Castile soap is a popular option for folks looking for an environmentally friendly, natural alternative to the more common soaps you’ll find at the store. Getting its name from the originator of olive-oil soap, the Castile region of Spain, castile soap is typically a plant oil based soap made with all natural ingredients. It’s usually devoid of any synthetic ingredients or animal by-products, making it non-toxic and biodegradable. 

Commonly made from a variety of plant oils – including coconut oil, castor oil, or hemp oil – castile soap can come in liquid or bar form. Castile soap makers often tout its versatility, claiming it can be used both for personal hygiene and for household cleaning, so long as it’s diluted properly. If you’re looking to try out castile soap, here’s a few things to look for when making a choice. 

Best Castile Soap

Editors’ Choice:

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap

Pros: 

  • Dr. Bronner’s soaps are vegan, fully biodegradable, non-GMO, and made without any synthetic preservatives or foaming agents. 
  • The most prominent ingredients include organic coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, organic palm kernel oil, and organic olive oil. 
  • According to the manufacturer, over 70% of this product is made with certified fair-trade ingredients which ensures fair wages and ethical working conditions for the folks producing this product. 
  • This soap is available in a variety of essential oil options, including lavender, peppermint, and tea tree. 

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have mentioned that Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap still carries a bit of a smell with it. 
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronner’s castile liquid soap is one of the more recognizable castile soap brands on the market. Available in several different varieties, including peppermint and lavender, this fully biodegradable soap is famous for its wordy bottles and “18 in 1” claim.

Best Bar:

Kirk’s Coco Castile Soap

Pros:

  • Kirk’s markets their castile soaps as being made without any synthetic detergents, harsh chemicals, or animal by-products. 
  • The main ingredient listed is sodium cocoate, and while that may sound like a chemical, it’s in fact coconut oil mixed with sodium hydroxide to give it a soap form.
  • This bar soap is non-GMO, vegan friendly, and hypoallergenic, made without any artificial colorants. 
  • Available in a few varieties including fragrance free, original fresh scent, and aloe vera. 

Cons:

  • While bar soap may be better suited for personal bathing, it may not be quite as versatile as some of the liquid castile soap options on the market.
Kirk’s Coco Castile Soap
Kirk’s Coco Castile Soap
Kirk’s Coco Castile Soap

A legacy brand in castile soap making, Kirk’s has been around since 1839. Their hypoallergenic bars of soap use a coconut oil base and are made in the USA. 

Best Value:

Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap

Pros:

  • Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap claims to be full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids. 
  • Marketed as being available for a variety of uses including head to toe body care, pet shampoo, laundry detergent, and antifungal plant spray.
  • Main ingredients include coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, argan oil, and jojoba oil.
  • On a cost per ounce basis, this is one of the more competitively priced items on our list. 

Cons:

  • Some reviewers that the consistency of this soap was a bit more watery than some competing castile liquid soaps.
Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap
Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap
Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap

For folks looking for an alternative castile soap option, Quinn’s Pure Castile Soap markets their product as being suitable from everything from bathing to household chores. Available at a reasonable price, this organic and vegan product uses several types of plant oils in its formulation.

Also Consider:

Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap

Pros:

  • Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap is non-GMO, vegan, and manufactured in the USA.
  • Primary ingredients include organic coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, organic olive oil, and organic castor oil.
  • The manufacturer touts this product’s versatility, claiming it can be used as a body soap, dish soap, veggie wash, or even a liquid floor cleaner. 

Cons:

  • Though the unscented version of this soap is competitively priced, the price goes up a bit if you look for a different option. 
Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap
Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap
Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap

Seven Minerals offers a vegan, non-GMO liquid castile soap made primarily from organic oils, including coconut, olive, and castor. This unscented soap boasts not using any palm oil, the overuse of which they claim may be contributing to the decimation of tropical rainforests.

Methodology

Castile soaps are typically made from plant oils and devoid of synthetic ingredients or animal by-products, making them a popular option for folks looking for an alternative from more common soaps. Before purchasing a castile soap, here are a few key features to consider.

Bar vs. Liquid

Ultimately, this is a matter of personal preference. However, the advantage of liquid castile soap is that you can potentially use it in a variety of ways, whereas bar castile soap is going to be mostly limited to bathing purposes. 

Versatility

A lot of folks enjoy liquid castile soap for the versatility it offers, as many of these are marketed as being useful not just for bathing, but also for household cleaning and even antifungal plant sprays. Some will dilute castile soap with water and put it in a spray bottle to use as a household cleaner. Others find the idea of using the same soap to wash your body and your dishes to be somewhat off putting. 

Ingredients

When looking at castile soaps, it’s important to take a look at the ingredients to make sure you know what you’re getting. Most castile soaps will use coconut oil as one of their primary ingredients with a variety of other oils to help flesh out the formula. Potassium hydroxide is commonly used to induce saponification of the oils; in other words, it’s the chemical that makes soap soap. If you start seeing a number of other chemical ingredients, you may want to steer clear of that soap. 

Essential Oils

Some castile soaps come in a variety of scents, most of which use an essential oil. If you prefer to use your own essential oils, you can try an unscented version and make your own concoction. 

Cost

Take a look at the total cost of the product and divide by the ounces to get an idea of the value of each type of soap. Keep in mind, however, that the amount you’ll get out of bar soap may vary based on your own tendencies. 

BarBend Tips

  • Castile soap has a bit of a different feel than common soap. While a little can go a long way, you may not get the sudsy reaction that’s typical of most soaps on the market. This doesn’t mean the soap isn’t working!
  • If you decide to use your castile soap outside of the shower, be sure to follow instructions on diluting it properly. If not, you’ll run out of soap more quickly and have a harder time getting rid of soap residue. 

Castile soap is a great option for folks looking for an environmentally friendly, biodegradable alternative to the more common soaps on the market. Take a look at the ingredients and ensure you know what you’re getting before you go through with a purchase.