From time to time I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn. Is there something all-natural we can use that will not trigger these reactions but still work well? There is and it is pure Castile soap. While olive-oil based Castile soap has been around for centuries, 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.
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
- Add 1/4 cup pure Castile liquid soap into a 32-ounce spray bottle.
- Then fill with warm water.
- Fill a second 32-ounce spray bottle with 1 cup white vinegar and warm water to fill.
- 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.
- Pour 1 cup pure Castile liquid soap into a one-gallon container.
- Add 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup sea salt.
- Fill the container to the top with warm water. Mix well.
- 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.
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
The formula for all-natural automatic 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 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.
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. 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.
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