This amazing post was written by Caitlin Iles, a Holistic Culinary Nutritionist, and Yoga teacher who focuses on healing the body through the latest nutrition research and time-tested, evolution-based dietary concepts. She shares recipes and inspiration at www.caitliniles.ca or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
Many clients come to me hoping to make over their diets to support their bodies and health goals. We will often discuss the role of the liver in maintaining health and I will share some of my favorite liver-loving foods and common, but powerful herbs that they can incorporate into their diets to support their natural detoxification pathways.
However, due to the sheer amount of chemicals and toxins you can come into contact with on a daily basis, it’s not uncommon for your liver to get overwhelmed, which can lead to many healthy issues.
One of the easiest ways you can eliminate toxins from your life and household is to switch over to natural cleaning products. Since consumers are starting to demand more natural cleaning products, there are TONS of different brands on the market, which can make it incredibly overwhelming and expensive to find the right ones for all your needs.
By using a castile soap, you’ll have the perfect base on hand to easily create the following recipes for all your cleaning needs from face to the floor!
Why Avoid Traditional Cleaners & Beauty Products?
It can be somewhat mind boggling to try to dig into the various chemicals, dyes, anti-bacterial ingredients, and fragrances used in conventional cleaning and beauty products.
Though ostensibly testing has been done to assure you of the safety of the individual chemicals, there has never been a long-term study that has looked at the cumulative effect of using many different types of chemicals consistently for a long period.
A study by the Environmental Working Group found that women apply up to 168 different chemicals to their skin daily solely from cosmetics. That’s not including the chemicals found in household cleaners. Many of the ingredients in conventional household cleaners and beauty products come from the petrochemical industry, while others are known endocrine disruptors, potential carcinogens, and neurotoxins.
All this leads to a huge burden on the liver and immune system, which can result in illness and toxicity down the line if your exposure overextends the ability of your liver to detoxify the chemicals you come into contact with.
As usual, the EWG has you covered with the safety rating for over 25 000 household cleaners, including lots of information on hazardous chemicals and their effects on the body. However, I think there’s no better way to keep your home clean and chemical free than by making your own cleaners and beauty products. And that’s where castile soap comes in!
Why Use Castile Soap?
Castile soap is a popular choice for those looking for an all-purpose cleaner because it has very few ingredients and those it does contain have some excellent benefits.
Most castile soap is made from a combination of olive oil and coconut oil, both of which have impressive cleaning properties.
Coconut oil makes a great moisturizer for dry skin and has wound healing capabilities as well, making it the perfect addition to any skin care routine. It also contains medium chain fatty acids that have antifungal and anti-bacterial benefits, both of which make this an excellent choice as a base for household cleaners, without the nasty side effects of common chemicals.
Olive oil contains a compound called oleic acid, which has been shown to have bactericidal (a fancy way of saying it kills bacteria) on MRSA, making it a strong addition to topical and household cleaning products. It’s also loaded with anti-oxidants to help keep your skin looking clear and beautiful.
You can either make your own soap by following this excellent recipe from Northwest Edible Life, or you can pick up a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s if it’s a little too labor intensive for your needs.
Castile Soap: How to Use It
You will want to avoid using pure castile soap on your face, hair, and home as it is very strong. By creating the following dilutions, you will have an incredible array of cleaning products for all your needs!
Face or Body
You never want to use pure castile soap on your face, but it’s super simple to create deliciously scented face washes using various essential oils. If you have sensitive or dry skin, try the following combinations:
Sensitive Skin Wash
- 1 cup unscented castile soap
- ½ to ¾ cups brewed chamomile tea (this tea is super soothing for the skin!)
- 6-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 6-10 drops calendula oil
Combine all ingredients and use to cleanse the face before bed. Moisturize with jojoba oil to actually soothe the skin.
Dry Skin Wash
- 1 cup unscented castile soap
- ½ to ¾ cups rose water
- 6-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 6-10 drops rosehip seed oil
Combine all ingredients and use to cleanse the face before bed. Moisturize with jojoba oil infused with a few drops of rose hip seed oil to actually soothe the skin.
Castile soap is an incredibly alkaline solution, so you never want to use it straight on your hair as it can throw off the delicate pH balance and leave you with a head full of straw.
However, this amazing recipe combines castile soap with beautiful oils such as rosemary, lavender, and tamanu to create a nourishing shampoo. Make sure you follow it with an acidic rinse with something like apple cider vinegar to keep your hair shiny and healthy!
Standard Household Cleaner
I’ve been using my own homemade cleaner for years, and it’s so easy to make that it’s a little ridiculous. Plus you can customize it with really beautiful essential oils to leave your house smelling clean and fresh, without the artificial perfume fragrances!
- 1 spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Castile soap
- 10-20 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 15 drops thyme essential oil
- Fill your spray bottle about a quarter of the way with white vinegar.
- Add a couple of small squirts of castile soap and the essential oils.
- Fill the rest of the way with water.
- Use for cleaning countertops; the bathroom sinks, floors, and anything else that needs a scrub!
I think we can all agree that laundry soap is absurdly expensive, especially if you’re buying an eco-friendly brand. Luckily with just some castile soap, baking soda, and super washing soda you can make your own detergent for a fraction of the cost with no harmful effects for you or the planet! Check out this excellent recipe for homemade detergent.
So those are some simple recipes to get you started as a castile soap magician, saving you time, money, and lessening your impact on the planet all in one go. Happy cleaning friend!
- EWG Study: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2004/06/15/exposures-add-up-survey-results/
- EWG Cleaners: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners
- Coconut oil moisturizer: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
- Coconut oil wound healing: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20040946
- Coconut oil anti-fungal: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080
- Coconut oil anti-bacterial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162522
- Olive oil & MRSA: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21532323
- Shampoo recipe: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/wavy-hair-type-2/can-you-put-castile-soap-on-your-hair/
- Detergent recipe: http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/03/diy-homemade-laundry-detergent-cheap-and-green-free-printable-2.html
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