Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

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 Dr. Bronner’s Castile 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.

Click here to download the Castile Soap Dilution Cheat Sheet.

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.

Makeup Removal: Wet face and lather several drops of soap into hands. Massage into skin. Rinse.

Hair: A couple drops for close-cropped hair or up to ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) for long hair, either worked directly into very wet hair or pre-diluted in a cup of water. Follow with Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Organic Hair Rinse or diluted apple cider vinegar.

Bath: Completely depends upon water amount, but approximately 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) soap in an average sized tub. (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans.)

Shaving: Face – 10 drops; Underarms – 3 drops; Legs – ½ tsp (2.5 mL); Work to a lather in wet hands, apply to area.

Teeth: 1 drop on a toothbrush. (Yes, it tastes like soap.)

Foot Bath: ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) in a small tub of hot water.

Clearing Congestion: 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Peppermint or Eucalyptus Castile soap 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.

Laundry: 1/3-1/2 c. (80-120 mL) soap for a large load in a regular washer. Add 1 c. (240 mL) vinegar to the rinse cycle. Optional: For whitening/deoderizing, add 1/2 c. (120 mL) baking soda to wash cycle. Halve these amounts for HE washers.

Handwashing Delicates: 1 capful soap in about 1 gallon (4 L) cold water. Swish gently. Let soak 10 minutes. Swish again. Rinse with clean water. Gently press out excess water with a towel. Hang or lay clothing flat to dry.

Mopping (Wood, Laminate & Stone Flooring): ½ c. (120 mL) of soap in 3 gallons (12 L) of hot water. Dunk mop (microfiber, preferably) and wring thoroughly. On wood and laminate, avoid excess water and mop up wet areas.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray: ¼ c. (60 mL) soap in a quart (1 L) of water in a spray bottle. Optional: For extra microbial punch, add ¼ tsp. (1.25 mL) tea tree essential oil.

Windows: 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray and squeegee. Follow up with pure club soda, or half vinegar/ half water and squeegee.

Toilet: Predilute 1:4 with water in a squirt bottle. Add ¼ tsp. (1.25 mL) tea tree oil. For best results, empty toilet. Squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Other Uses:

Fruit & Veggie Wash: 1 dash (approx. ¼ tsp.) in a bowl of water. Dunk produce and swish. Then rinse in clear water.

Dog Washing: Wet dog thoroughly. Massage in enough soap to create a good lather. Really massage it in down to the skin. Your dog will thank you for it. (Amount varies based on size, hair type, and overall dirtiness.) Rinse thoroughly.

Cleaning Makeup Brushes: Wet the make-up brushes in water. Add 1-2 drops soap to the bristles. Massage in gently for 10+ seconds, then rinse. Repeat as needed until water runs clear.

Plant Spray for Bugs: 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) in a quart (1 L) of water. Optional: Add ½ tsp. (1.25 mL) cayenne pepper or cinnamon. Spray plants twice daily in the cool of the day until infestation clears.

Ant Spray (Not on Plants): ¼ c. (60 mL) Tea Tree Castile Soap in a quart (1 L) of water. (This concentration will burn plants.)

I’ve tried to keep this short and sweet. If you have any questions, please ask away!

Download a one-page copy of this Castile Soap Dilution Cheat Sheet.

1,581 thoughts on “Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

  1. Hi Lisa!
    I picked up several products this evening and ready to jump on board the clean train! I used the lavender castile soap this evening for shampoo and just picked up the lavender hair cream (smells so good), salsuds, peppermint sugar soap, tea tree castile soap and pure castile soap! I can’t believe I’ve been missing out this entire time!

    A couple questions:
    For the castile soap –
    1.) I have an HE washer so I was wondering the proper ratios.
    2.) How much would you put for a small, medium and large load?
    3.) For heavy steins on clothes such as spaghetti steins, mud etc how do you go about getting them out? (Have a 5 year old and it happens quite a bit)
    4.) For whites that you want bright what is your regiment?

    Unrelated to the castile soap questions –
    5.) What makeup brand do you recommend?

    • Hi Emily- Welcome to the Dr. Bronner’s family! You’ve got a great variety of products there! You’ll find my video on laundry helpful (https://www.lisabronner.com/green-laundry-care-with-dr-bronners-video/). In a nutshell, use 1/4 cup Castile Soap for a regular load, less for a small load. With Castile Soap, you want to use 1/2 cup vinegar in the fabric softener compartment. Sal Suds is slightly more effective on stains. Dab a small amount directly onto the stain and rub gently into the fabric. For stubborn stains, let sit before washing. For whites and grubbier loads, I often throw in 1/4 cup baking soda. When it comes to makeup, I look for make-up with three criteria: absolutely no animal testing, no problematic ingredients, and looks good. Fortunately, as consumers have demanded this, more make-up brands have arisen to comply. I generally have a blend of Honeybee Gardens, Jane Iredale, Gabriel, and Mineral Fusion.

  2. Hello!!

    Could I use the Castile soap all purpose spray to clean my yoga mat?

    Based on what I’ve read I was thinking of spraying it, waiting a few seconds and then wiping it off with a cloth.

    Any recommendations?

    I’m relatively new to Dr. Bronner’s products but I’m truly enjoy them (even with us being on well water-I’m trying to make it work). I just ordered your unscented body balm, shaving soap and lip balm.

    Love your products!!!!!

    • Hi Cassie- It stands for cups. Sorry for the confusion!

  3. Hi,

    When I dilute Dr. Bronner’s soap and use it as hand wash in a foaming bottle, the solution always gets cloudy, and sometimes, over time, it turns a little reddish. What can I do to prevent clouding and color change?


    • Hi M- I’m not entirely sure what would cause the reddish tinge, but it is possibly a result from minerals in the water. Try making the mixture with distilled water and see if that improves it. My other guess is maybe there is a piece of metal on the bottle that is corroding and coloring the water.

  4. Putting cayenne pepper into the insecticidal plant spray … just clogged the wonderful plant mister that I’ve been using for years … and the backup one that I just bought from Amazon. Perhaps you should try some of these things before you just blithely add them to the list.

    • Hi Elaine – I’m so sorry to hear of the clog. I hope that taking the pieces apart and soaking them will help clear them out. There are such a variety of sprayers available, and you are correct that not all work the same. I use a much more mundane housecleaning spray bottle. It doesn’t spray a fine mist. Even without the cayenne pepper, the soap alone is insecticidal.

  5. what about washing vehicles? I love how its eco friendly and rinses easily, was thinking it would be ideal for washing my vehicles? However, my husband brought up a couple good points of caution so I thought it be best to ask.

    • Hi Kacie- Castile Soap won’t harm car paint and such, but for vehicles and other shiny surfaces I prefer to use Sal Suds, our biodegradable cleaner. Castile Soap reacts with minerals in hard water and can leave hard water spots on shiny surfaces, whereas Sal Suds doesn’t have that reaction. Use about 1/2 Tbsp. Sal Suds in a bucket of water. Check out this blog post for more on car washing: https://www.lisabronner.com/car-washing-with-dr-bronners-sal-suds/

  6. “This works out to .2 -.3 oz/ 5-8 mL per pound of laundry or .4 – .6 oz/ 11-18 mL per kg of laundry. ”

    When should I use more soap and when should I use less? 11-18mL/kg is quite big of a range.

    I’m asking because I know that too much- or too less- soap(detergent) diminishes the cleansing power.Why is the range of soap that can be used for the same amount of load so big?

    • Hi Sun – The amount needed varies based on how soiled the fabrics are. Start with the low end of the range, and increase as needed. Using too much will not diminish the cleaning power of the soap. However, you will run through your soap faster than you may need to.

  7. Hi Lisa,

    My husband is looking for a product to clean his CPAP machine. I told him about your product and to use the recommended dilution mixture for the all purpose cleaning purposes. Would that be a fair statement? He’s very nervous about ruining his machine. I told him that he just needs to make sure that he rinses it thoroughly. Any suggestions or words to assure him not to worry?

    • Hi Pat- If the manufacturer recommends a mild soap or detergent, then yes, Sal Suds is safe for cleaning the tubing, mask and such. It’s mild, effective, and rinses exceedingly clean so no residue will be left behind.

    • Hi Jean- There’s no need to. The mop is grabbing the Castile Soap, which is holding on to dirt and germs, and in effect, rinsing it away.

  8. Hi Lisa,
    I’m thinking of getting the Lavender Liquid Soap. Do i have to dilute it with water if I’m gonna use it as body and handwash?

    • Hi Grace- Our soaps are very concentrated, and a little goes a long way. Rather than diluting, I use a small squirt in hands or on a wet cloth for body. 2-3 drops cleans hands, or mix it up in a foaming pump dispenser at a ratio of 1 part soap to 3 parts water.

  9. How much laundry in weight is “a large load in a regular washer”?
    I’ve heard that many people had trouble adjusting the amount of soap needed for doing laundry… would you be so kind as to post on how much castile soap in mL/oz is needed per lb/kg?
    I use a front-load washing machine with a maximum load of 9kg.

    • Hi Sun- Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If your machine is not high efficiency, use 3.5 – 5.5 oz. or 100-160 mL of the Pure-Castile soap. If your machine is high efficiency, reduce these amounts by half. This works out to .2 -.3 oz/ 5-8 mL per pound of laundry or .4 – .6 oz/ 11-18 mL per kg of laundry. Again, for HE machines, divide these numbers by half.

  10. Hi, Recommendations to use with baby (baby bath)?

    Is there a difference between the pump soap and liquid soap?

    Thank You

  11. To be honest I’ve never known how to use this soap. I just read the cheat sheet. That helped.

    • Hi!
      I made foaming soap with castile soap and essential oils but then I was wondering how long does it last since the preservative gets diluted so it doesn’t grow bacteria.

    • Hi Ana- It has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks or so.

  12. Can you use Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap diluted in a Automated rechargeable Foam Dispenser, if so,
    What is the ratio water to soap?

    • Hi Deborah- A good ratio to start with is 1 part soap to 3 parts water. You can then add more or less soap to your preference.

  13. Thank you I am using peppermint and lavender.I love it .I want to neaver be without it.

  14. when diluting the castile soap, what kind of water can we add? Tap water? Boiling water that is cooled down? Or distilled water from supermarket?

    • Hi Nicole- Any kind of water is fine, but some people choose to use distilled water for a clearer solution. Castile Soap reacts with the minerals in hard water making for a slightly cloudy, although still effective, solution.

  15. Aloha! I received a bottle of the Lavender soap and i was wondering could this be used in my garden? I know the regular soap diluted is supposed to get rid of bugs but i wasn’t sure if i could use this one as well.

    • Hi Lisa- Any of our Castile Soaps can be used in the plant or bug spray dilutions. It’s the soap, not the essential oil, that’s doing the work here.

  16. Want to use Castile Soap in a foaming soap pump dispenser and I would like to know what the dilutions would be for castile soap and water?

    • Hi Sharalyn- A dilution of one part soap to three parts water is a great starting point. From there, feel free to add more or less soap to your preference.

  17. Not helpful – dilutions cheat sheet should be ratios not “a drop or two on a wash cloth”

    • Some people would want a lot of suds, while others want to use as little as possible. It’s like when you’re reading a good recipe and it says “a pinch”. Same idea. Personally, I like about 2, sometimes 3 drops on a wash cloth for my face. The peppermint one is great!

  18. Hello ! I hope this message finds you well! I have been dabbling around with going green. Now I am ready to make things in my home that I use on a daily basis, but now I’m going to GIY… Thank you so much for posting all this and letting me see how simple It truly is. I’m on the fence with essential oils. There are so many types out there. What type of essential oils do you use as your add in?Thank you.. I hope you have a blessed day

    • Hi Chelse- It’s great to hear you’re taking some green steps. It is a journey, so no worries on not having it all figured out at the get-go. I don’t use as many essential oils as others. I know there are a ton of benefits which others can tell you more about. I mostly use them for the fun of it, which means I use the scents I like. Mostly that’s sweet orange oil (my favorite) or lemon. I do add some Tea Tree essential oil to my mixtures to boost the antimicrobial action. The soap/Sal Suds has enough action on their own, but sometimes it makes me feel better to add that little extra kick.

  19. Hi Lisa. Can I check how often do I need to change the castile foam soap bottle? Will the plastic bottle degrade over time?

    • Hi Cheryl- The many different types of plastic all degrade differently, so there is no one rule. If your plastic is starting to discolor or become cloudy, that is a sign that is started to degrade. I have found the best luck for foaming pumps with ones made out of glass mason jars with pump lid attachments.

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