This all-natural cleanser is made from two simple ingredients—castile soap and baking soda—which give the solution a deodorizing power.
Photography: Chloe Mackintosh
Source: Martha Stewart
This idea comes from our friend Chloe Mackintosh of Boxwood Avenue. "Living on a ranch gives my dog the opportunity to get into a lot of things that don't exactly make him smell like roses!" she says. "As I've worked on making more of my own homemade green cleaning products, I wanted to come up with a great all-natural recipe for my pup! I am so excited to share this eco-friendly homemade pet shampoo solution with you."
This shampoo is made with castile soap, water, and baking soda. Castile soap is made from saponified oils, making it naturally hydrating and non-toxic. "I have a real love affair with castile soap; I use it for many different purposes in my home," Mackintosh says. "One of my favorite uses is simple DIY liquid hand soap."
Castile soap is available at local grocery stores. Some castile soap has essential oils added into it. "I really like using lavender castile soap for many things like laundry detergent, hand wash, and countertop spray," she says. "Dr. Bronner's scented castile soap contains two percent essential oils, making it perfectly safe for dogs." One caveat to scents? Avoid using tea tree oil or tea tree scented products, as it is toxic to pets. Castile soap is great for pets, especially if your pet has sensitive skin or is prone to being itchy. As with any type of shampoo, be aware of where the suds are and do your best to keep the soap out of your dog's eyes and water out of their ears.
This recipe makes about a quart of shampoo and will last you two to four washes depending on the size and hair type of your pet. To use this shampoo, bathe your pet with water. Working in sections, pour 1/4 of solution directly onto your dog's back. Scrub to lather up the shampoo and cleanse the fur. Once you have shampooed your dog entirely, rinse well: this is important to remove residue. Note: This shampoo will keep for up to six months if stored in a cool, dry place. Over time, the shampoo will separate naturally; simply give the bottle a gentle shake before using.
Fill a large bottle with 4 cups water.
Add 3 tablespoons baking soda to the water.
Mix in 1/2 cup castile soap (the solution will immediately turn a milky white). Place a lid on the bottle and give it a gentle shake to combine the ingredients.