Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s–you know the crazy label with all the writing?) is vegan-friendly and has a multitude of uses. While bath and cleaning soaps can contain lye and other animal ingredients, castile soap is animal-free (using vegetable oil as a base) and can be used on the body and in cleaning. It’s also gentle in that it doesn’t have all the harsh additives in other household cleaners. This stuff is so versatile that I might sound a little like a soap zealot for being so excited about it, but just one bottle goes a really long way. Check out these ideas below for some DIY cleaning tips with castile soap! The animals, your home, and your skin will thank you.
1. Face & body wash
With a few additional ingredients (or with just a bit of water if you’re hardcore!) castile soap easily becomes a gentle body or face wash. For body wash: fill an old hand soap or other pump container 1/3 of the way with unscented castile soap and add about a teaspoon of jojoba or your preferred body oil (to moisturize your skin), several drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, tea tree, and peppermint are ones that I love), and fill it up the rest of the way with water. For face wash you can just squirt a few drops of plain castile soap into your hand and wash away. You can also dilute this (but omit the essential oils) as directed above.
2. Laundry detergent
You can find many DIY laundry detergent recipes online which require some time, effort, and additional ingredients, but for those items which need to be hand-washed such as lingerie or other delicates, you can add a squirt of castile soap to your basin, soak the items for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. I used castile soap with peppermint essential oil for this recently and it smelled delightful!
3. Counter & floor cleaner
Castile soap is strong enough to clean counters & floors when it’s diluted in water, but to give some extra oomph, try this for your (non-granite or marble) counters: in a spray bottle, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda, a few squirts of liquid castile soap, several drops of essential oil, a tablespoon of vinegar (watch out for the foam!), and fill with water. Add more essential oil if you’d like to mask the scent of vinegar. The baking soda gives this a bit of abrasiveness which helps with stuck-on grime. If your counters are granite or marble just substitute rubbing alcohol for the vinegar. If you want to mop your floors, add about 5 tablespoons of liquid castile soap to a gallon of water and stir gently.
4. Bug spray for plants
Do you have a garden plagued by insects who want to eat your delicious leafy greens and tomatoes? In a spray bottle mix 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and a dash of cayenne pepper. Fill with water and spray the leaves of your plants. The bugs will be so grossed out by the mixture they’ll never look back and you’ll enjoy yummy produce all summer.
5. Dishwasher detergent
To get your dishes sparkling without using those weird little packets or space-colored gels, in a plastic bottle, mix 1 cup unscented liquid castile soap, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Add about 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the detergent compartment for a full load of dishes.
If you can’t get enough, check out our other DIY, all natural cleaning recipes as well!
Also by Samantha: Why PETA Gives Vegans a Bad Name
Related: 6 Amazing Uses of Diatomaceous Earth
Photo: Artizone via Flickr.