Using a Sal Suds Spray to Clean Dishes

One of the most basic uses of the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds All Purpose Cleaner is for hand-washing dishes. However, the concentration of the soap is so strong that it is very easy to get more bubbles than I bargained for. If I am filling a sink, or a large pot for washing a number of dishes, a small squirt of the Suds works well. But I have found that for washing a single item – whether it’s a plate, a pot, a cutting board or a high chair tray – even a drop of pure Sal Suds is more than I need.

Washing Dishes With Sal Suds

Instead, I have found that spraying the item with my Sal Suds spray bottle gets just the right amount. This way I’m not wasting Sal Suds nor time in cleaning up excess bubbles. Also, as a mom I tend to move really fast. There’s always something else I need to do – right now. Even the bit of time it takes to wait for a single drop of Sal Suds to come out of the bottle gets me tapping my toe in impatience. The squirt bottle is much faster, and I just like it better. So I keep the bottle right under the sink – handy for counters, floors, and dishes.

31 thoughts on “Using a Sal Suds Spray to Clean Dishes

  1. I have added vinegar and borax to my dish washing water and don’t have a problem with too many suds. Maybe it’s the vinegar that helps rinse everything clean? I do a lot of dishes since I have foster Macaws and their stainless steel dishes (12 of them) have to be washed every day.

  2. I love the idea of using a spray bottle of Dr. Bronner’s for dishes. I think I’ll have to try that.

  3. Hi Mary,

    My spray bottle with Sal Suds is very diluted. The Sal Suds are very concentrated, and so you only need about 1/2 Tablespoon of Sal Suds per quart of water in your spray bottle.

    Thanks for reading!
    Lisa

  4. Yes, excellent idea! Also note the part (mentioned in another post) about adding the Sal Suds AFTER you fill the spray bottle with water.

    I have been spraying my dishes with this solution for years and agree it is the most efficient method. Works great!

  5. i have previously used soap nut liquid in this manner and just decided to try sal suds in a spray bottle for dishes. i already had a 32 ounce spray bottle that is usually home to a vinegar/water spray – i added some more water and a squirt of sal suds.

    it works great for dishes and everything! thanks for this idea :)

    • @ Alyssa – No, Sal Suds can’t be used in the dishwasher. It’s too sudsy and will bubble out the sides of your washer and possibly underneath it. My sister-in-law tried it for a while, but after a few uses, her dishwasher stopped working properly. I think my brothers are working on a non-toxic, organic option, but it’s still in process.

      ~Lisa

  6. Any recommendations for a natural dishwasher recipe? I’ve seen some with washing soda & borax. I’ve decided not to use Borax given it’s toxicity risks. I came across a recipe without Borax – calls for 1/4 each of distilled white vinegar, castile soap and water with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice; use 1-2 tablespoons in washer based on how tough the load is.

    Also – any thoughts on the use of washing soda around the home?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Julie!

      I checked out Lemi Shine – I’ve never used it but there are some great reviews of it out there. However, I have some hesitation because the ingredients seem veiled. I even looked on the msds (http://envirocontech.com/item/lemi-shine-msds.html), and there is no clarity – only states the ingredients are “trade secrets”. Non-food products do not need full ingredient disclosure. Their website, http://www.lemishine.com, states the ingredients as “real fruit acids, natural citrus oils, fragrance”. The word “natural” has no meaning whatsoever on labels, and “fragrance” is always a red flag because manufacturers can hide anything within it, again citing proprietary reasons.

      I don’t have a great recommendation for natural dishwasher recipe yet. I’m still working on that one. Washing soda has the same toxicity levels of borax, so use it with care. Also, mixing castile soap and vinegar (or lemon juice) directly will cause a reaction between them, nullifying the effectiveness of both. You’ll notice the combiniation gets white, slimy, and chunky. I have a post about that: http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292. Perhaps it might work if you put the vinegar in the rinse chamber.

      My responses here are a bit of a downer, I realize. But I’ll keep working on a positive solution for the dishwasher.

      All the best,
      Lisa

  7. Also – I’ve read a bit about using Lemi Shine. Says it’s comprised of 100% natural fruit acids and oils – works great on hard water. Any experience with it or advise?

    Thanks again!

  8. Thanks for the quick response!

    I look forward to the day Dr. Bronner’s has a dishwasher product, as it seems one of the most difficult areas of the home to clean naturally.

    • @ Melissa – My Sal Suds dilution is about 1:5. Start with that in your dishwand. I don’t know how fast dishwands dispense the solution, so if you find that it’s running through that pretty quickly, cut back on the Sal Suds. Through some trial and error, you want to find the amount that is just enough to clean your dishes. Maybe keep lowering the ratio until it doesn’t work well, then step it back up. When you find the right amount, let me know!

      All the best,
      Lisa

  9. Can I make a 5:1 H2O/Sal Suds dilution and put it in a traditional ‘”squeeze” dish soap bottle? Or do you think it wouldn’t be very viscous, and therefore wasteful?

  10. Hi Carmen – I have both kinds at my sink – the spray bottle and the squirt/squeeze bottle. I probably use the squirt bottle more than the spray, just because I’m usually doing more than one item at a time, and I need a pot full of cleaning power.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  11. Lisa,
    I have some liquid almond soap on hand, can you use it as a dish soap for hand washing dishes? I have read where some people just add a few drops to their sink water & that’s it. I am out of commercial dish soap & want to change over to a natural kind. Thanks for your help.
    Blessings,
    Jenny :)

  12. Hi Jenny – I’m sorry for my delay in responding. You can use the castile soap to wash dishes. It works really well. It is best to dry dishes with a towel, though, because the soap can react with hard water and leave a film otherwise. But if you dry with a towel this isn’t an issue.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  13. I love Sal Suds, and the scent is wonderful too. Your information on how to use it is the best part of the product offering, thank you for this. This may be a repeat question, but I’m curious to know if there is anything down the pipeline for a second or third scent for this amazing product?

  14. I printed out your Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet and it says under dishes if it is Pre-diluted to add 1/2 c Sal Suds in a quart of water in a squirt bottle. Is this a typo? or am I misunderstanding the use of this? -like maybe you use this just as you would dish soap and squirt some of that in the sink full of water? I know that the spray would be 1/2 TBSP -but maybe that is if you are spraying directly on the dish or the sponge?

    Also, Thanks SO MUCH for all the time you put into answering questions! It has been SO helpful! I like that you often answer questions more than once and sometimes with each answer, we may learn a little something new (and it is nice if you don’t have time to read all answers). FAQ’s are nice but sometimes do not address specific or slightly different circumstances! You are awesome!

  15. Hi Leon – I love your enthusiasm! At the moment, there is not anything in the works for a different Sal Suds scent. I’ll keep you posted if something comes up.

    Hi Brandi – Thank you for your kind words! Dishes can be some of the greasiest things we wash in our houses, so I do recommend a more intense concentration if you’re keeping a spray bottle of diluted Sal Suds for dishes. With that being said, if you don’t want to keep multiple dilutions around, you could still use the milder All Purpose concentration of 1/2 Tbsp. per quart, and just spray the dish more times before scrubbing.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  16. Any new info on getting a electric dish washing product?

    Also, what do you use for electric dish washer or can give for ideas of a more natural product?

    Thanks

  17. Hi Tammy – No developments on the dishwasher front, yet! I don’t have a good recommendation. At the moment I buy the packets from Costco, which are not earth friendly, but the packets keep me from pouring in too much and from any getting airborne in the pouring process. We are still working on this one.

    All the best,
    Lisa

    • I’m confused that you guys are working on a dishwasher solution. I’ve been successfully using Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile Soap in the dishwasher for a little while now, with now ill effects. I use a small amount and put it in the open compartment.

      I do live in Vancouver, BC (Canada) where we have very soft water (neutral pH, hardly any mineral content). So maybe that has something to do with it? But shouldn’t soft water suds up more?

      Is there a danger to my dishwasher if I keep using it? What issues have you guys seen?

    • On the dishwashing front, I’ve been using ½ teaspoonful of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder and ½ teaspoonful of Charlie’s Soap Booster in my dishwasher for over two years without any incident. You get about 300-340 washes out of each tub! If you do the math, and purchase the products on Amazon via Subscribe and Save (factoring in the discount), you’re looking at about 4 cents per wash load!!! That’s a third the cost of conventional brands and from an environmentally friendly product…

      I live in California, and we’re experiencing a drought right now, so was a little worried my makeshift concoction wouldn’t be able to stand my not pre-rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher (to save water). The Charlie’s Soap & Booster mix cleans the dishes with no issues. It doesn’t even leave spots behind.

  18. Lisa,
    I absolutely love the spray! Today is Day 1 of my experiment with Sal Suds and I used it for dishes and cleaning the stove-top immediately following.

    Here’s my question: when I spray it (using a rubbermaid heavy duty 32oz spray bottle) a lot of it mists up in the air and unavoidably gets into my lungs. Which is fine because it’s not harmful chemicals, but as a “foreign” substance it enters my lungs and make me cough when I breath it in and I’m having to residually clear my throat post-cleaning… Am I alone in this? I’ve tried spraying more-softly and turning to less of a mist and more of a ‘direct shot’ but that makes the whole cleaning process more cumbersome. Especially when performing non-dish related household cleaning.

    Please help! Thanks!

  19. Hi Nick – It makes sense that some of the Sal Suds solution might become airborne, and certainly your lungs would object to breathing it. Another option is to use a squirt bottle (with a flip top lid instead of a spray bottle) and put the solution in there. I use an old Sal Suds bottle for this. The solution does not become airborne that way.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  20. I’m concerned about SLS in the Sal suds, can you explain how it’s not a harmful chemical?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website