Ok this one is a doozy. I’m gonna tell you about a product that can do almost everything and is completely non-toxic, biodegradable and affordable. Bonnie asked about soaps so this post is for her!
Shampoo? Hand soap? Body wash? Dishes? Laundry? Floors? YES! Dr. Bronner’s castile soap can do all that and more. Because of it’s ability to do so much I will break things down into a couple of posts. Let’s get started by introducing you to castile soap!
I’ve been working for Dr. Bronner’s and demoing this product for a couple years now. There are some questions I continuously get asked about the product so I figure I should just address them outright in case they cross your mind as well.
Q:What does castile mean?
A:It means it’s a vegetable oil based soap, not animal fat. This kind of soap was originally made in the Castile region of Spain and still carries the name today.
Q:Why is it so expensive?
A:It’s extremely concentrated. You will use small amounts for many things so, in fact, it’s very economical.
Q:You want me to mop my floors with the same soap I wash my body with!!!?
A:Yes. I do. Dirt is dirt. Industry programmed you to think you need multiple products for everything. This soap is made from organic oils so it will pull dirt off your body or the floor!
Q:What’s with all the crazy writing on the bottle?
A:Dr. Bronner felt it was very important to preach a message of oneness. In the beginning of his business, he would lecture in Perishing Square and sell the soap on the side. He realized many people were taking the soap and leaving so he printed his message on the labels to ensure it was delivered. He was convinced that no matter what religious leader we followed, they all operated under one God. Stop the fighting, stop the mistreatment of the earth and all it’s inhabitants for we are all-one or none!
Dr. Bronner’s family started making soap in 1858 and Dr. Bronner himself got in the game in the 1950’s. Still a family business to this day, this soap has stood the test of time. It is the number 1 selling natural soap brand in the U.S. with a bottle being sold every 2 seconds. That’s not nothing.
Originally, it claimed to have 18 uses but since it has been around for so long, more has been discovered. I will start the series with a few simple ways to use it.
Hand soap! I use a foaming dispenser and put in 1 part (or a little less) soap to 10 parts water. It’s not a perfect science, don’t stress! I’ve noticed it mixes best with purified or reverse osmosis water. The tap water made it cloudy and it didn’t stay mixed. Once diluted, It comes out beautifully and I NEVER have to buy hand soap. It’s saves money and packaging waste! Technically, you can put it in a regular soap dispenser but I wouldn’t recommend it. They tend to get clogged and shoot you in the eye. Get yourself one like this or if you have one at home from a different brand, reuse it!
Spray cleaner! Mix 1 Tablespoon castile soap with water in a 32oz spray bottle and you’re ready to wipe down your counters and tabletops! The trick is to add the water first or you will have a sudsy mess. Do not add vinegar! It actually counteracts with the soap and the cleaning goodness of them both gets cancelled out. You can use the soap first and then the vinegar if you want the cleaning abilities of them both.
Mopping! Add 1/4 cup to roughly 2 gallons of water. I use the unscented castile and add lemongrass essential oil. It is quite lovely!
Dog or cat wash! One of my kitties has very long butt hair and tends to get dingle berries. Sometimes she needs a little butt wash. UNSCENTED ONLY for cats. For dogs you can use any scent. I recommend the peppermint because it takes away that doggy smell and the peppermint oil helps keep bugs and ticks off their fur. There is not a universal dilution for pets because they are all different sizes with different fur. Just remember it’s super concentrated so always err on the side of less. Your pets deserve clean products too!
Dishes! If you do all your dishes by hand, dilute 1:10 ratio in a sink full of water. Because I have a dishwasher, I only do a few dishes by hand. My scrub brush rests in a little ceramic bowl so I put castile soap at the bottom of this bowl and just dip it as I wash. Otherwise you can pre-dilute 1:10 in a bottle and squirt it on the dishes as you do them. I think it’s important to use non-toxic soap for dish doing because when you eat off them, you are inevitably ingesting what ever you’re washing them with.
Fruit and veggie wash! A small dash of soap in a bowl of water. Dunk, wash then rinse in clear water.
How’s that for a start? I will continue to talk more about the ways to use castile soap in future posts but for now let’s help you pick out a scent! It’s a hard choice because they are all so good in their own ways. If you are feeling super stoked about using it for household cleaning and body care I recommend you buy the citrus, lavender, tea tree or peppermint. These all have strong anti-bacterial properties. If you are someone who enjoys DIYing and already own some essential oils, get the unscented! This is where all the true magic happens. You can add different essential oils to different recipes. Examples: lavender to hand soap, tea tree to your spray cleaner, lemongrass to your mop water, bergamot to your dish soap and so on!
I’m headed out of town to work on Mander in a few days so the next post will be about the renovation. You’ll have plenty of time to start using your castile soap and be ready to learn new ways in Consumed Part 8! Choose from the rainbow of colors and let the spring cleaning begin!