Castile soap was traditionally made with olive oil and animal fat, but is made today using vegetable oils like palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, and olive. This is my go-to for everything that needs cleaning in my house, including myself. It’s a toxin-free alternative to the store bought all-purpose cleaners, shampoos, dish soaps, hand soaps, etc. Even a lot of the so-called “green” cleaners aren’t actually toxin-free. It’s important to be aware of the chemicals we’re using. Here are a few to watch out for:
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (also listed as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl. Related chemicals are sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate)
This stuff is scary. It’s found in almost all personal care products. Shampoo, lotion, body wash, toothpaste, and the list goes on. This chemical is commercially used as an engine degreaser. The known effects may include: skin irritation, damage to teeth, hair loss, respiratory problems, eye and oral toxicity, headaches, nausea, to name a few. To top it off, 50% of the rats this chemical was tested on died following ingestion. Makes you wonder why this chemical is still used in so many of our products. I dare you, go check all of your personal care products and see how many of them contain sodium lauryl sulfate or one of its alternative names.
Most of us are actually aware of the harmful effects of aluminum. It’s linked to nerve damage, brain disorders, and breast cancer. Deodorant is the worst offender. Natural deodorants do work, you just have to give them a bit of time to kick in while your armpits are detoxing. Deodorant is something we use on the daily, so shouldn’t we want to make sure it contains only safe ingredients?
I won’t buy anything that contains fragrance in the ingredient list. Why? Because companies are not required to list the fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients. Fragrance could literally mean anything. Up to 95% of fragrance is derived from petroleum. Short term effects include coughing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and irritability. Long term effects include cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and reproductive disorders. Fragrance is found in scented candles, perfumes, lotions, body sprays, shampoo, conditioner, and much more.
This is a known carcinogen and it’s not always an easy ingredient to find in your products. Chances are, you won’t see the word “formaldehyde” listed. That’s because this ingredient is often listed as it’s fragmented name. It’s found in shampoo, pet shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, cosmetics, toothpaste, soap bars, and the list goes on. The fragmented ingredients that contain formaldehyde are: tosylamide, melamine, toluenesulfonamide polymer, urea, bisphenol a, epichlorohydrin polymer, sodium hydroxymethanesulfonate, sodium bisulfite copolymer, sodium polynaphthalene sulfonate, phenolic resin, phenol, glycidyl ether, triethylenetetramine copolymer.
Why do you think the cancer rates have sky rocketed in the last few decades? It’s the harmful chemicals we are exposing ourselves to every single day. Not only have cancer rates gone up for humans, but also for the animals that live in our homes. We need to stop trusting products that are advertised to us as being safe and start doing our own research. Read labels before buying products or, better yet, make your own products. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Here are 10 easy products that you can make for yourself:
1. DISH SOAP
I searched everywhere for a dish soap recipe that I actually liked. The first one I tried was way too watery and it left a greasy layer on the dishes. The second recipe I tried was a little better, but still too watery for mine and Peter’s liking. I decided that it was time to do a little research. What makes castile soap gel up? Table salt. I now have a dish soap that I love to use. This dish soap gels up perfectly and it’s very concentrated so you don’t need to use much. If you’d prefer it to be more of a liquid, cut the salt in half or omit it completely.
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp super washing soda
- 2 tsp table salt
- 1 cup castile soap
- 10-20 drops of essential oils
Heat water in saucepan until it’s almost boiling. Remove from heat and add super washing soda and table salt. Stir until the super washing soda and salt have completely dissolved. Let cool for 2-3 minutes. Add castile soap, essential oils, and stir. Transfer mixture to a container of your choice. The soap may separate, but I find that shaking the mixture in the container will help keep it from separating. This may need to be done a few times before it works. If the mixture gets too hard, add some hot water and shake to combine.
2. HAND SOAP
- 2 tbsp castile soap
- 2 tsp fractionated coconut oil
- 10-15 drops of essential oils
Add castile soap and fractionated coconut oil to an empty foaming soap dispenser. Add essential oils and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake to combine.
3. FRUIT AND VEGGIE WASH
Add 1/4 tsp of castile soap to a bowl of warm water. Add fruits and veggies, stirring them around for a minute, then rinse in clean water.
4. ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
There are a ton of ways to use this all-purpose cleaner. You can make just one bottle of cleaner or make a few with different scents for different areas of the house. I use Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend for the kitchen and a blend of citrus essential oils for my bathroom.
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 10 drops of essential oils
Add ingredients to a 1-quart spray bottle. Fill with water and shake before each use.
Toilet Bowl: Empty toilet bowl. Spray bowl with cleaner, sprinkle baking soda onto brush and scrub the bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, turn the water back on, and flush.
Bathtub/Shower: Spray bathtub/shower with cleaner, sprinkle baking soda onto brush and scrub the bathtub/shower. Let sit for 10 minutes and rinse.
5. DUSTING SPRAY
Why oh why did it take me so long to dust like this?! Not only has my house never been so clean, the dust takes twice as long to come back. Just spray a little of the dusting spray and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. I don’t spray any of my electronics (especially not the screen), but just using the microfiber cloth does the trick. I usually dust all screens before getting started on the rest of the house, just so that none of the spray ends up on the screens.
Add 2 tsp castile soap to every 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake to combine before each use.
6. FLOOR CLEANER
Add 1/2 cup of castile soap to 3 gallons of hot water.
7. WINDOW CLEANER
Add 1 tbsp of castile soap to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to combine. After washing windows, wipe them down with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
My hair has literally never felt or looked better since making my own shampoo. A word of warning, should you decide to make some for yourself: your hair will likely be quite greasy for the first week or two of using this shampoo. It’s just your scalp detoxing and it will go back to normal over time.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup castile soap
- 40-50 drops of essential oils
Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake before each use. Massage into hair and rinse.
Essential oils to support hair growth and thick hair: rosemary, cedarwood, lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage.
I follow up this shampoo with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. This will detangle and reduce frizz, increase shine, add body, stimulate the scalp, and decrease dandruff. After rinsing the shampoo out of your hair, pour the vinegar and water mixture onto your hair and massage it into your scalp. Rinse. The vinegar scent will go away as your hair dries.
9. FACE WASH
Add 1/4 cup of castile soap to a foaming soap dispenser and fill the rest of the container with water. Add 10 drops of essential oils of your choice. Shake before each use.
10. SHAVING CREAM
Use 10 drops of castile soap for your face, 3 drops for your underarms, and 1/2 tsp for your legs. Work to a lather in wet hands and then apply to area.
I told you that it was easy! I truly hope that this inspires you to do some research and maybe even go out and buy a bottle of castile soap to start making your own products. It’s comforting to finally live in a toxin-free environment. Not only for my own health, but for the health of my husband and my animal “children”.