Using Castile Baby Mild Soap on Babies

I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Castile Soap on my baby, even though it is not “tear free”. Consider that babies have been washed with normal soap for a really long time before the advent of “tear free” stuff. In fact, most of us who are now washing babies were washed with non-“tear free” products ourselves, and we survived. We have to be careful to keep it out of the eyes.

To understand why I chose to abandon the realm of “baby friendly” products demands the question, “What makes ‘tear free’ products ‘tear free’?” “Tear free” products have a neutral pH. Irritation to the eyes is caused primarily from a deviation in pH. Our eyes have a very narrow window of tolerable pH, around 7.54+/- 0.01. This is ever so slightly alkaline (a pH of 7 is neutral). Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps are around 9.3, a pH not at all irritating to our skin. To lower the pH would neutralize the cleaning ability of the soap.

So, using a product with a neutral pH that doesn’t irritate a baby’s eyes but still gets a baby clean may seem like a no-brainer – until you look at what these products are made of. I never use the word “soap” regarding these substances because they are not, in fact, soap. Soap is a natural (i.e. directly from nature, not synthetic) product made by reacting animal or vegetable oils (in Dr. Bronner’s case, olive and coconut oils) with an alkali. Baby products that go by names such as “cleansers,” “baby wash,” “shower gel” or the like, are made from non-soap surfactants, which almost always means petro-chemicals, or derived from petroleum. They are very mild petrochemicals, but petrochemicals all the same. Additionally, such products will probably have synthetic preservatives which can be irritating to the skin. (We use Tocopherols, aka vitamin E.)

So, although it’s not good for the eyes, our Baby Unscented Castile soap is awesome for babies’ sensitive skin. It does not contain any of the essential oils that the other soaps have and it has twice the concentration of saponified olive oil which makes it even more moisturizing.

How to wash a baby with our Baby Unscented Castile soap:

First, I don’t use any products on my baby’s face. I use a wet wash cloth to wipe her face gently. Then, I add a couple drops of the pure castile soap to the washcloth. The washcloth helps immensely. First, you don’t use or lose as much soap. Secondly, it is easier to control where the soap goes, and you don’t have it running all over the baby. Thirdly, the soap is diluted on the wet washcloth and isn’t applied strongly to my baby’s skin. I use cup of water to rinse the soap off. It rinses very easily. To take care of her head, I tip her head back so that the water and soap run backwards off of her head. I’ve also heard that there are little bath visors babies can wear to keep the soapy water out of their eyes when rinsing their heads. I haven’t tried them, though.

180 thoughts on “Using Castile Baby Mild Soap on Babies

  1. Accidently got into my 18 month olds eye and hes been upset for over an hour and this has really scared me. Ive washed it out and rubbed with a wet cloth but its still red. Hes so sad and so am I. This was very traumatic for us! Switching to tear free soap not this brand

    • Hi Autumn- I’m sorry to hear that happened! Soap in the eye does not damage the eye. With a good rinse of pure water, the soap will be gone, although the eye may still appear temporarily red. Babies and toddlers are not the best at letting you rinse out their eyes, but any rinsing you can do is helpful. I have leaned my little one forward and cupped water in my hand to rinse. That generally works better than trying to hold their head under running water, which may worsen the situation by getting water in their nose. As always, please seek medical help if you are concerned.

  2. Can I use this as a shampoo for my baby? I have been using Dr. Bronner’s as my only soap for over a decade and I use the baby castile on my baby, but am having a difficult time finding a ‘clean’ shampoo. She has beautiful curly hair (thanks mother-in-law!) and I want to keep it as beautiful as I can. I don’t wash her hair more than once a week unless it’s necessary but I’d still prefer a clean product .

    • Hi Courtney- Castile soap works great on kids hair. I used it on my three until they were 2 or 3. The Organic Sugar Soap is another good option. Whichever you go with, take care to keep soap out of your little one’s eyes.

  3. I just tried this soap (baby kind) I got scared after I wash up with it. I don’t want to catch a yeast infection. I this soap okay for women that’s sensitive down there??

    • Hi Stacey- Yes, Castile soap is safe for sensitive areas. The Unscented is an extra gentle option.

  4. But a humans ph is slightly acidic around 5.5 and if you use an alkali soap on a childs skin which is already delicate they are prone to eczema and yeast, because it strips our skin. Im not quite understanding the point in using a soap that is used as a household cleaner on skin.

  5. Does the bar soap version of the unscented baby soap contain twice the amount of olive oil as well? What about the baby unscented sugar soap? Same thing? Thanks so much for your help.

    • Hi Lindsay- With the Unscented Castile Soap, the essential oils are replaced with olive oil. Since they Organic Sugar Soaps start with the Unscented Castile Soap base, they have double the olive oil. The Unscented Bar Soap is the same as the scented varieties, but without essential oils.

  6. So I noticed this soap doesn’t lather. How do I know it’s truly cleaning my baby? Also how should I dilute this to make it last longer and not so concentrated on her skin?

    • Hi Ashley- The Baby Unscented Castile does not suds up as much as our scented soaps because it contains double the amount of olive oil. This makes it extra moisturizing on babies’ skin. As much as we’ve been trained to think otherwise, bubbles are not an indicator of cleaning ability. Your little one is getting clean. To use, just put a few drops on a wet washcloth. The soap is diluted that way so it’s not too strong on baby’s skin. You’ve probably noted this in my post, but bear in mind that it is not tear-free, so keep it out of your little one’s eyes.

    • Hi I would love to say that it’s been life changing to put a small amount of dr bronners and some water in a foaming soap dispenser! It’s changed my life. I absolutely love it and it gets it lathered. You can buy decorative ones but I just got a couple of 99 cent ones at discount stores that already had a soap in it and replaced the soap.

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