Cleaning & Formulas

Pooch Care Articles

Liquid Castile Soaps

Cleaning with Liquid Castile Soap & Essential Oils

Liquid soap is the most contacted product you use through out the day.  We use it to wash vegetables, hands, bodies, babies, pets, dishes and laundry.  Bottom line we use liquid soap several times a day.  Burts Bees established years ago that at least 60% of what goes on your skin enters your bloodstream. Now it is more important than ever to consider going as natural as possible.  Given the current circimstance of Covid-19 we are washing our hands more than ever. 

"Natural does not mean more expensive, in fact our soap replaces a myriad of commercial products."  

What is REAL Castile? Don't Be Fooled by a bunch of "olive art" on a jug of castile liquid soap when its primarily made with cheap coconut oil!  Over the last ten years companies such as some soapmakers in Vermont have been needlessly condescending to most all other soap makers, and putting other soap makers down in just about very bit of their content on their very nice looking websites.  It seems like the second episode of "Tiger King" to us.  So Mr. Vermont and Dr. B's seem to be calling their formulas "vegetable based oils" when their Castile products seem to be primarily coconut and coconut is not even a vegetable.  A coconut is classifed as a Drupe or to most people a "Fruit, Nut, or Seed."

We use at least 80% olive in our Castile, [unless otherwise noted on the label] so no, we cannot compete with the price of those using cheap coconut oil and then adding in a bunch of cheap vegetable glycerin to offset the drying coconut. We do not mind putting all of our formula on our bottles. Sure we use some coconut oil for bubbles but at a very low percent.  

We love our Liquid Castile Soap so much we keep a 1/2 gallon by the kitchen sink, in the laundry room and in the bathroom to use as a body wash.    We use it in our Automatic dishwashers and to wash our pets.  Our cool looking Crane neck pumps measure one perfect ounce every time! Old fashioned goodness complimented by modern technology.  Beyond great function our method of dispensing liquid soap is definitely a conversation piece.  Everyone wants to know what they are for and what it does! Our soap is also great in any foamer bottle.

Our Liquid Castile Soap is  available in Pearl (Castile's natural state,) Myers Lemon, Peppermint and Amber as well.   Most people are used to seeing amber liquid castile  soap, although we love the pearl.  They both work the same, it is just a matter of personal preference. We find the Peppermint great for bath and body for a tingly all over clean feeling.    The Lemon is  more for kitchen/laundry use although it can be used for everything plain is used for. 

Our Liquid Castile Soap can be used for laundry, although we have a new scented selection also, for those who love scent.  These include: Hemp-Lavender, Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint..

This article will provide you with easy and uplifting cleaning methods, recipes and Formulas to lift your spirits while you really go green at home base.   *You can use any liquid Castile you can find, although make sure there is olive oil in it and not just all low end vegetable oil components which can be drying to the skin when they constitute 10% of the formula, and they tend to be too watery.  

Cleaning with essential oils is a non-toxic way to clean the home while lifting your spirits at the same time!  As shown below, the power and energy of an essential oil can be delivered through a variety of systems, alcohol (for disinfecting) and the most common cleaning medium-good old soap and water.   As you may all be aware, we use our own liquid castile soap to clean almost everything. 

Mabel's Miracle Liquid Castile Soap is a vegetable based soap made with 100%  olive oil for its gentle nature and a small amount of coconut for its lather. It's multipurpose and can be used as a gentle yet effective, fruit and vegetable wash, floor & counter cleaner, laundry soap, window wash, pet shampoo and even straight on the body as the worlds most gentle cleaner. Made in America, it's petrol-free, detergent-free, completely biodegradable with literally hundreds of uses. *Our products are never tested on animals, only on husbands.

Incidentally, bubbles do matter and castile generates beautiful natural soap bubbles.  They are not dramatic, fake and uniform as with the chemical laden SLS surfactants.  We know 60% of what goes on your skin gets in the blood stream.  So go Castile!  (Photo: Castile Bubbles.)  Our liquid castile soap is made with olive oil, sunflower oil, some coconut oil (for lather) and castor oil.

Cleaning Recipes & Formulas  (excerpts from Maid Holistic by Mabel White)

Every formula has a "base".  In this case we are using soapy Castile water as our base for most cleaning, alcohol 90% or higher as our disinfectant base, bases such as Borax (the Mule Team salts), and/or simple items like baking soda and vinegar.  This also saves substantial money by not having to buy several pricey commercial products to do the time thing. Some of the commercial products we buy we do not even use often-so the overall price is high to you as well as the environment. We really do not like the smell of vinegar so we exchange that when possible to a citric acid solution which is just Vitamin C. In fact twice a year you should run your dishwasher empty with just a cup of Citric Acid and it will look brand new inside as well as descale some gross phosphates you may have built up.   

Automatic Dishwasher Formula

1 Teaspoon of Lemon Liquid Castile Soap

2 heaping tablespoons of citric acid or Citric Shine

Put the 1 Teaspoon of Lemon Liquid Castile Soap in the soap compartment, and 1 heaping tablespoons of citric shine (citric acid) tossed in the bottom of the unit. It does not matter where. The citric shines everything beyond taking care of the alkaline look when using natural soaps.   Do not use more than 1 teaspoon of Castile Liquid Soap or you will have a kitchen full of suds.  This is not going to work without the citric so don't even try it.  To clean residue out of a dishwasher-(we recommend once a year) run 1/2 cup of citric acid through a whole cycle with a 1/4 teaspoon of castile and no dishes in it. This usually will shine your unit.  The same principle works anywhere there is a soap build up, such as bath tubs.  * For wine glasses-just pump a little into each dirty glass and let sit over night.  I LOVE that pump because it saves reaching for a heavy jug when I am already exhausted. Tags: Castile Automatic Dishwasher Recipe. DYI Dishwasher Soap.

Laundry ? Making Your Own Laundry Soap

You can use Mabel's Liquid Castile as laundry soap in your 'green routine'. To clean laundry naturally use 1/4 cup of liquid castile in the wash.  You can add scent by adding it to the soap you are about to use.  This disperses the scent into the soap first and not directly onto clothes.  The lemon scent will not over ride your choice of scent.  Although uplifting and clean, Lemon is a more "fleeting" scent is one reason why.  Always add natural type liquid soaps directly to your laundry as they probably will clog your high end dispenser that is not really made for natural products.

1/4 Cup (2 Ounces) of  Mabel's Lemon Liquid Castile Soap

1 Cup of dry Green Laundry Booster (Baking Soda, Borax, Citric Mix)

For serious cleaning power add one cup of a dry booster (baking soda, borax, and citric mix described below). You can add essential oils to the soap about to be used into the soap you poured to wash too! Lavender is a nice choice, Lemon a clean scent, or my favorite, 'Fresh Cut Grass', not an essential oil, per se--but an effective aromatherapy grounding scent. For adding scent we use one pipette full, (1/10 of a ounce) although prudent people suggest only a few drops of essential oil. Either way is fine if it is mixed in the soap first, since the oil disperses into the soap first and not your clothes.  Tags: Castile Do It Yourself Laundry Recipe. Make your own laundry soap. DYI Laundry Soap.

Dry Green Laundry Booster  

2 parts mule team borax

1 part baking soda

1 part citric (Optional)

Borax is a natural salt and helps the soap clean more effectively.  Citric Acid is a great fabric softener. People who try to use vinegar but complain of smell, should use citric acid.  We mix ours and keep it in a reusable one gallon white pail. Many people have tried this entire system and say it cleans just as well as the commercial brands. We agree. They also swear using the soap directly on a stain as a stain remover is as good as the commercial brands. Again, we agree.  Blood, however comes out better with hydrogen peroxide and ink comes out better with hair spray. Something in hair spray lifts ink out really well. Gummy items come off real well with real orange essential oil.  It acts as a solvent. 

Keep hydrogen peroxide in your natural laundry bag of tricks.


Colds and Flu viruses were reduced 100% in our lab area since we started wiping down after everyone with 90% or higher alcohol over two years ago.  We actually keep it in marked-but pretty hand painted vinegar bottles that have that easy pour spout.  We use the alcohol to disinfect communicable areas, but not until it is cleaned with soapy Castile water. Exceptions to soapy water would be like key boards, but we sure do wipe them down with local.  Alcohol may disinfect (by making germs evaporate with it--sucking the life out of them), but it does not 'clean' an area. Alcohol is not really effective until it's all evaporated, so you need to wait a good five minutes to use an area after wiping it down with alcohol.  Any kind of 90 proof or higher of alcohol is okay; we use the stuff  from the pharmacy, just regular rubbing alcohol.  (Photo name: Stickem Up)

You can add essential oils to alcohol giving it a great scent. Just add a couple of drops of Lavender, Tea Tree (which is a germ busting powerhouse in its own right) per 8 ounces of alcohol. You can even add Ylang Ylang, from the floral family; Lemon, Lime or Siberian Fir Needle essential oils may also be appealing candidates to scent your alcohol. In the autumn you could add a touch of orange and clove essential oils.  The catalytic lamps? This is ALL the base is for fuel.  Alcohol 90% or higher and a few pipettes of scent per 16 ounces of "base." Base meaning alcohol.

Adding Liquid Castile and Essential Oils to Mop Water

Mop water has never been more interesting!  We use one ounce of Liquid Castile per gallon of mop water, dropping essential oils into our mop water to give it a refreshing, natural and clean scent. Our favorites? Lemon for kitchen and dining areas, Lavender for bedroom areas, Lime or even Peppermint essential oils for the bathrooms.  Siberian Fir Needle is quite pretty and smells like a high class pine. One Mabel Rep told me she loves Spearmint. I tried it and it was seductive.  I know, spearmint seductive? Yes, more so with Lime.

Add up to an ounce of Tea Tree Essential oil to soapy castile water if you need serious germ busting effects-such as areas that are conducive to mold such as showers and toilets.  A few drops of lemon oil can replicate what you may be using to smelling as "clean and fresh."

Mold Spray

You can also make a spray in a spray bottle to specifically target mold instead of using chlorine products. To have that fresh and clean commercial scent, use Lemon essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil for its mold busting powers--shaken with water in a sprayer. Spray all potential mold areas until mixture is gone. This is because certain essential oils do not store well and may melt the plastic pump parts. You may want to "flush out" your pump when done with soapy water made from liquid castile soap. 

What is the Best Mop?

Well sit down next to me and I will tell you!  I have changed mop loyalties.  The Clorox Mop was "OK" even when I made my own essential oil solution to go in their pads. I cannot say it really cleaned much and just became convoluted and expensive over time.  I found a really chic mop that helps me look forward to "mopping" and works!  Under $10 I like the Libman mop.  It does not tend to "hold" micro-organisms in like the cotton mops can-so we need not use Clorox as we would have to really clean the mop.  And with this I am able to drop essential oils into the mop water, switching pretty easily as I change rooms. With essential oils, my time is almost as fun as bath time! Click the photo of the mop to find out where to buy it.


WMD Garden Soap: Spiders and Bug Spray

Bee Friendly too!

To make your own natural garden bug controller, add a tablespoon of Mabel?s Liquid Castile Soap to a 16 ounce spray bottle of water.  Adding a few tablespoons of cooking oil to the 'potion' and shaking well will really do them in. Bugs do not really like to hang around soap, and oil seems to suffocate tiny ones. Spray the base of your plants because that is where they tend to 'hop on' and leaves, that they are trying to eat in the first place. If you need extra fighting power, they HATE Geranium Essential Oil, (this is why planting geraniums often protects gardens). So a few drops of geranium and maybe Black Pepper Oil, in your potion, will give you WMD in the garden. Other essential oils they do not like include Lemongrass, Orange, Spearmint, & Peppermint. To make a spider spray for inside the home, you may just want to omit the oil part of the recipe and spray where you think they are gaining entry.

Pets & Liquid Castile

Rich and creamy, our Castile Liquid Soap is the way to lather Rover and also achieve a clean and shiny coat. Most commercial products in the market are overpriced and geared with heavy scent to make the humans happy. They don't have the proper PH, make the dog miserable as well as rob natural oils from the pets coat as well as cause skin conditions. Also, animals often develop sensitivities to the detergent chemicals commonly used in synthetic pet shampoos. Then we are told they are 'hot spots' as if they are some unexplained phenomena. When your pet suddenly has a skin condition, then they have more high priced products for that too. As far as scent, dogs have 25 more times scent receptors than humans do. It does not take much to overwhelm them. For this reason, essential oils can be used, but sparingly. To use, mix 4 ounces (1/2) a cup of our Castile Liquid Soap too a gallon bucket of water. Mix well and lather away.  (That is Ringo my very spoiled adopted Katrina pooch to the left.)  Click here for CHAMP Liquid castile Pet Shampoo.

Essential Oils and Dogs

Never apply essential oils directly to your dogs skin. To repel buds, a dosage of 1 drop per 8 ounces of soapy water of the following essential oils can be used on your pooch: Lemongrass, Lavender, and/or Tea Tree.  Our lemon Castile Soap has enough lemon essential oil to be sufficient. 

Other Natural & Aromatherapy Household Tips

You can spray bath towels with a slight mist of Peppermint for that 'luxurious hotel' feeling. This idea has been borrowed from a Ritz Carlton.  I have said this before and I will say it again. BUY WHITE COTTON TOWELS to rewash instead of paper towels.  That alone will save you a fortune.  I have a "clean" bucket and a "dirty" bucket just for cloth towels.  If you are in the UK you will NOT see a paper towel.  Last I heard they are alive and well over there.

Eucalyptus is another viable essential oil to use in the disinfecting department. 

Orange essential oil will dissolve and get gum off most anything.

Castile for Bathing

Everyone loves the peppermint because it always give a tingly fresh feeling even when entering the hot steamy weather of the summer.  It feels revitalizing.  I look forward to using it as a body wash along with essential oils I drop in the tub.  I know it is natural and will not present toxins into my blood stream. Castile bubbles are also more friendly to those who usually cannot use bubble baths for a reason.  This is because commercial surfactants clean too harshly and strip good bacteria, allowing an imbalance-thus yeast infection.  And Castile Liquid Soap works great in Jacuzzi bath tubs as a bubble bath.  It does not take much-maybe 2 ounces for total luxury!

The History of Liquid Soap in the United States

No one used fake soap until WWII when real soap was becoming in short supply. Only then did SLS and other synthetic detergents enter the household.  The public learned to like them.  Post WWII was also the same era we experienced a tremendous rise in cancer that has stayed fairly high to this day.  You would think it was war chemicals right?  The main escalation was WOMEN.  Why?  I think because women are more likely to interact with soap and detergents.

Why?  Our opinion is the body cannot source synthetics and thus stores foreign bodies as toxins into our glands.  Breast for women and prostate for men just happen to be easy places for the body to put them.  Also, people use FAR more soap than they think.  We use soap many times a day!  Natural soap is not more expensive than synthetic soap.  When you look at it from a preventative strategy, it also becomes of greater value. 

Why is SLS So Bad?

It is used on rats to create a rash - which then chemists can test products like anti-rash creams.   Over time the lab people noticed the rats were getting cancer FROM the SLS used as an irritant.  Used in almost all detergents, in body care it strips grease from the hair by corrosion and makes shampoo spread out and penetrate. It enters the skin very easily and remains in tissues (especially brain, heart and liver tissues) for a relatively long time. 

Found in 90 per cent of all commercial shampoos and in many other health and beauty items, especially skin creams and toothpastes. SLS has been prohibited in bubble baths because it has an adverse affect on skin protection and causes rashes and infection. It is also found in industrial cleaners. Laboratory clinical trials use SLS as an irritant to test the effectiveness of healing agents.

Health effects: Transported through the bloodstream, SLS/SLES will build up in the heart, liver, lungs, brain and eyes. It will be retained in tissues for a long time and could cause the following effects:

  • Cancer - SLS/SLES reacts with other chemicals to form cancer-causing nitrosamines and dioxane;

  • Endocrine (hormone) disruption - SLS/SLES can mimic the action of hormones and disrupt the associated mechanisms that control our day-to-day bodily functions; it is known to mimic oestrogen action and interfere with the reproductive system and sexual development;

  • Eye damage - SLS is especially readily absorbed into the cells of the eyes (through absorption through the roots of hair, not direct eye contact); it damages their function and development - particularly in children;

  • Hair loss - SLS is a harsh enough corrosive agent to attack the hair follicle;

  • Increased skin sensitivity - SLS damages the skin's ability to act as a barrier against harmful substances, enhancing allergic responses;

  • Dry skin - protective lipids are stripped from the skin's surface by SLS's corrosiveness, and skin becomes less able to retain moisture.