Castile soap is a vegetable-based, chemical-free product with no synthetic ingredients. Made from sustainable plant based oils including avocado, almond, coconut and olive oils, it originated in Spain in the 12th century from Castile.
It is an exceptionally versatile ingredient and when diluted, can clean anything fro floors to countertops. It is excellent at cleaning dirt, cutting through grease and removing stains. It's also effective despite being mild.
Mix with Acids
While acids (like vinegar) and bases (like castile soap) are powerful cleaning tools on their own, it's best not to mix castile soap with acidic ingredients. Castile soap is made with oil, so mixing with vinegar or lemon will result in a white, curdled solution that might leave behind a sticky film.
Use with Hard Water
Given its high mineral content, using castile soap with hard water can result in extra residue, which might leave surfaces feeling a bit sticky. To avoid this, boil the water first, use distilled water, or use a solution of water and vinegar on a cloth as an acid rinse to cut the grease.
Use on Tannin Stains
Although castile soap is a very effective mild cleaner, it won't tackle tannin stains like coffee, tea or juice.
Use as a Little and Often Floor Cleaner
Make a solution with ½ tsp of castile soap in 500ml warm water, add 10 drops essential oil and put in an old squirty bottle. This can be used to clean marble, natural stone or granite surfaces. Polish with microfibre cloth.
Use on Marble, Granite or Natural Stone Surfaces
Stone surfaces are often delicate and cannot be cleaned with acid ingredients such as vinegar or lemon. To clean more delicate surfaces, use a solution of castile soap and warm water. Polish with a microfibre cloth.
Use an Acid Cleaner as a 'Rinse'
Castile soap can leave a salt residue behind - cut through this by applying an acid rinse of water and vinegar or lemon solution.
Use as a Natural Laundry Detergent
Use a mixture of castile soap with baking soda for an eco alternative to detergent. You can also pre-treat stains with a dab of castile soap. In place of laundry detergents, lavender or unscented Castile soap is a natural alternative. Use 1/8 to 1/6 cup (preferably added to the wash water directly). For the rinse cycle, try a mixture of 16 ounces distilled white vinegar and some lavender essential oil, which will remove any remaining traces of soap and leave a beautiful scent.
Use on Woodwork
Add a few teaspoons of castile soap to a bucket of hot water and use a microfibre cloth to clean painted or sealed woodwork (not oiled or waxed!). You can use an old toothbrush to get into any nooks and crannies.