Monday, August 17, 2009

Castile Soap

Have you heard of Castile soap? It has had a resurgence in popularity and availability with the "Green Movement".
Castile Soap is not a brand but a type of cleanser that was originally made from 100% olive oil but now can be made with coconut, palm, hemp, soybean or jojoba oils added to the olive oil. This gives added lathering abilities. It is available in liquid or bar form and is used on the body as well as the home.
(If using for bathing, choose one with the highest percentage of olive oil to prevent drying of the skin).

What is Castile Soap used for?
Everything!

Unlike soap, castile soap contains no phosphates. (Phosphates are nutrients to all organisms. When products containing phosphates enter the waterways, they cause algae to skyrocket in growth, resulting in water covered with algae that suffocates the other plants and animals. Castile soap is one of the oldest soaps that is not composed of toxic or harmful chemicals. There are no petrochemicals used in its production.
It is completely biodegradable and breaks down into its base components. (Care should be taken not to ingest or get in the eyes, but it really is gentle enough to use for babies, the elderly and sensitive skin.)
Body
To use as a body wash, just add a few drops on a washcloth and lather up.
To use as a footsoak, add a few drops to a basin of warm water.
To use in the bath for children or adults - use a capful in running water - makes a great bubble bath.
A teeny tiny drop can be used on your toothbrush for toothpaste! (WARNING: this tastes gross). But, it is not harmful.
It can be used as a shampoo - (again, I don't recommend this, but some people use this product for this feature).
Use it for hand soap by filling up an old hand soap dispenser 90% with water and adding a capful of castile soap. (If you like your soap with more lather, add another half capful).
Use castile soap to shave by making a think lather.
Great pet shampoo! Use a few drops on your pet's coat and then lather up and rinse.
A few drops in water creates a vegetable wash that removes fruits and vegetables of pesticides.

Home
Can be used on floors, countertops etc. Dilute with water and then rinse. (Some people find that on linoleum flooring, the castile soap leaves a residue.) Add water to a spray bottle (fill up 90% full and add a capful of castile soap). Use on countertops, appliances, etc.
Laundry - use a few drops for laundry or even baby diapers!

Someone who hikes or goes on camping trips would find this product useful as an all in one cleanser.

I purchased a large bottle of castile soap at the Coop for $15. It has a peppermint scent, but you can purchase essential oils and add to the castile soap to personalize the fragrance.

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