Washing with Castile Soap

Around half the people in the UK don’t recycle bathroom waste such as shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles. Therefore buying products with less packaging or no packaging at all makes a big difference.

I thought it would be a good idea to make my own, so bought some liquid Castile Soap as it can use it for lots of different things. As well as reducing the amount of plastic I use, I wanted to reduce the amount of chemicals I was releasing into our water system.

What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap is traditionally made with olive oil but sunflower and coconut oil can also be used, and it doesn’t contain any animal fats or synthetic substances.

It’s also more environmentally friendly than other soaps as there is less waste produced when making it and it’s more bio-degradable than other soaps.

What can it be used for?

Some of the uses for Castile Soap include:

  • Hand wash
  • Shaving lather
  • Bubble bath
  • Pet shampoo
  • Shampoo
  • Washing clothes and nappies
  • For general cleaning
  • Heavy duty degreasing

What I used it for?

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Shampoo and Body wash

I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with the shampoo bars, I’ve used two so far; one from Lush which my hair reacted really well to, but it has a few “safe synthetics” and an all natural goats milk bar which just made my hair feel completely waxy and heavy from the first moment I used it (so I’m now just using it as soap).

I therefore decided that I wanted to make my own, so I had a look round for a simple recipe, and found one.

I’ve reused a 300ml plastic all-in-one-wash bottle and adjusted the measurements accordingly. I put all the ingredients in the order written below into the bottle, and I give it a good shake before every use.



It’s very very runny, so you need to shake the bottle before use. If you put a little bit in your hands and rub them together it does lather up.

I used it on myself and my son, we both have relatively long hair so it was a little hard getting enough on to feel as though we managed to wash our hair properly. My hair felt a little greasy after the first use, and really greasy after the second – I usually wash my hair every other day.

My son’s hair was fine, we wash his every week.

As a shampoo for me, I would give it a 5/10 – I’m not convinced, but for my son 10/10.

As a body wash for both of us 10/10, it left our skin feeling lovely and soft and smelling lovely.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Liquid Laundry Detergent

I realised the plant based cleaning products I’ve been buying, could easily be made. I reused the 1.5Litre liquid detergent plastic bottle that I had just finished.


Carefully mix together the bicarbonate of soda, salt, essential oils and 250ml of the boiled water (it froths up quickly), and pour into the bottle.

Mix the Castile soap and remaining 250ml of boiling water and mix, and then pour into the bottle.

The mixture should look gloopy and thick, shake the bottle well until it’s all mixed together. Give a good shake prior to every use. I use 1 capful per load.


We wash all our clothes on a cool wash (20 degrees), so I was a bit worried as to how clean it would get the clothes. But to be fair, all our clothes were very clean, the items which had stains on them, weren’t removed as well as I had hoped – but I doubt that my “normal” detergent would have removed them either. So I would give it a strong 8/10.

Vinegar Fabric softener

This doesn’t include Castile soap, but I did make my own fabric softener to go along with the washing detergent. I again reused the 1.5Litre fabric softener plastic bottle that I had just finished.


Pour the vinegar into a bowl, add the essential oil and salt and then carefully add the bicarbonate of soda, it will fizz up a lot. Once settled I poured it into the bottle. I use one capful per load and always give the bottle a good shake before using.


Oh my goodness.

If only I’d tried this sooner. My clothes have never been so soft with any of the fabric softeners I’ve used before! Also vinegar is also very good at keeping your whites white and not fading the colour in your clothes. I give the vinegar fabric softener 10/10 – also clothes don’t smell of vinegar.

Essential Oils – WARNING

A number of studies have found evidence to suspected a link between abnormal breast growth in young boys and regular exposure to lavender or tea tree oil, by finding that key chemicals in these common plant-derived oils act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. 

 Lavender and tea tree oils may act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), which are natural or man-made compounds that mimic or oppose the actions of hormones produced in the human body. 

The studies only looked at using essential oils on skin or topical exposure and not aromatherapy and also found that as the dilution increased, the EDC activity of the oils and chemicals decreased.

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