Castile Soap – Simply Magical.
Soap was recorded as discovered by the Babylonians, sometime in 2800 BC. It was by accident. People realized that the substance left behind after the rain on their sacrificial altars could be used for cleaning. By mixing the animal fats (oils), wood ash and water, they found a way to clean wool when making textiles. Soaps were initially not used for personal care or hygiene. It was in Aleppo, an ancient Babylonian city that the soaps were first used for this purpose. They discovered that they could use plant-based oils of laurel and olive to replace animal fats to make soaps. This improved the efficacy for soaps as these oils had medicinal attributes (anti-fungal and anti-bacteria).
The introduction of soaps from Aleppo to Europe and the rest of the world happened only during the middle-ages between the 1100-1200 AD. Aleppo was an important city in Syria and was at the cross-roads along the ancient trading route, the Silk Road. It was from here that traders and later crusading soldiers brought soaps back with them to Europe. This proved to be a blessing as it revolutionised sanitation and personal hygiene. The use of soaps has been attributed to the containment of rampant spread of various diseases including the black plague during this period. It was also during this time that countries in Europe began to find ways to make their own soaps as soaps from the Aleppo became scarce and expensive mainly due to the shortage of laurel oil a unique ingredient in soaps from Aleppo.
Many cities and regions in Europe began to dedicate attention to soap making. The Castile region in Spain with its abundance of olive groves became a centre where good plant-based oil soap was made and exported. It was from here that Castile Soaps got its name. These soaps soon made their way to Spanish and English royalty because of their quality, being pure, mild yet effective.
The industrial revolution changed the way soaps were made. With the advancement in science and chemistry, soaps were made for specific and different uses. There are now soaps to wash clothes, soaps to wash dishes, soaps for pets, soaps for cars, and even alternatives to soaps that are chemically derived.
Recent studies have shown that many of the chemicals used in our daily cleaning solutions are harmful, including fragrances, triclosan, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, resulting and leading to possible incidences of skin and health conditions. This has led to a new movement back to basics in soap making and formulation, one that has been proven good over thousands of years, natural, sustainable, safe, multi-purposed and friendly to the environment – Castile Soaps, in particular.
For this article, we will focus on the qualities and benefits of Liquid Castile Soaps.
What it is.
Just pure water, lye (potassium hydroxide), plant-based oil, natural extracts and essential oils to give you simply a good unadulterated soap. Soap that has been around for centuries, brought back because they are just so versatile and effective. Soap that is ideal for personal and home hygiene.
- Suitable for sensitive skin,
- Safe with no added harmful chemicals
- Sustainable and environment friendly
- 100% biodegradable
- Not tested on animals
- Can be refilled at zero waste shops or refill services
- A concentrate that can be diluted
- One soap with many uses
Note: It is important to read ingredients as not all liquid castile soaps are the same.
How it can be used.
Different dilutions for different solutions + you can bespoke your own with your favourite Essential Oil (EO) blends.
The composition of Liquid Castile Soap (LCS) makes it an excellent solution to add EOs without compromising the oils attributes and benefits. Customizing LCS for personal and home use allows it to further permeate the physiological environment for general wellness and hygiene that comes with the attributes of each different EOs and blends.
Here are some of the ways that we use our soaps for: Honey Face Cleanser, Safe Insect Repellent, and Charming Hand and Body Wash.
With LCS, you will only be limited by your creativity on how it can be used with EOs for any personal or home needs and purpose.
Dilution Guide for LCS
Here is a dilution guide that will help you to create your own bespoke product. Blend your oils into the LCS for that aromatic experience you desire. 2 to 3% of EO for every 100 ml Unscented LCS. Should you decide to use an already scented LCS add 0.5% to every 100 ml.
Hands and Body Wash: Squirt a small amount directly on hands, a washcloth or loofah to lather. Use full strength or dilute up to 50%. Using a 50% dilution for hand soap in a foam pump works perfectly. For sensitive skin, use it Unscented. Is safe for babies and infants too.
Face Wash: Add two or three drops to wet hands, and wash face as normal.
Shaving Foam: Work a few drops of the soap into a lather or dilute into foam pump to produce a luxurious foam, shave and rinse when done.
After-shave: Add one or two drops of in a spray bottle with 100 ml of distilled water. Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree work well. For sensitive skin, use the Unscented.
Clearing Congestion: Add one tablespoon into a bowl of steaming hot water. Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the mist. The peppermint scent works especially well.
Deodorant: Add a few drops into a spray bottle add water to dilute fully, 1ml castile soap to 100ml water, also add a teaspoon of Himalayan crystal salt for best results.
Washing Dishes: Use full strength onto wet sponge or applicator and scrub for heavier bulk cleaning. Alternatively, add 10 parts of water to one part soap, and squirt the mix onto a scrub brush for lighter cleaning. Note: This will not work in a dishwasher.
Laundry: Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup soap for a large load in the washer. Best to mix it with warm water before adding to clothes. You may also mix with a cup of baking soda or Borax and dilute with water.
General Cleaning: Pour 25 ml of soap into a 500 ml of warm water in a spray bottle and you get the perfect multi-purpose cleaner for your floor, windows, and all water safe surfaces. It even replaces detergent concentrates on carpets, works well with carpet cleaners.
Fruit/Vegetable Rinse: Add a couple of drops of soap into a bowl of water, and rinse well. Scrub with hands to get off any dirt. Rinse in cold water.
Non-toxic Toilet Cleaner: Use full strength and may want to add a few drops of essential oil, mix into sponge or, cleaning brush or pour all ingredients in a 16 oz or larger squirt bottle, and shake to mix. Squirt in the toilet bowl and use a brush to scrub it clean.
Outdoor Uses for Castile Soap:
Bathing Dogs: Wet your dog, work the soap up and down until there’s a good lather. The amount of soap varies depending on the size of the dog, hair type/length and dirtiness. Rinse.
Ant Spray: Add 1/4 cup of tea tree soap to a quart of water and stir to mix. Spray indoors or outdoors, wherever ants are accumulating. Do not use on plants, as this concentration will burn plants!
Cleaning Cars: Mix a capful into pail of water, use sponge or wet clothe to wipe over surface and rinse. Avoid washing in direct sunlight.
The Castile Soap Shop
TCSS has chosen to partner Vermont Soap Corporation as its house brand because we share the philosophy that we should keep it simple and do whatever with consciousness that we have a world to take care for. Hence from sourcing, processing and using, we try our best always to make sure it is sustainable. Interesting to note too that Vermont Soaps factory is Hydro Powered!