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.

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347 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.

    • Hi, I was just curious which fragrance you are using on your face?

  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.

    • I wouldn’t worry about separation, just shake it up and keep using it. Most products we’re just used to seeing them not separate because of all the chemicals used to keep ingredients from separating in commercial products.

  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

    • Thank you Lisa Bronner, that information was very helpful. I thought I had dry scalp but wasn’t sure, but now I know. I’ve tried the apple cider vinegar because quite a few websites said use it for dry scalp but now I know it’s drying out my scalp even more. I tried your soap on my hair once but i stopped and now i’m glad I did. I will be using the soap for everything else. All the information gathered today was very helpful.

  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

  13. Dear sir

    Can this soap be use to cure PSORIASIS?
    looking forward to here from you soon.

    K8nd regards

    Vono

  14. Hi Lisa! You wrote: 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!”
    What kind of essential oil? Peppermint?

    • Lemon essential oil works great for repelling mosquitos.

    • Lemon essential oil (also many others) can cause your skin to be unusually sensitive to sunlight. I personally would not use any essential oil that lists photosensitivity as a warning for any product to be used on skin when you will be outdoors.

    • At the Colonial Williamsburg Museum they told us colonists used Lavendar to repel Mosquitos. I have found that it works very well.

  15. I was wondering about using Bronner’s Liquid Soap to wash my kitchen cabinets that are wood & wood paneling. Is it wise to do so & the dilation ratio would be what!!! I did use it to clean behind stove & hood with 2:1 concentrate & it cleaned up grease nicely w/o a ton of scrubbing & it looks better than ever. I think it would be fine to as I intend on using lemon oil afterwards, but can not find anything pertaining to this!! Thanks.
    Brenda

  16. Hi, i absolutely love your products, i recently got my baby niece, 10 months, on the baby mild soap and it has done wonders with her excema. I have a question tho, is it ok to use the same soap for her laundry? She has very sensitive skin and we have tried other soaps and vinegar and its just too harsh on her skin. Please let me know, thank you

  17. Hi Lisa,
    2 questions….
    1) I purchased Baby Mild to use for body & hair in the shower for the whole family. I have recently been finding some info on pH, and that pH of 4-7 should be used on scalp/hair, and that castile is too high. Any tips? Does diluting bring the pH down?
    2) For household cleaning… Is it true that the soap loses cleaning power when mixed with acids like vinegar and/or hydrogen peroxide? Is it best to use on its own?

  18. Wait, Lisa? Sal Suds? You don’t use the castille soap to clean your house? I thought that was one of the uses? Laundry, dishes, counters, floors….? I am confused. I currently dilute your lavender soap in empty bath and body foaming bottles for hand soap in every bathroom and the kitchen. I work in a preschool and we are using it there, too. I want to try it in our HE washing machine someday….still researching that. Someone mixes it with baking soda. Is that ok?

    • Hi Alva – Both work! I have both solutions ready in my house. Honestly, it depends on the time of year, but I do favor the Sal Suds because it is slightly more effective overall and doesn’t have the reaction with hard water that the castile has. This reaction is what leaves a mineral film on shiny surfaces. However, the Castile has the advantage of eliminating and deterring six legged critters, so in the warmer months, that is my go-to.

      It sounds like you have a good thing going there! Stick with it.

  19. I have Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Pure Castile Soap, can I use it on my baby?

  20. i want to make a shower body wash using your baby castile soap as my base. Can I add an additional oil and my pure essesial oils plus a small amount of distilled water to it. also I would add extra vit. e. I need it to be able to be mixed than bottled and not have to be refrigerated. I need at least a 6 month shelf life,. Thank you

  21. I usually wear lightweight quick drying underwear and SPF-type fishing shirts while traveling on a MC. How much soap would you recommend for washing these items in the sink or an Aloksak bag? I believe I read somewhere that 10 drops was about right. Getting everything rinsed is as important as getting them clean so I don’t want to overdo the soap.
    Thank you!

  22. Hey there , I know that your soap can be used in the laundry- is it cloth diaper safe? Thanks so mcuh

  23. Hi Lisa,

    I want to make a foaming cleanser to use on my 1yr old son when changing his diaper, is the citrus too harsh to use on a baby’s bum? what ratio would you recommend? Thanks!! :)

  24. Hi! Do you know if using it as a shampoo would help my 3 year old that has a little patch of seborrheic dermatitis on his scalp. I want to try a more “natural” alternative before trying medicated shampoos

  25. G’day

    Can you please tell me the difference between the Castile Soap and the Sal Suds and when you might use each one please?

    Happy to read up myself if you have a link, you may be able to provide.

    Thanks, Deb

    • Sals Sud is more effective to use if you have hard water. Castile soap is not good with hard water. It will cause a film\waxy residue on any surface and if you use it on your body. It will not be good with for the drains.

    • Hey there, Holland! I love how far Dr. Bronner’s has reached around the world. Here’s what Google Translate gave me from the Dutch (bearing in mind the typical awkwardness of computer translations): Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap comes in eight versions , and you can ( diluted ) as much use in eighteen different ways. You can do with it include the washing and brushing your teeth ( with the…

  26. Please tell me if I can use almond Pure Castile soap to wash my cashmere sweaters?

  27. What dilution would you recommend for hand-washing clothes — small loads in sink or bucket, sometimes when traveling, but sometimes at home when I have a few items to wash but am not ready for a machine load? Say, how much per gallon of water?

  28. Hi! So I’ve recently started using the Baby Mild liquid in the bath for my young children (5 and 6.5). I’ve noticed that my daughter’s cheeks have been red and rough the past couple of days. I started using it about 2 weeks ago. I’m not sure yet if she just got too much sun this weekend or if maybe it’s a reaction/drying. My husband tells me she has a little patch of blue/black under one eye so he’s wondering if it could be a reaction. Any thoughts? I’m going to stop using it to test. And maybe try diluting it or using the bar soap. If I dilute, are there recommendations for diluting this one for children? I literally do a dash in my hands and lightly use on their faces and rinse quickly. Any other recommendations for another Dr. Bronner’s product I could use on them? Thank you!

  29. i’ve been using the peppermint and tea tree castille soaps for eons but would like to try other scents and still have the benefit of tea tree oil. How much should I add per ounce to the soap to equal the ratio you use in the tea tree castille soap? Thanks.

  30. Just curious if anyone has had issues with these soaps causing acne? I’ve read many positive reviews about it helping but have also read about oils (coconut oil, etc.) clogging pours. Would really love some magical cure and i’m hoping this soap is it!

  31. Hello.. If I’m just using it for hand soap.. Do I need to dilute it? And does it go in a normal pump or foaming pump?

  32. I want to try and make my own shampoo. I don’t know how much water and how much Dr Bronners soap should I use? I aslo want to add essential oils (rosemary, lavender and tea tree oil) how much should I add? I don’t want to rinse with vinegar can I just rinse with Dr Bronners rinse? PLEASE HELP my hair would appreciate it very much. :)

  33. Hello,

    I’m excited about using castile soap to replace some of the harsh cleaners in my home. I’ve already been using it on the dishes at a dilution of 1:10. Can I use castile soap in my dishwasher, also? What would the dilution ratio be, and the best type of castile soap?

  34. Hello Lisa,

    I am moving into a new apartment and the carpets desperately need cleaning. I don’t want to use Sal Suds soap as it has SLS’s in it and my dog and I are VERY sensitive so we need to keep any cleaning products as pure as possible. So, I was wondering if I can use the baby Castille soap that I use to wash dishes to give to the carpet guy to clean the carpets? And if so, what would the dilution be for different cleaning machine types? Thank you so much!

  35. I am using diluted unscented Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in a foaming dispenser. I just noticed a smell, like rancid wheat, and an oily residue on my hands after using. Is it normal for this to happen a month after filling the dispenser?

  36. Hello,
    I would like to use the rose soap as a shampoo and body wash. Since the soap is an alkaline. I understand that rinsing my hair with an acidic rinse will balance out the ph level of my scalp and soften my hair. What about for my body? Is an acidic rinse necessary?
    Thank you :)

  37. Birthday gift can eucalyptus 18 and one works great on both of my dogs

  38. I am a new user to the baby liquid soap. My question is, do you have a recipe for my dishwasher? Will this disinfect my dishes if I run it through hot wash cycle?
    thnks so much!!!

  39. Can this product be used to clean the interior of a vehicle? I just bought the Hemp Peppermint and thought it would make the car smell nice!!

  40. I noted that you said that the castile reacts badly with hard water. we have very hard water; is that why I feel like there is a film on my clothes when I use Bronners for laundry? Does the vinegar you mention take care of that? None of the wonderful fragrance remains on the clothes. I’ve tried lavender & peppermint. We’ve used Dr. Bronners soap for camping soap for about 35 years, but this is my first try with laundry.
    thanks

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