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Castile soap, one of the most versatile soaps can be used to make homemade cleaning products, natural body care goods as well as an insect repellant in the garden. Discover 10 ways to use this powerful, pure soap on your homestead.

bottles of castile soap, a washing towels and a soap dispenser sit on a white wood background

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Best Ways to Use Castile Soap

Soap. We use it to bathe. To wash dishes. To mop the floors. 

Some soap comes in a bar. While other forms come in a liquid format. Prior to my natural living shift, I used to purchase the commercial soaps made with all sorts of fragrances, fillers and colors. Little did I know that one of the best, most pure soaps was called castile soap.

The first time I used castile soap was, oddly, not for cleaning our home. Neither was it used for skin care. Rather I used it to destroy bugs in our garden. At the time our zucchini plant was under attack from the dreaded squash vine bug. The plant was being ravaged and eaten from the inside out, literally. To avoid living in this sci-fi like movie any more, I grabbed myself a spray bottle and filled it with peppermint castile soap and water.

Off to the garden I went, weapon in hand, to destroy the enemy. If I could spray the nest of bugs directly, I would be able to stop them in the their tracks. Though there was a success upfront, the battle raged on for a while. Thankfully the castile soap mixture was able to help extend the life of the plant to allow it to continue producing zucchini for a while longer.

Castile soap isn’t just for defending your garden from predators. It is also and more commonly used to create do-it-yourself cleaning products and body care items. On our homestead you will find castile soap in everything from our homemade facial cleanser to our kitchen countertop sprays. If you are just delving into the world of natural remedies, I encourage you to read on and learn the many ways and benefits of using castile soap in your home.

What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap often made with olive, coconut oil or hemp. It can be used in a variety of applications including homemade cleaning products, shampoo, face wash and more. The soap is gentle on skin and created without any synthetic preservatives or detergents.

Where to Buy Castile Soap?

The most popular brand of castile soap is Dr. Bronners. You can find liquid castile soap and castile bar soap in many grocery stores and health food shops. I have found castile soap in stores like Walmart, Krogers and Amazon. If you are looking to purchase castile soap in bulk quantities, Azure Standard sells both the liquid and bar soap.

Benefits of Using Castile Soap

  • Incredibly versatile. You can use this type of soap to make everything from skin care products and cleaning products to pest control solutions in the garden.
  • Non-toxic. Castile soap is made without synthetic ingredients such as preservatives, dyes and fragrances. You can feel safe putting it onto your skin or using it to clean your home.
  • Powerful cleaning abilities. It can tackle tough grease and grime yet still be used daily as a hand soap.
  • Customizable. I like to purchase the Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure-Castile soap so that I can add my preferred essential oils and herbs to make it my own.
  • Saves money. The cost of a large bottle of liquid castile soap may seem expensive but considering the soap is a concentrate, you will only use small amounts diluted with water or vinegar.

two bottles of castile soap sit beside a cleaning brush and a spray bottle

10 Uses for Castile Soap

You may be thinking, castile soap sounds great and exactly what I’ve been looking for but what can castile soap be used for? I’m glad you asked. Here are 10 ways to use castile soap in your home.

a bottle of homemade face wash sits on a wooden background beside a pile of dried lavender

1. Face Wash or Body Wash

My go-to facial cleanser uses castile soap. It helps to remove the dirt and impurities from my face while still being gentle on my skin. To make the face wash with castile soap, fill a soap dispenser with 1/4 cup castile soap, 1/2 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin and 1/2 tsp organic olive oil. Add 7 drops frankincense essential oil, 7 drops lavender essential oil and 6 drops tea tree essential oil. Fill the remainder of the bottle with 3/4 cup distilled water. Shake well to combine. To use, wet your face, then apply the face wash. Massage into skin and rinse with warm water. Follow with a moisturizer, especially if you skin tends to be dry.

2. Use as a Shaving Lather

You know those days when you hop into the shower, prepared to shave your legs and suddenly you realize you’re all out of shaving cream? Castile soap makes a great shaving cream replacement in a pinch. Squirt several drops of castile soap into your wet hands, and rub until it begins to foam. Apply to your legs and shave as you normally would.

3. To Prevent and Kill Bugs

Castile soap isn’t just for cleaning. It makes a great insect repellant. A simple mixture of 1 tablespoon of peppermint castile soap  and 4 cups of water will help to prevent and kill those bothersome pests. Every summer I place the soap and water into a spray bottle to destroy the squash vine borers. The solution has also has been known to rid garden plants of aphids and flea beetles.

amber spray bottle sits on top of a wooden cutting board next to a kitchen sink and some cleaning supplies

4. Kitchen Cleaner

With all the activity our kitchen receives — cooking, baking, preserving, fermenting, canning, frying and sautéing — I’ve got to have a powerful cleaner to tidy up the mess and remove germs. My favorite kitchen cleaner, made with castile soap works well on the stovetop, counters, backsplashes and to clean the fridge. Castile soap pairs well with herbs and essential oils and works wonders for removing grease and grime. Check out the DIY kitchen cleaning recipe here.

5. Floor Cleaner

Ditch the chemical laden cleaning products and create your own floor cleaner with castile soap. A couple of tablespoons of liquid castile soap mixed into a gallon of hot water will do the trick. Take it up a notch by adding in the extra cleaning power of lemon essential oil or citrus infused vinegar. 

foaming hand pump with castile soap inside

6. Foaming Hand Soap

You would think that using castile soap to make DIY hand soap would be obvious but there are many who ask “can castile soap be used for hand soap?”. The answer is yes! All you need is a jar, a little castile soap concentrate and some distilled water to create a simple foaming hand soap. Since castile soap can be a bit drying, I like to add a small amount of jojoba oil and vegetable glycerin to help keep my hands moisturized. Click here to make a bottle of my sweet orange foaming hand soap.

glass jar filled with homemade laundry detergent and a container and wooden clothespins

7. To Make Laundry Detergent

Castile soap doesn’t just come in a liquid form. A grated bar of castile soap helps to effectively clean clothing when added into homemade laundry detergent. Use unscented bar soap for those with sensitive skin or add a pleasant fragrance to your detergent with a bar of lavender, citrus or rose castile soap.

8. All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Homemade cleaning sprays are super easy to make. And completely customizable. Vinegar, vodka, herbs, essential oils and of course castile soap can be used to create an effective all-purpose cleaning spray. I like to clean our bathrooms with a bottle of all-purpose disinfectant. To create, all you will need is a bit of castile soap, citric acid powder, essential oils and some hot water. You can find the recipe for this antibacterial spray in my free eBook, The All-Natural Home Handbook.

two bottles of castile soap sitting on a farmhouse style tea towel

9. To Make Dish Soap

Can castile soap be used for dishes? It sure can! Fill a quart size jar with 1/2 cup castile soap. Add 25-30 drops of your desired essential oils. Fill the rest of the way with distilled water. Shake well. To hand wash dishes, squirt castile dish soap onto dishes or add 2 tablespoons to warm dishwater and clean the dirty dishes as normal.

10. Clean Makeup Brushes

A small amount of castile soap and warm water make an excellent combination for cleaning makeup brushes. Dip your brushes into the cleaning solution while gently moving the bristles around. Rinse and dry completely before storing away.

printable cleaning checklist sitting beside a pile of soap and some sponges

Free Spring Cleaning Checklist

Tackle household cleaning with this comprehensive free printable spring cleaning checklist. Tidy up room by room including the kitchen, dining and living spaces. Each step will help you stay organized and on task. Click on the image above or on this link right here to instantly download and print the spring cleaning list.

More Natural Living Tutorials

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