Castile Soap: Origins

August 31, 2017 Shiva Shakti

The Castile region of Spain birthed a new style of soap after the popular Aleppo, which was made from mixing laurel oil (bay leaf) with olive oil and soda. This is where Castile got its inspiration.

Aleppo Soap in a vat

Soap revolutionized public sanitation and personal hygiene in Europe, preventing the spreading of various diseases which were a serious problem in the Middle Ages. The arrival of Muslim soap makers to Spain and Italy during the 12th century allowed certain Spanish and Italian cities to become soap export centers of Europe. Castile soap became very popular because the Spanish city of Castile had easy access to olive oil, a crucial ingredient in this high quality soap.

While Aleppo soap required laurel oil, resulting in a green soap, this oil was in short supply. The city of Castile, however, had an abundance of olive oil that created a pure white soap. Whiteness was seen as purity, making this soap very popular among Spanish royalty. Among all the early European soaps, castile soap distinguished itself by its superior quality and more effective cleaning than others. Over the course of the centuries, Castile soap was used all over Europe.

Olive oil is a crucial ingredient in Castile soap

Castile soap is made from 100% plant oils, whereas other soaps are made with animal fats and therefore are not vegan. Although original castile was made with 100% olive oil, in modern times other oils like hemp, coconut and essential oils have been included in the recipe. A versatile soap with unlimited uses, castile can easily replace dish soap, laundry detergent, household cleaner, pet shampoo, and shaving cream to name a few.

Even now, over half millennia after its creation, Castile soap is one of the best all natural and biodegradable soaps on the market. It is great for safely washing your children, for example, and does not lose potency with time.


Our exquisite castile soap has a unique blend of ingredients that include shea butter, rosemary extract and aloe vera juice to heal and protect your skin against environmental damage we are exposed to everyday. Try DOAPSOAP today and feel the difference on your skin, in your mood, in your bathroom, and every where you should!




John A. Hunt. A Short History of Soap. The Pharmaceutical Journal.

Leave a comment