• Liquid Castile Soap: DIY

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    Castile soap, also known as vegetable soap, is soap that contains no animal fats. It is made primarily with olive oil but it can also contain other plant oils. Making liquid castile soap at home can save you money and give you the peace of mind of knowing that no harmful ingredients have gone into your soap.

    One of the really fun things I get to do is mess around with DIY cleaners. The inner chemist in me comes out and I play around with different formulas until I get something just right. My bloopers not withstanding, I can usually muddle my way through a recipe and make it work with minor adjustments here and there.

    Today I would like to show you how to make your own liquid castile soap for pennies. Well not really pennies but a full quart of liquid castile soap for less than $1.50. Compare that to Dr. Bronner’s at $14 or $15 dollars and you will see why I am excited.

    What is Castile Soap?

    Castile soap is wonderful stuff. It is made from 100% plant oils – typically olive oil or coconut oil – and it includes no animal fat and no mysterious chemicals. It’s a true soap, not a chemical detergent, making …

    For the past three weeks I have been keeping a list of how I use my various castile soap wonderfuls. Amazingly, I have I found that a single dilution, poured into a spray bottle, does it all. So far I have not found any reason to use the soap undiluted or in a stronger or weaker dilution.Household Cleaner: Depending on your mood, pick your favorite version and spray away. I use in on my black granite counters, wood floors, stainless appliances, everything. The Orange Wonderful seems to work best on really greasy things which makes sense because orange essential oil is made from orange peels and we all know what a good solvent orange can be. (By the way, a drop or two of orange essential oil neat – right out of the bottle – works just as good as petroleum based goo gone.)

    Window and Mirror Cleaner: For some reason, my castile soap wonderful cleans windows and glass just fine and without leaving a residue while Dr. Bonner’s tended to streak on me.

    Washington Hands: Instead of using soap in the pump bottle, spray your hands with a generous amount of Tea Tree Wonderful, rub your hands together and rinse. The tea tree serves as an effective anti-bacterial and sanitizer.

    Body wash: Spray your favorite scented wonderful on a washcloth and give yourself a “sponge” type bath. (Does anyone even use that term anymore?) Anyway, for extra moisture, you could add a bit of vitamin E oil or even olive oil to your spray bottle – just make sure you mark the bottle “body wash”. While you are at it, add a few extra drops of essential oil so you smell heavenly.

    Facial cleaner/facial wipes: Spray your Lavender Wonderful on to a microfiber cloth or plain old washcloth and use it to clean off every bit of makeup, even mascara. Your face will feel nice and soft afterward.

    Toothpaste: I kid you not. Spray some Peppermint (or other) Wonderful onto a toothbrush and brush away. I do prefer regular toothpaste but if there were non available, this would work just fine.

    Eyeglass Cleaner: Castile wonderful will make your eyeglasses sparkle. Because you are cleaning with soap, you do not have to worry about ruining your Transitions lenses (never use a vinegar solution on them).

    Clean fruits and veggies: Spay and wipe to remove gems and pesticides from non-organic produce.

    Doggie Shampoo: I used a combination of Peppermint and Lavender Wonderful for Tucker’s bath this weekend. After wetting him down, I got out the spray bottle and sprayed away. Are you detecting a common theme here?

    Clean Your Shoes: Spray and scrub. My 5 year old Clarks sandals came out looking nice and fresh and ready for another summer.

    Clean Makeup Brushes: For those of you that wear makeup, spray your brushes every few days then wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth. The bristles stay nice and soft and smell great. No more built up makeup goo.

    Dusting Spray: I have been using this spray for three weeks on my wood furniture and most notably my desk which get very grimy. I have also used it on my iPad and laptop screens and almost anything else you can think of.

    One thing I did not try (but want to) is making a homemade soft scrub by combining 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap and 1/3 cup baking soda in to a scrubbing paste. Just thinking about it, it seems to me I could sprinkle some baking soda on my crusty pan or gunky sink and just spray and scrub without making the paste. Even though it only costs pennies, using an undiluted tablespoon seems wasteful. Again, I have not tested this.

    Magic versus Wonderful

    In the past I have referred to “Rose Magic” and “Peppermint Magic”. The only difference between Peppermint (or other) Magic and Peppermint (or other) Wonderful is that “Magic” uses Dr. Bronner’s and “Wonderful” uses the DIY liquid soap make with Kirk’s. Same dilution, no difference.

    Credit Where Credit Is Due

    There are lots of websites that have similar instructions but as you will find, everyone has their own dilution and their own way of doing things. This is my way and it works for me so I have a high degree of confidence that it will work for you too.

    The Final Word

    Shop around and you might find a deal on Kirk’s bar soap. I initially picked some up at Safeway when I was in the Seattle area but by far, the cheapest place I found online was at I paid $3.79 for 3 bars and since I also purchased some other products, shipping was free. I am told that some Wal-marts carry Kirk’s at a similar price so it is worth checking locally.

    I have now stocked up on Kirk’s and will put some in deep storage. At this price, having the ability to make my own scented liquid castile soap any time I want to sounds like a good proposition. Not only that, I am convinced that being armed with vinegar, castile soap, spray bottles and microfiber cloths, I can clean anything!

    We have also discounted our water we use within this batch. Typically, we use about a 28% lye solution, but for this soap, we used a 30% lye solution. This discount in our liquid portion will also help the bar to harden more quickly. I just recently started using some soap bars from a 100% olive oil castile soap recipe batch that I had created over a year ago. I'll tell you what… that soap is divine and yes, very hard! In fact, the castile soap from that long-ago batch is one of my all-time favorite soap bars that I have ever used. This gentle, yet cleansing soap has a wonderful lather that is creamy and robust. Yes… after time, even a 100% olive oil soap will produce a great lather!

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