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.

1,374 thoughts on “Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

    • Hi Rhonda – I agree!! It’s great to hear your enthusiasm and support. Thanks for sharing!

  1. With the 1:10 dilution for dish soap, is it supposed to get sudsy? Or is it just supposed to clean without the bubbles? I’m new to this and I just want to make sure that I’m using it correctly! I also have hard water if that makes a difference.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Carly – Your suspicion is likely correct in that hard water can affect the amount of sudsing of the Sal Suds. You can increase your concentration a little bit to get some more suds going if you like. But, as you surmise, Sal Suds does get the job done even without a lot of bubbles.

    • I’m having the same issue. I’m also not able to get the soap to cut through the oil that I am trying to get off my dishes and it just seems to be spreading the oils to all of the dishes that I am trying to clean! I have restarted with fresh water and soap three times now! Absolutely no suds anywhere in sight. How can I get it to cut the oil, and not re-deposit it onto the rest of the dishes? Thanks

    • Hi Grace – Usually the Castile soap is great at cutting grease. Try increasing the concentration. If you have hard water, give the Sal Suds a try as it doesn’t react with the minerals in hard water like the Castile soap does.

    • I used Sal Suds to wash my dishes for years til I got my dishwasher. I still use Sal Suds to hand wash a few things that can’t go in the dishwasher. Also, Sal Suds mops my floors, and I use it asap on food spills on clothes. It’s a great all purpose cleaner

    • Hi Lorraine – Thank you for bringing up your concern about Palm Oil. I’m often asked about the irresponsible production of palm oil which has been truly decimating to animal habitat and the environment. We share this concern. The vast majority of palm oil used in food and body care products is sourced from southeast Asia with devastating results. I am happy to say that there are ways to produce palm oil that do not have this impact. In searching for options, we partnered with small scale farmers in Ghana and founded Serendipalm, a sister companies, that is producing palm oil in a way that promotes health not only to the environment and farmers but also to the communities around it. Please read more about it here: https://www.drbronner.com/about/our-suppliers/projects-and-partnerships/#about-palm-oil
      And here’s a video of our work in Ghana Sustainable Palm Oil: The Difference Fair Trade Makes.
      As for why we use Palm Oil, it has special qualities that make it ideal for use in our bar soaps: when saponified it gives our bar soaps hardness and stability, while maintaining a smooth and emollient lather, qualities which we have simply been unable to match using other oils.

    • Hi Theresa – Yes, possibly, but it truly depends on what kind of wood you are wanting to clean. I did a whole post a couple of years back on cleaning with wood. Take a look, and if you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to reach out again! Here’s the post: http://www.lisabronner.com/wood-making-it-shine/

  2. Hello Lisa

    Thank you for all the information but I’m French (hard to find your product in 🇫🇷 btw!) I’m using the metric system so I’m having trouble getting the right amount for the dilutions.
    Could you add the conversions?
    Another question, you have written that Castilles soap and Vinerger do not mix well together however you recommande using vinegar in the rince cycle…. I’m confused.

    Cheers

    • Hello Clothilde – Thank you for reminding me that I should include metric in my recommendations for our many international customers! The initial “c.” stands for “cup” which is a standard measurement of 8 fluid ounces. This converts to approximately 240 mL. The initial “Tbsp” stands for tablespoon which is is about 1/2 fluid ounces or 15mL. You are correct that Castile soap and vinegar do not mix, however, when used in the rinse cycle, following the wash, it acts as a fabric softener.

  3. I’m hoping to use your product as a hand wash in a pump dispenser. Should I dilute it with water? Or just tip it straight into the dispenser?

    • Hi Anna – We don’t recommend that you put the Castile in a regular pump dispenser because it tends to clog and shoot out fast in unexpected directions, even if you dilute it. However, it does work well in a foaming pump dispenser diluted at a ratio of 1:4.

    • How come this says 1:4 and in other places you recommend 1:3? Has this dilution rate been challenge tested?

    • Hi Sharon – I’m glad to see you’re reading through the comments. Lots of helpful stuff in them! Both dilutions work equally well – it’s simply a matter of personal preference.

  4. Hi:

    Your reply to Clothilde dated July 3, 2018 contained inaccurate information. “The initial “c.” stands for “cup” which is a standard measurement of 16 fluid ounces”. In fact, 1 cup is 8 fl oz not 16…the 240 ml amount is correct.

    I just purchased/received via Amazon, the pure-castile soap with tea tree and was looking for uses.

    • You are so right, and I’ve edited my response as such. Thanks for catching that!

  5. Hello, I like the cheat sheet but I want to know how to make bottles for just shampoo, just hands and face, and just body wash separately. So I need to know how much soap and water per 8oz bottle please.

    • Hi Chante- I personally don’t pre-dilute the Castile soap for personal use (although I do for cleaning around the house), but if you wanted to pre-dilute for your hair, you can mix up 1/2 T in 1 cup water per use. Face and body are so simple, I just use a few drops out of the bottle for each use with my washcloth and hands, respectively. One option for hands, face and body would be to either use a foam pump dispenser with 1 part soap to 3 parts water or try one of our Sugar Soaps that come with a pump. Either of these options are especially handy next to a sink where you might wash your hands and face most often.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    For laundry, you suggested 1/3 – 1/2 cup of soap, i just purchased a 475ml bottle of soap, wouldnt that be used up in approximately 4 rounds of laundry?

    Just want to confirm as I thought the castile soap is concentrated and hence need a small amount (10-30ml) each time only. Thanks!

  7. Is it possible to dilute Castile liquid soap to make a hand soap? I’ve read that people buy foam pumps, and it works. What would be the dilution?

    Thank you!
    Amy

    • Hi Amy- You can use a foam pump dispenser with a ratio of 1:3. Alternatively, you can use our Sugar Soap which comes with it’s own pump. No measuring and mixing required!

    • I use one part soap to 4 parts water. But it is thick. You can make it to your liking.

    • Your peppermint liquid soap was the only thing that gave me relief during a terrible bout with poison ivy/ poison sumac poisoning. Ahhhhhh..thank you!

    • This message is for Amy. I find the pumps I use are from Bath and Body Shop’s. I make my own by putting about a 1/4 of an inch of Peppermint to the rest water in a 8.75 fluid oz. bottle. Another way to look at it is how strong you want the peppermint to be. Remember this oil is very concentrated so it doesn’t take much of the product.

    • Hi Lori – Truthfully, my favorite way to kill weeds is to pour plain boiling water or salted boiling water on them. If it’s a large weed, you can cut the top growth before pouring the water. You’ll just want to pour carefully from a height of just a few inches to avoid any splattering of that hot water.

  8. Hi Liza, I have purchased Andrea which is for hair growth and it says to put 10 drops into 100 ml of shampoo which is 3 ml. How much of the soap would I use to get 100 ml of the shampoo?

    • Hi Jacqueline – Our Castile soap is more concentrated than conventional shampoo, so you will want to dilute it to 1 part soap to 2 parts water and then add the oil.

  9. Do any help with situations like hidradenitis suppurativa? The tea tree one maybe?

    • Hi CuriousE – I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. Yes, the Tea Tree Castile soap would be a good option. Tea Tree essential oil is known for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. While it won’t cure the condition, it will help soothe skin and minimize symptoms. If you find you need more moisture than our Castile soap, try the Tea Tree Sugar Soap.

    • I will call it minor to somewhat moderate so it’s not as bad as some conditions I’ve seen but I’m keeping in mind that the situation just started March of this year so it’s all pretty new to me. It’s a little annoying and somewhat painful but not as unsightly as it can really get. I plan to use the t’s tree liquid castile soap in addition to Omega-3 pills as well as Turmeric w/ black pepper pills. I hope it doesn’t worsen because I don’t want to have to go the Humira route or any of the surgical routes. I’m 31 and not sure why this suddenly started. Thanks for the fast response.

  10. Any suggestions for killing termites? I just cringe using those insecticides but you can’t let these little guys live!

    • Hi Robbie – A Castile insecticidal soap will kill any termites it comes in direct contact with, but if you’re seeing them around your house, you may have a serious problem and need to call a professional.

  11. Hi Lisa, I tried washing the floor with the tea tree castile soap and hot water. It was way too sudsy even though I thought I used just a little soap and it left streaks on the floor. Are you meant to go over it again with water to remove the streaks? Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!

    • Hi Catherine – I’m sorry that happened to you! I typically use 1/4 cup soap in 3 gallons of water. If it’s too sudsy, you can certainly use less soap. You shouldn’t have to mop up an excess bubbles. But if you have hard water, that could be culprit as the minerals in hard water interact with the Castile soap. If that’s the case, our Sal Suds is clean rinsing and doesn’t interact with hard water. It’s just 1/2 Tbsp. in 3 gallons of water.

  12. Hi,
    My questions regarding your product strictly for a body wash, with 1 part soap to 3 parts water based on one of your previous posts:
    1. How long is the shelf life ?
    2. Please explain more about loosing the preservative effect from diluting.
    3. What side affects or signs, smells will I notice?
    4. Will it be harmful for the body in any way?
    5. At what point will I need to throw it out once I see, smell or feel the expiring of the diluted body wash?
    6. I don’t intend on getting any soap in my eyes, but is your soap more harmful to eyes than others if some should accidentally get in our eyes?

    Thank you so much!!
    Dorthy

    • Hi Dorthy- Lots of great questions here! Our Castile Soap has a guaranteed shelf life of three years when undiluted. Although you certainly can dilute (or pre-dilute) our Castile soap when using it as a body wash, there’s no need to. Just a couple of drops in your hands or on a washcloth is all you need. It’s highly unlikely a dilution will turn bad, but if it does, your nose will be the first to let you know. The color may also start to change. In that case, it won’t be harmful to the body in any way, although it will no longer be effective. If you want to err on the safe side, consider replacing any unused pre-diluted body wash after one year. And because I know first-hand that soap-in-the-eye does happen… it is not harmful to eyes, but like with any soap, it is irritating and should be rinsed out.

  13. Hello,

    Can you use the citrus castile soap to make detergent for dishes and laundry?

    • Hi Angela – You sure can! It would be nice clean scent for both of those!

  14. wanting to mix up a spray to put on my plants before I move them back inside, please.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Bonnie- It sounds like you’re looking for an insecticidal soap recipe. Add 1 Tbsp. of Castile soap to a quart of water in a spray bottle. Cayenne pepper, garlic or cinnamon (that might be nice this time of year!) can be added as well. Spray to coat the whole plant several times a day for a few days. You might find my post on this topic helpful as well. http://www.lisabronner.com/spraying-for-garden-pests/

    • I use a small amount in a spray bottle about 1 teaspoon per bottle. Shake it up really good then I rinse them to bring them in at our preschool.

  15. Lisa why is there sodium laurel sulfate in so many products? Can’t it be substituted with a healthier ingredient?

    • Hi Karen – The reason SLS is added to personal care products is that it is both inexpensive, which manufacturers like, and really bubbly, which consumers like. A great substitute is, of course, a natural soap like Dr. Bronner’s.

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