Castile Soap

Castile soap is named after the Castilla region in Spain, an area abundant in olives.
Olive oil is used to make a soap that has long been renowned as the mildest soap suitable for even the most delicate skin.

Castile soap has a reputation for being difficult, time consuming and more expensive to make than other soaps, but the results more than justify the effort.

It's worth making just one batch of Castile soap to discover why the reputation as "the queen of soap" is justified.

Many grades of olive oil are available and while it's often a source of disagreement amongst soapmakers, we believe that higher quality olive oil will result in a higher quality soap. The only way you can find out is to test this theory for yourself.

By the way, this is the basic recipe for our Castile soaps! Makes about 20 bars.


  •     1000g olive oil
  •     131g sodium hydroxide
  •     375g water
  •     15g apricot kernel oil (or use an additional 30g olive oil for superfatting)
  •     18g essential oil of choice (optional)

Follow basic soapmaking instructions.

Tracing times
Pure Castile soap may take many hours to trace. Stir constantly for about an hour, then place your soap mixture into the polystyrene box to insulate.

About every six to eight hours open the box and gently stir. Keep doing this till the oil no longer rises to the surface and the mixture is the consultancy of thick custard. This could take up to two days.

Castile Shampoo

A solid shampoo may require a few shampoos for your hair to become accustomed to it. You need to remove any buildup from previous hair products. Once your hair has adjusted, you'll never want to go back to using a commercial, detergent based shampoo. Even if you have fine hair, you won't need to use a conditioner, because unlike detergent based shampoos, this solid bar won't strip the natural oils from your hair and scalp.

  • 800g olive oil
  • 200g castor oil
  • 130g sodium hydroxide
  • 300g water
  • 16g essential oil


Follow basic soapmaking instructions.

Use smaller moulds rather than one large one if possible.

Cedarwood or rosemary essential oil are good choices for shampoo bars.

Vinigar Rince

Use after shampooing during the initial stages while your hair is adjusting to using a shampoo bar. After rinsing shampoo from hair, use this as a final rinse, and leave in. This will help to remove any tangles from the hair and restore pH immediately.


  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or plain vinegar)
  • water


Add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to a one litre jug. Top up with tap water and pour over hair as a final rinse. Do not rinse out.

Honey & Oatmeal Scrub

Honey has a reputation as having extremely good drawing properties. It is extremely hydrating and contains a natural antiseptic, which makes it ideal as a facial scrub or mask. Why not combine the two actions together?


  • 1 tablespoon finely ground oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon honey


Mix together equal amounts of honey and finely ground oatmeal or wheatgerm. Apply to face, working in a circular scrubbing motion, then apply remaining amount to your face for 10-20 minutes.

In summer and hot weather, this mixture has a tendency to drip, so be place a towel around your neck to catch any drips. If you just want a hydrating mask without the scrub, omit the oatmeal and use the honey by itself as a facial mask.