Liquid castile soap provides a healthy alternative
Switch to this all-purpose soap for a safe and eco-friendly cleaner
From the bath to the sink, castile soap is a good all-purpose natural soap. It’s vegan, biodegradable and safe for our environment. Many conventional soaps, on the other hand, contain synthetic foaming agents and artificial fragrances that can be harsh on your skin and don’t biodegrade easily. This means they can eventually end up in our rivers and lakes.
How is liquid castile soap made?
Castile soap originates from the Spanish La Castilla region where they converted olive oil into soap by using lye. Today, the term castile soap is used to describe soaps made by applying ancient Castilian soap-making techniques with many different types of vegetable oils, such as coconut, sunflower and jojoba.
Instead of olive oil, we chose to use Canadian-grown organic sunflower seed oil because it promotes local organic farming. Sunflower oil also creates a great skin-conditioning soap that will leave your skin feeling soft and silky. And its gentleness will appeal to people with even the most sensitive skin.
The one minor downside, however, is that sunflower oil doesn’t foam a lot. So, to solve this problem, we added organic coconut oil which is well-known for its foaming action. With the right balance of these two oils, we have created a soap that’s both gentle and effective.
But you need to be aware that some so-called castile soaps still contain synthetic chemicals. Make sure that you read the ingredients list and avoid any products containing the following:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (synthetic soap)
- Triclosan (chemical preservatives)
- Artificial fragrances or dyes
The many uses for liquid castile soap
Castile soap is versatile and multi-functional. Not only is it sensitive on the skin, it can also be used to clean just about anything in your home. This makes castile soap a great natural and biodegradable alternative to many chemical-laced household cleaning products. It’s safer for our body and the environment.
And for the budget-conscious shopper, castile soap can be more economical as well. It’s a highly concentrated soap so you only need to use a small amount for it to be effective. You can choose to use it at full strength or diluted with water, depending on what you’re cleaning.
For example, as a body wash, some people prefer using a few straight drops on a cloth or sponge while others prefer diluting it up to 50 per cent with water. And to wash the floors, you can add a couple of tablespoons in a bucket of water or add an extra tablespoon for those tougher jobs. It’s up to you to experiment and decide the best dilution ratio for the job.
Here are just a few examples of how we use castile soap:
Hand soap dispenser refill: Use five tablespoons of castile soap in one cup of water and refill your soap dispensers.
Body wash: Use a few drops directly on a cloth/sponge or fill one-third of a bottle with soap and two-third with water.
Dish soap: Simply squirt half of what you would normally use with a conventional dish soap directly into the sink. After washing, rinse your dishes with water.
Fruit and vegetable wash: Add one tablespoon of castile soap in two cups of water, spray on your fruits and veggies, and then rinse with water. We recommend using an unscented castile soap for this.
All-purpose surface cleaner: For countertops, use eight tablespoons in one litre of water. For hard-to-clean surfaces, use three-quarters of a cup of soap in one litre of water. You can also use the solution in a spray bottle. For tiles, tubs or toilets, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda onto the area you wish to clean, then spray the soap solution over it.
Floor cleaner: Use two or three tablespoons of soap in a full bucket of warm water and mop your floors.
Laundry detergent: Re-use an old laundry soap container and fill it with two litres of hot water, half a cup of soap and one-third cup of baking soda. You may want to add one-third cup of coarse salt to help remove stubborn stains and brighten colours. Use a half to one full cup per load depending on the desired strength.
Do you have any tips or comments on using castile soap? Share them in the comment section.
Alain Ménard, microbiologist, co-founded The Green Beaver Company with biochemist Karen Clark. They were both appalled by the amount of chemicals found in kid’s shampoos, bubble baths and other products. With their new family in mind, they decided to do something about it. They left the pharmaceutical and pesticide industry behind to create healthier natural products. Alain regularly gives seminars on the potential health risks and environmental hazards associated with the chemicals found in everyday personal care products.