Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Castile

Update May 2022 —I’ve added a few uses to both the Sal Suds and Castile 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 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 with 1 cup (240 mL) 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: 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/deodorizing, add 1/2 c. (120 mL) baking soda to wash cycle. Halve these amounts for HE 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): 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.

  • 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.

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. (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.

Download Now!

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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Linda says:

can I use the tea tree soap (or any for that matter) in an automatic dishwasher? I only see reference to hand washing.
If so, what is the ratio, or quantity to use in the machine?

thanks for your help!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Linda – I think I need to post on this topic. Definitely a popular question! Here’s my response I gave to another reader: My answer is no, but you’ll hear from other customer’s a yes. It is high on the list of requests for Dr. Bronner’s to make a dishwashing formula, but so far it hasn’t happened. The Castile soap reacts too much with hard water, at least in my area, and leaves a film on my dishes. However, there are a plethora of recipes out there that incorporate the soap with other non-toxic ingredients. I haven’t had a go at trying them, but it is definitely on my to-do list.

Shera says:

Hi! I’ve just started researching Dr. Bronners soaps as I am looking for something to replace my body wash. I have very sensitive skin. Is Dr. Bronners safe to use ALL over the body? Wink, Wink.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shera – You’re definitely going to want to pick the scent that’s right for you. There are certainly a good many people that use the Peppermint Castile “all over”. However, that might be a little intense. I don’t generally use it unless it’s a really hot sticky day. The ultra mild is our unscented Baby Mild. I go with the Citrus as my personal favorite. At times the Almond has been my go-to.

This is why we sell the 2 ouncers! So you can try them out and see what you like!

Mary says:

For daily hand washing in a foam dispenser, I read somewhere that 2 tbls of soap & the rest water. I’m wondering if this is enough to clean your hands. I would also like to put some in the bottle for body wash, what would be the ratio?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mary – My dilution for a foaming dispenser is around 1:4, but it’s really a matter of personal preference. My cousin dilutes at 1:8. I think for a body wash, you could go with a lighter dilution.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lewis – I hope in the future to give an unequivocal yes. However, check out my answer above.

Susan McBride says:

I was wondering – can you use Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Soap in the dishwasher?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Susan – Such a popular question! I hope you won’t mind if I copy my response from another reader: “My answer is no, but you’ll hear from other customer’s a yes. It is high on the list of requests for Dr. Bronner’s to make a dishwashing formula, but so far it hasn’t happened. The Castile soap reacts too much with hard water, at least in my area, and leaves a film on my dishes. However, there are a plethora of recipes out there that incorporate the soap with other non-toxic ingredients. I haven’t had a go at trying them, but it is definitely on my to-do list.”

Kristin M. says:

This was very helpful! I was wondering in the laundry if you suggest a certain type of vinegar? Is white vinegar ok or is there a better suggestion? I have been using white vinegar in my laundry for years to make the fading process slower in my work scrubs but I don’t know how well that cleanses them because I am still using laundry soap along with the vinegar.

Prashanth says:

Hi, I just have 2 questions.

1) Is there a dilution for treating mold in the bathroom?
2) Is there a sandalwood scent in the works? I think it would be heavenly to wash/bathe using one.


Lisa Bronner says:

HI Prashanth – There is not a dilution that will kill mold as quickly and with no scrubbing as a conventional product like Tilex. However, I have a spot of my shower that seems more prone to mold, I think because there is a slight dip in the tile work and water tends to collect there. I use the All Purpose Spray made with Tea Tree Castile soap and enhanced with Tea Tree essential oil, and scrub it with a good stiff brush. As I’m sure you know, prevention is best, and so keeping the area dry and cleaning it often help a lot.

Funny you should ask about the sandalwood. That’s up there with one of our most recommended scents. We’re thinking about it. I’ll add your vote!

Lian says:

Is it possible to use the baby mild pure castille soap during for handwashing pure wool and woolcontaining clothes, for a long period, without “destroying” the wool.


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lian – This is one of those questions that I’m going to have to rely solely on input I’ve received from customers. They say a resounding yes. In fact, I heard just last week from a fellow who raised merino sheep, and they washed the sheep thoroughly with our soaps before shearing.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Eli – The soap is not meant to be left on surfaces, so it wouldn’t be a benefit to dusting. Soap attracts and holds dirt, which is why it works to clean things, but then it needs to be rinsed or wiped off. I did, however, write a post about dusting, drawing from Karen Logan’s excellent book, “Clean House, Clean Planet”:

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lorie – I definitely get behind all too often. I love how communicative our customers are.

Mike says:

I was recently told about soaking in a bath of epson salt with baking soda. I haven’t tried it quite yet, but was curious, can the soaps be added to the bath as well? Was just concerned that one may react with another.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mike – Our soaps will not react with Epsom salts or baking soda. I don’t know how restorative such a soak would be, but if you tried it, let me know how it went.

Anna says:

I’d like to mix with water to use as a hand soap. Is there something I can add to it to make it less liquidy?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Julie – My answer is no, but you’ll hear from other customer’s a yes. It is high on the list of requests for Dr. Bronner’s to make a dishwashing formula, but so far it hasn’t happened. The Castile soap reacts too much with hard water, at least in my area, and leaves a film on my dishes. However, there are a plethora of recipes out there that incorporate the soap with other non-toxic ingredients. I haven’t had a go at trying them, but it is definitely on my to-do list.

Flo says:

What are the differences between the lavender and peppermint styling creams? Any or just the scents?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Flo – Yep, just the scents. Pick your favorite!

Rhonda says:


I am new to the Dr. Bronner products and I have purchased the peppermint and the baby soaps. I noticed that there is a Sal Suds. Is there a difference between that soap and the others? Please advise.

Lisa Bronner says:

HI Rhonda – We have a line of Castile soaps in 8 varieties ( and a line of pump soaps in 6 varieties ( Both of these lines have a Peppermint and an unscented Baby Mild. They are both designed primarily for the body, although the Castile soaps are exceedingly versatile, as you can see from the cheatsheet above. Our Sal Suds all purpose cleaner is not for the body. It is for everything else. I use it to clean my house top to bottom – hard surfaces, carpets, laundry, cars, and so much more. There’s a cheatsheet for the Sal Suds here:

Dori Martinson says:

Is there any particular castille soap you use on your dog? I love the idea of using this in place of a store shampoo 🙂 Thanks for your time.

Liaam says:

Saludos cordiales, quiero saber si el usar este producto no hace dano al cuerpo? estoy un poco preocupada 🙁

nen sorensen says:

yes, ive been doing my laundry with white distilled vinegar and baking soda, this is really helpful, thanks

Johanna says:

Hello Beth (from July 13, 2014).

I use the Bronner liquid soap for my makeup brushes, both natural and synthetic. I take a shot glass or small cup and fill it with about an inch of very warm water, then add 3-8 drops of the soap depending on how many brushes I am cleaning and how dirty they appear. There is also a you tube video for this, that is how I first found out about the soap I had been seeing in the shops all these years.

Vee says:

Have there been any cases with the peppermint castile liquid soap aiding in stimulating the scalp for hair growth when used as a shampoo?

Delfina says:

I would also like to know if peppermint hemp and tea tree oil castille soap stimulates the scalp for thinning hair.

Lisa Bronner says:

HI Vee and Delfina – I have not heard of this benefit coming from our soaps. The Peppermint castile will give you a nice scalp tingle, though!

Rick Timmons says:

The peppermint is so good to shower with after a weeks hiking on AT. During the trip can be used for so many other cleaning duties. Does not appear to attract bears. Feels so good on sore feet before sleep. The odor is pleasant and dilutes very well. The only problem is the container, tightening the lid will pop it. Before camping I transfer what I expect to use into a super mini Nalgene bottle.
This product is GREAT! Thanks

Connie says:

Hi how often can u brush teeth with castile soap? Once a day? N which brand should you use? Why do your soaps have glyserin in them?

Thank you

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Connie – There’s a lot of different opinions out there about teeth brushing, what’s best, how and how often. I’ve heard about just swishing around pure coconut oil (sounds yummy!!) to pure baking soda to conventionals. Personally, I think it’s fine to use our soap the recommended twice a day. The glycerin is a natural byproduct of saponification – the scientific term for turning oils into soap. An oil molecule – in our case olive, palm, or coconut oil – is called a triglyceride. This means it has three fatty acid chains connected to a glycering backbone. In the soap making reaction, the fatty acids are separated from the glyercin and then reattach to a hydroxide ion. (Oh, I hope I got that right and didn’t offend all the chemists out there!) The glycerin is left free-floating.

In short, glycerin is not something we add to the soap. It’s already there.

elizabeth says:

you might try using it along with baking soda, and then to rinse, mix some vinegar and water to spray and wipe out.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Melissa – This is totally on my to-do list of recipes to come up with. If your oven is anything like mine, castile soap alone isn’t going to do the job. I’ve seen so many recipes and techniques out there that I need to try. When I figure it out, I’ll write about it. Did you experiment at all?

elizabeth says:

i don’t recommend using this in your dishwasher. a dishwasher is one of those things that you follow the manufacturer’s directions and use the intended and marketed product.

Chantel Simm says:

This is related to the above comment.. I know you were talking about spiders, termites and cockroaches.. but can this also be used (maybe in conjunction with something else) as a natural bug repellant (preferably mosquitos)?
Which scent would be the best?

Caryn says:

Lemongrass oil is a great natural mosquito repellant. Just mix it into some coconut oil or lotion and apply liberally. I suppose you could also mix a teaspoonful into a spray bottle and spray your yard’s perimeter, but don’t spray directly onto plants if you have any concerns about the effect on them.

robin conley says:

just what i’ve been looking+hoping for “The blinds were dreadful. But not for long. I found that the Castile soap did wonders for them and quickly too. I tried the Salsuds mix first but the Castile worked better for cleaning off the nicotine. I sprayed mixture on, let sit a minute then sprayed again and wiped them off. White blinds again!”

after raising my own horrid plastic louver blinds, i start with white kitchen appliances, as a smoker, 2 goals: remove nicotine+pick up dust. instead of, what i expected, your success story, i reversed: my dr b cleanings got worse and worse, forced to re-do, nothing was “squeaky clean”, nicotine still everywhere, everything sticky and filmy…the time $$$ and energy i wasted, cuz it was NOT dr b, problem was no microfiber cloths and MY HARDwater

1 do you have hard water too? did you do/add anything to make up for it?
2 out of habit, spray on what i’m cleaning, then move w/ sponge or wipe/dry w/ paper towels. still white dripping paths all over the place. with new microfibers should i reverse, spray on them?
3 sal suds failed w/ dishes, weird cuz they should be immune to hard…maybe cuz i used sponges to wash?

sadly tossed all sprays, but fortunately kept 7 castile soaps+sal suds…
this time will use distilled water for all recipes+tons of vinegar+baking soda…nobody knows/cares what HARDwater is til they discover it’s the disgusting brown thing, scale, they can’t remove from the toilet, no matter what they use or how hard they scrub on knees using green scrub side of sponge…plumber removed with knife. haha.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Chantel – I know I’m late to the game here. I like the direction Caryn is going with using an essential oil in a carrier oil like coconut. The soap shouldn’t be left on the skin as it will irritate. It bonds to the oils and would prevent your skin from self-moisturizing.

robin conley says:

RATS! earlier reply was for: jane on August 1, 2012

Chantel Simm on December 3, 2014
agreed! “as a natural bug repellent preferably mosquitoes” that we could spray on ourselves, like avon skin so soft, safe in+outside. they are so evil here in fl: silent, so you can neither hear nor see, until first need to itch, but by this time it has already bit 4-5 times…they swell, getting bigger and more itchy, IGNORE! 1 scratch leads to never ending victory for mosquito…wait and we win. 🙂
must kill with fly swatter…when hit dead center with hand, after removal, no dead bug!?! somehow the starving, sneak attack florida mosquito is always in the magical center of your palm, escaped, either bit you 5 more times or went back into hiding…this is inside, all year long. outside is even worse…


The Best 2-in-1 Products for Living Small - a small life says:

[…] Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap, 18-in-1 Hemp Lavender, 32-Ounce I adore this soap! It replaces both my soap and shampoo. I can wash the dishes with it and I’ve even given Bambi a bath with it! The lavender scent is my favorite– it’s super calming. (For those times when cleaning puts me in a fit of rage!) You can see all the 18 uses here. […]

rc says:

Can the castile soap be used in the dishwasher? If so, what is the ratio to be used? THX!

R and C says:

Question – can Dr. Bonner’s castile soap be used in our dishwasher? If so, what is the dilution ratio?

Lisa Bronner says:

Nope. Unfortunately, I realize my lack of answer may have led you to try it and see, and I’m really sorry for that. I’ve tried it, too, and my dishes looked terrible. However, I have read many a recipe that does include our soaps in a solution that some have had success with. I don’t have one in particular, though.

I’m sure other readers can weigh in?

Virginia Underwood says:

I have a friend who is a backpacker/camper. He says he uses Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap when he goes. He saves the soapy water from dishwashing or bathing and pours it in a circle around his camp; he says it keeps spiders and snakes out. When he is at home he sprays his house to keep spiders, cockroaches and mice out and he sprays the exterior of his house 3-4 times a year to keep cockroaches, spiders and termites away. He isn’t a measurer so he can’t tell me how much soap to water to use. From his description it sounds like he use 1/4 – 1/2 cup peppermint soap to a gallon of water. Will this work on cockroaches? My new residence is infested and I have animals to be concerned about. Thanks

Michelle Fuller says:

Google peppermint oil. I believe it’s the essential oils & not so much the soap base that deters bugs & rodents. However, your friend is very efficient for using & recycling Dr. Bronners in so many different ways!!

elizabeth says:

the home i live in right now, unbeknownst to me, when i moved in 14 months ago, was absolutely infested with roaches. There was filth from the roaches in the kitchen cabinets, roaches were in the walls and coming out from the water pipes and light sockets. I could not get out of the lease.
I grabbed my bottle of peppermint dr. bronners, made a very strong mixture of 5o/50 soap and water and began cleaning the cabinets and then every surface in the house. I covered the holes around the water pipes with tape so the roaches couldn’t get back in, pulled out the stove and refrigerator and vac’d and cleaned them, the walls and floors. I completely rid my home from roaches. all it took was dr. bronner’s peppermint soap and water, and cleaning time. I also kept the kitchen sink dry and no food left out until i saw no signs of roaches. I am not ashamed to tell anyone about this, as i moved into the situation and I am very proud that I didn’t have to poison my home or my family with pesticides. But, this house sparkled when i was done cleaning. I used the soap and water on every surface, even the blinds, floors, bathroom, doors, front and back porches. How did I think to do this? I used this same mixture for removing wasps and mud dobbers from my porches in the last few years. I go outside very early in the morning after the nest is empty, spray the nest and watch from the back door as the wasp returns. They smell the soap and never come back again. I then take the nest down and the wasp doesn’t return to rebuild. Where I live, wasps are common. I use dr. bronners to clean my home, even for dusting, in a very weak solution. Since I started cleaning this way, my family no longer is continually sick like they were when i used commercial cleaners. I truly believe in this product. The worst that can happen is that your home will be cleaner and healthier. If you find where the roaches are coming in and out, after cleaning, spray some extra soap in that spot. I even used it to spray the ones that i saw that were alive. I did rinse my kitchen cabinets. hope this helps and works for you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Wow Elizabeth! Great answer and great testimony!

As far as whether it’s the peppermint oil or the soap, the liquid soap kills, but it is the oil that deters. The soap can only kill if it is still wet when it contacts the bugs.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Em – I’m not familiar with washing either Goretex or down. What is normally recommended for them? Generally, if it can get wet, then the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is a good bet for washing them. If dry cleaning is recommended, Sal Suds is out.

Ayndrea Ruchty says:

Hi! My ped has introduced us to your line of products. I’m looking for something to wash/disinfect our hands daily to replace our softsoap brand. Do I get the liquid solution? If so, do different ones do different things or are they just different scents? Do I need to buy a special soap pump for this? How much water do I mix in a soap pump for hands? Are you products available to buy in stores? Thanks, Ayndrea 🙂 Also, I saw posts about vinegar/water solutions to clean. I’ve been doing that lately but I really don’t know what it’s doing? What is it “killing” when I spray on a kitchen counter with raw meat juice? Or a bathroom counter with who knows what kind of bacteria lurking there?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ayndrea – I’m sorry this is so late. Perhaps you have already found your answers, but I’ll weigh in anyways. Either the liquid or the bar work great to wash hands, but if you’re already used to liquid or gel, as most of us are, go with the liquid. All the scents have the same base but different essential oils, or no essential oil as is the case with the Baby Mild. Personal choice again. The only kind of dispenser in which it works is a foaming pump dispenser. Use at a dilution of 1:4.

Vinegar does have some antimicrobial power, but I wouldn’t rely solely on it for battling raw meat or bathroom bacteria. It’s great for less dirty surfaces, though. For the kitchen and bathroom, though, something with a soap or detergent really is necessary to kill the beasties. I’ll throw in that Dr. Bronner’s Castile or Sal Suds tackle this well.

What do you use for travel laundry soap? says:

[…] soap, and for general purposes (not just when traveling), so it may be helpful to point to the 18-in-1 Uses Explained source information page referenced on the back of cards bearing that name from Lisa Bronner's web […]

Barbara Nuevo says:

I just bought the orange/citrus soap and it strip the shine off of anything I wipe. The almond oil on the other hand was amazing but they ran out at the store. What am I doing wrong with the citrus/orange one?

Aly says:

I’m thinking the extra acidity in the citrus is doing it. Since that mixture doesn’t have the extra oil that the almond oil does (which doesn’t have the citrus acidity), I think it’s the mix and not you.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Barbara – If the Almond worked and the Citrus didn’t, it does appear that the difference is the essential oil, but I’m not sure why. The Citrus doesn’t contain the acidic juice – just the oils pressed from the rinds. However, there must be a chemical explanation for it that I just don’t know.

Are there any chemists out there who can chime in?

Regina says:

I use the Liquid Castille soap in the handwash containers. I do add some distilled water to it but it clogs up the pump and soap ends up squirting out straight onto the persons clothes. How can I stop the clogging that is occuring? I’d like to also use it in a foam pump, but it seems to do the same thing. thank you

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Regina – You’ve discovered first hand why we don’t recommend our soaps for pump dispensers. The clogging and squirting always happens. I’m glad to hear it didn’t get anyone in the eye. Pump dispensers are made for detergent-based hand cleaners. However, the foaming dispensers are another matter – our soaps work in a dilution of 1:4 really well in them.

Anne says:

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Almond Castile Soap; I have not tried Citrus soap yet@

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Arthur – I agree with Anne – definitely the Peppermint.

Darlene says:

Would this work in the laundry to kill clothes moth larvae? I am having a really hard time battling these things! They are also in my carpet. Thinking about renting a steam clean carpet machine and possibly using this to wash them. I’ve heard that moths hate lavender. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I have never had a moth problem, and consider myself a good housekeeper and a clean person, so this moth problem is really freaking me out! Please HELP!!???

Sandra Shaughnessy says:

It sounds like you may have a carpet beetle infestation. They are difficult to diagnose since they are so tiny. It’s something to look into since a carpet cleaner make not be effective at eliminating them.

Anne says:

Hello: What you make think is Moth Larvae may be “Carpet Beetles”; they infest carpet and clothes; they look like catipillar larvae then a small beetle.
Vacuum is the #1 remedy.
I would scrub carpet with Dr. Bronner’s soap +Vacuum; wash clothes…

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Darlene – In the months since you asked this, you’ve probably figured out something to do. I am so sorry I didn’t weigh in earlier. Regardless of whether they’re moths or beetles, you don’t want them there. Washing the bedding with the castile soap, lavender in particular, at very high heat and drying them at very high heat is a good start. However, I wonder if the mattresses, and definitely the mattress pads, may need some attention too. They may be harboring eggs that are repopulating the bedding. For the carpets, frequent vacuuming and a steam cleaning will help, but I think additional research, starting with finding out what specifically they are, will help solve the problem. Not that you’re thinking of doing this, but I’ll say it anyway – I don’t recommend saturating your carpets in Dr. Bronner’s. It may kill the bugs, but you’ll be hardpressed to get rid of the soap at that high a concentration.

Becca says:

AN EDIT TO MY PREVIOUS MESSAGE: I again ended up with the oily spots on darker clothing without using any softener, vinegar, etc. – just the soap. Could this be due to possible residue in the washer from other products? I really don’t see any way I can continue using this product for my baby’s clothes.

Ashley says:

I would definitely use the vinegar to follow-up in the rinse cycle–it will cut the oil and reduce the residue. I use it for my son’s clothes, and have been for a while.

Anne says:

I think you are missing the purpose about Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps; the purpose of the soaps is to “keep the baby safe from “additives found in most laundry soaps”;
the purpose of the safe gentle soaps is for your child’s overall health..!

Alaina says:

I remember reading that some essential oils may have a tendency to leave spots on clothes when you add them in the wash, tea tree being a culprit. As Ashley stated, using the vinegar as the fabric softener is key. I make my own laundry detergent by grating Dr. Bronner’s bars (lavender and citrus – peppermint is also good), and mixing it with Borax, washing soda, and unscented OxyClean. If I don’t use the Oxyclean, I add peroxide to the load of wash for extra whitening the way you would add any bleach product. We have skin sensitivity issues with regular detergent, but also have A LOT of dirty clothes. The dry detergent is just more efficient and economical for my needs. I only had the “spot” issue using the liquid castile soap without the vinegar in the rinse cycle. Before we bought our new washer, I used to put the vinegar in a fabric softener “ball” so I wouldn’t have to remember to add it during the rinse cycle. Lisa has a good article on the blog under “Laundry” about the reasons for using castile soap for bedding. That’s why I use it in my detergent recipe. Good luck to you.

Becca says:

Hi Lisa,

Do you foresee any issue with using a homemade fabric softener in the wash cycle. It contains only epsom salt, baking soda, and an essential oil. I made the mistake of adding my vinegar in the wash cycle previously and would like to avoid another disaster. I find it difficult to remember to come back during the wash cycle of each load. Also, any recommendation for removing the oily stains I created on my first try is appreciated.

Amy says:

I use a Downy ball to put the vinegar in so it releases automatically during the rinse cycle and you don’t have to remember. It holds the perfect amount too!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Becca – I am very sorry for my delayed response. Did you try it? It sounds like a great fabric softener. I can imagine the oily stains if you combined the vinegar with castile in the wash cycle. Do you have any Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds? Apply a little directly to the stains, or if they’re too widespread, soak the clothes in the washer with 1/3 c. of Sal Suds (a little more than normally recommended) for several hours and then run the load with an extra rinse cycle.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Evan – Please forgive my late response here. I don’t have an HE washer, but I’m taking the input from others – use 1/8 c. of castile soap or 1 Tbsp. of Sal Suds. Vinegar in the rinse cycle is good as well.

Corinne Sanchez says:

Forgive me if you have answered this question in a previous post…I was wondering how long the dilution for the all purpose cleaner will last before it should be discarded?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Corinne – It is my turn to apologize for my delay. The All Purpose Spray will probably be good for several months or more. It can be affected by light, heat, water content, and more. Your nose is a pretty good guide. If it smells funny, toss it and start again.

Keisha says:

Hi Lisa,

Do you know why the soap leaves the body feeling a little stiped and dry. It feels as if no moisture is left on the skin after bath.

Samantha says:

Hi Keisha. You are probably using too high of a concentration for your skin. Every skin is different and maybe yours needs a little less soap to keep the moisture. Just a thought.

Latha says:

Everyone in my house had the same issue. It turns out that the ph value of these soaps are too high for our skin, and dilutions don’t change it much. These are not safe for the skin.

I switched to this soap after reading rave reviews. I used this for body and face. Although one part of my body itched a little, I ignored it. After about 2 months, I noticed that my face had a LOT of blemishes and it would turn dark even with few minutes of gentle sun exposure. I knew something was up and stopped using this. Later I read articles about strong alkaline soaps destroying the top acid mantle of our skin. So I googled to find ph value of this soap and sure enough, it was well over 9. I also bought my own ph testing strips to confirm it. Even after diluting, the ph didn’t change much. It’s too unsafe for a hand soap even. Have to use the rest for laundry and never buy this again.

Lisa Bronner says:

You all bring up some excellent points. Keisha, depending on what scent of our castile soap you are using, you will experience different levels of dryness or moisturizing. The Peppermint essential oil, for example, can be very drying, which is a great thing for people with more oily skin, or with very active lives. Personally, I don’t use the peppermint all that often, but it’s fabulous on a hot, sticky summer day. Or if I have a cold, when the natural menthol vapors help open the sinuses. Our most mild is the unscented Baby Mild, and other gentle ones are the almond, rose, and citrus.

Another factor that might affect the afterfeel you’re experiencing is comparing it to the product you’re coming from. If you’re switching from a conventional product with petrochemical moisturizers (nearly ubiquitous in “moisturizing” formulas in the conventional products), your skin may balk at first. You may need a light moisturizer until your skin adapts. When I first switched to castile for my face, I needed something, but now I don’t.

Regarding the issue of pH, all soap is alkaline. Ours has a pH of 8.9 (less than egg whites, to throw in an odd comparison), which is not considered a caustic level. Any cleanser that is not alkaline is a detergent – although it will be called a shower gel, or body wash, or what-have-you. The acid mantel of our skin, it’s a topic that popped up recently in cleansing forums. Indeed our skin does develop an acid mantel the longer we get from our shower time. It is the result of the by-products of the multitude of bacteria our skin naturally holds. To put that in a non-euphemistic way – it’s their poop. I’m all for getting rid of this. It’ll rebuild anyway.

Hope this helps!

Jonathan says:


I read in one of your replys above that you did not know anyone who gets tea tree oil because they like the smell. Well, I love the smell of tea tree oil! Thanks for all of the great recipies above.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jonathan – Great! I apologize for my blanket statement!

Divya says:

Hi, Can the unscented liquid castile soap be used to handwash stained baby clothes?

Charles says:

Dr Bronners is good for just about everything. It’s wonderful for your clothes, babies clothes everybody’s clothes. I have washed lots of things with it and never had any issues. I hope I helped you out.

Lori says:

As a disinfectant can I add hydrogen peroxide to the all purpose spray recipe? This should taker care of salmonella and other germs. If so can I use any of the soaps? Thanks.

Dessa says:

Lori, hydrogen peroxide must stay in a dark bottle… Once it is exposed to light, it stops working, you can put a spray attachment on the bottle itself or Walmart is now selling a small bottle with a spray, but as long as you know this, then you can do what you want:-)

Amy says:

Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and/or cleaning power. Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree, and thyme are among the essential oils considered to be antiseptic and antibacterial.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there – Great information here! I’ll throw in that hydrogen peroxide can bleach dark colors, or colored grout, so perhaps do some spot testing before widespread usage.

Danielle says:

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for all of the great info. I just have a question regarding the dish (hand washing) liquid: Is that ratio correct? I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s for over a year now to wash my dishes, but in a much stronger concentration (1 cup Dr. Bronner’s to 3Tbsp water). I just tried the 1:10 ratio that you suggested and it seems a little too diluted…Any suggestions? Thanks

DT says:

It depends on your water hardness.
Most all of these recipes do.

Whitney says:

I find that one tbl in 32 oz spray bottle works great for all purpose cleaning. Highly recommend starting there then increasing if not enough for u. Savescalot of soap really and cleans nicely without streaks or residue.

Mark says:

Hi Lisa. Can I make some insecticidal soap using a bar of your soap? I’ve heard other recipies that say to leave a bar of soap in a gallon of water for 24hrs. Can I do this with your (bar) soap?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mark – You’ve probably either tried it or forgotten about it by this point. I’m sorry for my non-response earlier. Regarding dissolving a bar of soap in a gallon of water, it will probably be more concentrated than you need and may burn your plants. I’ve done a blog about garden sprays:, but my spray used the liquid – 1 Tablespoon in a quart of water, which would work about to be about 2 Tbsp.-ish bar soap in a gallon of water.

Sharon says:

Dear Lisa,
Can I use the unscented or tea tree oil castile soap to launder a sheepskin rug? A gallon of your castile soap is $20 cheaper than a gallon of Eucalon. Would I need to add vinegar to the rinse cycle?
Also, wanted to recommend your product for anyone that has allergic eczema or suffers from skin splitting on their hands during the winter. I dilute the unscented or lavender castile soaps and the skin on my hands is no longer angry and red. With allergic eczema, you must avoid the allergen that is causing the breakout to heal the rash completely!


Christie says:

Hi Sharon,

I suffer horribly with eczema on my hands, and I just bought the peppermint liquid soap. How do you recommend I use it? I poured some in a foaming soap dispenser, and filled the rest with water. I hope it helps!

Erin says:

Christie – Peppermint itself is an irritant to sensitive skin and eyes. If you use one of the Dr. Bronner’s soaps, they are great for sensitive skin and eczema, but peppermint can irritate and sting eczema.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sharon – I do apologize for my less than timely response here. I am not familiar with the specifics of sheepskin. Did you find out some info that might be of help to others?

Christie and Erin – Although I’m glad not have experienced eczema personally, I have received a lot of feedback from customers that our Tea Tree castile liquid works best. I agree with Erin that the peppermint might be a bit intense. You may have already experienced that. What have you found?

stuffs says:

What about just washing your hands. I keep finding “. . . to 4 parts water” and “. . . to 5 parts water” and am very confused.

Sandy says:

“Parts” means equal quantity. For example: 1 part soap to 4 parts water would mean 1 tbsp. soap and 4 tbsp. water…. or 1 cup soap and 4 cups water.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi stuffs – Excellent question. I don’t usually pre-dilute either. I just use a drop or two straight out of the bottle. However, if you want to make sure you don’t use more than you need, or if you’re using a foaming pump dispenser, you’ll want to dilute it. Roughly 1:4 for the foamers, although my cousin recommends 1:8. Fiddle with it until it cleans the way you like it.

Beth says:

One more question!

I would like to do a daily, 30-second wipe down of the bathroom fixtures, sink bowl and toilet seat. I have used a 50/50% vinegar and water solution, and alternatively used a diluted castile soap all-purpose mix. I’m wondering what the pros and cons are to each. I am thinking that the vinegar solution–for the quick, daily wipe down–might be best because it will disinfect (or whatever it does), will dry quickly and not need a rinse (safe to sit on the toilet seat?), while I assume the castile soap solution will cause some residue build-up over the week, and might need a rinse (if I didn’t measure correctly again 🙂 ). I use the castile solution weekly and give the bathroom a good, solid cleaning, and then the vinegar solution spray for a rinse, but I don’t want to do the two-step process daily. Do you have any suggestions for what would be most effective and quickest/easiest?


melissa says:

hi i do the same w the water vinegar mixture. its my fave! i wipe everything down w it. i was also wondering the same thing? i also wondered if i could just mix it all together? the vinegar and the tee tree soap and use that as a cleanser? would it go bad pre mixed in a larger cleaning bottle?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Claudia – A vinegar and water mix is a good daily cleaner. Vinegar definitely has some antimicrobial properties. The castile spray will not cause a build up as long as you are wiping the surfaces afterwards. Soap left on surfaces ends up holding grime on the surface, since that what the molecules do. You wouldn’t need to do the vinegar rinse, however. I don’t know what type of use your bathroom gets (i.e. 6 kids might give it more of a beating than a single adult), but if it is moderately used, the vinegar solution would be great for the daily, and the castile for a weekly, more intensive disinfecting.

Hi Melissa – I know it sounds like combining the vinegar and the soap would create an even more powerful solution, and many big names have recommended this. However, please don’t. Vinegar breaks down the soap, and it isn’t pretty. You can read more about it here:


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