I’m slowly incorporating zero waste (or at least less waste) into my lifestyle, so when I heard that there’s a soap out there that’s super multifuntional, I just had to try it.
I already first spotted castille soap from Dr. Bronner in a small bodega in NYC, but didn’t pick one up because I really didn’t want our luggage to go over the weight limit. Back home, I stumbled upon it again on an eco-friendly web shop. After about half an hour of screen staring and being unsure of which scent to order, I went for peppermint. I figured it’s summer so I do need something fresh and well, I was going to put this stuff on my teeth so better play it safe, right?
what is castile soap?
It was originally made from olive oil from the Castile region in spain, but nowadays castile soap is made from all kinds of vegetable oils. The bottle of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap is made of a mix of coconut, palm kernel, olive, hemp and jojoba oil. So yes, castile soap should be vegan – in theory. Make sure the brand you’re buying from doesn’t test on animals, though. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is made from certified organic and / or fair trade ingredients, without detergents or foaming agents (so no SLS!). It’s very concetrated, so bear that in mind when you start using it.
what I’ve been testing
Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is also known as the ’18-in1′ soap. You can find what these 18 uses are here, but I’ve been sort of freestyling some uses the past few weeks.
I’ve been this soap mostly in the shower. It really makes you squeaky clean. I was afraid it would make skin super dry, but it’s been totally fine tbh. Since I bought the peppermint one, it’s extremely refreshing too – even after showering it makes your skin tingle and the scent really tends to linger. I’m really into it. A little side note though, if you’re planning on getting the peppermint one, you really don’t want to get this soap in certain places. A little too fresh, is all I’m saying. Lol.
I always take of my makeup with coconut oil and then wash my face with a cleanser after. I’ve been using the castile soap occasionally and there are no breaks outs so far. But to be completely honest, I’d rather stick to my normal cleanser because I know it works for me.
Okay so I tested this out before I read the recommendation on the Dr. Bronner’s website. Bad idea. Turns out they created a rinse to put in your hair after shampooing because the castile soap will get your hair very tangly. And well, that was exactly what happened with me. After shampooing, I freaked out and immediately rinsed it and put in my normal shampoo. Lol, oops.
toothpaste / mouthwash
Okay, I was very skeptical about brushing my teeth with soap, but I must say I don’t hate it. The peppermint is super fresh, but the soap makes it taste a bit… sour? I prefer a ‘normal’ toothpaste over the soap, but I do like to use it as a mouthwash though.
Works great! When I’m in the shower, I put a tiny squirt of castile soap in my hands and rub my legs with it. It gets it all nice and soapy and the razor glides over my skin very smoothly. I’ve only used it for my legs and armpits though because peppermint (see ‘shower‘) – lol.
You can use this on any ceramic tile and laminated floor, but I’m not sure about hardwood or stone flooring – you’d have to look it up or try it out. I added about 1/4 cup to a half full bucket of hot water – works perfectly. Never had a more minty bathroom.
all purpose cleaning
And since it works so great on floors, I made some all purpose cleaning too. Just take a spray bottle (recycle one!), fill it halfway up with water, add a few tablespoons of castile soap, and add the rest of the water. For my spray bottle, that’s about 500 ml, I used about 5 tablespoons. Swirl it around a bit, the water will start to turn milky. Don’t shake! I use this to clean the kitchen counter top and the wall tiles.
In the bathroom, I like something a bit stronger. I spray the all purpose mixture into the sink, toilet and bath tub, followed by spraying a mixture of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water. I then sprinkle on some baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes and then I just scrub like usual.
Peppermint panties, yes? Yes. You can wash any colour with this soap I think. I mean I have and I don’t see any difference to my clothing. I use about 1/8 cup for a fully loaded machine. We have a small machine though, for normal washing machines I’d recommend about a tablespoon more. Comes out smelling nice and fresh.
This one’s a bit tricky because you can easily use too much. I’d say, recycle a soap dispenser and fill it 1/2 with water and 1/2 with soap. Or do it like me and just put about 5 drops on a wet sponge. Cleans great too, btw!
wait, there’s more!
Of course there’s many brands of castille soap out there but I think Dr. Bronner is by far the most popular one. It’s also a brand with a quirky detail. You’ve probably noticed there’s quite a lot of text on the label – a label that has barely changed over the last 60 years. That’s Dr. Bronner’s Moral ABC. They explain it in more depth on the website, but Dr. Bronner saw the need for the world to unite before it destroys itself:
“He exhorts all people to unite as one and to respect each other and the environment and he encourages all religions to recognize their universal similarities inspired by the same divine source. Dr. Bronner sees planetariums as being the “All-One!” temples of the future where humanity can realize how vanishingly trivial their differences are on Spaceship Earth within the celestial majesty of creation.
Now I’m not a religious person, and buying from brands that are very religiously outspoken is something that wouldn’t sit right with me. But I fail to see the harm in the general idea he spoke of. So yes, I’ll still buy this soap – unless someone wants to inform me about a reason I shouldn’t.
I feel like I barely scratched the surface about what you can use castile soap for. There’s a lot of home made beauty and cleaning mixtures that asks for castile soap as an ingredient, and I really want to explore more of them. Have you tried castile soap before?