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.

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

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your quick response. We used the diluted soap (1 cup castile soap , 1 cup water , 2 tea spoons of lemon juice) and added in the closed and open cup of dishwasher and also added vinegar to the rinse aid cup. The dishwasher completed successfully. But today we used on the diluted soap and didn’t add vinegar to rinse aid cup and it formed lots of foam and leaked water from the dishwasher. So the Dr.Bonners soap is only good for hand washing the dishes and not for dishwasher. A lesson learnt ;). For laundry is adding vinegar to rinse cycle mandatory ? we have a basic laundry it doesnt have different compartments.

    Will checkout all your recipes and shoot out any questions. Thank you again for the quick response and for the guidance.

    Have a great day !!

    Thanks !!
    AR

    • Hi AR – I wish our soap worked consistently in a dishwasher. It’s something we are working on. Hopefully some day soon we will have a good product for that. You mentioned using our soap directly with lemon juice. Let me give you a word of caution on doing that. The lemon juice actually reacts with the soap and makes it oily. You can read about that in my post here: http://www.lisabronner.com/a-word-of-caution-about-vinegar-and-castile-soap/.

      Vinegar in the laundry is not mandatory. It’s just an extra thing for people who are accustomed to a fabric softener.

  2. I am just beginning my Dr. Bronner’s journey and I’m so excited! I just used the peppermint liquid soap to wash my hair. I have somewhat oily hair and right now my hair is so soft and fluffy. I’m looking forward to trying out the different scents and uses for the soap around the house.

    Lisa, I have two questions for you.
    1. Are the dilutions you provide the same for use on children? Say, for a bath?
    2. My clothes dryer has a sticker that says not to dry anything that has been exposed to oils. Is the oil concentration safe for laundry use considering that statement? Just want to be as safe as possible. Thanks for a great product!

    • Hi Jaclyn – Welcome to the family! It’s great to hear that you’re checking out Dr. Bronner’s. In answer to your questions, yes, the dilutions are the same, but it is totally a matter of personal preference. If you would feel more comfortable with a more diluted solution, go for it. It’s not a matter of toxicity or anything. Just a matter of not using more than you need! Secondly, about the laundry, all the oils in the soap are saponified (chemistry-speak for “turned into soap”), so there aren’t any soap molecules left floating around in there. Naturally, though, you don’t want any soap to be left on your clothes, either, and if you think they might not be thoroughly rinsed, try that vinegar in the rinse water suggestion I made above. It’s really only a factor with hard water.

  3. If making 6oz bottles of baby wash how much Dr. Bonners baby soap should you use per bottle?

    • Hi Kelly – Personally, I don’t predilute the soap for bathing, either for me or when my littles were littler. For babies, I just used a couple drops on a washcloth because I felt I could control where the soap went more easily. You can read more of my thoughts in my post here: http://www.lisabronner.com/using-castile-baby-mild-soap-on-babies/. I also find that prediluted soaps are, well, cold. However, if you would like to predilute in a 6 oz. bottle, add about 1 Tbsp. of soap to the bottle and the rest water.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I LOVE your families soaps and the Sal Suds!
    Wonderful products that cut down on harmful chemicals in my home. I have been using your products for 10 years have converted many family and friends to your soaps, and they all love them!
    I wanted to inquire about dilution of your Castile. I know the pH is more alkaline ( which is true of all REAL soaps) but with dilution, the pH should be driven down right?

    • Hi Racheal – Thanks for all your kind words! I’m glad our products have such a help to you. Yes, diluting the soaps would also lower the pH. pH is the concentration of hydrogen ions or hydroxide ions. Adding water to an acid or a base would dilute the ions and bring the pH closer to 7/neutral. Isn’t chemistry fun?!

  5. Have you ever made a fruit and veggie spray or just made a rinse each time you need? I’d love to make a spray but I’m not sure how much a “dab” to a bowl of water would equate to for a spray bottle. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hi Amanda – Great idea! For a fruit and veggie spray, put 1 Tbsp. in a quart of water in a spray bottle.

  6. I would love to know a dilution ratio for the Teatree for cleansing make up brushes…

    • Hi Austyn – The soap works great for this. I clean my brushes by getting them wet, working some undiluted drops of soap into the bristles and then swishing them in a cup of water. I then let them sit in the water for 10 minutes, swish again, and rinse. Last step is to fill the cup with clean water again and swish the bristles to make sure you’ve gotten all the soap and makeup out. Gently squeeze the water out of the bristles and let them air dry.

  7. Why do you recommend only using a foaming container when using your soap for a pump container for hand washing?

    • Hi Dolly – Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap tends to clog regular pump dispensers. This is because the soap has just enough water in it to keep it liquid. When the soap sits in the pump device, the air evaporates some of this water and so the soap turns solid. What’s worse than a totally clogged pump is a partially clogged pump, where the clog causes the soap to shoot out in unexpected directions, most often up into the unsuspecting users face. However, this problem is averted with foaming pumps because the soap is so diluted. Diluting the soap does not work for regular pumps because it just becomes too thin and the pumps squirt it out too fast. It gets messy.

      If you really want to use a regular pump, check out our Organic Pump Soaps: https://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/category/ORGANICPUMPSOAP.html. These were designed to work in regular pumps.

  8. To Lisa,
    In regards to a comment left by Isadora April 2, 2016. She mentions Woolite drying out delicates with elastic bands and or materials. All soaps are bad for delicates due to the residue they leave in the weave of the fabric. Plain water is best to use and if soap is really needed use baby shampoo because it rinses totally out and it will not harm shiny or metallic materials. Human sweat wears out the fabric and elastic quicker than anything and should be rinsed out in tepid (not cold) warm water immediately and hung dry. The clothes dryer is the other enemy of elastic and will dry out and melt all types of rubber elastic, nylon, lycra, spandex and other synthetics. Rinsing/soaking with plain white vinegar and water tends to help with elastic longevity.

  9. Hi Lisa, I want to make hand soap for a pump bottle. How much soap to water do I use. I was going to use distilled water. Also, should I add tea tree or orange essential oil to it.

    • Hi Nina – With the castile soaps, only a foaming pump dispenser will work. Use a ratio of 1 part soap to 3 parts water. You do not need to add any other essential oils to it.

  10. Hello Lisa,
    I am considering using one of the different liquid soaps I have seen at the market in the plastic containers with different color labels. Wow there is a lot of instructions on how to use this product. My direct question is that I have soap dispensers in my shower and bath stalls in my home; I simply wish to try the Dr. Bronner product in my soap dispensers for general washing of the body and face. What would be a good average dilution ratio i should use? I imagine I have to mix the water with the soap in a different container before pouring it in the dispenser but i am also concerned about it foaming up before use and not staying consistent in the dispenser etc. I just want a good and affordable and versatile natural product and it sounds like this can be it, let me know what you think about my situation. Thank you. (btw, after I wrote this I noticed that this issue came up in a previous question, sorry about the redundancy but I can tell you I have a Simplehuman wall mounted soap dispenser and I am not sure if that would be a regular pump or a foaming pump? I assume regular, if so then would the Organic Pump soap be the only option? I wonder if they carry that at the local Berkeley Bowl supermarket here in California and will I also be able to dilute that with water because cost is an issue for me..?).

    • Hi Kas – Thanks for your interest! You’ve pretty much answered your question – if your dispenser is not a foaming dispenser, then you should not use the Castile soap in it. The Organic Pump Soaps would work great, though. However, these should not be diluted. They are formulated to work best as is. If your dispensers are foaming, then dilute the soap at a ratio of 1:3 with water. You can do it directly in the refill container.

    • Hello Lisa, last question, is the Organic Pump soap available in the larger one gallon container? If I like it, I would want to purchase it in bulk because it seems expensive for me right now.

    • We have half gallon refills of the pump soap, but not gallons yet.

  11. Was wondering if you knew how safe your soap is to shower with when you have an ostomy (stoma)

    • Hi Shelly – I’m sorry, I don’t have any familiarity with that and do not want to misguide you. Quick healing to you!

  12. Hi Lisa, I have Mirage hardwood floors and I am wondering if your product is OK to use on it -Thanks for your help and I am loving the peppermint scent,makes me want to clean!

    • Hi Jan – Either the Castile or the Sal Suds would work well. The issue with wood is that you don’t want to get them too wet, so use a damp mop (dampened with the soap solution) to clean them. Use the very diluted solution I mention in the Cheat Sheet of 1/2 c. of soap in 3 gallons of water, or 1/2 Tbsp. Sal Suds in 3 gallons of water.

  13. Hi Lisa, What are the differences with the Sal Suds and the Castile soaps? I have been using the Sal suds and love it but it is hard to get where I live but it is no problem to get the Castile soaps.

    • Hi Chris – The short answer is that the Castiles are soaps and the Sal Suds is a mild, non-toxic detergent. To explain a little further, the castile (with a base of saponified coconut, olive, and palm oils) is formulated first as a body soap, but its extreme versatility means that it can be used to clean an extensive variety of things. However, one area where it doesn’t do well is cleaning shiny surfaces in hard water. This means that if you live in an area with hard water, the Castile soaps do not work well on cars, glasses, mirrors, etc. Sal Suds is a coconut oil derived detergent that is not meant for the body because it does not have oils that nourish our skin. It would be drying if used regularly on the skin. However, it excels at cleaning anything else, and is no less effective in hard water.

      Let me know if I can clarify further! I think I need a whole post on this topic.

  14. Hi Lisa,
    I just purchased the Hemp Rose castile soap and notices the ingredients state “natural rose fragrance” where does this fragrance derive from if not essential oils?

    • Hi Nou – The natural rose fragrance is made up of a blend of essential oils, like Geranium, Davana, Eucalyptus, rose otto and Orange, plus components of other essential oils that have been fractionated. There is a minimal amount of rose essential oil in our rose fragrance, since rose essential oil costs about $5000 a pound. However, everything is natural and has not been adulterated or synthesized in any way.

  15. Hi Again Lisa,

    Then I guess the half gallon bottle would be available on the Dr. Bronner website; if you can, please provide me with the link. If I end up liking the product, I would definitely want to buy it in higher quantities and I could see the demand for such a thing rising with all of the grey water systems going in and the convenience of having dispensers set up in shower stalls (especially on the commercial side with high end spas and such). Let me know your thoughts, thanks Lisa.

    -Kas

  16. Lisa,
    My son and husband have been using the bar soap for their hair and bodies for months and truly love it. I have been thinking about moving to liquid and trying it myself, but I have corn allergies. Two of the ingredients on the bar soap are keeping me from trying it because I have been told that citric acid and tocopherol are usually made from corn. Could you tell me more about these two ingredients in your bar and liquid soaps?

    Thanks,
    Ande

    • Hi Ande – Our citric acid is derived from tapioca and our tocopherols are derived from sunflower oil.

    • Lisa,
      Thanks for getting back with me. 🙂 I will give it a try.

      Ande

  17. Hello, I bought 18-in-1 pure-castile soap. I want to make it as a hand soap. I know that I need to dilute it with water. but I don’t know what’s the proportion like how much water with how much soap? please let me know.

    Thank you
    Chenchen

    • Hi Chenchen – For hand soap, use only a foaming pump dispenser and not a regular pump. The soap always will clog a regular pump. In a foaming pump, dilute the soap at a ratio of 1 part soap to 3 parts water.

  18. Thank you for that link Lisa. My first thought is, wow that is an expensive option! It seems more expensive than the Castille soap option per volume and that would be even before the Castille soap is diluted. Any particular explanation about that, are the ingredients really expensive? It seems like the pump soap should possibly be cheaper than the Castille soaps since it does not yield nearly as much product? Right now, at least for me in particular, it seems out of reach based on the cost. Let me know your thoughts and answers. Thank you again for your attention and care.

    • Hi Kas – You are right than when you look at dilutions, the castile is much less expensive. The reason for it is this – both soaps have the castile base. In addition to that, the Organic Pump Soaps contain organic sugar, organic white grape juice, and organic shikakai powder. This makes them much more moisturizing and able to work in a conventional pump. However, diluting them does not work well.

  19. Hello Lisa, I’m kinda new to the game. 🙂 I had a question about using the foam dispenser not just for hand soap but also for shampoo. I haven’t tried it yet but I thought about diluting Dr. Bronners with a bit of jojoba oil and the recommended amount of water and using that as shampoo. Is this a good idea or no? Just experimenting over here…..thanks!

    • Hi Jennifer – That sounds like a good experiment. I think you should give it a try.

  20. How to do dilutions go for the bars? Do bars have to be diluted?

    • Hi Vanessa – No, you do not have to dilute the bars. The water that you use to wet the bars will also dilute it.

  21. Hi Lisa
    I am a recent convert to DrB after a xmas present, which included a book by Clean Mama that speaks very highly of your products.
    I am working towards a home with only DrB products and the other useful tools such as vinegar, bicarbonate etc. to clean everything.
    I have been using peppermint, lavender and citrus for various tasks.
    After watching your recent video blog I made up bottles of 1/4 Cup DrB to water in spray bottle, but I have noticed after a few days, the lovely fragrance is gone and the smell isn’t as good (and actually not very pleasnt) as a direct concentrate. Is this an issues of storage or ratio??? Please can you suggest a solution as I am not sure what is going on? I am currently using the citrus.

    • Hi Jac – As you can figure, when you dilute the soap, you are also diluting the essential oil that is giving it its lovely scent. The essential oil is present in the undiluted soap at a concentration of 2%. When you dilute the 1/4 c. of soap in 1 quart of water, the concentration drops to .125%. The soap is more than effective, but you definitely lose some of the scent. I recommend adding your own essential oils to the spray bottle to give you whatever scent you like. For example, 20 drops of pure peppermint oil – or lavender or sweet orange – would make a lovely spray.

  22. Hi Lisa! We use the peppermint castile soap to bath our dog and he loves it! I just bought the tea tree kind for vacation. Is that safe for him too? Thanks!

  23. I would like to use the Castile liquid soap as a laundry pre spotter. What proportion to water would be good? We love it as foaming hand wash and produce wash.

    • Hi Martha – Depending on what sort of stains we’re talking about here, I would only cut the soap in half to use on stains. Or if the stains are really stubborn, but the soap on it straight.

  24. Hi lisa,
    A long while ago, i seen a recipe for a wipe solution for baby bottoms on here, but i only had the peppermint at the time. today i finally bought a big bottle of the baby unscented and now i can’t find the recipe. could you please help me out?

    • Hi Christina – Here’s a recipe a friend shared with me:

      Lavender ‘n’ Tea Tree
      1/8 cup olive oil
      1 tablespoon lavender castile soap
      4 drops tea tree oil
      8 drops lavender oil
      3 cups water

      I never used it because I found out about it after my kids were beyond this stage, but my friend had great results with it.

  25. I use the soap in a foaming pump bottle. The one I keep in the shower never clogs. I guess that is because of the moisture. The ones at the sink do partially clog but I am aware of it and am careful.

  26. Hi!
    I recently purchased my first real silk pillowcase and I want to hand wash it. I read on the instructions that I can use a detergent with a low ph level. I already own your rose scented 18 in 1 castille soap. But is there a particular soap from your line that you could recommend? Also, how much would you suggest? I can use all the instructions and help/advice you have!

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Vanessa – If the directions said a low pH, that would be a strong acid. Our soaps are mild alkalis, which means their pH is around 8.9. I don’t know if strong acids are good for silk, but it doesn’t sound right to me. Did the directions say a neutral pH, which would be around 7? Pure water has a neutral pH of 7. If that is the case, then our soaps would be a perfect option. I have used them on washable silks and they work great. In a sinkful of cold water, but a capful or so of soap. Swish it around. Add the pillowcase and swish it around. Let it sit in the water for 10 minutes. Swish and rinse.

  27. Hi Lisa,

    I have a waxed canvas bag which got partially soaked in oil. To complicate things, the bag has a leather bottom and handles, so probably shouldn’t be submerged in water (or maybe that’s not so bad with Dr. Bronners?).

    Do you have any suggestions in terms of whether I can use the Castille soap to clean it and what the best method is? I’ve seen other brands (Otterwax) that offer a citrus castille soap for cleaning waxed canvas, but I thought your product might be just as easily used.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ben – Bummer! Either our castile soap or our Sal Suds all purpose cleaner would work well. I would opt for the Sal Suds if this were my bag, but both would do it. Although leather can’t take a whole lot of water exposure, in this case it sounds like you either need to get the bag clean or throw it away, so let’s try to clean it. Make a solution of about 50/50 with castile and water or 25/75 with Sal Suds and water. Apply that to the part of the canvas that got oily. Rub it in and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then rinse it out well.

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