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The Many Uses of Castile Soap

Castile soap is a versatile product that’s making its way into grocery stores around the country. It’s use dates back to the 11th century, and it has a lengthy history. Today, castile soap is used as everything from a cleaning product to toothpaste. Below is a short history of castile soap, its ingredients, and its uses.



Originating in the Eastern Mediterranean, soap was brought to Europe by the Crusaders. Muslims in Spain first built soap making factories in Europe, during the 12th century. A few hundred years later, soap factories sprang up in France, which produced Marseille soap. Marseille soap lead to the creation of castile soap, as early soap makers did not have access to laurel oil, and therefore replaced it with olive oil.



Castile soap is a soap made purely from fat using vegetable oils like olive oil, rather than animal fats. In Castile, Spain, the soap was made of olive oil only, but now includes a variety of vegetable oils. Castile soap is generally organic, and is made using three simple ingredients: water, vegetable oil, and lye. If you want to make it yourself, all you have to do is combine the mixture, add fragrance (if desired), and let it age. There are also lye-free castile soaps available, which are completely chemical free.



Body Washing: If you’re using castile soap to clean yourself, you can choose a scented version if desired. Then simply lather up and rinse well! The soap will leave your skin hydrated and protect against dryness, but won’t be oily. Using castile soap is a great option for those with sensitive skin, as you can opt for a completely organic brand that won’t leave any harsh chemicals on your skin.

Laundry: You can use 1/4 to 1/3 cups of castile soap to do your laundry. Adjust this amount depending on water hardness. If you add a dash of baking soda to the water, the soap will be even more effective. You can even use the soap to bathe your pets: just make sure you keep the mixture away from their eyes! To keep the mixture organic while still providing a fresh scent, add lavender or mint sprigs.

Shampoo: Use castile soap just as you would a normal shampoo. Depending on your hair length, apply roughly a quarter-sized amount of castile soap into the palm of your hand and work it into a lather in wet hair. Rinse well.

Teeth Brushing: If you add a minty flavor to your soap, it works surprisingly well as toothpaste. This toothpaste lacks any abrasive substances, so it’s perfect for people with sensitive gums and teeth. Only use a drop or two of the soap, as any more might cause you to foam at the mouth! Brush as you normally would, and rinse well.

Cleaning: For most household cleaning, dilute one part soap into 40 parts water. If you need a stronger mixture for tough-to-clean stains or heavy grease, you can choose to dilute it by half this amount or just use it at full strength. Store your mixture in a spray bottle for easy access when it’s time to scrub.

Ultimately, castile soap is one of the best options on the market for versatile soap use. It’s environmentally friendly, organic, and can save you money, as you only need to buy one product for your house instead of dozens of cleaners and scrubbers.


This article was provided by Samantha Greenbaum, health conscious, earth-conscious mother of two. If you’re looking for a commercial cleaning company in Virginia Beach who uses safe practices and products, Samantha recommends Anago.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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