How to Use Castile Soap to Make Natural Cleaning Products

From time to time, I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. ‘Is there something all-natural we can use that will not trigger these reactions but still work well?’ There is, and it is castile soap … 

While olive-oil based castile soap has been around for centuries, on brand, Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, itself dating back to 1858, is making a big, glorious, all-natural comeback.

Available in several versions, including one that is unscented, this organic castile soap is available online as well as in grocery, health food, and discount department stores.

Dr. Bronner’s is not the only pure castile soap out there—other brands of Castile liquid soap are equally suitable for the following cleaning recipes and household and personal uses, such as Almona, St. Clare, and Seven Minerals and more to make castile soap dishwasher detergent, cleaning sprays, fruit and veggie wash, and so much more!

 

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Add 1/4 cup pure castile liquid soap to one-quart warm water and mix gently. Pour into a 32-ounce spray bottle and use it as you would any spray cleaner around the house. Safe on granite and quartz counters and laminate surfaces. Optional: A few drops of lemon or orange essential oil will give this cleaner a fresh, pleasant fragrance.

 

Degreaser Cleaning Spray

  1. Add 1/4 cup pure castile liquid soap into a 32-ounce spray bottle.
  2. Then fill with warm water.
  3. Fill a second 32-ounce spray bottle with 1 cup white vinegar and warm water to fill.
  4. Spray greasy kitchen surfaces with the soap-water solution and clean them well with a soft cloth. Then spray the same surface with the vinegar-water solution to rinse, followed by another round with the soft cloth.

Caution: Rinsing granite or other natural stone surfaces with vinegar may, over time, dull and damage the stone’s sealant. If cleaning stone, use this rinsing method sparingly.

All-Natural Laundry Detergent

Pure Castile liquid soap is especially useful in the laundry for those who are sensitive to chemicals and fragrances.

  1. Pour 1 cup pure castile liquid soap into a one-gallon container.
  2. Add 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup sea salt.
  3. Fill the container to the top with warm water. Mix well.
  4. To Use: Add 1/4 cup of this laundry detergent to a typical-sized load of laundry.

 

Liquid Dish Soap

The formula for dish soap is ten parts water to one part one-part pure castile liquid soap, i.e., 1 tablespoon castile soap and 10 tablespoons water.

You can make up in a bottle to keep handy at the kitchen sink or use the concentration formula on the fly as you fill a basin to wash dishes.

For tough spots on pots and pans or other items, squirt a few drops of full-strength pure castile liquid soap on the area then finish up with your favorite scrubber. After you’ve hand washed your dishes with castile soap and rinsed them, dip them in a sink of vinegar water and then allow them to dry.

 

Tub and Shower Soap Scum Remover

To make a stronger cleaner that will melt soap scum from the walls, doors, and floor of tubs and showers, fill a 32-ounce spray bottle 1/3 of the way with pure castile liquid soap, then fill the rest of the way with warm water.

Spray down the areas and allow them to sit for a few hours. Rinse well with water. For really tough spots with signs of mold and mildew, sprinkle with baking soda, then follow by spraying with white vinegar to activate the baking soda.

You may need to scrub some areas a bit before rinsing the areas thoroughly. You’ll be amazed to see all the gunk and scum flow down the drain to leave beautifully clean, sparkling surfaces.

 

Castile Soap Dishwasher Detergent

The formula for all-natural automatic castile soap dishwasher detergent is one cup pure castile liquid soap to one cup warm water plus 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice. This recipe multiplies well.

To use: Add one tablespoon detergent to your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser and fill the rinse aid reservoir with white vinegar.

Caution: If you have especially hard water and or notice water marks remaining on glass items, this is an indication that this castile soap dishwasher detergent formula is not appropriate for your situation.

Carpet Spot Cleaner

Mix pure castile liquid soap 50/50 with hydrogen peroxide. Pour into a spray bottle, then treat carpet spots as soon after they happen as possible. You may need to scrub with a clean white cloth or brush before blotting up the stain along with as much moisture as possible. 

Because hydrogen peroxide degrades quickly once exposed to air and light, make up this spot cleaner as you need it, rather than storing it.

 

Floor Cleaner

Mix 3/4 cup pure castile liquid soap in three gallons of warm water. Use this to clean your tile, wood, and vinyl floors, using a slightly wet mop to wipe away dust and dirt making sure you are not leaving behind puddles of water. The key is to wring the mop well then scrub, clean and mop up as much moisture as possible as quickly as possible. Once dry, enjoy a streak-free floor.

 

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Just 1/4 teaspoon pure castile liquid soap in a bowl of cool water will make a natural and effective wash for fresh fruits and vegetables. Add the items to the solution, swishing them around in the water, then rinse and enjoy.


 

 

 

 

Expanded, Updated 1-6-24

 


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15 replies
  1. Hope says:

    Mary,
    I was delighted when I saw the subject of this post – another way to use a product I already have to make homemade cleaners / remedies.
    Since I have a wonderful pup, but not wonderful in every way, who has tinkled on a brand new off-white rug, I made the carpet spot cleaner. I sprayed it liberally on the rather large spot. I seems to have removed the stain, but I am not certain since there is still quite a bit of soap on the carpet.
    Any recommendations for getting this out? And should I be “less liberal” when I use it again?
    As always your devoted reader,
    Hope

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      You need to rinse, rinse! If you don’t have a wet-dry vac can you borrow one? If not, use clean dry bath towels to blot up the liquid until no detectable soap is visible. Yes you may have gotten a little too agressive!

      Reply
  2. jd wolfe says:

    dr bronner’s tea tree castile has become my go-to for several reasons. dermatologist recommended it for eczema on scalp. it seems to quell the itching. and, it rinses out so quickly that it saves water. i mentioned that to my cosmetologist and now she uses a dr. bronner’s unscented castile on all her clientele – just hides the label. i think anyone living in an area where water conservation is an issue should consider this product. i haven’t measured exact gallons, but it must save several gallons per shampoo. and it’s not too drying.

    Reply
  3. Joan says:

    I have always hated the smell of Blue Dawn. Three years ago I got Covid and temporarily lost my sense of smell and taste. When I recovered, I found that Blue Dawn had an irresistibly wonderful fragrance! Crazy, huh?

    Reply
  4. LInda Stec says:

    Foaming soap – 1 part Bronners to 2 parts or more of water add drops of essential oil and then put in foaming soap dispenser. Doesn’t dry your hands out 🙂

    Reply
  5. Nadyne C says:

    I use old mustard bottles to store solutions with peroxide in them. Then I can make them ahead. They can last a good long time.

    Reply
  6. Connie Soens says:

    I have heard one report of this soap collecting in plumbing pipes. Do you have any information regarding this issue? Thanks for all of your wonderful tips and information.

    Reply
  7. Kim says:

    I have been using the Dawn power wash for about siz months. I also had developed a really red, swollen throat that seemed worse after using the power wash. It took about three days of not using the product for the constant feeling of swelling to go down. The redness in throat is subsiding too. As much as I like the power wash, I will no longer use this product.

    Reply
  8. Cindy Bury says:

    I made the dish soap and it is slick feeling and leaves plastic bowls slick as well. Otherwise it cleans really well and my glasses sparkle

    Reply
  9. Jan S says:

    Hi Mary! I use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds for laundry, dishes, cars, and even vegetable washing! I use Castile soaps for all my other cleaning. The Dr Bronner’s website provides dilution ‘cheat sheets’ for both types of soap. I have them taped on the inside of my cabinet door in kitchen and laundry room. They really are the most versatile cleaners out there – and good for the environment. Links to dilution cheat sheets – check them out to see what you can use them for! (Hint-EVERYTHING!)

    Reply

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