Dr. Bronner's

Eliminating Ants with Castile Soap Spray

Castile Soap Spray for ants

All right, so I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen Castile soap spray for ants work (see more in the previous blog on spraying for aphids and other insects). However, there’s something about ants that always makes me think they’re invincible. I really don’t mind ants outside. I mean the black ants, of course. Fortunately, I haven’t found red ants in my yard. The black ants don’t bother my plants too much, knock on wood. They’re good cleaner-uppers. They even aerate the soil a bit. I’ve also heard someone say that Southern California is built on one big anthill, so you can’t really try to get rid of them.

However, inside my house is another matter. Inside, they give me the heebie-jeebies. Even moreso than spiders, earwigs, or sowbugs. I guess it’s because spiders are usually solo, they don’t travel around the house too much, and they eat other bugs. Earwigs are pretty isolated too, inside. And sowbugs are just so slow and funny when they ball up, that who can really dislike them entirely? Ants inside are another story.

As you may have seen in some of my kitchen videos, my countertop has flecks of black in it, so the ants really blend in. Until there are a lot of them. Then, all of a sudden, I realize my entire countertop is moving. One day, I grilled some super yummy burgers and had them sitting on a plate on the counter. At least we got one serving out of them, because by the time we came back for seconds, the ants had already gotten there. Plus, I once found two crawling on my baby in her crib. That was not a good scene.

The only plus I can say for ants in the house, is that they really encourage me to keep my kitchen clean and free of crumbs.

So when I found a few ant scouts in my kitchen the other day, I grabbed my bottle of Castile Soap All-Purpose Spray and doused them. They shriveled up on contact.  As I said, I shouldn’t be surprised. However, I didn’t expect it to work that fast. It was immediate. I let the spray sit for a bit to make sure the area was cleared, and then wiped it off. Also, the tea tree essential oil that I had added to my spray messes with the scent markings the ants leave, and discourages any followers.

Please note! This concentration for the All-Purpose Spray is much higher than it is for the garden pest spray. If you use the All-Purpose Spray on your plants, you will burn them.

So, no nasty Raid fumes. No scary residue on food surfaces. No extra expense for additional products. And most importantly, no more ants.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

In a spray bottle, mix 1/4 c. (60 mL) of your favorite Castile soap and 1 quart (1L) of water.

Do not use this concentration on plants, as it will burn them. Here’s how to spray for garden pests.

Further reading

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

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


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Samra says:

We HAD an growing ant problem in our basement bathroom. My husband put out ant traps but the ants just avoided them. Today I followed this suggestion with the Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap I had on hand. I added 1/4 cup Cherry Blossom Pure-Castile Liquid Soap and about 1/4 tsp of tea tree oil to about 1 quart of water. I sprayed the ants about 4 hours ago and haven’t seen one since. After I cleaned up the dead ants I sprayed a little more along their path. Of course I will recheck at intervals throughout the next few days to insure they will not return. My husband was astounded…and very happy! Thank you so much for the suggestion!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Samra- I’m so glad this worked for you. Thanks for sharing!

Ann says:

2 questions,Lisa<
1) what about roaches and spiders? Does the spray harm/kill them as well? 🙁
2) is either all purpose spray good for granite countertops? Or will it dull the surface and take away the shine like disk soap will.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ann- Unfortunately, the Castile Soap Spray is not effective on those two pests. However, blocking their means of entry and eliminating food sources are important steps to keeping them at bay. As to your question on granite countertops, either All-Purpose Spray is safe and effective for granite, although Sal Suds is slightly more clean rinsing, especially in hard water conditions.

Ann says:

Thank you, Lisa.

And by the way, the Salsuds spray works on the ants as well! says:

You’re correct sal suds kills insects as well since it’s a detergent. Not as effective as a soap though. Lisa the castile soap will kill spiders just spray it on one and see. The dilution ratio must be higher

Also you mentioned sal suds doesn’t work in a past article. It most definatly does

Also in a last article you said in your research it doesn’t harm bees. It absolutely kills bees so do not spray them.

The good news is you can kill wasps on contact with a proper dilution. Again because wasps have an exoskeleton they can’t survive more than 20 seconds.

I understand you are not an insect expert but natural exterminators have used soap for years to kill wasps insects spiders etc. There are also many books on the subject.

I’d update the site letting people know it can kill bees and thay sal suds also can kill insects.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Anthony – It sounds like you have some good experience weighing in here, and I do not discount that. I’m glad the soap has worked where you’ve needed it to. If someone wanted to avoid affecting bees or other arthropods, they could do the trick of giving the plants a shake or spray in times of day where insects are less likely to be out. To avoid bees, dusk or dawn are good times.

And do let me know which post I indicated Sal Suds wouldn’t work, and I’ll edit that. Thanks!

Jason says:

Any chance of making an almond based version of the sugar soap anytime soon?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jason- That’s not currently on our radar, but I’ll share your suggestion. If you’d like a recommendation, I do enjoy the Lemongrass Lime Organic Sugar Soap, although it has quite a different scent from the Almond Castile.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi B – The soap spray does not work as a repellent. It is only effective when it hits pests while wet. I do not know however if it would impact Japanese Beetles specifically, due to their size. I can’t speak from personal experience as they are not common in SoCal. I’m sorry I’m not much help here.

Can another reader suggest help for preventing Japanese Beetles?

Chris B says:

For pest spray, I know it works for soft-bodied insects such aphids, but will the spray harm spiders? I do not want to harm them as they eat the bad pests. Thanks.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Chris- The spray would also harm spiders. Because they tend to be larger, perhaps a good shake of the plant would encourage them to scurry off.

Yen says:

How does the soap not break down the skin as strongly as it does the exoskeleton? Seems like that the exoskeleton would be harder to break down than skin. Can you elucidate the difference so that we understand how it’s safe for skin?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Yen- Thanks for asking! There are two ways that soap eliminates pests, neither of which are relevant to humans. One was is that the soap binds with the waxy layer on the exoskeleton, removing it and causing the insect to desiccate (dry out). Humans don’t have this waxy layer, so it wouldn’t impact us this way. The other way is that soap clogs the breathing pores in the exoskeleton impeding their respiration and they suffocate. Humans don’t have similar respiration. I hope this helps your understanding!

Roslyn Albert-Sandronsky says:


Can the Castile Peppermint Liquid be used as a bath or shower soap for the entire body–all body parts?

Is it safe for an 11 year old grandson to use in the shower on all body parts?

Thank you.

Roslyn Albert-Sandronsky

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rosyln- The Castile Soap is primarily designed as a body soap, and can be used on all ages (although Unscented is recommended for babies). It just happens to also be excellent at cleaning surfaces and such as well. Peppermint is our iconic scent, and particularly refreshing on a hot sticky day. Peppermint essential oil can be intense or drying to skin for some though. If that’s the case, try one of our more mild scents, such as Citrus or Almond. Squirt a small amount onto hands or a wet cloth to use. For face, apply 2-3 drops into wet hands.

Roslyn Albert-Sandronsky says:

I am trying to rid my kitchen cupboards of insects that I believe to be silverfish. You have recommended various Dr. Bronner soaps and cleaners for washing dishes, counter tops, clothes, facial skin and hair, among many other uses. Would one of the cleaners be safe to use to clean my cupboards to keep the insects away?
Thank you.
Roslyn Albert-Sandronsky

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Roslyn- Sal Suds or any of the Castile Soaps are safe and effective for cleaning cupboards, shelves and such. However, to deter insects, mix up a batch of bug spray made with 1/4 c. (60 mL) of your favorite Castile soap and 1 quart (1L) of water. Spray insects with the solution, and also use it to clean by spraying surfaces, then wiping with a damp cloth. The Tea Tree Castile eliminates the scent trail left by ants. While I haven’t tried it with silverfish, it could very well deter them. If possible, find their point of entry and seal it, or at least surround it with pure essential Peppermint Oil, which most insects don’t like. Use a Q-tip to apply it directly to their entry.

Green Cleaning Your Bathroom | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] Dr. Bronner’s has two products that can clean bathrooms: Pure-Castile Soap and Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner. Both work great, and I am just as likely to grab one as the other. Most of the time, I grab what’s closest. Unless there are ants.   […]

Lisa says:

My sunflower bed is infested with ants and some termites. Most likely due to the mulch. Am I able to use this concentrate in the soil if I am going to add organic mix to it? Will my plants burn? Also, can I add tea tree oil to Baby Bronners?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lisa- The soap solution would need to contact the pests while wet, but it could work. Perhaps spray the soil daily and see what happens to keep deterring them. They’ll likely be able to hide in crevices, but perhaps after repeated application, they’ll decide it’s not worth the hassle. You would not want to use the soap straight as that could upset the pH of your soil and affect nutrient absorption. Still dilute it, but if you’re spraying the soil and not the plants, you can increase the dilution strength without harm to the plants.

Hadster says:

You might also try diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants. Diatoms are small, think plankton size – creatures with a hard exoskeleton that live in water. Over thousands of years they live and die, fall to the bottom of the body of water, and after time has passed, the only thing left is the butter shell. When this is ground, it becomes very sharp, and the small pieces get stuck in the crevices of the insects and causes them to dry out. Diatomaceous earth is excellent on soft bodied insects, such as termites and slugs. BTW, the commercial slug killers are HIGHLY TOXIC to pets and will poison and kill them. Instead use a saucer of beer. Slugs love it, drink it, and drown. Anyway, you can get food grade diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it around your plants.

Shantia says:

Hi I’m in huge fan of your families products. I’m interested in weather or not these products alone can deter flying insects of many kinds, such as fruit fly’s and stink bugs. My home is easily accessible to many different insects including ants, but my ant problem is pretty light. I’m most concerned of the fruit fly’s I began pouring the peppermint wash down the drains. I was wondering if replacing all my cleaning techniques with Dr’ Bronners would sub-side our bug invasions.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shantia- Soap has to be wet when it comes into contact with insects to be effective. Fruit flies are drawn to a source. Finding that will help keep them at bay. Wrap up fruit or store it in the refrigerator, and clean the drain with hot water. Cleaning with an All-Purpose spray of 1/4 cup Peppermint Castile with a quart of water in a spray bottle will clear away scents that are attractive to them. I have often found that fruit flies are attracted to red wine (I guess they have good taste) and so I leave a little cup of that out when I’m having trouble with them. At least they die happy and oblivious.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lam- Unfortunately, I too am familiar with white flies. An insecticidal soap made with 1 Tbsp. of Castile soap in a quart of water will treat them. Spray twice a day, on both sides of the leave, in the cool of the day until the infestation clears. Here’s my how-to video to make the spray:

Maria says:

Great article. I have become increasingly concerned about how many chemicals are being used for various things si have been looking for natural but effective alternatives.

I don’t doubt that the Castile Soap Household Cleaner kills ants. HOWEVER, there it is very important reason to identify the ant species before you go on a killing spree. The pharoah ants practice something called budding when they detect a threat. This threat is communicated via a pheromone and it causes the nest to bud, which means one or more queens will leave that nest with appropriate “staff” and establish a new nest. The killing spree will trigger this budding, along with anything else that the ants consider a threat. So you end up with nests multiplying countless times and worsening your ant problem.

The good news is that just cleaning surfaces with that cleaner should wipe out the ant pheromones so they can’t follow each other, and if you use a scent they hate, they are less likely to stick around. So while it’s not wise to kill the ants directly, the scent left behind will help deter.

Pharoah ants are tiny and are yellowish to light brownish. They are so tiny you might not realize you have a problem until you see a ton of them marching along. But you can find them if you know to look. They almost always nest in homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, and hospital as they are an invasive species in need of heat and moisture. They love using wiring and plumbing as their travel roads. You can look them up to find out more – I just thought it extremely important to know your ant species before trying to get rid of them. In short, these ants can only be done in by baiting because finding the nest inside the walls or in other hard to get to spots is next t impossible. Research or consult a professional for proper baiting techniques for these or they will keep budding.

I look forward to reading more content and finding more natural earth and people friendly ways to do things!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maria – Thanks so much for sharing this info! I am not well-informed on ant species. Good to know!

cathy winter says:

I saw you said the DB soap does NOT work for mice. Any suggestions to keep them out of our travel trailer? When we bought it used from a dealer, it was full of smelly dryer sheets. No mice but it’s been airing out for a month & it still smells awful. Suggestions?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cathy- I feel you on that smell of dryer sheets! You have to wonder what’s in them that deters mice. Prevention is key in keeping the mice at bay. Plug up any areas where they might get access, and take care to clear away any tasty tidbits. A thorough cleaning with a Peppermint Castile housecleaning spray might offer some deterrent and a fresh scent. Like most animals other than humans, mice can be deterred by mint. Mix 1/4 c. of soap in 1 qt. of water and add a few extra drops of peppermint essential oil for a minty boost.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Eric- If you could launder the bedding, yes, but the soap has to come in wet contact with the bed bugs. What I mean is, you can’t spray the mattresses and expect that to work as a prevention. Take a look at my blog post Castile soap and dust mites: The issues are similar for bed bugs.

Dust Mites and Castile Soap says:

[…] where the castile soap enters in As I’ve covered earlier in regards to spraying for ants, castile soap dissolves exoskeletons. So, when it comes to treating for dust mites, this particular […]

Jean? McComb says:

Does this soap work in the foaming bottles?
I only want to use it for hands , do I need to dilute it?
Thanks Jean

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jean – Yes! You’ll want to use a dilution of one part soap to three parts water.

Wendy says:

What solution would you use to keep mice away? Also are these soaps pet safe? Don’t want to use if it may affect my cats in any way.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Wendy – Yes, our Castile soap is pet-safe for household use. If you’re washing your cats, we recommend the Baby Unscented Castile Soap. As for mice, our soaps do a lot of things but deterring mice is not one of them, unfortunately. Instead, find out how they are getting in and seal up those areas, and keep things that are attractive them locked up.


Hi Lisa, would this mix kill silver fish? I have them in my house and I wanted to try and get rid of them. Can you please tell me what I can use to get rid of them. It seems they come out at night.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lizette – Yes, this would kill silverfish. Spray them with the solution mentioned in the article. If possible, find their point of entry and seal it, or at least surround it with pure essential Peppermint Oil (use a Q-tip to apply it directly to their entry0.

Cindy says:

Just a tip – in addition to using the soap spray to clean up the ants, if you can find the entry point into your house try coating it with some undiluted peppermint essential oil (using a dropper, q-tip, or transfer pipette) – ants *hate* peppermint oil & will refuse to cross it. (I’ve seen them literally turn around & run the other direction to get away from it!)

Rachel says:

Would sal suds mixes with tea tree oil also work the same on exoskelton of insects?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rachel – It is the soap itself, and not the tea tree essential oil that affects the exoskeletons. Sal Suds is a detergent and not a soap, and I have not found it to be quite as effective as the Castile soap.

Denise says:

Hi Lisa,
I have a big problem with pantry moths. I get them every year. I’m in the process of throwing everything away that isn’t in a can or mason jar because i have a major infestation. I have the peppermint castille soap and i was going to spray the entire pantry…walls, shelves, everything. Will this work on eradicating these moths and if so, what dilution should I use?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Denise – I’m sorry to hear that. It sounds like a pain. I am not specifically familiar with these moths, but I have had my own problems with ants, as you’ve read. I’ve learned to keep my pantry items in tightly closed containers – mostly glass mason jars. The soap will clean up any mess they’ve left behind and it might affect any moths it touches while wet. However, after it dries, the soap will not act as a deterrent beyond what the essential oils in it might do. In that case, if the essential oils are helpful, just use them straight – perhaps take a cotton swab and apply some to areas of entry. Are these moths anything like fruit flies? I have often found that fruit flies are attracted to red wine (I guess they have good taste) and so I leave a little cup of that out when I’m having trouble with them. At least they die happy and oblivious.

Cathie Rouse says:

Has anyone tried mixing the Peppermint with water in a spray to repel nats and mosquitos on humans and pets? What would be the breakdown? My husband has them swarm him and so does our 11-year-old basset hound. Thought this might be worth a try so we don’t have to use chemicals

Rick says:

Hi Lisa! I was wondering if there is any direct info regarding the use of Dr Bronner’s to remove spider mites from outdoor plants (specifically a cypress tree). My biggest concern is using too much castile soap in the recipe and killing the poor tree! Is there a recommended mixture? From what I’m seeing, it seems that the peppermint variety is quite effective, any other tips at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Rick

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rick – I am very sorry not to have seen your comment back in April. I was just talking to a lady at a local nursery yesterday about cypress trees and she mentioned that they are particularly prone to spiders and rats. I don’t think the soap will harm the tree. I am picturing a 20 foot cypress here. I wonder if you could get one of those devices you attach to a hose to spray fertilizer on plants but fill it with a Castile dilution – maybe 10%? I’m guessing here and then spray down the tree with that. I think you would have to do it daily for a while to see improvement.

John says:

Does the Hemp Peppermint Pure Castle Soap kill bedbugs?

If so, how much to dilute?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi John – If you could launder the bedding, yes, but the soap has to come in wet contact with the bed bugs. What I mean is, you can’t spray the mattresses and expect that to work as a prevention. Check out a post I wrote about castile soap and dust mites: The issues are similar for bed bugs.

K Lyons says:

Hi Lisa, I am dealing with what I believe are bird mites in some area rugs and possibly bedding in my home. I did see that someone tried spraying this type of mite with a mixture of peppermint Dr Bronner’s and it did not work. You mentioned soaking the rugs / laundry possibly. How much product would someone use and for how long? Hot or cold water temperature? Does Dr Bronner’s really disolve exoskeletons? Is there a study showing this? I love learning and love Dr Bronner’s so would enjoy this information, if it is available.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there – We haven’t had studies done for our soaps in particular, but there is a good body of study available for using soaps as insecticides. I’ve read through many of these – enough to feel covered in creepy crawlies myself – and there is agreement that soap works well (when wet) as an insecticide, but there is some disagreement on exactly how it works. Theories range from dissolving the cell membranes (which I usually cite), to suffocating them through blocking their respiration, to dissolving their waxy layer and allowing evaporation and dessication (death by dryness), and a few more thoughts. You can read a couple of these to get started:,,

If you’re able to submerge your rugs and bedding, check out the post I wrote on dust mites The premise would be similar for bird mites. You can up the concentration if you’d like and any increase in soaking time would increase effectiveness.

Mary says:

I live in an area with lots of mosquitos.
Is there a way to use Dr Bronner’s soap in my backyard to reduce the mosquitoes?
I would love to sit outside more, but the mosquitoes are horrible.

There are many trees around our house, so it is like a forest.
And it is humid.

Thank you for any tips!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mary – The soap itself will not work well to deter mosquitoes on a large scale. Because it is biodegradable (which is a good thing), it breaks down too quickly if sprayed broadly, and it only eliminates insects it hits when wet. The residue is not effective. There are many other deterrents, though, and I think you’d need to use several to have an affect. You probably know about not having standing water around, although with all the vegetation you’ve described, they’re probably finding plenty of wet places to breed. Rodale’s Organic Life has a good article about natural deterrents, As the article points out, mosquitoes are attracted to our sweat and smells, so showering with peppermint soap prior to sitting out may help. I also like the idea of planting strong smelling plants like mint and lemon balm. Keep in mind, though, that both these plants are very invasive. They probably would like it under your trees, though.

Charley Petry says:

hey there
I have a problem with voles in my yard my plan is to spray the ground with peppermint soap and castor oil to try and rid the yard of these pesky critters. I don’t like using poisons because of the cycle of the kill if birds of prey were to eat a free snack they too would be poisoned so I am hoping knowing that mice don’t care for peppermint my hope is that the vole won’t either.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Charley – Peppermint is a natural deterrent to rodents. However, I have not tried it out in this way. It may only work temporarily, and then the soap biodegrades (as designed) and so the effect wears off. In the meantime, the voles would probably just hangout underground and wait.

I did notice this device recently and was curious to its effectiveness: I have no idea though. It’s certainly intriguing.

I am sure I have other readers who have battled voles. Can anyone else weigh in here?

Terri says:

I just came upon the castile soap idea for getting rid of ants and was excited about it until I realized it’s only good when wet. Doesn’t do much good unless you stand there and spray all day, does it? So, the only thing that REALLY works to get rid of them is chemical spray on the outside of the house and placing ant traps in strategic places in the house, out of the reach of children — like under the frig or sink. Be sure not to place them close to outside entrances or you will be beckoning all the ants in your yard to come in and feast. The idea is that the ants will feed on the traps and take the poison back to the nest to kill the colony. If you spray a colony or a bunch of them, they will divide and conquer – and MULTIPLY! You must have patience and use your castile soap solution when you see them walking around on your countertops, etc. inside but you really want them to go back to the colony if you’re serious about getting rid of them. I hadn’t seen one since August but the past week started seeing the buggers again. It’s driving me nuts but this is the only solution. Good luck!

Jim Crain says:

I’ve been a Dr Bronner fan for decades. I spray ants in my kitchen when they appear, which has been rare, until recently. I have some black ones, which bite. They are not at all interested in sugar traps – they ignore them. They have been attracted to meat on the counter, but do not swarm it.

In the garden: Ants hate cinnamon! I had ant beds when we first moved into our house. I had found something online about ants & cinnamon. I put a little (1-2 teaspoons) on the mounds in the yard. Usually they were “gone” within hours.

I found a 3-foot long bed “hidden” next to a transformer in our back yard. I had to put cinnamon on it twice (noticeably more than 2 t), but they abandoned it, too. It doesn’t take much. I spray the cinnamon powder from a bottle like you might use for ketchup or mustard at a picnic or in a restaurant kitchen. The spout is funnel-like & has a cap. I bought it at The Container Store. Target probably has something very like that. Think twist-top mustard bottle.

I usually stir in a little when I apply it. Unlike the soap, which works only when wet, the cinnamon persists. Good luck with ants!

Raven says:

Coffee grounds repel ants in the garden. Alcohol (such as running alcohol) repel them everywhere else. An orange peel mixture/paste kills their hive with gases (cover all holes).

Can I grow 100% organic 100% toxin-free herbs in soil that has been heavily soaked in castile soap?

8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator | kateBuzz says:

[…] use a lot of castile soap in my indoor routines, so I love that I can spritz a household cleaning spray on ants to give them the hint. To make the spray, just combine water, tea tree oil, and a quarter […]

Mary B says:

First I must say that I came across Dr bronners completely on accident. I recently moved to a cottage near the beach and along with the great views came a major ant problem. Since I suffer from a number of diseases including MS and lupus I try to avoid chemicals when ever possible. Everyone said peppermint oil. So I went to a health food store near me that was going out of business. No peppermint oil but they recommended dr bonners peppermint castile soap. At a tremendously discounted price I might add. I read about it. And I began to use it for everything. My galley kitchen is 4foot by 12 foot. I have always scrubbed it by hand. I was astonished and disgusted by the color of the water that I flushed down the toilet when I was finished. I washed all the floors in the house and the ant problem became basically non existent but I did mix up a bottle of the insect spray just in case. Of course I did go back to that health food store and bought them out. I don’t expect that I’ll ever get such deals again so I took everything they had. And let me tell you what I found.
living at the beach with a 13 year old blonde, we get the greem hair, most people think its caused by chlorine but its caused by copper. My daughter was thrilled to discover that if she was washed her hair with f the citrus orange and let it soak for 5 minutes, she no longer looked like kermits gilfriend (her words) we have found that lavender shampoo removes gum from hair. Im sure any scent would work, but that’s what we picked up first.
And now perhaps the most important thing that I have found out for me.. Having lupus reacts in people in different ways, in me, it causes me to break out in a very annoying itchy rash after being in the sun or if I sweat. It can cause me to scratch myself so terribly that it could lead to infection ot worse. There is no medication that they can give me and up until now nothing has worked. And then I found Dr Bronners eucalyptus Castille soap. I have been using it for alittle over 2 weeks now, and to say it has changed my life would not be an understatement. I am not claiming this to be a miracle cure or any thing. I recommended it to a friend who suffers from the same ailment as I do. She received some relief but not as much as me. I am greatful for what received. Greatful for that store going out of business greatful for getting the recommendation of dr bronners peppermint castile soap, and i cant wait to find out all the other wonderful things that dr bronners products can do.

Kevin says:

Does it help with bed bugs I heard lavender repels them

Alicia Redd says:

Hey! I put that stuff on everything! The Peppermint & Lavender oh and Tea tree soap I use for washing my school bus to washing my Locs. Its good for everything but losing weight. Thanks for your post. Very informative.

Lynette says:

Does anyone know if this works on flies? We had a lot of flies get into our apartment and getting them out has been a nightmare.

Hayley says:

I heard about this while I was talking with my friend about ant removal. So I bought a bottle and diluted it with water. When I sprayed the ant with the soap it worked perfectly but the next day, I woke up and found there where more ants! HELP! I used the peppermint soap.

Kathryn Grace says:

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for this. I wanted to pin it, as I do so many of yours, but Pinterest won’t take it because it says it can’t find anything pinnable. If you get a chance, would you please add a photo to the page so we can pin it?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Janet – It sounds like you’re in sync with where Dr. Bronner’s stands! I’m so glad our products have been such a help to you. And I will be trying that tip with the orange on spiders – I haven’t been able to chase the black widows out of my compost pile!

All the best,

Blaque says:

Hello Lisa!
I know this site is about Dr. Bonner’s but I was wondering if you had some tips on composting. Recently, I started composting but I am unsure of the best practices. Please share. Thanks in advance for your help!

Carol Ann says:

I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap diluted with water to get rid of all kinds of spiders, including black widows.

Janet says:

I’m new to Dr Bronner’s and just want to pass on a great tip I have regarding spiders. ORANGE – any kind of citrus actually – is a great natural spider repellent. I had been using orange and lemon-scented disposable Clorox wipes in the spots where “my” spiders tend to “take their meals” – but from now on with be spritzing these areas with Dr Bronner’s CITRUS castile soap diluted in a bottle. Thanks for making all your wonderful products. The tea tree soap has helped so much with the rosacea I’ve had for over 20 years. Never being a fan of non-natural remedies, I gave up on the oral anti-biotics long ago. Even though they did help for a while, I was always uncomfortable/uneasy about taking them. But I’m loving the tea tree for my complexion and have purchased Dr Bronner’s for laundry, house-cleaning and showering too. It’s my firm belief that the 21st century is going to show us that we can – and must – return to the natural world as much as possible. Keep up the great work!

Lisa Bronner says:

I am sorry to be so late in responding here.

Priscilla – The soap would kill ants in came in contact with inside or out, but it only works when wet, so if you sprayed it outside, it wouldn’t be a long lasting solution. You could pour it into an ant hill and it would do some damage. Ants, though, have numerous underground tunnels so they would have some escape routes. However, if you poured it down their hole often enough, it might encourage them to relocate.

Kristin – I get ants up my drains all the time. Very annoying! You can definitely spray the inside of the dishwasher with the castile solution.

Angela – Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your success story. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will ever only be theoretical knowledge for me to pass on to others! Keeping my fingers crossed!

All the best,

Angela Gurganus says:

To those who were talking about head lice. We had a really bad time of it last year it seemed every day there was something coming home about them. I found something that worked wonders and they never got head lice again even with it running rampant in the school. Tea tree oil. We put it in their shampoo and Dr Bronners tea tree castile soap was also used at times. It killed the lice and kept them from coming back the rest of the school year.
I wanted to share this with everyone because I could not believe the results it was amazing! To get them out of the bedding I added about 5 tablespoons of Dr bronners in the wash in hot water and never had a problem again there either. My neighbor didn’t want to do it so her daughter had them really bad and came over to play with my kids and my kids never got them from her again. Yay Dr bronners rock’s lol

Kristin says:

Hi Lisa,

We’ve been battling ants in our dishwasher – yuck! We can’t figure it out but likely coming from a drain?? And then they get on the counters/floors. I have been using vinegar/water solution in the dishwasher and think it is helping but not completely. Could I spray the castille soap spray in the dishwasher? Does it work to prevent ants or just kill the ones I see on contact? I have the peppermint Dr. Bronner’s on hand. I have young kids and do not want to spray anything toxic but want to have an ant-free house too!!


Priscilla says:

Do you think this may work outside?? Like if we dump a lot on an ant pile? My son is allergic to fire ants and we live in Texas, they are everywhere!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tony – Fabulous! And you cleaned your bathroom at the same time! Just think – if you had used a conventional ant spray, you then would have to clean the spray. What a vicious cycle. 🙂

Glad the Dr. B’s did the job!

All the best,

Tony says:

This worked great. I had some ants investigating my bathroom. I used this solution to kill any ants I could find then I just cleaned the rest of the bathroom with the solution. I kept checking throughout the day and when I saw a live ant, I’d spray it. They die instantly. The next day I found two ants and killed them. The day after that just one ant. Yesterday and today, no ants to be found. Just in case I keep the spray bottle handy under the sink.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Melanie – I am so sorry you have to deal with such icky bugs! I have wondered before whether or not the castile soap would be effective. We’ve had a couple nearby scares with lice, but my kids have yet to get them – knock on wood. Theoretically, the castile soaps would kill the lice. I don’t know if it would have the same impact on the eggs. The stronger the soap the better, and it couldn’t hurt to try. I would do around a 1:1 ratio dilution with water. Apply it to the hair and really work it in. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or as long as your daughter can stand it. Let me know one way or the other how it works.

All the best,

Melanie says:

Hello Lisa,

I wonder what you think about using the castile soap spray solution on head lice.

My daughter recently brought these little critters home from school and I have since been religiously wet combing to remove the lice before they are old enough to lay more eggs so as to break the cycle. I suppose we have been lucky really as, although she is now 8yo, she has not had them up until now.

Whilst doing this bug busting I thought about your posts regarding the castile soap spray and how it works on aphids and ants as they have exoskeletons which, I think, also applies to head lice.

I am tempted to try it out, I figure it can’t do any harm, but I was curious about your thoughts on this matter. Is it something you have ever thought about?


Day P says:

Hey Melanie, A few years ago you commented online to Lisa Bronner’s blog. I’m curious if you ever tried to use the Castile Soap to remedy Head Lice and did it work?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maria – Tell me a little more about how you applied this. If you just sprayed the surface of the rugs, the mites could have hidden in the fibers. Then, since bugs don’t like peppermint, they would definitely be abandoning ship. The soap only works when it’s wet. The residue doesn’t have any impact on them. If your rugs could take it, it would be best to soak them in castile soap and water.

All the best,

Maria says:

I used the 1/4c peppermint and 1 quart water on what ? are mites(bird mites brought in from outside on our throw rugs. The only thing that happened was it pissed them off and they started jumping airborne off the rugs going every where and biting. Is there any thing else you might think to add. I thought this would work so well. Please Help.

Katie says:

Also To prevent ants from coming back and repel them try placing bay leaves (dried) on the counter. I swear it works!! My parents have a huge ant problem in the summer and when I learned that bay leaves keep them out I tried it and they didn’t have ants all summer! My parents were so happy! 😀

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

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