There are so many harmful chemicals in detergents and cleaning products these days, it's no wonder we keep coming back to this topic in our blogs. We've already given you a couple of recipes for some common household cleaners, but today we want to talk about Castile soap and how amazingly versatile it is!
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is our personal favorite, and we're definitely not alone since it's the top selling brand in this category. It has been around for decades and is biodegradable, nontoxic and comes in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle. We love the lavender-scented option, but there are plenty of other options such as peppermint, almond, rose, and an unscented line that's gentle enough for babies.
What are the ingredients in Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap?
Castile soap was originally made with olive oil in the Castile region of Spain. Now it's made with a combination of vegetable oils. The list of ingredients of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Palm Kernel Oil*, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol
*CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS
**None remains after saponifying oils into soap & glycerin
You'll notice that palm oil is listed, but it's sourced from a sustainable grower; even though palm oil continues to be a controversial issue, our personal stance is that it's much better to support sustainably grown palm oil than boycott it altogether (like we discussed in our blog on Day 60). The Dr. Bronner’s website tackles this issue head-on and they even state that “Dr. Bronner’s was the first company to establish certified fair trade supply chains for coconut oil and palm oil.”
What makes this product so versatile?
We're not exaggerating when we say this product is truly magical and can be used for pretty much everything. Here's a list of applications we found, but we're sure there's even more! These were all taken from Dr. Bronner's official Dilution Cheat Sheet, so bookmark it to have it handy when you need to reference it.
Face and body wash: 2-3 drops on wet hands or a small squirt on a washcloth
Hair shampoo: ½ Tbsp in your hand, worked into wet hair, or dilute ½ Tbsp in ½ a cup of water and work that into wet hair
Bath: roughly 2 Tbsp soap in an average sized tub. (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans)
Shaving: face – 10 drops; underarms – 3 drops; legs – ½ tsp; Work to a lather in wet hands and then apply to area.
Teeth: that's right, you can use Castile soap to wash your teeth. Apply 1 drop on your toothbrush with the warning that it tastes like soap. This one might be a bit of a stretch for us, and to be honest we've never tried it.
Clearing Congestion: 1 Tbsp. in a bowl of steamy hot water. Breathe in mist with a towel draped over the head.
Dishes (handwashing): pre-dilute 1:10 with water. Squirt on a scrub brush and scrub dishes.
Laundry: 1/3—1/2 cup of soap for a large load in a normal washer. Add ½ c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Use half of these amounts for HE.
Mopping: ½ cup of soap in 3 gallons of hot water
All-purpose cleaning: ¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.
Windows: 1 Tbsp. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with pure club soda, or half vinegar/ half water.
Toilet: pre-dilute 1:4 with water in a squirt bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree oil. Empty toilet, squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.
Fruit and Veggie Rinse: 1 dash (approx.. ¼ tsp.) in a bowl of water. Dunk produce and swish. Then rinse in clear water.
Dog shampoo: amount varies widely depending on size, hair type and length, and overall dirtiness. Wet dog thoroughly, then start to work in Castile soap up and down their body until you have a good lather.
Plant spray for bugs: 1 Tbsp. in a quart of water. Add ½ tsp. cayenne pepper or cinnamon, if desired.
Why buy a myriad of products, with their single-use containers, when you can buy one product and clean just as well without artificial foaming agents, colors, fragrances and other chemicals? Go the all-in-one route especially when the ingredients are certified organic and Fair Trade with no synthetic preservatives, detergents, or foaming agents.