(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)
I have found that one of the best ways to save money is to simply buy fewer things! Although that sounds simple, it can be challenging when we’re constantly being told that we need a different product for every purpose. That’s where Castile soap comes in. The superpower of this liquid soap is its ability to get the job done in so many rooms of your house: kitchen, bathroom, laundry room – but wait! In my enthusiasm, I am getting ahead of myself!
Castile soap is your new favorite one for all.
First of all, I think it’s important to know what exactly Castile soap is and isn’t, so you can spot the many imposters that are out there on the market. Technically speaking, Castile soap refers to soap that is made from vegetable oils, rather than the animal fats in many soaps. The name comes from the Castile region of Spain, where there was a tradition of making soaps out of the local olive oils. [LINK]
Most often, you will find Castile soap sold as a liquid, which is how it comes out in the traditional preparation. This is pure soap, not diluted! You will notice that this pure soap is relatively expensive, but in the long run, its power will save you money. For virtually every use that I am going to share with you, the Castile soap is substantially diluted and still does the job. If you buy the diluted imposters (check the ingredients label!), you will need to use that much more, eating up the savings you thought you had made. Trust me on this one! As a true Frugalite, I have tried it!
As well, what I think is important about this article is that I have actually been using this type of soap as the only soap in my house for many years. I am going to share my own thrifty dilutions with you that save me tons of cash.
A natural alternative to chemical-based products
I have to admit, when I first got started with Castile soap, I had only one goal: to get away from the heavy synthetic perfumes found in so many detergents today. I am sensitive to chemicals, so originally, changing to Castile soap was a health-based choice. I was also aware that so many of the body care products on the market today have harmful ingredients in them, including triclosan and phthalates. [LINK]
I am able to do a load of laundry very nicely with only a capful of Castile soap. I love the essential oil-scented Castile soaps that only leave the most gentle, and natural scent on my laundry. While instructions from a major brand of Castile soap recommend one-third to half a cup per load, [LINK] I would be done by 32 oz. bottle in no time if I did that! I only use one capful, and add around a 1/4 cup of baking soda, which I find improves the outcome greatly.
In my mop bucket, only a scant capful is required for mopping my floors. I am always amazed at how much dirt can be mopped off a floor that looks pretty clean. In my eco-cabin bathroom, I have white tiling on the floor. This small amount of Castile soap in hot water is more than powerful enough to get my floors perfectly clean.
I began washing my dishes with Castile soap many years ago when I was living off-grid in my tiny home. I adapted how I use dish soap to a method recommended by the manufacturer of a Castile soap. Rather than just squirt my soap into the water, like I used to, I now squirt a very dilute mixture of Castile soap and water into a small bowl. As I wash each dish, I dip my dish brush into the soap and scrub the dish.
I find that this allows my scrubbing to be much more effective than my old method. In order to do this conveniently, I keep an old plastic container that had a name brand of dish soap in it. It has a squeeze top. I fill that plastic container with water and only add 1 and 3/4 teaspoons of Castile soap. That’s it! That container of diluted Castile soap will last me for 2 -3 sets of dishes. So, each time I wash my dishes, I’m using less than a teaspoon of concentrated Castile soap. Wow!
The rest of the house
Because I always have the above dilution on hand, I can also use it for cleaning the rest of my home. If I want to spray some on countertops or other surfaces, I keep an extra spray bottle on hand. For windows, I might dilute it a bit more and throw in some vinegar. Works great!
Hair and body wash
Liquid Castile soap is very concentrated. I have used it to wash my hair before, but I would never put it on my scalp at full strength, as that might be drying to my scalp. If you use it to wash your hair, don’t expect tons of lather like shampoo. But that’s ok. Many of the ingredients that make shampoos lather might not be very good for us anyhow. In order to make sure no Castile residue is left on your hair, you might consider a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse. This is also natural and has the added benefit of leaving your hair nice and soft.
For a body wash, you can use diluted Castile soap, or just put a few drops of it on a face cloth. By working a small amount up into a lather, you can also make yourself some good shaving cream to shave with!
Can you use Castile soap for toothpaste?
There is a theoretical possibility of using a tiny amount of this magic soap to brush your teeth. I tried to get my courage up to try this for the article, but could not. Maybe our parents were on to something when they tried to wash our mouths out with soap!
I make my own tooth powder and will share more about my natural dental health routine in a future article. There are tons of toothpaste alternatives you can find online. If anyone does use Castile soap to brush their teeth, please tell us all about it in the comments below.
Other body care-related uses
Being non-toxic, there would be many other potential uses for your Castile soap, as you can imagine: Dentures, Night guard, menstrual cups, reusable menstrual pads, and your CPAP. Here are some tips on using Castile soap to clean your CPAP or oral appliances. You can even foam up a few drops to remove your makeup.
Outdoor items – car etc.
Lawn furniture, your car, bicycle. These are all items that you can also use Castile soap to clean. If you’re using a bucket, start with a capful before you squirt in any more. I think you’ll see good results.
Organic pest control indoors and in the garden
My extra spray bottle has another use. I put a couple of drops of Castile soap in with some water and use it to spray any plants that have pests on them. I do this both indoors and out. If I’m doing pest control outdoors, I may also add a couple of other natural ingredients, such as neem oil and eucalyptus oil.
Cleaning residue off store-bought vegetables and fruits
Again, my plastic dish soap bottle filled with dilute Castile soap comes to the rescue. I have a newer dish brush that I use to scrub fruits and vegetables. I squirt some of the soap into my little bowl, give my fruits and veggies a little scrub, and rinse them. Does it take everything off? It certainly gets the dirt off. I eat organic produce as much as possible and wash my inorganic produce this way. If they are fruits that are not organic and are typically intensively sprayed, like apples, I will wash them this way and also peel them.
One soap to scrub the world
Whew! That is quite the list, and I may have forgotten some of my less common uses.
Could you see yourself trying any of the tips on using Castile soap offered here? Do you have one you can share with us? What’s your go-to brand? Please tell us in the comments below.
Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. Her website, Half Acre Homestead is attracting followers from around the world who want to become more self-sufficient. Colette invites you to stop by the Homestead and check out all of the great resources including the practical How To Guides, A Tiny Home Resource Center and her organic gardening stories on her blog. She shares her wholistic model (body/mind/spirit) for achieving self-sufficiency in her Free Course, “Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture.” Stop by the Homestead today to register free of charge!