Recently, I purchased African black soap for my face. Then I realized I could probably use it on my dog as well. This mild soap has become very popular in recent years. I love how well it cleans.
In our house, black soap and liquid Castile soap have replaced all of our chemical cleaners. These plant-based products are incredibly mild, but powerful at the same time.
Traditionally, Castile soap is made from olive oil. It’s named after the Castile region of Spain, because that’s where it originated The natural brand we buy has an olive and coconut oil base.
You can also buy African liquid black soap made from the skin of plantains, a tropical plant that resembles a banana. It’s similar to Castile soap, although it’s made differently.
Benefits of Using Black Soap
Black soap is something that’s still made in Africa, from locally grown plants, which are dried in the sun and then roasted. This process creates the rich brownish/black hue.
After hearing so much about black soap, I decided to try it. You can buy it in a bar, in a tub or in liquid form. I opted the liquid castile, because I use this in my house anyway. Typically, with the liquid soaps on the market, African shea butter is added as well. Shea butter is a wonderful emollient.
I first tried black soap on my hands. I was really impressed how soft they felt afterwards. Then I tried it on my face, for its exfoliation action. Next, I tried it on my dog.
Black Soap for Dogs
Our dog is elderly. He’s also been sick, and this is when we decided to get serious about cleaning his ears at hoome. He had gone through a period of not eating. We were very worried. Thankfully, he recovered. He’s now 15 years old, so we’re being careful. His sickness hit last year, when he was 14. At that time, dog flu going around, and we didn’t want to take him to the groomer.
If our dog were younger, we probably wouldn’t worry as much. But, as a senior citizen, we don’t want to push our luck. So we needed to find a better way to keep him clean at home, without potentially exposing him to this illness.
This is where black soap came in. This is a very gentle soap. So I can dilute it and give him sponge baths. I can concentrate on the tips of his long, floppy ears. These tend to dip into his food bowl and become grimy.
Anyway, here’s a shot of my dogs dirty ears before being washed with diluted black soap. I’m not sure you can see the crusted food on the bottom of his ear. I hate to let him get this dirty. But the groomer wasn’t a good option at this point.
Using Black Soap to Bath Your Dog
Anyway, cleaning our dog’s ears is a two-person job. Our dog has never been known for his good behavior. We adopted him from a shelter at the age of three. He’s a great family dog, but he’s still a little rough around the edges.
To clean my dogs ears, I mixed 1 part of liquid black soap to 10 parts of warm water. Then I added a teaspoonful of baking soda. Using a damp cloth, we gently scrubbed much of the gunk away. Tomorrow, we can “rinse and repeat.” Anyway, if you don’t own any black castile soap, it’s available online.
This natural plant-based soap is so soothing and softening that you’ll probably want to use it on your face, as well as on your dog. I keep this same recipe above in a bottle by my sink and use it to wash my hands and to clean my dishes, before putting them in the dishwasher.