly beforehand.
What Should You Use Castile Soap For?
Because castile soap is so gentle and non-toxic, you can use it for many of the major cleaning tasks you’d expect. These include:
- Cleaning the dishes / dishwasher detergent. Use either a liquid or bar of castile soap and you’ll clean your dishes without damaging even fragile plates and glasses
- Window cleaner. Feel free to make a spray of castile soap by adding a tablespoon of the liquid to a quart of water, then placing the mixture in a squirt bottle
- Shampoo, body wash, and face wash. That’s right! Castile soap is so gentle that it won’t hurt your skin or hair if you dilute it properly. You can mix your own castile soap shampoo by combining some liquid soap with water. For face wash, just combine a few drops of the soap on your face with water from your shower. The same goes for body wash, and for washing your hands.
- Toothpaste. Thought that was all? Think again! Castile soap can even be used as a toothpaste, though it won’t taste nearly as good as the stuff you can get from your grocery store. Better yet, natural ingredient toothpaste is worth checking out!
- Pet wash or soap. Consider this if you want to give your pet a good cleaning without drying out their skin or harming their fur. It’s also a good choice since it’s not a problem if they lick some up!
The Benefits of Castile Soap
Let’s break down the full benefits of castile soap so you know exactly why you should consider picking some up!
Safe for Families
As mentioned, castile soap is totally non-toxic and generally doesn’t cause any health issues or allergic reactions, even if a small amount of the soap is consumed by a kid or pet. This also means that you have a non-toxic mess if you spill the soap on the table, a piece of fabric, or in your garden – no need to worry about harming anything in your home with castile soap!
Don’t forget that castile soap is much more eco-friendly compared to other soaps you can purchase at a grocery store. This makes it a top choice for anyone trying to live a greener life. It’s all biodegradable. Combine it with a biodegradable container for even more eco-friendliness!
That’s right – castile soap is even pretty affordable, making it a great choice for families that need to buy cleaning supplies on a budget. In fact, most castile soap varieties are sold in high concentrations, allowing you to dilute your supply of castile soap as necessary and spread a limited supply around a lot more easily. There aren't any artificial preservatives, but a good bottle or bar of castile soap should still last for about three years.
Where Can I Get Castile Soap?
Dr. Brite’s Citrus Castile Soap is easily the best example of these cleaning products, as it’s affordable, easy to use, and totally biodegradable. The soap is made with 100% purely organic, vegetable-based ingredients, meaning you don't need to worry about any artificial preservatives, parabens, or synthetic chemicals that might give you a hard time.
You’ll benefit from additional ingredients like vitamin E, lemon peel oil, willow bark extract, and much more. These elements also give the soap a refreshing citrus scent that’s nowhere near overwhelming. It’s a perfect cleaning solution for just about any job in your home.
Need more than the standard 16 ounce bottle? Check out the 1-gallon bottle available from Dr. Brite. It has more than enough concentrated castile soap for long-term cleaning needs. Even better, despite being in a gallon-sized jug, it can easily be squirted onto your hands with a pump attachment!
All in all, castile soap is a phenomenal alternative to the synthetic and chemical-laden stuff we're all used to seeing at the grocery store. Castile soap is gentler on our skin and on the environment, and provides the same cleaning efficiency we’ve come to expect from top-tier soap products.
Check out Dr. Brite for not only some of the best castile soap around, but also some of the best natural cleaning solutions in general! In fact, we think you won’t be willing to go back to the other stuff once you try these natural options even once!