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.

* 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.

1,271 thoughts on “Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

  1. Hi, Lisa.
    I’m just wondering if any of your customers have given you any feedback about using Dr. B’s soap for cleaning partial dentures and what their experiences have been regarding effectiveness, abrasion, etc.
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
    Sandra Jean

    • Hi Sandra Jean – I have not had feedback on this topic, but my grandfather (Dr. Bronner) used the Peppermint castile to clean his own dentures. He had full dentures, though, and I am not sure the details. Personally, I use the Castile to clean the bite guard I wear at night. I’ve had it for years and the soap has worked excellently.

      Other readers please weigh in here!

    • I have a partial denture made of thermoplastic (the kind you are not supposed to soak or clean with anything abrasive). My dentist told me that some of his patients had tried soaking theirs in antiseptic mouthwash (the most popular brand), and it had eroded the plastic. Eek!

      I almost exclusively use Dr. Bronner’s soap to clean my partial. I just (very gently) work some of the soap into it by hand, rinse away with warm water, and then leave it to air dry as instructed by my dentist. The only time I don’t use the Bronner’s is if I’m out of it or don’t have access – and then, I try to use as mild a soap as possible.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I’ve just recently discovered Dr. Bronner’s and after researching how beneficial it can be, I’ve ordered the Tea Tree castile liquid soap. My main purposes to use the Tea Tree soap are to cleanse my face, rid acne and scarring, and remove my makeup in lieu of a makeup wipe.
    How much soap should I start with when diluting as a face wash? What is the proper way to use the Tea Tree soap as a makeup remover? Also, would you recommended another moisturizer besides the Lavender Coconut Lotion?
    Looking forward to using your products very soon.

    • Hi Nicole – Glad you found us! The Tea Tree Castile is an excellent option for a facial wash. I do not predilute the soap for this as I find that several drops from the 8 oz. bottle I keep by my sink does the trick. I wet my face, lather several drops of soap in my hands and then massage on to my face. I do this twice a day. If you prefer, you can dilute the soap in a foaming pump dispenser at a ratio of 1:3. The only time I need something more is when I’ve been wearing waterproof mascara or heavier eyeliner. Then I use coconut oil, which is very gentle on the eyes, to lift the make up. When my face is especially dry, I use a nightly masque of coconut oil once a week – about a pea-sized amount of coconut oil massaged into the face before bedtime.

      Here are a couple of posts that might be helpful: Coconut Oil as Make-up Remover and I Wash My Face with Castile Soap

  3. Hi! Our siding to our house has algea/mildew on it. I was wondering if I could use Dr. Bronner’s to clean it. If so, what ways should I go about doing it? Can I use it in my power washer? Or would it be best to dilute in a bucket and scrub the siding with it? Looking forward to hearing back!

    • Hi Angela – The Castile isn’t the best option to use outside if you have hard water because it can leave a whitish film. A better option is the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. Just a drop mixed with water in your solution compartment of your pressure washer will do a great job. It is biodegradable and won’t harm any landscaping.

  4. Hello friends,
    I want to share a solution that I have been using to help my family use Dr Bonners castile soap as hand soap in the bathroom without wasting it. I make a “gel” using a product called Clear Gel, used to make homemade canned pie filling. It is inexpensive, white powder similar to cornstarch. Depending on how much you make will depend on how much castile soap you use but for instance I made an XL batch the other day and used about 4 cups of water, 1 cup or less powdered Clear Gel, heated on the stove until thick then added about 1/2 cup of Dr. Bonners. I can then add essential oils like tea tree or a scent and maybe some added coconut oil for dry winter skin and put it in a regular pump dispenser and Voila! I hope this helps some of you Dr. Bonners fans.

    • Hi Susie – I hope this helps. Let me know if any specific questions arise from your customers.

  5. I am curious to find out if Dr. Bonner’s Sal’s Suds are safe to clean stone floors with a wet mop? (Travertine & Limestone floors and Travertine Shower surround.

    • Hi Sue – Yes, it is safe for softer stones. The concern with softer stone is that acidic cleansers can etch them. Sal Suds, however, is alkaline, and when diluted for mopping, the pH is practically neutral.

  6. Hi! I purchased a bottle of 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap. You have on your cheat sheet that it can be used to mop floors. I have a greasy build up on my hardwood floors from using a different soap over the years. Is it ok to use the Peppermint soap on hardwoods? Also, to remove the greasy build up how would you suggest I use it and in what ratio to water? Thanks.

    • Hi Val – Yes, I think the Castile will do great with removing the build up. Because the amount of grime on your floors sounds a little higher than average, you may need more soap. Use about 1 1/2 gallons hot water and add 1/2 c. of soap.

  7. Hi Do you have any information on the Potassium Hydroxide in the soap. Is is safe..It says ** None remains after saponifying oils into soap & glycerin but what does that mean??

    • Hi Karen – Ooh! I love talking about soap chemistry! Soap is made, and has been made for millenia, by combining oils with strong alkalis. In our case, for the oils we use a blend of coconut, olive, palm (or palm kernel), hemp and jojoba. For the alkali we use sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. The oils need a powerful alkali that is strong enough to break apart the oil molecule. An oil molecule has four parts: one glycerin section, and three fatty acid section. This is why it is called a triglyceride. Tri=three, glyceride for the glycerine. The alkali is a combination of either a sodium or potassium atom attached to a hydroxide (which means one hydrogen and one oxygen atom). When the oil and alkali gets together, all the molecules come apart. The fatty acid sections from the oil molecule recombines with either the sodium or potassium ion from the alkali and forms a salt of a fatty acid, otherwise commonly known as soap. The glycerin stays separate and makes the soap more nourishing, and then those hydroxide sections of the alkali combine with each other and form water. We test every batch to make sure all those alkali molecules got consumed so that there is none left in the final product. I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have further questions.

  8. Our daughter is expecting our first grandchild this February and was told that Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Baby Unscented is the best to use on a newborn. Would you please advise on how to use for baby’s first bath as their skin is so delicate?

    Thank you,
    Laurie

    • Hi Laurie – Congratulations! Yes, our Unscented Baby-Mild Castile is excellent for baby’s delicate skin. It was first requested from us by the UCLA Medical Center Maternity Ward for use on their newborns. I wrote about my using it with my own little ones here: http://www.lisabronner.com/using-castile-baby-mild-soap-on-babies/. As awesome as it is for their skin, it is important to note that no soap is tear-free, so do not use it on the face.

  9. Hello Lisa,

    I wanted to know if you could give me the exact dilution to wash my beard using the baby unscented liquid castile soap?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jesse – For a beard, I wouldn’t pre-dilute. I’m basing this on washing my hair, since I don’t have a beard. But if you get your beard wet, it will already be holding so much water, that a small squirt of soap lathered in will be diluted by the water already present there. If you predilute, you’ll just have to squirt in a lot more. The amount entirely depends on the magnitude of your beard, but if we’re talking a close cropped beard, maybe a few drops. If we’re talking waist-length, then a squirt equalling 1/2 tsp.

  10. hi Lisa, is it possible to create my own hand sanitiser using your liquid soap? I want to have a big pump bottle (not the small travel pump size) at my desk, but it’s really hard to find something I can feel comfortable with without breaking the bank. Since I have the liquid soap, I might as well use it to make my own eco hand sanitiser. Any suggestion? Thanks!

    • Hi Tucu – Soap really only works if it is washed off. Soap bonds with dirt and grime, but unless it is rinsed away, it just sits there. So a spray on hand sanitizer with it would not work. We do make an alcohol based hand sanitizer. I wonder if you could also make your own with essential oils, glycerin, and alcohol. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  11. Thank you so much for your swift reply. Maybe some day your alcohol-based hand sanitizer could come in a larger pump bottle for keyboard warriors who have to put up with colleagues who do not wash their hands after visiting the washroom :>

  12. Do not use on your hair! I learned this the hard way, made my hair feel and look like dried straw!! It was horrible. And using it to brush your teeth is beyond disgusting, vomit inducing even.

  13. hello what is the abbreviation “c.” mean please? cap? cup? somehting else?
    thanks. I am specifically interested to use for laundry machine.

    • Hi Allison – I am going to guess you are outside the U.S., somewhere that uses the much more sensible metric system instead of our odd “U.S. Standard” system. The initial “c.” stands for “cup” which is a standard measurement of 16 fluid ounces. This converts to approximately 240 mL. Thank you for reminding me that I should include metric in my recommendations for our many international customers!

    • Oh goodness! See what I mean?! Despite the fact that I’ve lived with this bizarre system my entire life, and I cook a lot, I still get it wrong. Sandra Jean, you are entirely correct. 8 fluid ounces equals 1 cup. 16 dry ounces equals 1 pound. So crazy. Thank you for catching that!

  14. I will be handwashing laundry for next 3 weeks or so. Washer finally died. How much soap for a kitchen (2 basin) sinkful of wash water. And do I still need to add vinegar to the rinse?

    • Hi Sandy – I’m so very sorry I didn’t see your question last month, and you have my sympathies on the demise of your washer. That would be a hurdle for me too. If it’s any help to you or any other reader, if I were washing in my sink, I’d start with about 1/4 cup of the Castile, but I have a pretty large sink. You can start with less and then add more soap as needed. AFter you wash the clothes, rinse them in clear water. If your water is hard, or if these are towels, I’d do a second rinse with a half cup of vinegar added to the rinse water.

    • Hi Deana – I am sorry to not have seen your question last month. Unfortunately, our soaps do not work well in automatic dishwashers. They bubble too much. It’s something we’ve been wanting to develop but haven’t figure it out yet.

    • Hi Suzi – Yes, our soaps and Sal Suds are safe for septic systems. We had them analyzed for biodegradability, specifically for the use in grey water systems in Australia. The issues are the same for septic. The soaps biodegrade and will not harm your system.

  15. I got a stain on a favorite shirt and I noticed it after the wash. I was going to rub sum bar soap in to it, but I thought “what the heck” and used my 1 part 18 in one peppermint and 3 part water spray (I use this in replacement for soap at the sink and in the shower). I left it for a few minutes, then threw it in the wash with some other clothes. Low and behold the stain was gone! I am very pleased. You might want to pass on your products stain removal powers!

    • Fantastic!! So glad to hear it and will certainly pass it on!

    • Hi Anisa – You can convert the recipes to use with the bar soaps, although there would be some slight differences in the outcomes. The bar soap dissolved in water will make a cloudy liquid. If it is not diluted enough, the bar soap will turn the water into a gel.

      As far as converting the recipes, our Bar soaps are 5% water, while the liquid soaps are 61% water. The chemistry is a little different for both, but considering that a bar soap is 5 oz., and thus 4.75 oz. of non-water soap, you would need 12.18 ounces of liquid soap to equal the non-water content of a 5 oz. bar. This means that roughly the bar soap is 2.5 times more concentrated than the liquid.

  16. Hi!
    I was introduced to the peppermint ages ago and love it! Thank you for keeping the product line alive!
    Recently, I read a cleaning hint using Castile almond but I can’t find the article. I am deep cleaning my house to be put on the market. One of the things I dislike is the plastic coated wire closet sections. They feel sticky and greasy. Just funky. Is it possible the article I can’t find used this product for cleaning that stuff? Do you think it would work and if so, what dilution should I use?
    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Liliana – A belated Merry Christmas to you, too! I’m so sorry I didn’t see your question earlier. I am with you in not being a fan of the plastic coated wire closet shelves. Any of our Castile soaps would do a great job of cleaning them though. I would make up a small bucket of solution – a quart of water with a couple cap fulls of soap – and immerse a microfiber cloth in it. Wring it out and use that on the wire organizers. You won’t need an extra rinsing step and this should work without dripping everywhere. Best wishes in selling and moving.

  17. I’d really like an unscented soap, but I read somewhere that the formula for the baby mild is not the same as for the scented soaps. What does “mild” mean in this case? I assume it would affect the mixture proportions on your cheatsheet, wouldn’t it? Thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Jean – The ratio of saponified olive oil to coconut oil is doubled in the unscented Baby Mild Castile. There is still the same amount of soap content, though, so the dilutions for the recipes would be the same.

  18. Hi Lisa

    I’m from the UK and have searched every website for metric conversions but can’t seem to find any….. so for all purpose cleaning dilutions if 1 cup is 240 ml, I presume that when you say 1/4 of soap in a quart of water that means equal measurements of 60ml soap to 60ml of water?

    Thanks

    • Hi Rebecca – Yes, you have the conversions correct. This is something I definitely need to address for our customers around the world. Thank you for the reminder!

  19. Hi – I have a maltese puppy that has tear stains and nothing seems to be working to get rid of her stains. Do you recommend using Dr. Bronner’s baby unscented pure-castle soap on them?

    • Hi Gail – A good friend of mine has a maltese with similar issues. Although the Castile soap would probably do a great job getting rid of the tear stains, using the soap that close to the eyes is not recommended. The soap would irritate the eyes if it came in contact. Pure coconut oil does a very good job at lifting the stains, as well as nourishing the skin beneath.

    • I’ll give the coconut oil a try to see what happens – Thank you!

  20. I am in Australia and have tried the conversions suggested in above UK post but have found that my ceaserstone bench is very streaky.

    Can I check in australia 1 cup = 250 ml, how much castile soap would you use per cup/250 mls?

    MANY THANKS!

    • Hi Jacqui – For every 250 mL, you would add about 15 mL of soap. Feel free to fiddle around with that. Wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. If you’re seeing streaks, you might try a little less soap.

  21. Hi Lisa,

    I have the 18 in 1 lavender castille spray. I also have a variety of essential oils including tea tree and orange. I want to make an all purpose cleaning spray that I’m hoping to use in my classroom to clean the desks and other things. Does the water need to be distilled? What would be the best ratio to use? Is there a way to make it a spray without having to use a damp cloth/ avoid leaving a film on the surface?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Sarah – The simplest spray, which is what I use around my house, is 1/4 c. of the Castile soap in 1 qt. of water. I use RO water because I happen to have it. If you use tap water, you’re probably fine, although you will notice white precipitates at the bottom of the bottle. They are harmless. If you want to give the spray an extra antibacterial boost, add 20 drops of the Tea Tree essential oil. You can throw the orange in there for fun – it’s my favorite scent. If you use a damp microfiber cloth, the grippiness of the microfiber will pick everything up and you won’t need to wipe again. That’s why I like these cloths. Plus they’re washable and reusable.

    • Hi Sarah – I have never noticed a batch going bad, although sometimes the scent fades. I’ve had sprays that have sat around for a couple months with no ill effects.

  22. Hi, Lisa,
    Can the unscented liquid Castile hemp soap be used to hand- wash delicate clothes, scarves, lingerie, loose knits, etc?
    If so, what dilution proportion would you recommend?
    If not, is there another Dr. Bronner unscented, fragrance- free product that would be safe and gentle for this purpose?
    Thank you very much for all of this great information!

    • Hi Rena – Yes! The Baby Mild Castile makes an awesome wash for delicates. Put a capful into a sink of cold water and dunk and swish the clothing. You can let them soak for a few minutes and then gently rinse and lay out to dry.

  23. I’ve been reading lately about the importance of adding a preservative (like Optiphen Plus) whenever you are adding water to Castile Soap as bacteria can start growing within days. Can you advise how you determined the product is safe mixed with water for a couple of weeks? Were any tests completed to determine this? Love the products but want to make sure I’m keeping my family safe. Thank you!

    • Hi Rachel – To back up a bit, know that the Castile soap is naturally preserved because of its alkalinity, and we also add Tocopherols (vitamin E) as an extra preservative. Certainly, when you dilute the soap, you are diluting the preservative. However, using filtered or distilled water would not immediately introduce bacteria into your solution. The issue is that bacteria in the air might eventually get into the solution and there wouldn’t be enough preservative to combat it. All that being said, your solution is safe for a while. If you notice that it is smelling off, then dump and remake.

      Specifically about Optiphen Plus, this particular preservative is only effective in acidic solutions below a pH of 6. (See https://www.ingredientstodiefor.com/item/Optiphen_PLUS/87/) Since soap is alkaline, it would not be effective in any solutions you might make up. In fact, Optiphen might even break down the soap.

    • Hi Rae – Use a 1:3 soap to water ratio for a foaming pump. You can adjust it to your liking to make it more or less concentrated.

    • Hi Janice – The shelf life of the toohtpaste is at least three years from the date of manufacturing. You can find out the date of manufacturing by looking at the numbers stamped on the crimped end of the tube. You’ll see four numbers (ignore the letters). The first number tells you the last number of the year, and the next three numbers tell you the day of the year by Julian date. So if the numbers are 7202, That’s July 21, 2017.

  24. Hi, I want to use my smaller sized pressure washer to clean my litter boxes. Is Sal Suds safe for that use? Thanks.

    • HI Julie – Yes, the Sal Suds works well in pressure washers. Use only a tiny amount.

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