Castile Soap

What is Castile Soap

Castile soap was traditionally made from olive oil and or Laurel oil.  It is said that it originated in Spain; from the Castile region – hence the name. 

Unlike other types of soap it is only ever made from vegetable oil and doesn’t contain any animal fats, which also makes it suitable for Vegans.  And, although it was traditionally made from olive oil it is now made from a number of other types of vegetable oil, including coconut, almond, hemp and castor oil.

The original castile soap was a hard soap but now you can find it either in a bar or liquid form.  This soap has become extremely popular as it is eco friendly, non toxic, biodegradable and very versatile. And, because it is so popular there are now many brands available.

However, you do need to ensure you read the label when buying castile soap to ensure that there are no unwanted added ingredients and to make sure it’s not made from Palm oil.

5 Ways to Use Castile Soap

Now that you know what castile soap is here are some of my favourite ways that you can use it around your home.

General Cleaner

Castile soap is great for general cleaning around your and this general cleaning spray recipe doesn’t contain vinegar so is great for using on stone, granite, ceramic or marble surfaces


  • Glass spray bottle
  • ½ Tbsp washing soda
  • 1 Tbsp castile soap
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • Approx 20 drops of essential oils (not citrus if using on granite)


  • Add washing soda & castile soap to the bottle.
  • Pour two cups of hot water in and shake well to mix (use cooled boiled or distilled water)
  • Add the essential oils to the bottle when cool and shake again.
  • Rinse surfaces with warm water after use

Note: Washing Soda can irritate skin so use household gloves when cleaning. Always use water based natural cleaning recipes within a week as they don’t contain preservatives unlike commercial cleaners.

Castile Soap

Castile Soap as a Handwash

Making a hand soap is very easy and you only need 2 or 3 ingredients depending on whether you want your hand wash to be scented or unscented.


  • 250ml Glass bottle with pump
  • 2 to 3 Tbsps castile soap
  • Approximately 200ml of cooled boiled water or distilled water
  • 10 drops of essential oils (optional)


  • Add water to empty bottle.
  • Add the castile soap and essnetial oils if using
  • Place lid of water and shake the contents to mix

Note: This will work as a foaming hand soap if you have a foaming pump.

Castile Soap

Reusable Baby Wipes

This is a simple solution to use with your reusable baby wipes.  I don’t pre-wet the wipes with the solution but carry it is a separate bottle but if you prefer you can wet the reusable wipes with the solution and store them in a watertight container.


  • 1 ½ cup distilled or cooled boiled water
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp liquid Castile soap


Pour all the ingredients into any empty bottle, place a lid on and shake to mix.

Always remember to use distilled water if possible, if not use cooled boiled water and only make up in small batches and use the same day.

reusable baby wipes

Body Wash

You can use either the liquid soap or bar soap in the shower without any fancy recipes.  However, if you’re looking for a super moisturising body wash this is a great recipe.


  • 175ml liquid castile soap
  • 4 tbs raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil – you can use other oils such as sweet almond, jojoba or grapeseed
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (this will also act as a preservative)
  • 30 drops essential oils (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a bottle, place the lid on and shake to combine and it’s ready to use.  You can store in a pump bottle and either use your hands or a natural sponge to wash with, you’ll only need a small amount.

Castile Soap


If you have stubborn stains or things like grubby collars you can pre-treat them with a bar of castile soap.  All you need to do is wet the bar and rub it over the stain and leave for a few minutes before washing.  For more natural stain removing tips check out my blog post on Natural Stain Removers.

You can use liquid castile soap for hand washing as it’s very gentle just add a capful to a sink of warm water.

Why not try making your own natural laundry detergent.  If you do here’s my recipe:


  • Empty jar or container
  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 cup of Soap Flakes (or grated bar of Castile Soap)


Mix together in a large bowl and pour into your container.  It’s that simple !

This recipe works best on a 40 degree heat, use one scoop for a normal load, you can use double if you have some tougher stains to shift. 

And, with any homemade laundry recipe that uses Soap Flakes or grated Castile Soap it’s best to run a load on a really hot wash once a month to ensure there’s no build up of soap.  

Castile Soap

I hope you found this recipes useful and can see how versatile castile soap is to have around the house.  There are lots more uses for castile soap than I’ve listed above and the Dr Bronner’s Dilution Cheat Sheet lists a few more that you might find useful.

Written by 

Hi, I’m Frankie. This is my blog (Thoroughly Modern Grandma) about blending old fashioned values with modern technology, whilst trying to reduce our waste and be a little kinder to our Planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *