Everyone should have a bottle of liquid castile soap around their home! Castile soap is a gentle alternative to harsh detergents and soaps.
With one bottle of liquid soap, you can easily make multiple inexpensive and natural household products, from homemade cleaners to body care products.
What is Castile Soap?
Castile soap is an ancient soap made from natural ingredients. It comes from the Castile region of Spain, giving it its name.
The soap doesn’t contain any animal fats or synthetic ingredients (including synthetic preservatives and fragrances). And it’s made in two forms: liquid soap and bar soap.
The soap is made by combining different vegetable oils: coconut, olive, hemp, etc. The oils give the soap lather along with moisturizing and cleansing properties.
Want to learn more? In this guide, learn everything you need to know about this traditional soap: how to use it, 7 amazing benefits, the best brands, and warnings.
What is the Purpose?
Liquid castile soap is a highly concentrated soap that may be used in multiple ways, from cleaning to washing your face.
Since it’s concentrated, it’s designed to be diluted with water before use. I love this dilution chart from Dr. Bronner’s, a popular soap maker, for dilution ratios.
24 Brilliant Castile Soap Uses
Nearly all the castile soap uses on this list call for using concentrated liquid soap (like this).
The liquid soap is the most versatile form, as its concentrated liquid can be mixed with water and other ingredients to make household products. Buy a 32-ounce bottle and use the soap in multiple ways.
Castile soap comes in a variety of scents, from peppermint to citrus, or unscented. Different brands make different scents (read about the best brands). I recommend using unscented soap for most the recipes on this list.
1. Face Wash
Customize your own face wash simply by diluting castile soap into water and adding a nourishing oil. Castile can be drying on its own, so I like to add almond or jojoba oil to make sure my face doesn’t dry out.
If you need something that’s hydrating and tough on dirt, add some honey! Raw honey is hydrating, naturally antibacterial, and will help scrub the day away.
2. Reusable Face Wipes
If you want to pull out a ready-to-use cloth to wash your face, make our own Reusable Facial Cleaning Wipes. It couldn’t be easier, and then you still have a simple product.
Combine 3/4 cup distilled water, 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon castile soap in an air-tight jar. Then add 7-10 washcloths. Pull out a washcloth and wipe the face for an easy cleanser. Make this recipe.
3. Body Wash
For an easy body wash that is also fun for kids to use (the foaming pump helps them with “portion control”) make DIY Foaming Body Wash.
In a foaming soap dispenser, combine 1/2 cup rosewater or distilled water, 1/3 cup witch hazel, and 2 tablespoons castile soap.
This is perfect for most skin types, and if your kids enjoy bathtime before bed, adding lavender essential oil can help them calm down after a busy day. Or, use a lavender scented castile soap.
4. Shaving Cream
For an easy shaving cream, wet your hands and add a few drops of castile soap. Rub your hands together until the soap foams, then rub on legs and shave. The lather of the soap is perfect for shaving.
If you want an actual cream, make shaving cream with castile soap, vegetable glycerin, shea butter, baking soda, honey, and oil to keep a moisturizing barrier between the razor blades and your skin.
Not everyone likes to use coconut oil when it will be going into their pluming, but I haven’t personally had any issues.
5. Makeup Brush Cleaner
How often do you clean your makeup brushes? It might not be on your radar, and if not, I suggest making this Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner ASAP!
You might be surprised (and a little grossed out) at what exactly comes out of your brushes.
Combine 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons witch hazel, and a generous squirt of castile soap in a jar. Add the makeup brushes and watch the dirt and bacteria soak away. Make this recipe.
6. Hand Soap
Castile soap makes quick work of dirty hands. This DIY Liquid Hand Soap has a very thin consistency compared to anything you’ll buy at the store. Don’t let that fool you, though – a little goes a long way and you will enjoy knowing you are deeply cleaned with natural, non-toxic ingredients.
In a soap dispenser bottle, combine 1/2 cup castile soap and 1/2 cup water. I like to also add 1 tablespoon oil or vitamin E oil for a moisturizing hand soap. Make this recipe.
7. Foaming Hand Soap
If liquid soap is a bit messy for young kids or you prefer the luxurious feeling of foam, I’ve got you covered with homemade foaming hand soap.
In a foaming soap dispenser, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup castile soap. Remember, this soap is concentrated, so dilution is important.
My kids are old enough now to not make a mess with the thin soap (or to clean up if they DO make a mess) but foam dispensers can be a life saver when you are teaching the “one pump!” when they need to wash up.
8. Makeup Remover Wipes
It’s true – making your own health and beauty products takes extra time. You can still save time though and have convenience products without all the junk.
These makeup remover wipes are made with 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/4 cup castile soap. Combine in a jar, then add 14 disposable cotton rounds. Wipe face with a round to remove makeup.
The wipes do not have water in the formula – you dilute them when you rinse your face off; without water they are less likely to harbor bacteria while waiting to be used.
9. Kid Shampoo
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin + 1/2 cup distilled water + 1/2 cup castile soap make a gentle baby/kid shampoo. Keep in mind that this is not tear-free even though it is gentle and natural, so you’ll want to use carefully near the eyes.
10. Dog Shampoo
Diluting in a ratio of 2:1 water to castile soap will help your dog not be so stinky! I just wet my hands with water, add a squirt of castile soap, and massage the soap on our dog’s coat.
Because this soap is biodegradable you don’t have to worry about shampooing the dog outside where the soap will soak into the ground.
Do be aware that some brands of castile soap use avocado oil which is toxic to dogs, so make sure and read the ingredient list carefully.
11. All Purpose Surface Spray
This soap makes a fantastic DIY All Purpose Cleaner Without Vinegar for day-to-day cleaning.
In a 16-ounce spray bottle, combine 2 tablespoons castile soap and 2 cups water. This cleaning spray is safe for most surfaces (test in an inconspicuous area first if you aren’t sure).
Use this spray on a variety of surfaces around the house to lift and remove dirt and bacteria.
If you have hard water, castile might react with the minerals and leave a white film and you’d personally do better with vinegar cleaners.
Keep in mind that any DIY cleaner shouldn’t combine castile and vinegar. Their pH levels cancel each other out and you won’t have any cleaning power.
12. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Grab an old dish soap bottle and make up a toilet bowl cleaner with baking soda and castile soap.
Combine 1 cup distilled water, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup castile soap. Squirt in the toilet and scrub. This will help you scrub out any stains, lift dirt, and remove bacteria from the surface.
13. Tub and Sink Scrub Cleaner
Sometimes the tub and sink can just look so dingy from soap scum or grease. It’s easily scrubbed away with homemade tub and sink scrub cleaner!
In a jar, combine 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup castile soap, and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide helps brighten things up after a touch of baking soda and castile soap loosen the grime and stains.
14. Floor Cleaner
Floor cleaner is so easy to make as needed. I love that I don’t have to keep specific products on hand for every area of the house, rather I simply add a few capfuls of castile soap to a bucket of water and it’s ready to mop! This will leave your floors feeling clean without any overpowering fake fragrances.
15. Laundry Detergent/Soap
Laundry detergent can be a tricky area. It definitely depends on your water hardness for one thing. There are a few options:
- Liquid Laundry Soap: Combine liquid castile soap, borax, and washing soda.
- Powder Laundry Soap: Shred two bars of castile soap with borax and washing soda.
- Take the easy route, add 1/4 cup undiluted castile soap to a full load of laundry (cut this in half for an HE washer).
Dr. Bronner’s recommends adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle when using castile soap as a laundry detergent.
16. Bathroom Cleaner
In a 16-ounce spray bottle, combine 2 cups warm distilled water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons castile soap, 30 drops tea tree essential oil, and 20 drops sweet orange essential oil. I add tea tree oil for its antibacterial property. Make this recipe.
17. Stain Remover
If your shirt is “ruined” with a food stain, mix together a few ingredients to make a Homemade Stain Remover! This spray harnesses the power of lemon essential oil with castile soap to save the day, lifting and removing food particles and stains.
In a spray bottle, combine 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup castile soap, 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and 40 drops lemon essential oil. Make this recipe.
18. Dish Soap
I don’t love using castile soap for washing dishing. It doesn’t have the tough grease-fighting power that I expect from a dish soap. I prefer Sal Suds for dishwashing (castile soap’s tougher big brother, which is a detergent; not a soap).
Some people love using castile soap for hand-washing dishes. To do this, fill the sink with water and add a few squirts of castile soap.
Need sinus relief? Add 1 tablespoon of castile soap to a bowl of hot water. Hold your head above the steam and drape a towel over the back of your head to create a “tent.”
This works best with the peppermint or eucalyptus scented soap. The natural oils in the soap help clear congestion. Learn more about this.
20. Produce Wash
You can use vinegar and lemon juice to wash and remove dirt and bacteria from fresh produce (learn how), or you can use castile soap. Castile soap doesn’t kill bacteria; rather, it lifts and removes bacteria from surfaces.
Add 1 tablespoon castile soap to 1 gallon of water. Add the veggies and fruit, then swish them around in the mixture. Allow to rest for a few minutes in the soapy mixture, then rinse with fresh water and dry.
21. Hand Wash Delicate Clothes
Combine 1 capful of concentrated liquid soap with 1 gallon of cold water. Add delicate clothing, swish around, then let rest for 10 minutes. Rinse with clean water and hang to dry.
22. Dusting Spray
I think you know what I mean (and can probably smell it!) when I talk about a dusting spray for furniture. I got tired of all the toxic chemicals and went back to basics with a simple spray of highly diluted castile soap. You can add any citrus oil to this Dusting Spray for a smell that brings back memories.
24. Baby Wipes
Make natural baby wipes by combining 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap, and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Place 1/2 a paper towel roll in an air-tight jar, then pour the solution over the top, and remove the center cardboard roll. Pull a wipe from the center to use.
Some folks even say that you can brush your teeth with castile soap, but I think that’s going a bit too far. Have you tried this?
For now, there are 24 brilliant castile soap uses for your home! Which ones do you use?
You can certainly try! I’ve heard from readers it works best on kids, and that’s been my experience as well. I’m guessing it has to do with the amount of oil on an individual’s scalp. I personally don’t use castile soap for my shampoo. Instead, I prefer a natural brand from this list. If you want to use castile soap for shampoo, check out this guide from Dr. Bronner’s.
Yes! It’s a gentle cleanser but can be drying for some skin types. Combat that by adding oils that the skin loves like almond or jojoba and dilute the castile soap with water. Try this homemade face wash with castile soap.
You can usually find castile soap in your regular grocery store, in the body section. Even Target has it on the shelf. If you like to shop online you can check out Vitacost or Amazon. Brands I love: Dr. Bronner’s, Cove, Grove, and Quinn’s.
Dr. Bronner’s is the most popular and easiest to find in stores. Other great brands, include: Cove, Grove, and Quinn’s. Read about the best brands in this post. Most brands make a variety of scents and also an unscented option. If you are sensitive to fragrances, even essential oils, then look for unscented versions.
This happens most often when cleaning if you have hard water as the soap reacts with the minerals. If you are seeing residue from your DIY cleaners, go over the spots with fresh water or an acid (like vinegar). You can also try increasing the dilution ratio and see if that helps. Learn more about this issue and other castile soap warnings in this post.
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