In the search for healthier cleaning products for household as well as personal hygiene, castile soap is a beautiful base for so many of our cleansing needs! What is castile soap? Are you aware that Dr. Bronner’s parents began making castile soap in the 1880’s? There are many brands of castile soap – let’s find out more about this soap. Numbered resources can be view in the original article.
Castile soap has been around for a very long time and was created just following the popular Aleppo, which is quite possibly one of the most important soap and household cleaning products ever made. An all-natural chemical-free soap, Aleppo was made from mixing oil from laurel (bay) trees with olive oil and soda. This is where Castile got its inspiration, however. Castile is one of the most popular European soaps today and has gained a ton of popularity in the U.S., found in health food stores and basic supermarkets today. (3)
Soap became a critical part of revolutionizing public sanitation and personal hygiene in Europe, especially with the prevention of spreading diseases. Initially, production of European soap was localized to the Mediterranean area, which slowly started spreading with the arrival of Muslim soap makers to Spain and Italy during the 12th century. This popular new creation enabled Spanish cities of Malaga, Carthagene, Castile, Alicante, and Italian cities of Savone, Genoa, Naples, Bologna and Venice to become soap export centers of all of Europe. Among all those early European-made soaps, one managed to distinguish itself by its high quality and ability to clean better than others. This was Castile soap.
Castile soap managed to establish such popularity because the Spanish city of Castile had an abundance of olive oil, which was a crucial ingredient used in the production of this high quality soap. While the original recipe for Aleppo soap required laurel oil, this type of oil was in short supply; however, the city of Castile had easy access to olive oil and that enabled the creation of a pure white soap that was very mild and effective. The whiteness was seen as purity, which made it very popular with Spanish royalty. As centuries went by, Castile soap began to make it’s way all over Europe, entering the British market during mid-1500s by sea. (4) (5)
Where To Buy Castile Soap – As noted, the most popular brand of Castile soap is the Dr. Bronner’s variety but there are other brands available. Make sure to take the time to read the ingredients to ensure that it is made from pure, recognizable ingredients.
Soon we will check into some of the many uses of castile soap, I am excited about finding a dish soap without chemicals that actually works!
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