Sometimes the soap world surprises us at Botanie. The surge in liquid Castile sales — especially in one-gallon jugs and five-gallon buckets – has been one of those times. What’s interesting is, our customers have also been surprised by Castile’s sudden popularity, though it’s been for different reasons.
What’s the Surprise?
It didn’t take us long after introducing our foaming soap in July of 2014 to learn that liquid soap, in terms of marketing and sales, is different than bar soap. Those differences have been amplified, and complicated, over the past five years, but it’s the nature of liquid Castile versus bar soap that’s surprising our customers, and coincidentally, has been at the root of surging sales.
Bars vs. Liquid
Here’s the key difference: liquid Castile soap and bar soap are both finished products, meaning they’re ready to go as is. Liquid Castile, however, can still be significantly altered once it’s finished. You can’t inject additional scents into bar soap once you get it, and you certainly can’t change its consistency — at least not without fundamentally breaking it down.
Given some heat and a good immersion blender, though, liquid Castile can be scented to make a personalized, signature blend. It can be thickened into a shower gel and any number of viscosities in between. It can also be diluted for foaming soap and, with the right amount of water, be the perfect spray cleaner for uses all over the house. One of our customers, an auto detailer who’s done a number of tests to find the right viscosity, calls it the best glass cleaner he’s ever used.
Basically, liquid Castile soap is an amazingly versatile product, and Castile fans are able to customize different qualities of the soap to use it effectively in a variety of settings.
As It Is
The surprise has been how many things liquid Castile can become – and in subsequent blogs, we’ll get more specific about scenting, thickening and dilution. Castile’s best characteristic might be how many things it already is.
Straight out of the bottle, it’s good for the shower as a body wash and shampoo. It’s good for the bathroom sink as a hand wash, and for the kitchen sink as a dish soap, but even we were surprised by customers reporting that it’s also a perfectly good toothpaste.
From what we hear, the taste can take some getting used to, and the idea of washing your mouth out with soap doesn’t have positive connotations. But since it’s vegetable-based, Castile is safe to eat, and it works as well as commercial brands without bringing unwanted ingredients to brushing. Sometimes looking at a product in new ways can remind us of what it’s always been.