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.

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

  1. One more question!

    I would like to do a daily, 30-second wipe down of the bathroom fixtures, sink bowl and toilet seat. I have used a 50/50% vinegar and water solution, and alternatively used a diluted castile soap all-purpose mix. I’m wondering what the pros and cons are to each. I am thinking that the vinegar solution–for the quick, daily wipe down–might be best because it will disinfect (or whatever it does), will dry quickly and not need a rinse (safe to sit on the toilet seat?), while I assume the castile soap solution will cause some residue build-up over the week, and might need a rinse (if I didn’t measure correctly again :) ). I use the castile solution weekly and give the bathroom a good, solid cleaning, and then the vinegar solution spray for a rinse, but I don’t want to do the two-step process daily. Do you have any suggestions for what would be most effective and quickest/easiest?


    • hi i do the same w the water vinegar mixture. its my fave! i wipe everything down w it. i was also wondering the same thing? i also wondered if i could just mix it all together? the vinegar and the tee tree soap and use that as a cleanser? would it go bad pre mixed in a larger cleaning bottle?

  2. What about just washing your hands. I keep finding “. . . to 4 parts water” and “. . . to 5 parts water” and am very confused.

    • “Parts” means equal quantity. For example: 1 part soap to 4 parts water would mean 1 tbsp. soap and 4 tbsp. water…. or 1 cup soap and 4 cups water.

  3. Dear Lisa,
    Can I use the unscented or tea tree oil castile soap to launder a sheepskin rug? A gallon of your castile soap is $20 cheaper than a gallon of Eucalon. Would I need to add vinegar to the rinse cycle?
    Also, wanted to recommend your product for anyone that has allergic eczema or suffers from skin splitting on their hands during the winter. I dilute the unscented or lavender castile soaps and the skin on my hands is no longer angry and red. With allergic eczema, you must avoid the allergen that is causing the breakout to heal the rash completely!


    • Hi Sharon,

      I suffer horribly with eczema on my hands, and I just bought the peppermint liquid soap. How do you recommend I use it? I poured some in a foaming soap dispenser, and filled the rest with water. I hope it helps!

    • Christie – Peppermint itself is an irritant to sensitive skin and eyes. If you use one of the Dr. Bronner’s soaps, they are great for sensitive skin and eczema, but peppermint can irritate and sting eczema.

  4. Hi Lisa. Can I make some insecticidal soap using a bar of your soap? I’ve heard other recipies that say to leave a bar of soap in a gallon of water for 24hrs. Can I do this with your (bar) soap?

  5. I find that one tbl in 32 oz spray bottle works great for all purpose cleaning. Highly recommend starting there then increasing if not enough for u. Savescalot of soap really and cleans nicely without streaks or residue.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for all of the great info. I just have a question regarding the dish (hand washing) liquid: Is that ratio correct? I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s for over a year now to wash my dishes, but in a much stronger concentration (1 cup Dr. Bronner’s to 3Tbsp water). I just tried the 1:10 ratio that you suggested and it seems a little too diluted…Any suggestions? Thanks

  7. As a disinfectant can I add hydrogen peroxide to the all purpose spray recipe? This should taker care of salmonella and other germs. If so can I use any of the soaps? Thanks.

    • Lori, hydrogen peroxide must stay in a dark bottle… Once it is exposed to light, it stops working, you can put a spray attachment on the bottle itself or Walmart is now selling a small bottle with a spray, but as long as you know this, then you can do what you want:-)

  8. Hi, Can the unscented liquid castile soap be used to handwash stained baby clothes?

    • Dr Bronners is good for just about everything. It’s wonderful for your clothes, babies clothes everybody’s clothes. I have washed lots of things with it and never had any issues. I hope I helped you out.

  9. Lisa,

    I read in one of your replys above that you did not know anyone who gets tea tree oil because they like the smell. Well, I love the smell of tea tree oil! Thanks for all of the great recipies above.

  10. Hi Lisa,

    Do you know why the soap leaves the body feeling a little stiped and dry. It feels as if no moisture is left on the skin after bath.

    • Hi Keisha. You are probably using too high of a concentration for your skin. Every skin is different and maybe yours needs a little less soap to keep the moisture. Just a thought.

  11. Forgive me if you have answered this question in a previous post…I was wondering how long the dilution for the all purpose cleaner will last before it should be discarded?

  12. Hi Lisa,

    Do you foresee any issue with using a homemade fabric softener in the wash cycle. It contains only epsom salt, baking soda, and an essential oil. I made the mistake of adding my vinegar in the wash cycle previously and would like to avoid another disaster. I find it difficult to remember to come back during the wash cycle of each load. Also, any recommendation for removing the oily stains I created on my first try is appreciated.

  13. AN EDIT TO MY PREVIOUS MESSAGE: I again ended up with the oily spots on darker clothing without using any softener, vinegar, etc. – just the soap. Could this be due to possible residue in the washer from other products? I really don’t see any way I can continue using this product for my baby’s clothes.

    • I would definitely use the vinegar to follow-up in the rinse cycle–it will cut the oil and reduce the residue. I use it for my son’s clothes, and have been for a while.

  14. Would this work in the laundry to kill clothes moth larvae? I am having a really hard time battling these things! They are also in my carpet. Thinking about renting a steam clean carpet machine and possibly using this to wash them. I’ve heard that moths hate lavender. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I have never had a moth problem, and consider myself a good housekeeper and a clean person, so this moth problem is really freaking me out! Please HELP!!???

    • It sounds like you may have a carpet beetle infestation. They are difficult to diagnose since they are so tiny. It’s something to look into since a carpet cleaner make not be effective at eliminating them.

  15. I use the Liquid Castille soap in the handwash containers. I do add some distilled water to it but it clogs up the pump and soap ends up squirting out straight onto the persons clothes. How can I stop the clogging that is occuring? I’d like to also use it in a foam pump, but it seems to do the same thing. thank you

  16. I just bought the orange/citrus soap and it strip the shine off of anything I wipe. The almond oil on the other hand was amazing but they ran out at the store. What am I doing wrong with the citrus/orange one?

    • I’m thinking the extra acidity in the citrus is doing it. Since that mixture doesn’t have the extra oil that the almond oil does (which doesn’t have the citrus acidity), I think it’s the mix and not you.

  17. Hi! My ped has introduced us to your line of products. I’m looking for something to wash/disinfect our hands daily to replace our softsoap brand. Do I get the liquid solution? If so, do different ones do different things or are they just different scents? Do I need to buy a special soap pump for this? How much water do I mix in a soap pump for hands? Are you products available to buy in stores? Thanks, Ayndrea :) Also, I saw posts about vinegar/water solutions to clean. I’ve been doing that lately but I really don’t know what it’s doing? What is it “killing” when I spray on a kitchen counter with raw meat juice? Or a bathroom counter with who knows what kind of bacteria lurking there?

  18. I have a friend who is a backpacker/camper. He says he uses Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap when he goes. He saves the soapy water from dishwashing or bathing and pours it in a circle around his camp; he says it keeps spiders and snakes out. When he is at home he sprays his house to keep spiders, cockroaches and mice out and he sprays the exterior of his house 3-4 times a year to keep cockroaches, spiders and termites away. He isn’t a measurer so he can’t tell me how much soap to water to use. From his description it sounds like he use 1/4 – 1/2 cup peppermint soap to a gallon of water. Will this work on cockroaches? My new residence is infested and I have animals to be concerned about. Thanks

    • Google peppermint oil. I believe it’s the essential oils & not so much the soap base that deters bugs & rodents. However, your friend is very efficient for using & recycling Dr. Bronners in so many different ways!!

  19. Question – can Dr. Bonner’s castile soap be used in our dishwasher? If so, what is the dilution ratio?

  20. Can the castile soap be used in the dishwasher? If so, what is the ratio to be used? THX!

  21. This is related to the above comment.. I know you were talking about spiders, termites and cockroaches.. but can this also be used (maybe in conjunction with something else) as a natural bug repellant (preferably mosquitos)?
    Which scent would be the best?

  22. Hi how often can u brush teeth with castile soap? Once a day? N which brand should you use? Why do your soaps have glyserin in them?

    Thank you

  23. The peppermint is so good to shower with after a weeks hiking on AT. During the trip can be used for so many other cleaning duties. Does not appear to attract bears. Feels so good on sore feet before sleep. The odor is pleasant and dilutes very well. The only problem is the container, tightening the lid will pop it. Before camping I transfer what I expect to use into a super mini Nalgene bottle.
    This product is GREAT! Thanks

  24. Have there been any cases with the peppermint castile liquid soap aiding in stimulating the scalp for hair growth when used as a shampoo?

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