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Mixing Vinegar and Castile Soap

Posted on April 18 2016

Stop mixing vinegar and castile soap!

I heard you.

You said, Really?!?

Yup. Don't feel bad. I used to do it. I am the first to admit it. Heck, I had it on my castile soap labels for Pete's sake. I believed it worked because they are each so great at cutting grease and grime, and making surfaces so nice and shiny! But I am here to tell you, IT DOES NOT WORK.

If you have read any of my other posts where I give you a brief chemistry lesson, I write about pH levels. Castile Soap is at one end (alkaline pH of 8-10ish) and vinegar is at the other (acidic pH of 2-3ish). So if you mix the two of them together you are lowering the pH of soap, or raising the pH of the vinegar.

Both are fantastic cleaners. But they MUST be used separately. To clean you need an acidic product or an alkaline product. Mixing the two cancels their power out.

Here is the proof.... I took a glass measuring cup and filled it with an ounce of castile soap and 15 ounces of distilled water. I then calibrated my pH meter. I tested the diluted castile soap mixture and found the mixture to have a pH level of 9.7.

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Then I added an ounce of Distilled White Vinegar and stirred the now milky solution.

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The result was a almost dead on neutral pH of 6.9, which means you would have the same result cleaning with distilled water!

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1 comment

  • Eric S: November 17, 2017

    Did you try testing the cleaning power of the mixture? You are right that you are probably weakening the cleaning power of the soap by lowering the pH. However that does not mean you’ve entirely eliminated its cleaning power, even at 6.9. Alkaline cleansers are bad for your skin. 9.7 is far more alkaline than I would ever use on my face.

    And even pH aside, the stronger a cleanser is (and by strong I mean its strength as a surfactant), the more it abuses your skin’s barrier function. Unless you have something really difficult to clean from your skin, you don’t need anything very strong at all. Lowering the pH a bit and weakening the surfactant power of your castile soap is probably a good thing when using it on the body and especially the face.

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