Castile Soap: An Eco-Friendly Cleaner at a Budget Price

Dr. Bronner's castile soap in a bathroomCastile soap can be used in all sorts of ways around the home. What's your favorite? Image: Mickey Dye

Ever on the alert for green cleaning products that are truly green, we found one that’s been around for decades: castile soap. A popular brand, Dr. Bronner, is made with vegetable oils — all certified organic and fair trade, which makes this soap as eco-friendly as it is versatile. Plus it’s concentrated, which means a little squirt goes a long way: You could use it every day and the bottle could still last you for months.

At $10 for a 16-oz. bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, it’s pretty cost-effective.
Here are just a few of the many uses for castile soap:

All-purpose cleaner:Mix two cups hot water with a couple ounces of castile soap, and use it to clean countertops, sinks, drains, you name it. Increase the amount of soap in the mix for tough grease-cutting jobs.

Shampoo: Lather, rinse, and repeat, just as you would with any other shampoo.

Body wash: Pour a little on a sponge or washcloth and scrub yourself clean. Remember, this stuff is concentrated, so just a couple drops will do.

Shaving cream: Because it’s made from different kinds of oil, castile soap makes a decent shave solution that protects your skin from the razor without overdrying it.

Laundry detergent: Pour a quarter-cup of castile soap into a regular-sized load, or stretch your store-bought laundry detergent by diluting it into a solution of one part castile soap, one part detergent, and two parts water.

Grout cleaner: Mix castile soap, baking soda, and a couple drops of essential oils to make a soft scrub for dingy tile grout.

Toothpaste: Don’t be afraid! It works, and if you’re using the peppermint variety, brushing with castile soap won’t be as gross as you think.

Hand soap: Fill an empty soap dispenser with water, leaving an inch of room at the top. Squirt in some castile soap, shake it up, and you’ve got hand soap—it’ll be watery, but will lather when you rub your hands together.

Pet soap: Pour a bit into Fido’s fur, add water, and lather up, making sure to keep it out of his eyes.

Mopping solution: Add a couple tablespoons of castile soap to your bucket of water and go to town.

What other money-saving, eco-friendly products do you love?