Castile Soap Vs Regular Soap: Which One Is Better?

By Marsha Harrison

castile soap vs regular soap

If you are actively reading and listening to beauty and housekeeping blogs and vlogs, you will most likely hear experts and influencers promoting Castile soap.

Castile soap is especially popular among the vegan community and often touted as more environmentally friendly.

Is Castile soap really as wonderful as most people claim? Or, is it simply overhyped?

In this article, let’s do a deep dive into the Castile soap vs regular soap debate to find out which one is better.

Difference Between Regular Soap and Castile Soap


At home, we use different kinds of soap to clean our skins, as well as a wide range of household items and surfaces.

In an industrial setting, soap can be used as a thickening or lubricating agent. For this article, however, we will focus solely on the context of household and skincare use.

Here are some key differences between a regular soap and Castile soap:

1. Ingredients

For those who do not know, soap is made of three key ingredients, namely lye, water, and animal fat or oil.

Ordinary soap bars often use tallow or lard. On the other hand, Castile soap ingredients are especially unique as they do not contain animal fat.

That said, I’m sure your next question would be: Is Castile soap made of cruelty-free ingredients?

In short, yes. The soap’s traditional base, which is the olive oil, originates from Castile in Spain. Moreover, the other ingredients used to make the product are all-natural.

2. Uses

Another main difference is that ordinary soaps or detergents are mostly formulated for one specific purpose. When cleaning your house and other items, you use different products for laundry, dishes, floors, and toilets.

Meanwhile, you only need to use one bottle of pure Castile vegetable-based liquid soap to wash your body, your pet, your laundry, and most of your household items.

But that’s not all! Country Living also suggests using it as a makeup remover, food scrub, shaving cream, and natural insecticide. You can even create a floor mopping mixture with it.

On top of that, Health Line includes sinus decongestion, wound cleaning, as well as fruit and vegetable rinse on its long list of Castile soap benefits!

It is worth mentioning that soap experts and DIYers suggest different formulas to create the mixtures.

You can check out Going Green with Lisa Bronner’s website or The Spruce to get ideas on how you can mix castile soap with water and other ingredients to create homemade cleaning products.

3. Environmental friendliness

Going back to my explanation of what is Castile soap used for, this also translates to buying fewer cleaning products. In other words, you will significantly lessen your plastic waste.

Another important point that The Healthy Home Economist raised in this article is that a real Castile soap uses fewer ingredients. Moreover, lye, water, and vegetable oils are biodegradable, meaning that they can be decomposed by microorganisms or bacteria.

In contrast, many commercial cleaning products that you find in the retail stores contain triclocarban and triclosan. Keep in mind that microorganisms cannot break down these chemicals.

4. Price point

Granted, there will be instances where commercial cleaners are better. Still, using only one soap to replace over half of the products we normally use for housekeeping enables you to save money. You simply can’t do this with regular bath soap.

Green Goo also shares that Castile soap can last up to three years despite not containing artificial preservatives.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Castille soap antibacterial?

According to Singapore Soap, Castile soap does not have antibacterial chemicals in it. But it is just as effective in eliminating bacteria and germs.

To back this up, let me direct you to this article on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. It reports that there is not enough research to confirm that products with “antibacterial properties” on the label are better than ordinary soaps.

If you want to wash your hands, castile soap and your regular bath or hand soap will suffice.

What are the popular brands of Castile soap?

With its cult-like fan base, Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is probably the most popular among the bunch. Besides their iconic bottles of liquid castile soap, you can also find other personal care products.

If you want to check out other brands, I highly recommend Follain, Quinn’s, and Cove.

I cannot find castile soap in the local grocery stores. Are there any alternatives?

If you are looking for a substitute for castile soap, check if the product has been made through similar processes of mixing natural acids and oils.

Per Medical News Today’s recommendation, you can opt for coconut soap. The only difference between coconut and Castile soap is that the base that is used to make it is coconut oil.

Similarly, Aleppo soap contains laurel oil in addition to olive oil. Meanwhile, Marseille soap is crafted by combining natural ingredients like oil, sea salt, and ash.

Are there side effects to using castile soap?

While Castile soap is generally safe to use on most skin types, Medical News Today shares that there are people who seem to have an allergic reaction.

Several people have also reported experiencing a tingling sensation around their private areas when using peppermint Castile soap to shower.

If you experience any side effects, stop using the soap and see a doctor.

What should I avoid mixing Castile soap with?

The Internet is teeming with content on DIY cleaning product recipes using Castile soap. However, it cannot be combined with certain chemicals.

Among the Castile soap warnings that you need to follow strictly is to never mix it with anything acidic. According to Kitchnn, acid solutions like vinegar or lemon juice can revert Castile soap to its unsaponified form.

Experts also note that the use of hard water with Castile soap can increase the soap scum on bathroom surfaces.

Of course, you can always clean soap scum with vinegar. Nevertheless, you can lessen your burden if you install a water softener or look for an alternative to Castile soap.


Is Castile soap better than regular soap? Like any product, it has its strengths and weaknesses. In this Castile soap vs regular soap article, we see that the benefits outweigh all the disadvantages.

Knowing that Castile soap can clean pretty much your entire home, you can ditch many household cleaners. This does not only reduce your plastic waste but also the money you spend on various products.

More importantly, the Castile soap’s ingredients are all biodegradable so you can safely bathe and clean your house without harming the environment.

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