What Is Castile Soap? What Are Its Uses and Benefits?

Castile soap is a multi-purpose cleaner that is made from vegetable oils and doesn’t contain animal fats. Its composition allows it to safely be used for body and home cleaning. It comes in liquid and bar form and is vegan-friendly.

What Is Castile Soap?

Castile soap originated in the Mediterranean region where many cultures made soap from olive and other vegetable oils. It gets its name from the Castile region of Spain, which was a soapmaking center for centuries. Castile soap contains only vegetable oils – no animal fats – making it vegan, nontoxic, and biodegradable. The soap molecules found in Castile soap have one end that bonds to water and one that repels it. When combined with water, the result is that one end attaches to dirt, grime, and grease and removes it from the surface its applied to. Because of Castile soap’s plant-based ingredients, it’s not corrosive and can be effectively used to clean the body, home, pets, get rid of insects, and much more.

What Is Castile Soap Made Of?

Castile soap can be made of a variety of plant-based oils. Our own Dr. Bronner’s blend has coconut, palm, olive, hemp, and jojoba oils, which provides a soothing, moisturizing feel. Other oils, like avocado or walnut, can also be used.
Castile soap tends to be alkaline, just like most other soaps (about the same level as baking soda). That said, it’s not nearly as alkaline as bleach, making it not corrosive to skin and most surfaces.

Why Does Castile Soap Have So Many Uses Where Other Soaps Don’t?

Many people regard Castile soap as a “true soap” because of its combination of natural oils and fats with a base, such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. Because of its organic composition, Castile soap can be safely used as a cleaner in numerous circumstances. In contrast, a significant amount of so-called “soaps” on the market are loaded with synthetic ingredients, making them more of a detergent than actual soap. Many synthetic cleansers contain potentially harmful ingredients that can be toxic to you and your family, including:
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • BPAs
  • Triclosan
These harmful substances have links to cancer, infertility, and physical and psychological disruptions. In addition, synthetic “soaps” are not readily biodegradable, making their usage detrimental to the environment.

Benefits of Using Castile Soap

Castile soaps are known for being great cleaners, especially on sensitive skin. Because Castile soap is very concentrated, a little bit can go a really long way, helping you to reduce waste and save you money in the long term.

Body Care Uses of Castile Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap is composed of organic, natural ingredients and can be used for
  • Hair washing
  • Face washing
  • Body washing
  • Hand washing
  • Shaving
  • Makeup removal
  • Teeth brushing
  • Cleaning oral appliances (such as a retainer or dentures)
  • Clearing congestion
To name just a few!

Home Care Uses of Castile Soap

Similarly, Castile soap is one of the best nontoxic, biodegradable options for cleaning your home. Home care uses include:
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Handwashing delicates
  • Mopping
  • All-purpose cleaning spray
  • Windows
  • Toilets

Additional Uses

  • Pet cleaning
  • Produce cleaning
  • Plant spray for bugs
  • Indoor spray for insects
Check out our Liquid Castile Soap Dilutions Cheat Sheet for even more uses!
Castile soap is one of the most versatile cleaners for body, home, and much more. It’s cruelty-free ingredients make it an essential item for daily use and to have on-hand at any given time.
Be sure to view our wide assortment of Castile soap options in our shop!

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