Dr. Bronner's Products

Cleaning Patio Furniture with Dr. Bronner’s

Inevitably it is as I’m escorting my guests out back that I discover the birds have yet again mistaken my patio furniture for their personal outhouse.  And then that one person wearing white sits on the barstool previously occupied by a three year old with a popsicle …

Fortunately, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is the stuff for the job. It can clean all this up and more (even the white clothes, but that’s another post). As good as it is cleaning inside the house, it is possibly even better outside. Just make up a bucket with a small squirt and you’re good to go.

As I explain in the video, outside is one place you do not want to use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soap. True soaps like Dr. Bronner’s react with minerals everpresent in the environment and can leave a stubborn white-ish film. Rather counterproductive. So this is a place where you’d want to have a bottle of the Suds on hand instead.

And best of all, it is perfectly safe. There are certainly many other products that can get rid of gunk, but the problem is they don’t stop there. They are also exceedingly harmful to our health and toxic to the environment. And guess what! Outside is the environment! Sometimes I feel like I need to state the obvious.

I want my outdoor furniture to sparkle just as much as the next host, but I’m not willing to kill myself to get there. I do have my priorities.

For more info on safe cleaners, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. It’s a great resource that I learn from often.

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Lisa Bronner says:

Hi William- Sap certainly is stubborn! I recommend Sal Suds with some baking soda to scrub. Rinse thoroughly. You’ll need to rinse the baking soda thoroughly off any cement or else the whitish residue will show.

Sue says:

I have awful spiders and spider webs covering my log home. What can I get to power wash the house as well as deter spiders from forming more webs?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sue- Spiders are more an indication of other, more problematic pests (like bugs on my tomato plants, which spiders eat), rather than being bad in their own right. Except for the black widows and brown recluses, spiders are not harmful. But that’s not to say they aren’t creepy! To clean the exterior of your home, use a couple of drops of Sal Suds in the solution chamber of your power washer. For ongoing maintenance, spiders, like other critters with exoskeletons, would be affected by contact with Castile soap. And they can be deterred by both mint and citrus. Clean the area periodically with a mixture of 1 quart water and 1 Tbsp. Citrus or Peppermint Castile Soap, then wipe with a damp cloth. The Castile mixture will only affect them on contact, but the scent will act as an additional deterrent.

Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] Cleaning Patio Furniture with Dr. Bronners […]

Candace says:

I am wondering if you think Sal Suds would be good for exterior cleaning of our boat? We have white fiberglass cabin top, glass windshields, and teak decks. I am very keen to use totally biodegradable products as everything rinses straight into the bay. I imagine it will be good on the white fiberglass, but wonder if it is good on glass without leaving a film or streaks, and especially concerned to safely clean teak. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Candace- Sal Suds will do great work on the fiberglass. Dilute 1/2 Tbsp. Sal Suds in 3 gallons of water or a mix up a spray of 1 Tbsp. to a quart of water. For windows, add 1/2 tsp. Sal Suds to a quart of water when they are really dirty and follow-up with either pure club soda or a half water/half vinegar spray. Skip step one for less-dirty glass. Not being a boat owner, I don’t have any experience cleaning teak boat decks. But if the teak is finished with a marine-grade sealant, Sal Suds is mild enough to use. Test in an inconspicuous spot before using.

Arielle says:

Hi! Has anyone come up with the perfect pressure washer solution with Sal’s Suds yet?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Arielle- Sal Suds works well in a pressure washer. Just add one or two drops to the solution compartment. Because it’s biodegradable, it won’t harm landscaping.

teresa davies says:

Dear Dr Bronner’s soap maven!

Can I use Peppermint Dr B’s in my power washer? I need to deter some rodents and I hear peppermint wil kwep them away – would love to dow my entire patio and rooftop. Looking forward to your reply.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Teresa- Peppermint is a natural deterrent to rodents. Although, I have not tried it out in this way. It may only work temporarily, and then the soap biodegrades (as designed) and so the effect wears off. I wouldn’t advise using our Castile soap outside though. True soaps interact with ever present minerals in the environment and can leave a stubborn white-ish film. But Sal Suds does a great job outside – just a couple of drops in the solution chamber of your power washer.

Scott woodard says:

How would you use this product with a pressure washer? Say for pressure washing the deck?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Scott – This is definitely on my list of things I’ve been meaning to try. I haven’t yet, but if I were going to do it, I would fill the solution compartment with water and add just 1 drop off Sal Suds. I based this on my carpet cleaning technique. If this isn’t enough, feel free to add more, but the Sal Suds creates so many bubbles, especially under pressure, that I don’t want you to be creating a bubble party. Unless that’s what you want.

Theodore Lewis says:

Hi! I have both liquid Castile soap and sal suds. I want to power wash today. It sounds like a little sal suds and vinegar would be a good mixture for tough cleaning in the power washer (downstream mix). What’s your recommendation for a power washing mixture? Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Theodore – I’ve never done this, so I’m working on theory here. The Sal Suds is going to bubble tremendously coming out of a pressure washer, so just a couple drops in the solution chamber is all you want. I’m basing my thought on my use of a carpet cleaner, which is as close as I’ve come to putting it in a power washer. I don’t know if the vinegar will help. You might want to try it both ways and see. If you do give it a go, please let me know the results. I’m curious.

Mouzaya Dabboussy says:

Hi Lisa,
Will Sal Suds be available in 1 gallon containers again anytime soon?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mouzaya – We are filling them this week and they will be available soon. I am very sorry for the delay on those.

Judith says:

Is the Sal Suds as effective as the Castille soap at deterring ants?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Judith – No, the Castile has the win on that. It’s a soap thing that is able to get rid of the ants.


Lisa Bronner

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Sal Suds Cheat Sheet

Sal Suds, Sal Suds, How do I love thee?