Never heard of Castile soap? Pity, but you’re far from alone.
Castile Soap is a centuries old invention that originated in Syria and later spread to Southern Europe. It’s in Spain where today’s formula was solidified, particularly in the cities of Malaga, Carthagene, Castile, and Alicante due to their high quality of water and an abundance of olive oil.
What else do we know about Castile soap?
- 100% bio-degradable
- Still growing in popularity as it replaces soaps with artificial ingredients
- Mild and effective in removing dirt
- Converted to liquid form in Germany in the 1880’s
- Modern Castile soap is still primarily olive-oil based
Even today, hundreds of years after it first came on the scene, new uses are still being found for Castile soap. Here just a few ways to use it now:
All-Purpose Cleaner – Forget the pricey, chemical-filled commercial cleansers and make your own all-purpose spray by adding ½ cup of Castile soap to a quart of warm water in a clean spray bottle. Stir well to combine and use on kitchen counters, sinks, or any other solid surfaces. For an added boost, add a half cup of vinegar to the mix.
Tub and Shower Scrub – Give soap scum the boot with a powerful mixture of 1/3 Castile soap, 2/3 water, and ¼ cup white vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda liberally around tub and tile, then spray with the Castile soap mixture to activate the baking soda’s foaming action. Let it bubble for a few minutes before cleaning with a soft bristle brush or scouring pad. Rinse clean with water and let dry.
Laundry Detergent – If you or someone in your family is sensitive to fragrances or chemicals, or if you simply want a more natural laundry detergent option, mix one cup Castile soap and ¾ cups baking soda, then add ¼ cup sea salt dissolved in 2 ¼ cups of warm water. Pour the mixture into a clean gallon jug and use about ¼ cup per load to get your clothes clean without the irritants.
Dish Soap – Even if you only occasionally hand wash your dishes, you know how dry and chapped your hands can get with regular dish soap. Instead, fill the sink with 10 parts warm water and 1 part Castile soap, and wash dishes as you normally would. For extra stubborn grime on pots and pans, pour a couple drops of undiluted Castile soap right the surface and scrub.
Dishwasher Detergent – For a more natural way to tackle dirty dishes in the dishwasher, mix 8 ounces of Castile soap with 1 cup water and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice. Add 1cup of white vinegar to your dishwashers sealed detergent compartment, plus 1 tablespoon of the mixture to its unsealed detergent compartment, and run a regular wash cycle.
Floor Cleaner – Most floors, like tile, vinyl, and wood, can be cleaned with a mixture of a half cup of Castile soap dissolved in three gallons of hot water. Just be sure to use a barely-wet mop on hardwood floors. You can use a little more on water-resistant flooring materials.
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