Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap

castile soap

Update May 2022 —I’ve added a few uses to both the Sal Suds and Castile Soap Cheat Sheets. Plus: All four Cheat Sheets are now available in Spanish! (See the side bar to download or print.)

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 Liquid 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 preservation system (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 wet hands or washcloth, applied to a wet body.

Foaming Pump Dispenser: Dilution of one part soap to 3 parts water.

Wipe-Off Castile Body Wash Spray: Use when running water isn’t an option due to illness, large cast or bandage, or when hiking, camping, etc. Combine 1 ½ tsp. (7.5 mL) soap and 1 c. (240 mL) of Castile Soap and 1 c. (240 mL) room temperature water in a spray bottle. Spray body wash lightly on skin, and wipe with a wet (not dripping) cloth. Dry skin.

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 a capful of Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Organic Hair Rinse diluted in one cup (240 mL) of water or dilute apple cider vinegar in half with water.

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.)

Oral Appliances: Removable retainers, nightguards, etc. & dentures: Wet device. Add 1-2 drops of soap to a soft toothbrush. Brush gently, then rinse.

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. Alternatively, add 1-2 Tbsp. (15-30 mL) Castile Soap in a large sink of water. Use a small squirt of soap for one pot, or more if needed. To avoid water spots in hard water conditions, dry dishes by hand.

Laundry: 2–4 Tbsp. (30–60 mL) for HE washers. Add ½ c. (120 mL) vinegar to the rinse cycle. Optional: For whitening/deodorizing, add ¼ c. (60 mL) baking soda to wash cycle. Double these amounts for standard washers.

Handwashing Delicates: 1 capful (1 Tbsp. or 15 mL) Castile 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, Vinyl, Stone & Tile Flooring): 2 ½ Tbsp (38 mL) of soap in 1 gallon (4 L) of hot water. Dunk mop (microfiber, preferably) and wring thoroughly. On wood and laminate, avoid excess water and mop up wet areas.

For smaller areas, add 2 tsp. (10 mL) Castile Soap to a quart (1 L) of water in a squirt bottle.

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. Use on any surface that is safe in contact with water-stone countertops & tile; wood (painted or sealed, not waxed); plastic toys and such; stainless steel; sinks & toilets; and more!

Windows: 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) soap in a quart (1 L) 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. Spray or squirt 2-3 drops of Castile Soap directly on toilet brush. Sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Other Uses for Liquid Castile Soap

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. (Amount varies based on size, hair type, and overall dirtiness.) Really massage it in down to the skin. Your dog will thank you for it. 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!

Not sure when to use Sal Suds or when to use Castile Soap? Head over to my blog post, Sal Suds or Castile Soap—Which to Use?

If you’re interested in using the Castile Bar Soap for house cleaning, check out my Bar Soap Dilutions Cheat Sheet.

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

Dilute! Dilute! OK! But how much? Print this guide!


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Hoja de Dilución

Jabón Puro de Castilla Liquido


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Jeff says:

Dear Lisa;
I just started using your peppermint Castile soap for my hands from a pump. I use it full strength as it would be even more “watery” if I diluted it. Is it ok full strength – or will it burn/excessively dry out my hands/skin?
Thanks- Jeff

Andrea Spoelstra says:

Hi! I was trying to scan through some of the posts, but couldn’t find an answer to my question. Can any of your products be used in a dishwasher?


Andrea Spoelstra

Michelle says:

Hi Lisa! I was also looking at ways to make my own super moisturizing body wash off pinterest and came across this recipe:
⅔ cup liquid castile soap
¼ cup raw, unfiltered honey
2 teaspoons oil – grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, sesame, or olive
1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
50 – 60 drops essential oils
I was wondering if your soap would work with this recipe?? Would these added oils effect the soap?

Rachel says:

Hi Lisa,
I’m wondering if you can use your soaps on cats? We have 3 indoor/outdoor cats whose favorite past-times seem to be rolling in the street/gutter and sleeping under bushes. Then they come inside and sleep all over the house including our couch. So, it does become necessary to wash off some of the nasty dirt they are tracking into the house. We don’t bathe them often, just every few months to cut through the build-up on their coats.
Also, I have read that essential oils are toxic to cats and can even be fatal. I thought I was reading that some of your products have EO’s in them. Can I even use them for cleaning without the risk of hurting my furry babies?
Thanks for your input!

Lauren R. says:

Dearest Lisa,

I made a Castile all-purpose spray, using your recipe in the video- I included the essential tea tree oil, and followed directions exactly– however, the spray is only about one week old, and smells a little funny?? Wanted to get your thoughts.. Noticed it was cloudy at the bottom of sprayer as well???

Also, what’s the shelf life on a Sal Suds all-purpose spray? Made that one as well, but have had no problems, or funny smells… LOVE LOVE MY SAL SUDS!!! Wish I would have researched this a little better bc, I’m in love with Sal Suds, but ordered a gallon of tea tree Castile soap, not a huge fan of the castile all purpose, orderd it, bc I had high hopes this would be my new bathroom cleaner…not a fan so far—any suggestions on how to use up my GALLON OF TEA TREE CASTILE??? 😉

Thanks a bunch!!!!

Kimberly says:

Hi Lisa, I am sorry if this has been asked but I read through a bunch of your Q&A and didn’t see it so if it is a repeat I apologize.
I read somewhere that the Baby Castille soap works well for cradle cap. However I could not find this at my local Target. I instead purchased Lavendar and Peppermint. Are these safe to use on my infants head?

April says:

Their concern was for the Tocopherol, hemp seed oil, and fatty acids. Stating these ingredients were a low health concern.

April says:

Yes ma’am! I’m not sure if you are familiar with EWG skin deep but they rate the castille soaps with a number one bc of their low concern for cancer!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Paige – So glad to hear you’re in sync with all that we’re doing here! I would opt for the Sal Suds for the baby bottles just because it is more clean rinsing. However, feel free to make up a solution with a little pure essential tea tree oil added; perhaps in a quart bottle 1 c. Sal Suds, 1/2 tsp. tea tree oil, and the rest water. REgarding the build-up on the Shikakai pumps, I’ve seen that happen as well, and yes, it is the sugar. I usually pop it right off from time to time.

Hi Krysta – Yes! This will disinfect surfaces. The castile is also a disinfectant.

Hi Michael – To be extra sure the surface is disinfected, you could leave it on there as long as ten minutes. This long would only be necessary if we’re talking about a truly icky surface. If it’s just a regularly used kitchen countertop (i.e. no raw meat), a minute or so before wipe down would suffice.

Hi Tammy – As you read, the issue with this recipe is that the soap would attach to the coconut oil. This is part of what soap naturally does – it is attracted to oil, bonding with it and enabling it to be washed away by water. However, once a soap molecule is bonded to the oil, it is unavailable to bond with anything else. The soap by itself is a great baby wash, as long as you keep it out of the eyes. You could follow it up with a bit of coconut oil after the bath for extra nourishment. You do not need to add water to the soap for a body wash. It is going to be diluted by the water of the bath or shower. The hand wash dilution was for putting it in a foaming pump dispenser. The Baby Mild soap is almost identical to the base soap in the Lavender castile except that the ratio of olive to coconut oils is different, making the Baby Mild slightly milder. You can definitely add your own essential oils to it. You’ll need to shake it up really well every couple of days to re-blend it, but that’s not really a problem. Lavender oil is pretty strong, so use a little at first and slowly increase.

Hi April – I am totally happy to address any questions you have about our soaps and potential health concerns. Without specifics, I’m not sure I can be of much help, though, other than to assure you that our soaps are as pure, safe, and healthy as it is possible for soaps to be. They should not be put in the eye, as they would irritate it, but other than that, I can’t think of a way they would be of concern. Even if you drank them (which I do not recommend – they taste like soap! and that’s not the way to clean out one’s system), you still would not have any damage. Maybe a couple bubble burps. Would you be able to mention what you found?

All the best,

Paige says:

Thanks Lisa..

Ok, so with the Sal Suds solution you recommended to wash our babies bottles in- how do you reccommend “using” the solution? Do I spray some into wash water, or spray individual bottles, and accessories with solution, and then wash? Ah– sorry for confusion.

Also, I made a surface/all purpose cleaner with sal suds and added tea tree essential oil.. Will this disenfect surfaces/ is sal suds a disinfectant?

Lastly, what ratio of sal suds+ tea tree essential oil do you reccommend for washing kids toys?

Thanks a bunch! Sorry for all these questions, just getting started/new to all this–it was my New Year’s resolution to make our home more green, and to be able to clean with natural cleaners that my children can be around, and that are more gentle! I appreciate all your knowledge, and we are big believers in your family’s products.
blessings to you and yours, Paige Bailey+family

April says:

Hello. I’m feeling a little discouraged! I was so excited to find a natural product! I ordered 2 gallons of your castille soaps bc I thought I was getting an organic product only to discover on a couple of product databases that your products are not 100% free of health concerns. Can you please clear this up for me??

Tammy says:

I am a bit confused reading everything on your site.(well and all the diy recipes on pinterest)

I bought the baby mild Dr. Bronners to make a baby body wash.
One of the diy on pinterest recipes:

3/4 c Dr. Bronners Baby Mild
3/4 c Water
1/4 c Vitamin E or Sweet Almond Oil
1/2 c Coconut Oil (to thicken it and for the skin)
Lavender Essential Oil

I noticed on another part of your site you said that the coconut oil would just bind to the soap and nix the benefits of both. What else might be wrong with this recipe?

Also, do I need to add water to the Baby Mild as a body wash? The reason I ask is because you recommend 1 to 4 or 1 to 3 ratio for hand wash. Why is that?

Also, I believe I saw that we should not add our own essential oils to the baby mild because it wouldn’t mix well or something? If we want the Lavender scent can we use your Lavender scent soap? But if we use that how do we use it for a baby wash for newborn babies? What is the difference between the two? We are obviously using the baby mild because we want the mildest soap, but we want the lavender scent.

I know it is a lot of questions, but please clarify each of these.

Thank you,

Michael says:

Hello there Lisa.

My family, and I made an all purpose cleaner, using tea tree Castile soap, and added 20 tea tree essential oil– how long do you suggest leaving solution on surface, to kill germs/ disinfect??

Thank you!

Krysta says:

Hi Lisa I made the all purpose cleaner with the Lavender castile soap and some tea tree oil will this disinfect surfaces??

Paige B says:

Hi Lisa! Im a HUGE fan of Dr. Bronners products… LOVE, love, LOVE tea tree and its amazing antibacterial properties.. I did have a quick question, I have two little boys, is the castile soap ok to use to wash their bottles with? And what dilution would you recommend? Or would you recommend Sals Suds? And if so, what dilution on that? Im thinking I would prefer to use the tea tree castile soap on their bottles, and sippy cups because of the antibacterial properties, but wanted to get your insight, and knowledge 🙂

Last question, I promise… we use the tea tree shikakai soap, we buy the half gallon refill, and fill glass saop pumps, but I get a build up, at the top of pump.. Im assuming that’s the sugar? No worries, just thought Id ask… 🙂

Blessings your way, The Bailey Family

Lisa Bronner says:

Sounds great, Leslie!

Hi Sonia – In looking at the uses of Octagon soap, which are primarily as a laundry and household cleanser, I can say that the Dr. Bronner’s bar soap can match them all, plus being used for personal care. Octagon soap, formerly made by Colgate, is no longer produced, and so any bars that are still on the market will be increasingly expensive. Dr. Bronner’s soap works great to brush your teeth – a little bit will do the trick. You can also grate Dr. Bronner’s soap for a variety of purposes including washing dishes and laundry.

Hi Mary – Welcome back! If you have rinsed the soap out of your hair, applying a vinegar rinse is perfectly fine, and even recommended.

Hi Jen – You would want a fairly mild solution for mouthwash, but allow some adjustment for personal preference. Start with 1/2 tsp. in a cup of water and keep it in a capped, plastic bottle. Personally, I would have an old, empty Dr. Bronner’s castile soap bottle around, but you may not have this. Perhaps you could repurpose an empty condiment bottle from the kitchen.

Hi Mucrick – The Castile All Purpose spray that I’ve mentioned would be a great option for the interior of your car. This is 1/4 c. castile in a quart of water. Also, with leather, it may need to be nourished. If so, you may want to look into a leather polish made from 1/3 c. vinegar with 2/3 c. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. pure essential lemon oil. Shake this up and rub it on with a soft rag.

All the best,

mucrick says:

I’m interested in using Dr. Bronner soaps to clean the leather interior of my car, as well as the vinyl dash. What ratio of castile soap to water should I follow?

Thank you,


Jen says:

Hi there!

I am wondering what the ratio of peppermint liquid soap to H2O is for mouthwash. What is the best means of storage?

Thanks! So glad to have discovered your soaps!

Mary says:

Hi Lisa,
I used Dr. Bonner’s Castile soap back in the 70’s! I just today picked up a bottle for washing my hair. My question is….since it reacts with vineagar does this mean I cant use a vinegar rinse on my hair after I have shampooed with the castile?

Sonia Shields says:

I had never used or heard of Dr Bronner soap until today (when I was on the Target web site looking for octagon and I found Dr Bonners soap) I have been trying to find octagon soap to make my own dishwasher and dish washing soap by the recipes on YouTube but they no longer make or sell octagon soap and if it can be found the cheapest I have found it was $19.99 for 1 bar plus the shipping up to over $120.00. So I bought the peppermint and lavender Dr Bonners bar soap. Can I use the peppermint bar soap to brush my teeth and how does Dr Bonners bar soap compare to octagon soap and can I grate the bar soap and use it in the same way as the octagon for dishes. Sorry this was so long and sorry for all the questions.

Leslie says:

I have oily hair too and like to use Dr. Bronner’s with a sprinkling of baking soda, concentrating on the roots. works great!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kelli – You’re right that in diluting the soap, you are diluting the preservative as well (tocopherols, or vitamin E). If your solution were to sit around for months and months, you would probably need to throw it out and remix some. However, I have never had a batch turn, and we use it up within a month.

Hi Alanna – The castile soap is reacting with the minerals in your water and leaving mineral deposits on your sink. It is more evident because you have a stainless steel sink. Any true soap would do this. Detergent cleansers (SoftSoap, Dial, etc.) would not. Rinsing the sink well would prevent this as well.

Hi Jenni – Great! Welcome to the family. Check out this post for carpet cleaners: This one for stainless steel: (the post talks about Sal Suds, but I use Citrus Castile for my sink a lot). Mold and mildew are tricky. The soap doesn’t dissolve them on contact like Tilex. I use the Tea Tree Castile soap in my castile spray bottle and let that sit on the mildew for about 10 minutes. Then I sprinkle it with baking soda and use a stiff bristled brush to clean it.

Hi Paska – Awesome! Glad Dr. B’s stands up to the hype!

Hi Mandy – I talk about my transition to soap for shampoo here: I use the soap to wash and then the Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Hair Rinse afterwards. If you read through the comments on that post, you’ll see a lot of stories from other users.

all the best,

Mandy says:

I am looking for a shampoo recipe, using the unscented baby mild, that won’t leave my hair oily or crudfy feeling. I have naturally oily hair that tends to frizz, any help please?

Paska says:

I love this soap. It is great using it on my body and also putting some on a cloth and washing my glass shower doors and tub before I get out withou using toxic cleaners, My glass doors come out so clear and clean it is wonderful. Clean and fresh without toxic fumes is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Jenni says:

Hi! I’m so excited to have discovered your products! I have been writing down all your suggestions. I have a few questions that I didn’t see answered so far. Can I use Dr. Bronner’s in my carpet cleaner? If so, what would the dilution be? Is it safe for cleaning stainless steel? If so, what would the dilution be? Does Dr. Bronner’s clean mold and mildew? If so, what is the dilution and do I leave it set or do I scrub and then rinse? Thank you!

Alanna says:

Hi , I am using your castile soap at my stainless steel sink for washing hands and it is leaving a white residue. Any suggestions for a different cleanser that will not do this ? Thanks and have a wonderful day !

Kelli says:

Hello, I love your soap! But I worry about bacteria after being diluted with water (for hand soap). What are your thoughts on this?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Susan – Vinegar and castile soap form a reaction that produces a greasy feeling residue. They should not be combined. (You can read more about that at this post: If you are combining vinegar and the Sal Suds, they do not react with each other.

Hi Crystal – Willow tree bark is such a potentially potent substance that I really can’t comment in general on its usage. Please do lots of research and talk to experts in alternative medicine before using it.

Hi Dee – Although hard water does have an impact on the soap’s performance on hair, most people have difficulty shampooing with just the castile soap. All shampoos need a pH balanced conditioner or rinse, and our soap is no different. The soap is alkaline, which means the conditioner needs to be acidic. Dr. Bronner’s did develop a great hair rinse ( that I use exclusively. Other users have found that using apple cider vinegar works just as well. As far as the over-killing of beasties, I am totally with you. I think we have thrown the baby out with the bath water on that one. Bear in mind that our soap is from an earlier generation – a much earlier generation. My family developed it in the mid-1800’s, so it precedes all this “antibacterial” hoopla. The terms “antibacterial” and “disinfecting” are legally controlled terms which mean they kill 99.9% of germs and 99% of germs, respectively. Our castile soaps happen to fall into the disinfectant category. All true soap does, and that is what the Dr. B’s castile is. It is simply soap and water clean.

Let me know if I can be of further help!

All the best,

Dee says:

Hi, Dee again. I was reading comments again to see if I missed answer to my question which I now have another question. You mentioned all your soaps & sal suds are disinfectants, do you mean to the point of antibacterial or just getting clean. You see I am an older person & grew up before all this “kill all the germs” etc., stuff came around. Knowing both worlds I prefer the one I grew up in, no offence :)just we need both good & bad to keep things balanced & to kill the bad you are killing the good germs too. Any way back to question (above) & do you carry anything that is just, well close to just soap & water clean. I am wanting to get away from the chemicals but don’t really need all the germs killed, just clean. For all you who are owing about this, please understand I am from a different time & way of thinking & doing. The best to all of us. Dee

Dee says:

Hi, I really do like your products BUT I am wondering if you have a solution to my situation. My area has hard water so to use Castile for a shampoo leaves my hair VERY greasy and I must use OTC shampoo to get it out. Help!!!
Thank you, Dee P.S. if you have answered this already I missed it 🙂

crystal says:

I would like to know if I could add willow tree bark to these soaps without an issue?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tara – For a daily shower spray, I would use diluted vinegar alone, unless you have marble or travertine in your shower. (Acid will etch those). Try half vinegar/half water. If you’d really like to add something more, you could add the Sal Suds, but not the castile soap which would react with the vinegar and make a mess. However, if you use the Sal Suds, you’ll want to rinse the shower down as well, because if the Sal Suds dries on the surfaces, it will build up a scum.

Hi Anna – You could definitely use Dr. Bronner’s soaps or Sal Suds to keep your vet clinic spic and span. Both products are disinfectants and would work excellently. The castile soap is also a great option for washing dogs! Mix yourself up some of the all purpose sprays I talk about. That, along with a bucket with soap or Sal Suds for mopping, and you’ll get yourself started.

Hi Casey – It sounds like the Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree pure castile soap is what you’re looking for. It is basically the unscented Baby Mild with tea tree oil added. I use about 2 drops of soap on my face unless I have a lot of make-up, in which case it would be 3 or 4. Wet your face with warm water, lather the drops of soap in your wet hands, lather them on your face and then rinse well.

All the best,

Susan says:

I read earlier that vinegar should not be mixed with Dr.Bronner soap. I was doing this for mopping. Is this not advised to do so?

Casey says:

I have combination/acne skin and want to use the baby mild liquid soap with a few drops of tea tree oil as a cleanser but don’t know how much soap/water I need to use.

Anna says:


I am the manager of a veterinary clinic and in the new year and wanting to switch our usual cleaning products to something safer for employees and the critters. Do you think Dr. Bronners would be an appropriate fit? There are some harsh things we would still have to have around to kill certain viruses we encounter, but thats maybe once a quarter. Is this soap considered disinfectant?

Tara says:

How about a daily shower spray? I have seen recipes using dish soap and vinegar. I’d rather use Dr. Bronner’s if possible!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Bret – It would be a great idea to use a pre-mix solution for a veggie wash. I think my standard dilution of 1/4 c. per quart of water in spray bottle would work well.

Hi Lorry – I have heard several recommendations from customers who use the castile soap as a douche. Be sure to rinse well as leftover soap can be irritating.

Hi Lyris – Yes, you can definitely add your own essential oils to the unscented Baby Mild. The amount depends on the oil you have and your personal preference. That’s the fun of it, though!

Hi John – For this, I would reach for the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, but if you’d like to stick with the castile, apply it undiluted directly to the stains and then wash with 1/3-1/2 c. of soap in a large load of a standard washer. Also add 1/2 c. of baking soda to the wash and 1/2 c. of vinegar to the rinse (fabric softener spot).

Hi Melissa – Yes! I’m working on a post on that very topic. The castile soap works very well to clean brushes. I rub some soap directly into the bristles and then rinse it out thoroughly.

Hi Elizabeth – I have the perfect post for you: Dr. Bronner’s Castile vs. Pump Soaps,

Happy New Year, everyone!

All the best,

elizabeth says:

hi lisa,

what is the difference between the pump formulas and the castle soap? are they interchangeable?

thank you!

john says:

Can I use 18-in-1 hemp soap to remove yellow stains in the pits of my white t-shirts ?

Lyris says:

Can my own essential oil be added to the unscented gentle formula? I love the smell of vanilla and would like to add it to the soap for laundry, body wash and shampoo

Bret says:

Can veggie wash be pre mixed in a spray bottle? If so what would the dilution be?

Maria Heng says:

Lisa, I’m considering buying the Shikakai for the hand soap refill xmas gift as not everyone has foaming dispensers – can you please remind me of the ration of Shikakai to water for hand soap in a regular dispenser? I can’t seem to find that info on your page now. Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maria- Great gift ideas! The Shikakai does not need to be diluted. It is ready to go for a regular pump dispenser. I’ve never had the soap in my dispensers spoil either, but I mention it because it is theoretically possible. We go through a lot of soap in my household though!

All the best,

Maria Heng says:

Thank you so much for this helpful cheat sheet, Lisa. I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s castle soap, diluted, in a recycled foaming hand pump dispenser with extra peppermint and tea tree essential oils added. Visiting friends never fail to comment on how much they love it. So I decided to make little bottles of the stuff as christmas presents this year which requires I actually get the ratio of soap to water right (I’ve not been measuring at all) and I’ll be sure now to make a note about keeping the dispenser nozzle clear with a knife etc (I’ve noticed the wild squirting) and will put an expiry date on it too, with advice to do a smell test if kept around. I do make my hand soap in relatively small batches that allow several refills and haven’t noticed any funkiness – it’s possible the extra tea tree has extended the shelf life of the diluted soap.

Lisa Bronner says:

Sounds great, Maria! I hope they liked their gifts! Where did you get the dispensers?

Lisa Bronner says:

Natalie – Nope, no soy derivatives in our soaps. Our tocopherols are from sunflower oil.

Abi – For wood floors, I’d use 1/3-1/2 c. of castile soap in a bucket of water. You do not need to rinse. Of course you wouldn’t want to leave puddles on your wood, so dry mop if need be aferwards. For my hair, I use the Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Hair Rinse and that’s it. There’s a lot of discussion going on about hair here:

All the best,

Abi says:

Hi Lisa! thanks for the great tips on here.Will have to look for foaming pumps.Anyway, was wondering how much castile do you dilute to water for cleaning wood floors ? And do you need to rinse afterwards or just not worry like the trad.oil soap type for woods. Also what’s good to condition your hair after using bronner’s as shampoo.Just curious. I used to used vinegar rinse years ago,and i do have hard texas water even shampoo can be tough, was thinking about going back to castile.thanks.

Natalie says:

Hi, In another product I learned that their tocopherols stemmed from soybean oil. I have a 5 month old with a soy allergy. I’m wondering about whether your product has soy in it. Thx!

Lisa Bronner says:

I’ve gotten really behind here and I do apologize!

Staci – Yes, the tea tree castile soap has an added disinfecting boost because of the antibacterial properties of the tea tree essential oil. You can also still add a little more tea tree essential to that spray.

JC – I know this response may not help you anymore, but maybe someone else needs it. Add 1/2 c. of castile soap to a bucket of hot water for a really intense mop job. Use the 1/4 c. per quart of water for your spray bottle. The longer you let the mixture sit on dirty surfaces, the more disinfecting happens – 10 minutes for optimum action.

Thania – I am so glad to hear that. Thank you for sharing! I definitely get a lot of questions about lice.

Judy – You wouldn’t want to combine the soap and vinegar together as they will react with each other. Many washers have a rinse compartment that doesn’t open til the rinse cycle so you can still just add things at the beginning and not have to revisit the machine.

Selena, Lauri, David, & John – If you’re going to use the soap up in a reasonable time, even like a couple months, you don’t have to worry about the diluted soap spoiling. The soap does have tocopherols in it as a preservative.

Hilde – The castile soap will react with minerals in hard water and leave deposits, so I do not recommend it for your pool. It could cause your pool water to cloud, plus leave a whitish film on surfaces.

Traci – You can definitely mix soaps. Have fun!

Andy – I haven’t tried foaming with the Shikakai. Anyone else?

Misty – I don’t pre-dilute either for these purposes. As you said, just a little bit. I put it on a washcloth so that it doesn’t run away.

Michelle – See above comment on diluting. You would definitely need to dilute it in a foaming dispenser. It needs more water to foam.

Glad this is helping! Thanks for sharing your tips as well!

All the best,

Michelle says:

Hi there. I am a bit confused. I have read that diluting causes the preservatives to break down and the soap to possibly go bad or become cloudy. But I also read suggestions to dilute 1:4 ratio to prevent pump from sticking. I do want to use the citrus in a pump and dilute but I also want my hands to be clean. :). And does a foaming pump allow you to use it undiluted? Sorry, new to this. 🙂

zoay says:

we found another use! while rinsing fruit & veggies with peppermint all of the fruit flies in our cafe kitchen went into the water and died! yay! non toxic fruit fly killer! i cannot print the cheat sheet….not sure why….love that your business uses recycled bottles and does not pollute the earth! thank you!

misty johnson says:

hmmmmm very interesting…I have extremely sensitive skin and use baby mild for hair and for body….as well as tea tree for back and chest acne….never do I dilute either one! I buy large bottles and.put in smaller containers in the shower. A little goes a long way…dont waist your time diluting…

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

Dilute! Dilute! OK! But how much? Print this guide!


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Hoja de Dilución

Jabón Puro de Castilla Liquido