Essential Oil Blog Castile Soap Green Cleaning for Home & Body
Learn more about Castile Soap and how to incorporate it into your natural lifestyle

Whenever we make soaps and cleansers, Castile soap is the first thing we reach for. In fact, as more and more people look for alternatives to commercially produced products that often contain synthetic chemicals, Castile soap is becoming an increasingly popular choice for a lot of folks in the DIY soap-making world, as it is all natural, nontoxic, biodegradable, free of animal products, and gentle enough to use on babies and pets. We’re excited to tell you all about this versatile soap and hope we inspire you to give it a try. Stay tuned for some delightful recipes at the end of this blog!

What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap differs from other common soaps and cleansers as it is made from vegetable oil instead of animal fat (tallow or lard) or synthetic detergents. Although traditionally made from only olive oil, most Castile soap today usually consists of a combination of vegetable oils. This can include olive, coconut, jojoba, aloe vera, castor, hemp, palm, and avocado as well as a few other oils. Because of this, it is important to check the ingredients list of Castile soap before buying to ensure that all ingredients are organic and that you don’t have any allergies to any of the plant oils used. It is also a good idea to make sure no synthetic fragrances or anything of that sort have been added. Ideally, Castile soap should be unscented. You can find Castile soap in both liquid and solid forms.

Aromatics International’s organic, liquid Castile soap is made from olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba, aloe vera, and rosemary extract. It has a silky, fluid texture and is unscented, making it perfect for adding your own aroma to it via your favorite essential oils. We are confident you’ll love this beautiful, all-natural, vegan-approved soap.

History of Castile Soap

Castile soap has a rich history that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. It originated in the Mediterranean area where it is believed to have been an adaptation of Aleppo soap brought back by Crusaders from the Middle East. Since Aleppo soap was made from laurel oil (Laurus nobilis – an evergreen shrub native to Syria), soap makers in Europe had to find another oil to use instead. It was soap makers in Castile, Spain that came up with using olive oil to make their soap and the idea (and the soap!) eventually spread across Europe. Thus, “Castile soap” was born! Other names it was known as over the years include Spanish soap and Castilian soap. Interestingly, Castile soap was even embroiled in a “soap war” of sorts between local protestant soap makers and Catholic Spanish soap manufacturers in 17th century England. Of course, it really had nothing to do with the actual soap, but that is a whole other story we won’t get into.

Benefits of Castile Soap

Before we get into some great uses for Castile soap, let’s sum up what makes this soap so special. Here are just a few of the benefits of Castile soap:

  • All natural
    • Made from real, organic plant oils
  • Non-toxic
    • No synthetic detergents or ingredients
  • Environmentally friendly
    • Biodegradable
    • No animal products used
    • No harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment
  • Gentle
    • Safe for use with children and animals
    • Great for those with sensitive skin
    • Can use on delicate surfaces and fabrics
  • Unscented
    • Perfect as a base for your aromatherapy blend
    • Great option for those with fragrance sensitivities that need unscented soap
  • Doesn’t dry out skin or hair
    • Leaves skin feeling silky soft

13 Castile Soap Uses

Whether you want to make your own soaps and cleansers or just looking for something all natural and environmentally friendly to use, Castile soap is a really versatile soap to have on hand in your home. Here are 13 of our favorite ways to use Castile soap:

1. All-purpose Household Cleaning Spray

Castile soap works as a great cleansing base for your homemade, all-natural household cleaners. Mix with some of your favorite hydrosols to create a light, aromatically beautiful spray. This diverse soap can also be used for mopping and as a toilet cleaner!

2. Baby Wash

Castile soap is gentle enough to be used on small children. When using it in a 1% dilution, this wonderful soap is safe and effective for keeping your most delicate little ones fresh and clean. The fact that Castile soap is naturally unscented means you can be confident that there are no harmful additions to your baby’s soap.

3. Bath Salts/Scrubs or Bath Bombs

This soap makes a fabulous, all-natural carrier for your favorite bath scrub recipes. It also works for making your own bath bombs!

4. Body Wash

Combine Castile soap with a naturally moisturizing carrier (like avocado oil, jojoba, etc.) and your favorite essential oils for a wonderful all-natural body wash. Pro tip: Add energizing, uplifting essential oils like Grapefruit (Rose) Oil, Peppermint Oil, or Rosemary ct Camphor Oil for an aromatic pick-me-up in the morning, or calming, grounding oils like Lavender Oil or Frankincense Oil to unwind after a long day!

5. Dish Soap

Use 1 part Castile soap to 10 parts water to make a lovely liquid dish soap. If you want, add a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil like Lemon Oil to help purify your dishes even more.

6. Fruit & Vegetable Rinse

Castile soap is perfect for washing dirt and pesticides off your fruit and vegetables. Add 1/4 tablespoon to a bowl of water. Soak the fruit or veggies and then gently scrub with hands. Rinse and eat!

7. Hand Soap/Foaming Hand Cleanser

Castile soap is our top choice for all of our hand soap recipes, including our favorite foaming hand cleansers. We’ve included 3 fun and easy recipes at the end of this blog that you can make today!

8. Makeup Brush Cleaner

Castile is effective enough to cleanse away makeup but gentle enough it won’t damage your favorite brushes or sponges. Add a little bit to a bowl or cup of warm water and wash your brushes and sponges thoroughly. Rinse with cool water and allow to air dry.

9. Makeup Remover

Castile soap cleanses skin without drying it out, making it perfect for using on sensitive skin areas including your face. We recommend using equal parts Castile, witch hazel, and carrier oil.

10. Pet Shampoo

Castile soap makes a wonderfully gentle and effective pet shampoo. Wet your pet’s fur and work in a small amount of Castile. Avoid getting suds in your pet’s eyes and make sure you rinse them off well. No essential oils needed, but if you do, make sure they are pet safe. This soap can leave your pet’s fur clean and shiny.

11. Plant Spray for Bugs, Fungus, etc.

Add one tablespoon of Castile to a quart of water and spray on your plants to help keep bugs away. Add a drop or two of antifungal essential oil to help with any fungal concerns.

12. Shampoo

Castile soap makes a gentle shampoo for your hair that can help add shine and softness. Add a small amount of Coconut Oil or Moringa Oil for added scalp moisturizing. Essential oils used sparingly can add depth and therapeutic benefits. Oils that may be stimulating to the scalp include Geranium Oil, Clary Sage Oil, or Rosemary ct Camphor Oil. Lavender Oil or Sandalwood Oil are great additions if the scalp needs extra moisturizing and calming benefits. When using essential oils on the scalp we like to use about 10-12 drops per an 8-ounce container.

13. Window Cleaner

Castile is great for helping with extra grimy windows. Add 1 tablespoon of Castile soap to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with a rinse of soda water or 1 part water to 1 part vinegar.

Those are just a few of our daily use suggestions and hardly the limit for what Castile soap can do. This remarkable soap is gentle, yet effective and can prove itself as a perfect replacement for many commercially produced products that can contain harmful chemicals and harsh cleansers. By adding a few drops of essential oil, you can make your Castile soap a cleansing powerhouse.

Learn More

If you’d like to read up on blending essential oils, suggested dilutions, etc., check out our Essential Oils 101 blog. Need help determining a safe, effective substitution for an essential oil? Our AromaNumber system is perfect for that. Read our AromaNumber blog for more info!

We hope you enjoy these fabulous recipes featuring our organic Castile soap and be sure to tell us your favorite way to use Castile soap in the comment section below!

Castile Soap Recipes

3 DIY Natural Foaming Hand Soap Recipes

Below are the 3 recipes featured in this YouTube video. You can click the title of each recipe to be taken directly to the recipe page on aromatics.com.

1. Foaming Peppermint Castile Hand Soap

castile soap blog essential oil recipe 1

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Step 1: Fill 8 oz. foamer bottle 3/4 full with Castile Soap (approx. 6 fl oz.)
  • Step 2: Add Peppermint Hydrosol to the Castile Soap (Add enough to fill the foamer bottle to the neck – approx. 2 fl oz.)
  • Step 3: Add 20 drops of Orange (Sweet) Oil to soap/hydrosol mixture.
  • Step 4: Add 20 drops of Lavender Oil to soap/hydrosol mixture.
  • Step 5: Add foamer top to bottle and shake gently to blend.

2. Moisturizing Foam Hand Soap

castile soap blog essential oil recipe 2

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Step 1: Fill foamer bottle with Castile Soap (approx. 7 fl oz.).
  • Step 2: Add 1 fl oz. of Avocado Oil to Castile Soap.
  • Step 3: Add 20 drops of Orange (Sweet) Oil to the mixture.
  • Step 4: Add 20 drops of Lavender Oil to the mixture.
  • Step 5: Add foamer top to bottle and shake gently to blend.

3. Gentle Foaming Hand Soap

castile soap blog essential oil recipe 3

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Step 1: Fill 8 oz. foamer bottle 1/2 full with Castile Soap (approx. 4 fl oz.).
  • Step 2: Fill the rest of the bottle with tap water (approx. 4 fl oz.).
  • Step 3: Add foamer top to bottle and shake gently to blend.