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Do you use castile soap?
I have found it to be a fantastic addition to my cleaning closet, and a real money saver, too.
Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soaps seem to be the most readily available brand, and it’s what I buy. Let me tell you a little about what it is first, then we’ll get in to how to use it.
Castile soap, from my understanding, is just a very pure, very basic soap. On their website, this is how Dr. Bronner’s describes it:
Soaps have been made for millennia. Aside from making fire and cooking food, “saponifying” oil and fat into soap is one of the oldest and simplest chemical reactions known to humankind.
Soap is made by saponifying a fat or oil with an alkali. A fat or oil is a “triglyceride,” which means that three fatty acids of various carbon lengths are attached to a glycerin backbone. The alkali is either sodium hydroxide (for bars) or potassium hydroxide (for liquids), made by running electricity through salt water.
The saponification process is a simple one-step reaction with no waste generated: the glycerin is split off from the fatty acids, and the fatty acids combine with the sodium or potassium to form soap, while the hydroxide forms water. The result is soap, glycerin and water (no alkali remains in our soaps). Unlike most commercial soapmakers, who distill the glycerin out of their soaps to sell separately, we retain it in our soaps for its superb moisturizing qualities.
Quality soapmaking consists in great part of choosing the right proportions of the right oils. Coconut oil is very high lathering, but can be drying. Olive oil gives a really soft and luxuriant lather, but in small amounts. By using both coconut and olive oils in the right ratio, Dr. Bronner’s unsurpassed soaps offer the best of both worlds: high lather with superb softness on the skin. To top it off, our soaps also contain hemp and jojoba oils, which mirror the natural oils in the skin’s sebum, thus imparting a wonderful after feel once the soaps are washed away.
Using Castile Soap
I buy this soap both in the liquid and bar forms. The bars, we often use in the shower. I like the Lavender, but since I live with three boys, I usually buy Peppermint. It’s invigorating! I have also used the bars of soap to grate and use in my semi-homemade laundry detergent.
Although I sometimes buy the shower bars, I always have the bottles of liquid soap in my closet. Always.
You can use the soap in lots of ways, varying the dilution to match the job. Here is a great link with lots of uses with directions on how to dilute it for each job. My favorite way is to make this foaming hand soap.
DIY Foaming Hand Soap
I bought the cheapest bottles of foaming hand soaps I could find for each of our bathrooms and the kitchen sink. When they were empty I gave them a rinse, and proceeded to mix up this easy DIY version using my liquid castile soap.
Here’s how you do it:
You essentially want to use about 1/5 castile soap to 4/5 water.
A couple of tips to make your mixing experience more pleasant.
#1 – Add the water slowly, or it will fill up with bubbles before you get enough water in the bottle (or add the soap after the water).
#2 – Don’t overfill the bottle. Remember that the water level will rise when you put the sprayer top back on.
Dr. Bronner’s comes in a variety of scents. My fave for the kitchen is always Citrus.
Almond is my standby for in the bathrooms. Although I will use Lavender sometimes, and like to use Peppermint in the winter.
Considering that you use such a small amount each time you fill up a hand soap bottle, these huge bottles of concentrated castile soap last for-ev-er!
Where can you buy Dr. Bronner’s? I can tell you where I get mine. Costco sometimes has super giant bottles at a great price, my local co-op carries it, and Amazon. Once, I was at a grocery store that had a display of bottles on sale for $9.99. I bought a bunch.
How do you use castile soap?