Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

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Dilute! Dilute! OK!* But how much? Here is a quick reference. None of this is a hard and fast rule. If your stuff is really dirty or your water is really hard, then you may want to use more than the recommended amount. However, this should get you started. You’ll notice that for some applications, I recommend pre-diluting the soap – combining the soap with water in a container. For other applications, the soap is diluted by the water present in the situation. It’s a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind that if you predilute, you are also diluting the preservative (tocopherols – vitamin E), so the shelf life drops. Use within a couple weeks. And yes, there are 18 uses here. Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soaps

* Long time Dr. Bronner’s users will remember this expression from the old labels.

Body Uses:

Face: 2-3 drops on wet hands, applied to wet face

Body: one small squirt on a wet washcloth, applied to a wet body

Hair: ½ Tbsp. in your hand, worked into wet hair, or dilute ½ Tbsp. in ½ a cup of water and work that into wet hair

Bath: Completely depends upon water amount, but roughly 2 Tbsp. soap in an average sized tub. (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans)

Shaving: Face – 10 drops; Underarms – 3 drops; Legs – ½ tsp; Work to a lather in wet hands and then apply to area.

Teeth: 1 drop on a toothbrush. (Yes, it tastes like soap.)

Foot Bath: 1 ½ tsp. in a small tub of hot water.

Clearing Congestion: 1 Tbsp. in a bowl of steamy hot water. Breathe in mist with a towel draped over the head.

Household uses:

Dishes (handwashing): Pre-dilute 1:10 with water. Squirt on a scrub brush and scrub dishes.

Laundry: 1/3-1/2 c. of soap for a large load in a normal washer. Add ½ c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Use half of these amounts for HE

Mopping: ½ c. of soap in 3 gallons of hot water

All-purpose cleaning: ¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.

Windows: 1 Tbsp. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with pure club soda, or half vinegar/ half water.

Toilet: Predilute 1:4 with water in a squirt bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree oil. Empty toilet, squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Other Uses:

Fruit and Veggie Rinse: 1 dash (approx.. ¼ tsp.) in a bowl of water. Dunk produce and swish. Then rinse in clear water.

Dog washing: Amount varies widely depending on size, hair type and length, and overall dirtiness. I wet my dog thoroughly, then start to work in castile soap up and down their body until I have a good lather. Really massage it in down to the skin. Your dog will thank you for it.

Plant spray for bugs: 1 Tbsp. in a quart of water. Add ½ tsp. cayenne pepper or cinnamon, if desired.

Ant spray (not on plants): ¼ c. tea tree soap in a quart of water. (This concentration will burn plants.)

I’ve tried to keep this short and sweet. If you have any questions, please ask away!

To download a one page copy of this cheat sheet, click here.

300 thoughts on “Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

  1. I’m almost 60 and have been fighting acne forever!! I finally found a daily regiment to fight my face issues.
    I wash my face with this product and I scrub my eye lids with it because I have Blepharitis and then rinse well with hot water. After I take off any makeup, I apply a blend of mud pack with vinegar and keep on for hours.

    The point is that I’ve used acne treatments for years with no lasting results. This soap product helps my acne and my blepharitis—another disease that has plagued me.

    Plus I use it for other household cleaning. Love the fragrance!

    • Hi Debra – Fabulous! a great testimonial! Our pure coconut oil does a great job at makeup removal as well.

  2. I would also like to know, if making a solution for body wash in a bottle to keep in the shower, what is the ratio? Thanks!

    • Hi Mary – It is a matter of personal preference. I don’t predilute my soap because then the solution tends to be cold. I just use a wet washcloth and put a small squirt of soap on it. I figure the water in the washcloth and on my body is diluting the soap. However, if you would like to predilute, start with a 1:10 dilution and tweak it from there based on how you like it.

  3. Hello! Great info thanks. One quick question…I want to make baby wipe solution to keep in a spray bottle for cleaning babies bottom. How long would this solution typically last in spray bottle?

    • Hi Tizrah – This isn’t something we’ve had tested, so I’m going to give you a go at my common sense answer as a mom. Probably 6 months or more. The best way to tell if it’s time to remake it is to smell it. If it smells bad, toss it. Here’s a recipe that looks great from a friend of mine:

      Lavender ‘n’ Tea Tree
      Lavender and Tea Tree are popular EO choices for wipe solutions.
      1/8 cup olive oil
      1 tablespoon lavender castile soap
      4 drops tea tree oil
      8 drops lavender oil
      3 cups water

  4. I was wondering if it is normal for the Dr. Bronners soap to separate? I bought a 1 gallon liquid sized container about 6 months ago because I’d been going through it so quickly. I’m trying to determine if the colder temperatures are causing it to separate or if it’s out of date? Even if I mix it well and turn it into foaming hand soap, within a few hours they have both separated with a thick settling at the white at the bottom. Can you help me fix this? I love this soap and finding your website has added many more ways on my list of ways I can use it!

    • Hi Joy – This sounds like it is from the cold. Once our Castile soap reaches about 68 degrees, it starts to solidify and turn white. It’s still perfectly find and you can use it as is, or you can set it in a bowl or sink of warm water.

  5. I’m in the process of dyeing yarn for the first time and am supposed to use a neutral ph soap to wash the alum mordant out. Is your castille soap to alkaline? I am wondering if I could dilute it in the rinse bath to make it less ph.

    • Hi Meg – This sounds like a really neat thing to do! If it helps, soap is always alkaline and would not be considered a neutral pH. Diluting it would still not neutralize it. I’m sorry not to be of more help.

  6. I swear by your soaps but I am curious to know if they are effective on dandruff. I’ve never had dandruff before and your soaps seem to work for everything else? Help!

    • my massage therapist said it worked well for her dandruff, that’s one of the reasons I’m trying it!

    • Hi Cassandra – I’m going to lean on the knowledge of Rafi who manages our Facebook site. He wrote this excellent overview:

      The first step is to figure out whether you have dandruff or if it is actually dry scalp. Many times the two are lumped together, but they are actually somewhat different, and need to be treated differently. How can you tell? Flakes from dry scalp are usually white in color, and people with dry scalp will often have dry skin on other parts of their body as well (and the condition is made worse by dry or cold conditions). Dandruff is a symptom of oily skin: the scalp produces too much oil, and dead skin cells form oily clumps which is seen as dandruff. These clumps are often larger than the flakes produced by dry scalp, have an “oily” consistency, and can be yellowish in color. People with dandruff often suffer from oily skin on other parts of their body, including eyebrows, eyelids, ears, and nose. Unfortunately, many people with dandruff have a tough time finding natural remedies, but it is worth trying a “drying” regimen. Our soaps are naturally drying, so that could work, using less of the acidic conditioning rinse (which moisturizes). For dandruff, many people also recommend changes in diet and supplements. If the problem is dry scalp, then a moisturizing regimen is needed. Many people have success skipping the soap entirely and washing with acidic rinses, such us our Citrus Conditioning Rinse or diluted apple cider vinegar. The acidic rinses help to moisturize. In addition treating the hair and scalp with something like coconut oil, can help keep the skin moisturized and prevent dry scalp from occurring. We recommend doing more research on websites such as mothering.com, where people discuss symptoms and recipes in detail. Everyone’s hair (and scalp) is a little different, and often finding a natural regimen that works requires some tinkering. Hope this helps

  7. Today we bought the baby mild for my tot and the almond for my husband and I, but to be used for bathing, etc. I need to know, the best dilution method (amount, how to’s, etc) to be used for these. I read a ton of reviews before buying, but never seen anything about dilution. Did not realize this until after daughter had a bath and got into her eyes :/ TIA!

    • Hi TBoston – The soap is concentrated and needs either to be diluted or used sparingly. Personally, I go with sparingly. It saves me a step and an extra bottle in my shower. I apply a small squirt to a wet washcloth, and the water in the washcloth and on my body dilutes it.

      Any true soap is alkaline, which is something our eyes vehemently dislike. Products that are tear-free, with either a neutral pH or numbing agents, are going to be detergents instead of soaps, and are called either shower gels or washes or shampoo or something like that.

      However, if you would like to pre-dilute it, try a ratio of around 1:10. If that’s too strong or weak, feel free to tweak it to your preference.

  8. What is the most effective proportion of water and soap for creating hand soap that will be dispensed from a foaming hand wash bottle?

    • Following this thread. Interested in the ratio to make hand soap. Thank you.

    • Hi Lee & Judy – In a foaming pump, dilute at around 1:4 parts soap to water. You can always tweak it if that doesn’t feel right to you. Be sure you’re using a foaming pump as the castile soaps do not work in a regular pump without clogging or shooting sideways or up.

  9. What can I use for fleas on my pets? I heard that eucalyptus soap is good for fleas.
    Thank you for any feedback.

    • Hi Cathy – Castile soaps do work well to eliminate fleas, as well as other insects. I wrote a post with video about washing my dog: http://www.lisabronner.com/washing-the-dog-with-dr-bronners/. The peppermint and eucalyptus are my two favorites for this. We do not recommend using soaps with essential oils on cats, though. They seem particularly sensitive to them. We recommend the unscented Baby Mild for them. I was just talking with someone who said they wash all their rescue animals, which includes a fair number of farm animals, with our peppermint soap, too.

    • Hi Vivian – The peppermint castile soap will do the best job of reducing itchiness from mosquito bites. The soap will also kill any mosquitos it touches, and the scent may be a slight deterrent. However, we do not recommend leaving the soap on your skin as it will be drying and irritating, since soap works by bonding with oils to carry them away. I was just reading a comment back aways from someone who adds a little pure essential oil to a carrier oil like coconut oil and applies that as a mosquito repellent. It’s something to look into!

  10. Hello, I’ve just purchased all of the liquid soaps to try and my fiancé has been using the peppermint one and now has very dry skin. He tried his old body wash and his skin is back to normal again.
    I know there are no harmful chemicals in them but I’m also pregnant and researched these as something to use on my baby. I’m just a little apprehensive now. I have the U scented one for my baby.
    We also used it to wash the vans as we’d read it was amazing; this left a film of white water marks and took another 2 washes to get it off.
    I don’t want to be negative about it at all as I was so excited to find something more natural.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Michelle – Thanks for checking us out! There are a few ways natural soaps work differently than conventional ones. I hope I can get you started. First off, essential oils are key. Different essential oils feel differently on the skin. The Peppermint, for example, is very strong and can be very drying. Personally, I only use it on hot, sticky days or after hot, sticky work. Eucalyptus is another strong one. More moderate ones that we use are our Lavender, Tea Tree, and Citrus, and more mild ones include the Almond and Rose. The unscented Baby Mild would be the mildest of all as it has no essential oils at all. I wouldn’t recommend the Peppermint on a baby, as the tingly nature of the oil might also overwhelm them.

      If you’re switching from a conventional cleanser, it probably contains some sort of moisturizer, and quite possibly of a petrochemical base. This makes the Peppermint Castile even more of a change. You may need a light moisturizer until your skin transitions in a week or two. Personally I use the slightest bit of pure coconut oil as a body moisturizer. It feels great on a pregnant belly, too.

      Also, please read through my post on washing babies: http://www.lisabronner.com/using-castile-baby-mild-soap-on-babies/. The soap is perfect for their skin, but it is not tear-free, as natural soaps cannot be. This soap was requested by the UCLA Medical Center’s maternity ward, which is why my grandfather developed it.

      I have to say I cringed when I read about washing the car. I am sorry. I knew what you were going to say before I read it. Soap reacts with hard water and leaves mineral deposits behind only noticeable on hard, shiny surfaces, which is the film you noticed. I use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, which is a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner that I use from top to bottom, inside and out, in my house.

      This is just the beginning! You’re probably going to come up with more questions, so please feel free to keep asking.

  11. Hello,
    I just got my first bottle of this soap and I was wondering how or if I can make it into a hand soap to refill my soap pump by the sink. What would the ratio of soap to water be?
    Thank you!

  12. Hello,

    I wanted to use this soap as a hand soap in my main bathroom but I’m not sure if I should be diluting it. The soap dispenser I use in this bathroom dispenses quite a bit of soap…probably about a small palm full, and I really don’t want to waste the product. If I do dilute it I’m worried how long it would last in the dispenser since the bathroom can heat up quite a bit from the steam of a hot shower. Also, what ratio would you dilute it at to use as a hand soap??

    Thanks for all the help

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