...Pour in around 10-12 cups of boiling water, stir, and wait a while until it's all dissolved. There you go. You now have a powerful, concentrated cleaner that literally cost you around a dollar. It should look like cloudy water at first, but as it cools it will stiffen, expand, and become sort of goopy. This is normal. You might want to go ahead and have your spray bottles and dispensers ready for dilution while it's warm and soupy in texture. You can still work with it when it's goopy, too. No biggie. Just shake it up.
Castile soap is vegan and all natural. In other words, it's plant based and has no animal fat to make the soap. Most castile soaps are made with olive oil and coconut oil. As long as it's vegan, and it's natural (oil and NAOH--sodium hydroxide--lye--the stuff that reacts with the oil and makes soap), it's considered castile soap. It's very safe and nontoxic, and using it like this is a very inexpensive way to clean your home.
My first use of this was a very gutsy move if I do say so myself. I researched around and found that some people use it for dish washing detergent. Being that I was out, I took a deep breath, prayed, and went for it. I filled up the section with my new cleaner and the special section with white vinegar.
They came out clean, so I could sigh a sigh of relief that I didn't have a kitchen full of suds! That pretty much made my day. (Castile soap doesn't suds much because it doesn't have the sulfates that other soaps do. Apparently sulfates are toxic?) Update: 7/30/14 Some of my plastics (Isaac's sippy cups) have gotten cloudy. The vinegar is supposed to prevent clouding. I'm working on different amounts of it to see if I can fix it. Everything else looks great. Update: 7/31/14 Now I'm noticing the cloudiness on my pots and pans, too. Back to the drawing board. First, I'm going to try a dilution instead of the concentrate and use some lemon EO. Then, if that doesn't work, I'm going to try my laundry soap recipe. Some blogs I've read say that Dr. Bronner's castile soap works better in the dishwasher, so I might have to buy a bar. I my other attempts don't work, I'll try it out. Update 8/9/14: The laundry soap recipe and vinegar in the rinse cycle seems to be working and not clouding up the dishes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Update 8/30/14: The laundry soap did end up causing cloudiness, but I tried no turning the "heat dry" option on. This seems to keep the cloudiness away, but on cheap plastics, I can still see a little. After reviewing people's comments on what seems like a 100 recipes I've found on Pinterest and blogs, every option out there causes cloudiness. Ugh. I'll try Dr. Bronner's soap when I run out of this which will probably be in like...app years. :)
After researching different recipes, I discovered most people dilute 2 tbsp. of concentrate with about 2-3 cups of water and so forth. Play around with the strength for different uses. You might want a stronger solution for your kitchen and bathroom and a weaker one for your baby and your face.
You can use this cleaner for...
*Baby bath with lavender EO (Avoid eyes.)
*Hand wash (I'm getting a foam dispenser to make it last even longer. 2 tbsp. and the rest is a few drops of your favorite EOs and water to the top.)
*Body wash (same as hand wash)
*Face wash (1 tbsp. for me along with 2 drops of melaleuca and lavender each and 2 c. water.)
*Shaving gel (Use in its concentrated form for the best results. Peppermint EO can also be used to open up the pores.
*Clothes washing detergent 1c. liquid castile along with Borax (4c.), Washing Soap (4c.), and 5 drops pink grapefruit and lavender EOs (Update: This is still working great. It does get a little stiff and crunchy, so I simply use a butter knife to break it up a little. Some recipes call for vinegar, but I didn't put that in my recipe. Oddly enough, my running clothes are coming out smelling great. Woohoo! Next time I might try using the grated bar of Kirk's instead of the liquid. Kirk's has a great recipe on their website. Maybe it will be a little softer. I've read humid climates make the powders stiffer and crunchier, and that pretty much sums up Alabama to a T. Update 8/30/14: I made some laundry soap (same recipe) only with one bar of grated soap, and it doesn't get stiff at all. I will definitely be using this recipe in the future.
*Bathroom cleaner with lemon EO
*Dish washing detergent along with vinegar and optional EOs.
*Dish soap (Don't be alarmed at the lack of suds. It's still soap, and it still cleans. I leave the really tough jobs for the dishwasher anyway.)
*Mop water solution (1/2 c. concentrate, water, and a couple orange and eucalyptus EO drops)
Add in baking soda...
*This becomes a great, inexpensive degriming scrub along with baking soda and orange EO (It works on ceramic cooktops, tubs, and granite. I think they call this DIY Soft Scrub. I did half and half for this recipe. I have to go back with a swipe of kitchen cleaner on my granite and cooktop because the baking soda leaves a film. You know the drill. It's kind of like Comet. I haven't found a replacement for my granite polish, though.)
*Face and body scrub (Same recipe as soft scrub above)
*Hair clarifier (I scrub in some of the soft soap recipe into my regular shampoo. My hair was super clean and shiny. The orange EO does a great job on oily hair.)
Do you have any more uses? Has anyone ever tried it as a toilet bowl cleaner? I haven't gone that route yet. Some people use it as shampoo and toothpaste...
Update 8/30/14: I have been using it as toilet bowl cleaner for about a month now, and it seems to be working well. I'm aware that nothing can ever clean as deeply as products with bleach, but that's something I can live with.
I tried making my own toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda, liquid castile soap, and peppermint EO, and it tasted terrible! I only used it once, and the taste of baking soda was in my mouth all day long. I saw another recipe for tooth powder by Mommypotomous that I want to try that contains ingredients like stevia and bentonite clay. Maybe that will taste better!
What's your favorite use?
Think about the money we could save over the course of year by replacing our normal cleansers with 3 bars of Kirk's for less than $4! At least $100-$200. I've learned that with Kirk's, vinegar, baking soda, coconut oil, Epsom salts, and EOs, I can take care of a lot of our household needs for a very small amount of money. It just takes a little elbow grease. :)