see all cities »


Soap stars: castile

I’ve had a little theme of late with natural cleaning products. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a reason my house smells like fish and chips at least once a week and no, it’s not because I’m addicted to succulent pieces of battered cod – though I could be. It’s because I use vinegar and baking soda to clean everything! Here is a link to my natural cleaning product article.

One of the comments on a recent blog of mine was in regard to making a natural dish soap. What a challenge! Yep, there are a lot of recipes on the web – there’s a lot of everything on the web, but do they work?

Last week, my fellow Used blogger Lisa, showed us a mighty fine and mighty thrifty recipe for natural laundry detergent. I’ll be gathering the ingredients for this this week and am very excited to save some money on laundry! But what about dish soap?

When I began looking for natural recipes for dish soap, there was one common denominator and that was castile soap. I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s tea tree castile soap for years. It was recommended for a skin problem I was having which cleared up within a few weeks of using it, but I use it for everything, including dish soap when I’ve run out of store bought.

What is castile soap and why use it?

Castile soap is made from plant based oils mixed with an alkili. It is gentle on you and the environment because it’s biodegradable and free from harsh cleansers, oleochemicals, artificial foaming agents, petrochemicals and/or chemical anti-bacterial agents.

Why use it? Because it’s gentle enough to use on you and yet effective enough to use on your rugs, kitchen floor, bathroom tiles, etc.

In fact recently I read an article on Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in a celebrity magazine! Even Lady Gaga and Gwynth Paltrow love Dr. Bronner’s so it must at least be effective on putrid meat smells whilst still being a vegan option.

What can it be used for?

What can’t it be used for?

  • Shampoo – when mixed with water in a 1:3 part ratio
  • Dishwasher detergent – as is
  • Body wash – 2:1 castile to water
  • Toothpaste – I’m not going to try this but many sources assure me it is far better for your teeth – I’ll have to trust you on that one!
  • Veggie wash – just mix 1:2 ratio soap to water, but in a squeezy bottle and squirt your veggies
  • Carpet cleaner – 1/4 cup soap with 1 cup water, put in blender and blend until you have a stiff foam – voila!
  • Dishsoap – see my recipe below

Homemade dish soap recipe

This is the recipe I have seen on a multitude of sites. I don’t usually write about anything I haven’t tried myself, that’s my number one blogging rule… but today I am breaking it and I vow to try this recipe in the next couple of weeks and report back. This is for you Mark Johnston, thanks for reading my blog!

  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp borax
  • 1 Tbsp grated bar soap (use castile bar soap, homemade soap, Ivory, or whichever natural bar you prefer)
  • 15-20 drops essential oils, optional (find 100% pure essential oils here)


  1. Heat water to boiling
  2. Combine borax and grated bar soap in a medium bowl. Pour hot water over the mixture. Whisk until soap is completely melted
  3. Allow mixture to cool on the countertop for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally (Dish soap will gel upon standing)
  4. Transfer to a squirt bottle, and add essential oils (if using). Shake well to combine

If you try this before I do, please let me know!

Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

One Response to “Soap stars: castile”

Mark Johnston

Awesome – thank you so much!


Leave a Reply