Soap is just soap, right? Well, not quite. In fact, liquid castile remains the queen of soaps in our opinion…and we have the proof of growing castile sales here at Botanie. Not only is castile soap incredibly versatile, but it’s also gentle and vegan as well. Not to mention, the consistencies of liquid castile are multifaceted.
Okay, but what IS castile soap? you may be wondering. Castile soap gets its name from the many olive-oil based soaps crafted in Castile, Spain. Unlike traditional tallow-based soaps, castile soaps are not made with animal fat or any other animal products.
What’s unique about castile soap is that even in its “final form” it can still be changed. With a bar of soap, you can’t decide you want to inject a different scent into it, nor can you change the consistency of the bar. The beauty of castile soap is that not only can you add scent but you can further change its consistency to make it thinner, thicker, creamier and totally different from what it was.
Have castile soap that is too thick or has too strong of a scent? You can simply dilute it! One of our earliest liquid soap customers at Botanie was an auto detailer from Texas. He purchased one of our foaming soaps, and while we weren’t looking, started experimenting with the consistency until he found a sweet spot in the balance of soap and water. When he did, he called us to say he’d found the best glass cleaner he’d ever used!
We’ve found the same thing to be true in our own homes. As we discovered when we introduced our foaming soap, straight castile is too thick to work well with foaming tops. But if you dilute castile in the ranges of 60-70% soap to 30-40% water, and you tweak the consistency to work best with your particular foaming top, you wind up with a mixture that foams well without plugging the dispenser.
Looking for a stellar glass cleaner? In this case, the ratios lean heavily on water, with 5-15% soap to 85-95% water. The ranges are as wide as they are because not all castile soap is the same and the best balance is just enough water to not leave streaks on glass.
Spray-cleaner ratios are more variable. Depending on the surface, and how much rinsing you’re able to do, percentages can range widely between the ratios for foaming soap and glass cleaner.
Pure Castile soap is generally thinner than most people prefer. For those people, and for our customers selling to those people, there are ways to make it thicker. Of course, Google will give you tons of options with which to thicken Castile, salt and a salt-water solution being the most common. At Botanie, we prefer using organic guar gum, which is available locally in many places, but easily available online.
The real possibilities for viscosity are endless. If you’re looking for a slightly thicker consistency than standard castile, you can add as little as 10 grams of guar gum per gallon of castile. If you’re looking for more of a shower-gel consistency, you can add as much as 40 grams per gallon. Within those parameters, the best consistency is really a matter of preference.
At Botanie, our castile soap is created from a perfect blend of organic vegetable oils and natural essential oils. Our customers can simply mix and match among seven scent blends to equal their desired total bottle order.
Mix It Up
With castile soap, mixing thoroughly is a big deal. The consensus among soapmakers is you can never stir soap enough, and the best tool for mixing is a good stick or immersion blender.
The other element of mixing is heat. While you don’t need to heat castile to dilute it, for ingredients other than water – essential oils, organic guar gum – heating the castile to around 120 F before mixing will make the process go better overall.
To avoid clumping when adding guar gum, wet it with vegetable glycerin prior to adding it to the soap, so it’s no longer a solid, but more like honey. Vigorous mixing will work also, but wetting the guar gum first can reduce the amount of vigorous mixing you’ll need to do. We don’t want you to tire your arms too much!
The Botanie Difference
We know castile can be several things, but the uses for liquid castile as it is continues to grow. Our castile, straight from the bottle on a sponge, cleaned grime from the bathtub that several applications of a leading natural tub and tile cleaner didn’t. It’s time to put the chemical cleansers away and attack those tough jobs with Botanie’s certified organic castile soap.