Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that originated in the Castile region of Spain. It is traditionally made using olive oil, is free of animal fats, comes in liquid or bar form, and can be fragrance-free or scented. Castile soap is very versatile for cleaning everything from your body to laundry and home.
Dr. Bronner's is a well-known manufacturer of Castile soap, but is it the best? Naturally, the decision on what is "best" will differ depending on the qualities that matter most to you:
- How well does it work?
- Is it value for money?
- Does it contain palm oil or other unwanted ingredients?
- Where is it made?
- What is it packaged in?
We think Biome's Australian-made Castile soap ticks all the boxes, particularly for Australian shoppers! Read on to learn why.
Firstly, why is Castile soap so great?
Castile soap is a natural and versatile product that can be used for many purposes. It is traditionally made purely from olive oil.
Olive oil makes a hard, long-lasting solid soap bar or a silky liquid soap with a gentle cleansing lather, suitable for all skin types especially sensitive skin.
Traditional olive oil Castile soap has many benefits for your skin, hair, and home. It is gentle, moisturising, antibacterial, and eco-friendly.
You can use castile soap as a shampoo, face wash, makeup remover, shaving cream, and more; and use it to clean your clothes, dishes, floors, surfaces, and even your pets!
Castile soap is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple, natural, effective, eco friendly soap.
About Dr. Bronner's
Dr. Bronner's is often the first castile soap to come to mind. They are famous for their colourful bottles of scented liquid castile and are a family business with strong ethical foundations. Dr. Bronner's is:
- Made in the USA and shipped to Australia.
- Not made with the traditional Castile soap recipe of just olive oil and water, rather the primary ingredient is coconut oil (known to be drying on the skin), followed by palm oil, then other oils.
- Uses ingredients sourced from all over the world.
- Packaged in plastic bottles.
About Biome's Castile soap
Biome Castile soap is:
- Made in Australia from Australian-grown ingredients.
- Made with purely moisturising olive oil and water.
- Palm oil free.
- Packaged in either glass or plastic.
- More concentrated and thicker consistency.
The olive oil used to make the solid Biome Castile soap is produced from olives grown at Alden's Olives in Cohuna, Victoria.
A traditionally made olive oil-based Castile soap is not drying, unlike coconut oil-based alternatives. It is also hypoallergenic, which means you won't experience nasty skin reactions, whether you are using the soap for general cleaning or personal care.
Biome liquid Castile soap is made with less water than Dr. Bronner's Castile soap, so you will notice that it's not as runny. This means you will use less to achieve your desired results, saving you money in the long term as you're not replenishing as often.
Image from www.aboutthegarden.com.au/growing-olives-in-australia/
Choose a Liquid or Solid Castile soap
Biome castile soap comes in both liquid castile soap and solid soap bar forms.
Biome pure liquid Castile soap
This gentle and non-drying liquid castile soap is perfect for washing hands and body, but also great as an all-purpose cleaner around the home.
You can even add a few drops of your desired essential oil for scent and enhanced cleaning power.
Biome pure solid Castile soap
A solid Castile soap bar can be used in a similar way to liquid Castile soap to wash hands and body. It can also be used in your DIY cleaning and personal care creations.
Castile soap is incredibly versatile
You can use Castile soap for washing dishes, in the laundry, mopping floors, all-purpose cleaning, washing windows, cleaning the toilet, washing the dog, rinsing fruit and vegetables, washing your face, body, hands, hair, shaving... it is so useful to have on hand!
Find 18 ways to use Castile soap here.
So, is there a better castile than Dr. Bronner's?
For people in Australia, we do feel that Biome's castile soaps are a better choice. The stand-out reason for us is that the soap has far less environmental impact because it is made right here in Australia and supports the local olive oil industry.
The ingredients that go into Dr. Bronner's are from Africa and Asia, such as palm oil that is grown in Ghana, and are shipped to the USA where the soap is made. Then the bottles of liquid soap and bars are shipped back around the world.
We can't see that there is a compelling enough reason to produce all those carbon emissions when there are perfectly good alternatives made close to home.
The best castile soap for hand, body & hair
For washing your hands, body and hair, we recommend Biome's pure olive oil castile soap bar or liquid castile because it is gentle, has a creamy lather and is more moisturising. So many of the reviews for this soap talk about how wonderful it is for people with sensitive skin.
The best castile soap for washing dishes
Coconut oil is known to be better for dishes as it has a more detergent-like effect
We recommend an Australian-made dish soap bar that contains coconut oil such as Urthly Organics dish soap bar, That Red House solid dish washing bar, or Tuffy Dish Wash Bar.
Fun fact about soft and hard water
Some people in areas with soft (low mineral content) water find using olive oil castile is fine. With hard water (high mineral content) the soap rapidly bonds to the calcium and other minerals in the water, meaning it is no longer water-soluble and produces fewer bubbles. People with hard water will experience more soap scum being left in their sink, which occurs when the soap reacts with the calcium and magnesium salt and becomes insoluble in water.
The best castile soap for cleaning
Biome's liquid castile soap is perfect for cleaning your kitchen, bathroom and around the home. It also works very well mixed with bicarb soda to make a cleaning paste.
Here's a Cleaning Paste Recipe that is toxin-free, cheap and easy to make:
1 cup bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
Mix into a thick paste and it's ready for scrubbing and cleaning.
The best castile soap for laundry
We think that our solid true castile soap bar is perfect to use for washing clothes either hand washing using the bar, or grating the bar into tiny flakes to use in a homemade laundry powder recipe.
We hope that this deep dive into Castile soap has helped you decide what is the best castile soap for your needs and values.