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Why Castile Soap is Awesome

Over the weekend, I wrote about how you can use Castile soap as an alternative to bleach.  I am a huge fan of Castile soap and it's incredibly versatile.

I was turned on to Castile soap when I was an oh-so rebellious 20 year old getting all sorts of holes poked into my face and ears.  After a slow-healing eyebrow piercing, it was recommended that I try Castile soap.  I bought a huge bottle, it worked like a charm, and since then I learned that there are endless uses to Castile soap.

Castile soap is made primarily of olive oil, and it originates in the Castile region of Spain.  Castile soap purists say that it should be made of 100% olive oil, but some variants include other ingredients, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil.  Most Castile soaps include organic ingredients, but not all, so be sure to check the labels.  The most popular brand, Dr. Bronner's are organic, fair trade, and their packages are made of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) material.  Trader Joe's has a cheaper alternative and it's peppermint-scented so it smells yummy.    If you're feeling motivated, I also found some recipes for making your own.

Castile soap has many, many uses, especially in its liquid form, such as....

- Shampoo for you OR your dog.

- Shaving lather.  (It works fine for my legs, but I can't vouch for how well it would work on a stubbly face)

- A household cleanser.  You can either dilute it in a spray bottle and spray away, or mix with baking soda to use as a scrub.   You can also mix it in a spray bottle with vinegar and tea tree oil.

- Replace your soap with it.  You can use it as liquid soap in your bathroom, as a body wash in the shower, or as a bubble bath.

- Laundry detergent.  TipNut has many laundry detergent recipes and many include Castile soap.

- Automatic dishwashing detergent.  Green Living Tips offers this recipe:

1/2 cup liquid castile soap
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 drops tea tree oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
Stir all ingredients together until blended. Store in a squirt top bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per load of dishes, shake well before use.