What is Green Soap?

Mandi R. Hall

Green soap generally refers to an environmentally safe soap. Also known as vegetable oil soap or castile soap when milk is added, this type of soap is not made with animal fat. Many soaps are made from rendered beef fat, whereas green soap is made mostly from vegetable oil or olive oil.

Green soap might be made from olive oil, sustainable palm oil and organic coconut oil.
Green soap might be made from olive oil, sustainable palm oil and organic coconut oil.

Many people know this environmentally safe soap as a tattooist’s soap. Because it’s medically safe, it is often referred to as a “tincture of green soap.” A tincture is an alcoholic extract with a limited percentage of ethanol. This soap has earned its moniker due to its yellowish green hue. There is no dye in it. Instead, the vegetable oil and glycerin gives the soap its natural green tint.

Castile soap -- sometimes referred to as "green" soap -- is usually made with olive oil or other vegetable oils.
Castile soap -- sometimes referred to as "green" soap -- is usually made with olive oil or other vegetable oils.

Because tattoo soap is all-natural, it is generally non-irritating. It is also biodegradable, which is another reason it’s dubbed a green soap. The same kind of soap is used by those handling bodies with skin disorders due to its cleansing and emollient properties. After tattooing or any other skin-irritating procedure, this type of green soap can make the skin feel somewhat soothed. It doesn’t make skin feel as dry as other soaps.

Although vegetable oil is the most prevalent oil used in the production of green soaps, olive oil is also often used. Other oils, such as jojoba oil and coconut oil, may also be used in the manufacturing of such soap. When used to make a hand soap, these oils act as a softener that won’t leave hands dry and cracked.

Herbal soaps, another form of environmentally safe soap, are known for their soothing properties. They generally include essential oils for aromatherapy effects. Additionally, they have soothing properties. Most commercial soaps eliminate the glycerin in the manufacturing process, whereas herbal soaps are known to keep this emollient ingredient intact.

Green soap can be purchased online and in specialty stores. Stores that sell all-natural or organic products, as well as shops that specialize in medicinal products, may sell it. Although there are recipes on the Internet, the soap production is best left to an expert. Handling substances such as lye can be dangerous for the inexperienced. Green soaps may also be used as a surgical instrument soaking solution.

Herbal soaps are known for their soothing properties.
Herbal soaps are known for their soothing properties.

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Discussion Comments


Most of us don't realize that the hand soap we use everyday has chemicals and fragrances that damage the environment and harm animals. I agree that hand soap should have an antibacterial effect. I have little kids and I know how easily they can get sick. But this doesn't mean that we need hand soap with chemicals that we have never heard of and can't even pronounce. The organic green soaps have the same antibacterial effect but don't cause harm to the earth. I switched to green hand soap last year and I am so glad that I did. It does cost more, but I think of it as an investment for the future. I also use environmentally safe dish washing liquid and cleaning products and I've noticed that these products actually last longer than others. It's definitely worth the cost.


I had a belly piercing done and I have to use green soap regularly because I heard that this area can be infected really easily. I used the liquid kind first but that was not very practical. You have to dilute it with water 1 to 9 ratio before using it. It was hard to know if I did that right. Then I found the green soap wipes. It's also antiseptic like the liquid but so much easier to use.


Olive oil is the best bath soap I have ever used. I have very sensitive skin and when I use soaps that have detergents, I have allergic reactions. But green soap made with olive oil has never caused me any problems. It smells really good too!

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