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Posted by Linda Merrill | Feb 11, 2011

7 Household Cleaners You Can Make from Castile Soap

Good old-fashioned biodegradable castile soap is almost all you need to clean your house.

Photo: Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap*Editor's note: This article was not endorsed or paid for by Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap.  I honestly just think that homeowners should know about this biodegradable, versatile cleaning product because I've used it for years and I think it's great.  - Chaya Goodman 

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap has been on the market for decades. Made from vegetable and hemp oils, Bronner’s has no animal fats, is organic and all natural. Due to its super concentrated properties, one bottle of soap goes a long way, which cuts down on the use of plastic bottles.  Castile soap is a type of soap made exclusively from vegetable oil rather than animal fats or synthetics.

Emmanuel Bronner emigrated to the US from Germany in 1929. He was born into the Heilbronner family of long time soap makers. His parents were killed in the Holocaust, after refusing to emigrate with him. Despite, or perhaps because of, this tragedy, Bronner infused his work with moral aphorisms taken from varied Jewish, Christian and other sources. It’s all printed in tiny print on his iconic bottle labels.  Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, long a favorite of tree-huggers and budget conscious buyers, is finding a resurgence of popularity in today’s households.

Here's how to clean almost anything with castille soap:

1. Scrubbing cleanser: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with a few squirts Bronner’s liquid soap for an effective, yet non-abrasive cleanser. Use a thinner version (more soap added) for a toilet bowl cleaner.

2. Floor cleaner: Mix several tablespoons of liquid soap in a bucket of water (roughly 1 part soap to 40 parts water) and stir gently.

3. Laundry detergent: Use a quarter to a third of a cup straight liquid soap for a full load of clothing. Those in hard water areas may require the full third of a cup. For an added laundry boost, throw in a few spoonfuls of baking soda.

4. Plant pests: Add 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint scented liquid soap to a ½  gallon of water. Spray on plants to kill aphids and other pests.

5. Dishwasher liquid: Mix together ½ cup liquid soap, ½ cup water, 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice and ½ cup white vinegar. Blend well and store in a plastic bottle. Two tablespoons will do for one load of dishes.

6. General Purpose Spray Cleaner 1: Use:  3 tablespoons liquid soap, 2 tablespoons borax, 6 cups filtered water, and 2 cups distilled white vinegar. Bring water to a boil and pour over the soap and borax to dissolve. Whisk in the vinegar and let cool. Store in a spray bottle.

7. General Purpose Spray Cleaner 2: Same as above, but exchange vinegar with 3 tablespoons baking soda.

Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile soap comes in several all-natural scents, including: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree Oil, Almond, Citrus, Lavender and Rose. For those with sensitive skin, it also comes in an unscented Baby Mild formula. Any of the scented soaps may be used in most of the recipes above with the exception of the laundry soaps, as some of the oils in the scents may stain fabrics.

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