Friday, August 8, 2014

10 Ways to Use Castile Soap

You're probably wondering what castile soap is...why it's special. Castile soap is a type of soap, not a brand. For example, think of the words "toilet paper" rather than "Cottonelle" or "Charmin." It is made of 100% vegetable oils and fats - no animal products. It is a true soap; not a chemical detergent, like most modern, commercial cleaners. This makes it biodegradable and very ecologically friendly. Did I mention that it's very affordable, too?

Incredibly versatile, it will replace a host of cleansers in your home. Here goes:

#1 - Laundry detergent. There are literally hundreds of recipes on the internet, if you google "homemade laundry detergent with castile soap." But why go to all that trouble? Just use it straight. As it is low foaming, you can use it in your front loading washer. You may have to tweak the amount before you get it right. Less is more. By the way, this soap is fantastic for doing baby's laundry, as it is so pure. Also great for someone who has ultra sensitive skin and/or allergies.

#2 - Use it for dishes. A small squirt will do it. Be prepared: as it does not have any form of chemical foaming agent, it does not produce froth and bubbles. But, it will clean your dishes just as well, and is gentler on your skin, your dishes, and the environment

#3 - Hand soap. Just fill your re-fillable liquid soap dispenser with liquid castile soap.

#4 - Glass and mirror cleaner. Take a spray bottle...fill it with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Add 2 drops of castile soap. Shake well before spraying. 

#5 - Body wash. Yes! A squirt on a nylon scrubbie or sea sponge will actually produce a lovely foam. You can feel good about spreading it all over YOU and about it going down the drain.

#6 - Toothpaste. I know. We've been so programmed to like the commercial stuff that foams in our mouth and contains sooooooo many chemicals. But a drop on your toothbrush (I like peppermint scented) will clean your teeth well, and safely.

#7 - Safely, and economically, bathe your dog AND CAT!! Everyone knows cats are notoriously sensitive to shampoo and commercial soaps. As long as you use unscented castile soap, it's OK to use this economical alternative. I am biased...but because all commercial products have such a lengthy ingredient list, I dare say it is actually better for your cat than the overpriced commercial brands.

#8 - Make a soft scrub. Fill a spray bottle with water, about 25% soap and 75% water. If you have tough scrubbing to do, sprinkle baking soda, a mild abrasive, on the area to be cleaned. Spray with the soap/water mix until you get a slurry. Scrub away! Always do a test area on an unobtrusive spot to make sure that the baking soda is not going to damage the finish of anything.

#9 - Love this stuff for washing my floors. Perfect for vinyl or linoleum, but I have a lot of hardwood. The only thing you have to be careful with is not using too much soap. In a small pail of water, a tablespoon is plenty! Maybe even 1-2 teaspoons if your pail is small. This is extra nice if you have pets that walk on the floor, or, infants that are crawling. No toxic film left behind! No rinsing necessary. 

#10 - Washing fruits with rinds or veggies. Washing watermelons, canteloupe, cucumbers, peppers...always a good idea. Castile soap is mild and rinses off easily and cleanly. It will dislodge any bacteria and/or dirt if used with a small brush or even a cloth and some elbow grease. Safe for the fruit, for you, and the environment!

If you want to "customize" your soap, add a few drops of essential oils to it. Just a few drops will do! You can use lemon for that nice clean smell. I love a single drop of peppermint in floor wash water, or, to brush my teeth. Do NOT use one drop of peppermint per brush! Add one drop to 2 cups of soap.....stop this in a mason jar with plastic,screw on lid or other glass container. Orange is uplifting. Eucalyptus or tea tree smell a bit medicinal, are antiseptic, and can leave your bathroom smelling nice and clean.

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