Green Cleaning with Castile Soap
An earlier post covered cleaning with multitasking cleaners you can find in your kitchen cupboard, such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. Today’s post includes more green cleaning ideas, this time based on castile soap.
Not only are these types of cleaners multitaskers, allowing you to have fewer items in your home while accomplishing all the same things, but they’re better for the environment and save you money.
But first, I have to share this little gem from the February 23, 2014, issue of Parade.
Back to Basics.
Just as our grandmothers relied on baking soda and vinegar to make their homes sparkle, we’re once again turning to the pantry for cleaning aids. Lemon Oxi Complex dishwasher pacs from Sunlight, for example, use a lemon scent to evoke the tried-and-true grease-fighting power of citrus.
I swear I did not make this up. We should buy these dishwasher pacs because their smell “evokes” grease-fighting power? And how is this turning to the pantry?
What Is Castile Soap?
True castile soap is a vegan product, made of plant oils. It’s better for the environment because it doesn’t include the artificial foaming agents, harsh detergents, petrochemicals and anti-bacterial agents found in many commercial “soap” products.
There are many brands, the most popular of which is probably Dr. Bronner’s. Castile soap generally comes in a liquid concentrate.
Uses for Castile Soap
You’ll need to read the specific dilution instructions for the brand you buy, but here are some cleaning ideas with dilution guidelines.
1. Soft scrub: mix liquid castile soap with baking soda to form a paste.
2. Dishwashing soap (for handwashing): diluted 1:10, or, for people like me who don’t want to measure, a few squirts in the sink or dish tub.
3. Floor cleaning: 1/2 cup castile soap to 3 gallons water, or a few squirts in a smaller mopping bucket.
4. Multipurpose spray cleaner: put 1/4 cup castile soap in a 1 quart spray bottle; fill rest of bottle with water.
5. Laundry detergent: 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load. If the clothes are really dirty, add some borax and/or baking soda.
6. Litter box cleaning spray: one part bleach, one part castile soap and 19 parts water.
Do not mix castile soap with vinegar or lemon juice, though, because you’ll end up with a mess. The vinegar un-saponifies the soap.
Some people use castile soap as a multipurpose personal hygiene product as well, such as for body wash and shampoo, but I haven’t tried this.
I make all of our bar soap, and my hair is super picky, so I haven’t been brave enough to try it there (besides, I’m happy with my shampoo bars which are also all-natural and vegan).
If you’ve used castile soap before, I’d love to hear your experience.