Castile soap is named for the region of Spain that long ago produced soaps from olive oil, but it is now a general term for any vegetable-based soap. Castile soap is environmentally friendly, not tested on or made from animals, and doesn’t contain many of the harsh chemicals found in other types of soap. Additionally, castile soap is incredibly versatile! If bought in bulk and used conservatively, you can also save some money by cutting down on all the other types of products you might need to purchase to complete the tasks listed below. Check out these 10 great ways to use castile soap around your house:

1. Shampoo

While you can wash your hair with only castile soap, it can be pretty drying, will strip any color on hair, and it won’t suds up like the shampoo you’re used to. Adding coconut milk will solve this problem, since coconut is moisturizing and a natural surfactant. Surfactants bubble up, pulling oils and dirt off the surface of your head, and suspending them in molecules of water that can be easily washed away. Most commercial shampoos use chemically derived surfactants, but coconut milk is safe, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. And it smells great too! You can mix 1 tablespoon castile soap with 1 teaspoon coconut milk for a single serving shampoo, or try this awesome recipe, and add your favorite essential oils!

2. Dishwasher Detergent

Castile soap is great for hand washing dishes, but it makes a top notch natural liquid dishwasher detergent too!

3. Brushing Your Teeth

Many commercial toothpastes contain a plethora of artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and chemicals. If you want to avoid all those, and don’t mind the soapy taste, castile soap is a great alternative for brushing your teeth. Just add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush away!

4. Laundry Detergent

You can use castile soap to wash your clothes too! Mix castile soap with baking soda to clean clothes without all the toxic chemicals. Or mix up a batch of All Natural Laundry Detergent.

5. Scouring Scrub

Get rid of soap scum, grime, and stains with a DIY scouring scrub. Dilute 1 part castile soap to 3 parts water. Sprinkle baking soda on area to be cleaned, spray with the castile soap mixture, and scrub with a sponge or brush. This works wonderfully on tubs or showers, stove tops, or even as a toilet scrub!

6. Pet Shampoo

Keep your pet friends safe from harsh chemicals by using castile soap to lather them up! The soap will also be nicer to your furry friend’s skin.

7. Carpet Cleaner

Foaming carpet cleaners may be convenient, but they are loaded with toxins! Make your own foaming carpet cleaner by whizzing 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water in a blender until a stiff foam forms. Apply to carpet stains and scrub!

8. Clear Congestion

If you’re stuffed up, you can boil some water and add a tablespoon of castile soap (peppermint castile soap is great, but if you can’t find it, add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil).  Drape a towel over your head, lean into the steam and breathe deep!

9. Mop your Floors

Castile soap makes for a great wash-down material for wood and tile floors. Just mix 4 capfuls of liquid castile soap with a small bucket of warm water, and you have yourself one great sudsy floor cleaner, sans any extra chemicals you might find in formulated cleaners.

10. Ant Deterrent

Have you discovered ants in your pantry? Drive them away using castile soap! Mix water and castile soap and store in a spray bottle. Ants leave trails to guide others to the loot, so spritz the soap solution and any areas where ants have been.

Image Source: Karen Lee/Flickr