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A few days ago, I got some questions about castile soap. These are great questions, so I thought I’d answer them in a post, since I know others are wondering this, too.

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First off, what is castile soap? Castile soap is vegetable-based, meaning no animal products, like tallow, are used to make the soap. Yep, it’s vegan. It’s also biodegradable, making it an excellent choice for camping and other outdoor uses where it might wash into streams.

When I first started using castile soap several years ago, I got the Trader Joe’s brand. It worked well and was much cheaper than Dr. Bronner’s. Unfortunately, they discontinued it. Sad day.

After that, I started using Dr. Bronner’s, mostly because it was easy to find. Now, I purchase it in bulk from our local buying club and many natural food stores have dispensers that you can refill your old bottles with.

Ok, onto the questions.

How much do you dilute the Castile Soap when making shampoo?

To make homemade shampoo, I use 1 tbsp baking soda per 1 cup of water. I don’t always add castile soap, but when I do (like if I’ve used some kind of product in my hair – castile soap is great at cutting grease), I add about 1/2 tsp to the mixture and rub it into my hair.

Follow that with a vinegar hair rinse – 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup water (increase these ratios if you have longer hair). It really helps soften the hair and prevent tangles.

Do you use the same concentration for body wash and hand soap?

I’ve been reusing a couple of foaming handwash pumps for a while now and castile soap works well in them. When I refill it, I use 1 oz. of soap and fill it the rest of the way with water.

For body wash, I fill an old 8 oz. container about 2/3 with soap and the rest of the way with water.

Castile soap actually works best when it’s diluted – the recommendation is 40 parts water to 1 part soap, which comes out to 2 1/2 cups of water to 1 tbsp soap.

Can you explain how you make vegetable wash with it?

You’ll want to use the ratio above to make vegetable wash. I suggest mixing it in a spray bottle so you can spray down fruits and veggies as needed. If you need to use more than that, just unscrew the lid and pour it in the sink or a bowl.

I do suggest getting the baby mild version and adding your own essential oils to it. That way you can have unscented soaps for things like veggie wash and face wash, and different scents for your body wash and hand wash.

Do you find that you save money by using Dr. Bronner’s instead of shampoo/body wash, or do you just use it because it is all-natural and organic?

When I started buying castile soap, it was to save money on our toiletries/supplies budget. Granted, I did start with the Trader Joe’s brand, which was much cheaper than Dr. Bronner’s, but when they discontinued it, I wasn’t about to go back because I’m able to use castile soap for so much more:

  • Body wash
  • Hand soap
  • Face wash
  • Veggie wash
  • Dish soap (though it’s not sudsy like “normal” soap, so that takes some getting used to – still not sure if I like it)
  • Laundry detergent (I grate a bar for this)
  • House cleaner (it goes into many a cleaning recipe)
  • Mopping
  • Carpet cleaner (mix 1/4 cup soap and 1 cup water in a blender until it’s a nice foam and rub it into carpet stains)

You can replace a lot of products with one bottle of castile soap. Win! Buying in bulk will yield even more savings.

Also, in doing some research for this post, I found another brand of castile soap that is much cheaper than Dr. Bronner’s, called Dr. Wood’s. Not sure what it is about doctors making castile soap …

Anyway, a 32-oz. bottle of Dr. Bronner’s from my local buying club costs $12.73, but the same size of Dr. Wood’s brand costs $8.43. This size bottle lasts us about 2 months (more if we don’t use it for dish soap).

*Update: I purchased Dr. Wood’s soap and after a month, my husband asked me to get Dr. Bronner’s again. Dr. Bronner’s soap is more concentrated, meaning we have to use less. I also like the essential oils they use better – they don’t stink.

Do you have other uses for castile soap?