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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning with Castile Soap

Published on May 11, 2021 | Updated - Apr 3, 2024

uses for castile soap

The natural cleaning world has a new hero. If you’re trying to use more natural alternatives in your home, this plant oil-based soap is destined to be your next favourite cleaning product. 

It is one of the more versatile cleaning products around and has actually been named as the ‘Swiss army knife of cleaning’ by some! We’ve put it to the test, and we agree. 



What is castile soap?

liquid castile soap and bars

Castile soap hails from the Castile region of Spain and is traditionally made from the local olive oil. 

Traditional soap is made from animal fats or synthetic materials, whereas castile soap is derived from natural vegetable oils. That means the soap's non-traditional base makes it cruelty-free and biodegradable. 

With a bit of hunting, you’ll find castile soap from avocado, walnut, hemp or coconut oils, just to name a few!



Where do I buy castile soap?

where to buy castile soap

Castile soap can be bought from many chemists and in bulk from sites like Aussie Soap Supplies or Dr Bronner’s. It costs about $17 for a litre, and you can also buy it infused with a fantastic range of essential oils. 

Liquid castile soap is concentrated so you’ll only need a small amount when you use it, meaning your supply will last a while and is very cost effective. Castile soap is also safe and gentle to use as long as it’s diluted properly. 

You can buy castile soap in either liquid or bar form. It’s easy to change a bar into liquid form as well - chop up the bar, put it into a glass bottle and fill with boiling water. You’ll need to let it sit for half an hour before giving it a good stir to make sure it is mixed up properly.



13 Top Uses for Castile Soap

From cleaning to personal use, castile soap is extremely versatile. It is mild enough to use on your skin yet powerful enough to be an effective cleaning product for the home. Here are 13 of the best uses for this amazing product. 


1. Multipurpose Cleaner

castile soap multipurpose cleaner

Mix up a little Castile Soap, warm water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil for an awesome all-purpose cleaner.


2. Dishwashing Detergent

castile dish soap

Create a dishwashing detergent by diluting dishwashing detergent 1:10 and keeping the solution in a container with an easy-to-use dispenser. Use the dishwashing solution as you would any other store-bought detergent and make your dishes shine.



3. Floor cleaner

castile soap floor cleaner

Combine 15-20ml of castile soap in a bucket of water to clean your floors.



4. Bathroom cleaner

bathroom cleaning

Find a castile soap liquid scented with disinfecting essential oils like tea tree or eucalyptus (or instil a few drops yourself) to clean the vanity, bathtub, tiles and toilets. Keep in mind you’ll need to use a stronger disinfectant for areas like your toilet bowl.



5. Ant repellent 

castile soap ant repellent

Is there anything this product can’t do? Tea tree castile soap will work well here. Just add a quarter of a cup’s worth into a litre or so of water and spray wherever you’ve seen ants. 

This works because the soap dehydrates these tiny pests, while the scent will deter any others from entering your home. 

Don't spray this combination directly onto plants, however, as it may kill them as well. 


6. Handwash

castile soap handwash

Pick a castile soap with an invigorating scent like peppermint to wash your hands with or better yet, use a few drops of your favourite essential oil in liquid castile soap for a delectable and all-natural hand wash.



7. Body wash

castile soap body wash

You’ll just need a small amount. Use a washcloth or loofah to gently exfoliate the solution into your skin.



8. Facial wash

castile soap facial wash

Castile soap is mild for your face and strong enough to potentially prevent acne and target harmful bacteria. Just pop a few drops of soap onto your face and rinse.



9. Shampoo

castile soap shampoo

You’ll just need a small amount of undiluted castile soap. Work it into a lather and rinse. You can also use it on your pet’s hair, too; just make sure you’re using unscented varieties.



10. Makeup brush cleaner

castile soap makeupbrush cleaner

Combine warm water and castile soap to make a cleaning solution, which you can dip brushes into. Rinse until clean and let it air dry completely before using again.



11. Clear your sinuses

clear your sinuses with castile soap

Castile soap infused with peppermint, tea tree or citrus essential oil can help to open up your nasal passages. Fill a large bowl or plugged sink with hot water, add soap and inhale the steam.



12. Bubble bath

castile soap bubble bath

Enhance your relaxation levels by adding a few tablespoons of castile soap in the tub. The soap wont bubble but adding it and a couple of drops of an enlivening essential oil of your choosing will definitely create a cleansing and tranquil experience.



13. Foot scrub

castile soap foot scrub

This recipe was one of the best uses I saw and one I’ll definitely be testing out in the future. 

Combine 1 tablespoon of castile soap with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 cup of white sugar. You could also add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Rub in as an exfoliant, and then rinse! You can even store it in an airtight container to use again in the future – win! 



Note: Don’t use Castile Soap in combination with vinegar or lemons to clean. The soap reacts with the acidity in vinegar and lemon, creates a gluggy mess and is an ineffective cleaner. 

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