8 Household Uses for Castile Soap

From garden pest control to natural dog shampoo, discover surprising uses for vegetable-based castile soap.

| May/June 2016

  • You can use castile soap as a nontoxic hand and body soap.
    Photo by iStock
  • Liquid castile soap can be used as a pet shampoo. Castile soap with peppermint oil works as a natural flea repellent.
    Photo by iStock

Vegetable-based castile soap is a wonder when it comes to natural cleaners. While commercially-produced soaps can contain chemically-manufactured scents or antibacterial chemicals that damage your skin with overexposure, castile soap (named for its birthplace in Castile, Spain) gets the job done naturally and gently, whether it’s cleaning your skin or loosening grime and dirt from surfaces in your home.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Combine 1 gallon hot water, 1/2 cup liquid castile soap and 10 drops thyme essential oil. Pour mixture into a spray bottle, shake and use as a natural alternative to commercial counter or tile cleaner.

Wash Your Pooch: Liquid castile soap makes a great natural soap for your furry companion. Castile soap with peppermint oil is particularly good for repelling fleas. After an initial rinse, apply the soap directly, using just enough to create a good lather, and being careful to avoid your pet’s eyes and ears. To finish, simply rinse off and dry your pet.

Carpet Shampoo: Combine three cups of water, 3/4 cup liquid castile soap, and 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Mix all ingredients in a blender. Rub the resulting foam into soiled areas with a damp sponge. Let the carpet dry thoroughly, and then vacuum.

Shoo-fly: Spray this mixture of castile soap, garlic, chili peppers and essential oil on plants before bringing them indoors over the winter, or just to keep pests at bay during warmer months. Get the full recipe.

Stovetop Cleaner: To cut through kitchen grease, add a few squirts of liquid castile soap to 2 cups hot water, and apply the mixture to your stovetop, burners and vent hood.

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