Dr. Bronner's Products

How to Make a Castile Soap All-Purpose Spray

Click here for my updated post on All-Purpose Sprays!

Making an All-Purpose Cleaning Spray with Castile Soap for general house cleaning couldn’t be easier. Please remember to label your spray bottles, so you don’t get them mixed up! Once you get fully established with homemade cleaners, you’ll have several spray bottle solutions in your cupboard.

All-Purpose Spray with Castile Soap

In a spray bottle, mix 1/4 c. (60 mL) of your favorite Castile Soap and 1 quart (1L) of water. For extra antimicrobial punch, add ¼ tsp. (1.25 mL) tea tree essential oil. Spray surface then wipe with wet cloth.

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

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


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Desiree Porter says:

I have the Dr. Bronners Castile soap in all the flavors and want to put in a soap dispenser for a hand soap. Do I need to dilute it with water or just pour the soap in the dispenser?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Desiree – The Castile soap only works in the foaming type of pump dispenser. In a regular pump it will eventually clog and squirt out sideways. For a foaming pump, dilute it at a ratio of 1:3 with water.

7 Reasons You Need To Try Castile Soap & 18 Genius Ways to Use It says:

[…] All-Purpose Household Cleaner – making a castile soap spray with water, castile soap and tea tree oil cleaning couldn’t be easier – just follow the step-by-step instructions in the video. Use it to wipe down all manner of surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. […]

Carrie S says:

Thanks for the great tips! Can I add tea tree essential oils to other scents of the Castile soaps, such as the orange?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Carrie – I’m sorry I missed your comment from way back! Yes! you can add the Tea Tree essential oil to any of the scents.

Lisa Bronner says:

Time for true confessions, folks. It is February 9, 2017, and I have missed several months of comments for the simple reasons that things went a little crazy around here. I very much apologize. I am tackling them now for the sake of those faithful and new readers who might actually read them all. I am going to start with the most recent. Bear with me.

Anthony says:

Oregano oil also has powerful antibacterial properties and I’ve found pairs great with the tea tree oil! Cheers. Thanks for the read.

Anthony says:

Just make sure it isn’t diluted in a carrier oil first as most are!!

Julie says:

Hi Lisa! I want to make the all purpose cleaner using your tea tea Castile soap. I don’t have the additional essentia tea tree oil on hand. Is just using the Bronners tea tree soap and water enough to still make the solution disinfecting?
I read through and didn’t see an answer to a question like this. Sorry if it was something you already answered!
I have lavender and rosemary essential oils on hand. Do you happen to know Would those do anything benificial/can they be mixed with tea tree? Thank you!

Suzanne Brooks-Williams says:

I am new to Dr. Bronner’s sand am totally in awe! Is there a search option on the questions/comments that perhaps I’ve missed so I can review my queries? Also, I would like to save your time in asking repeat questions.

Thank you! I’m so excited to delve into your world!

Lynn says:

Thank you so much for this website and this video. I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under that I didn’t know about all this wonderful info and these products; but here I am and on board in a big way. I’ve been slowly but surely trying to clean out my stash of chemicals for better options. Some of the other “green” options I’ve tried have left me less than thrilled with the results — this is the real deal.
I do have a question: You make the statement that if we do use too much soap, we’ll end up cleaning bubbles off the countertop. I “eyeballed” what looked like 1/4 cup in a 32 oz sprayer. I do get a slight amount of bubbles when I spray, but not too many — is that typical, or should I not see any bubbles at all?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lynn – We don’t have paid advertising, so don’t kick yourself too hard for not knowing about us earlier. We have always relied on word of mouth instead. For your All Purpose spray, you want there to be some bubbles when you first spray it on your surface, but once you wipe it off with a damp cloth, there shouldn’t be bubbles left. If there are, though, just rinse out your cloth and wipe it again.

18 Magical Things Castile Soap Can Do That Cancer-Causing, Antibacterial Soaps Can’t : The Hearty Soul says:

[…] All-Purpose Household Cleaner – making a castile soap spray with water, castile soap and tea tree oilcleaning couldn’t be easier – just follow the step-by-step instructions in the video. Use it to wipe down all manner of surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. […]

Kerry says:

Hello! I am wanting to make a cleaning spray for the kitchen counters, and am wondering if the diluted soap with water will be sufficient to clean them even after handling raw meat, or if I should add some bleach or rubbing alcohol?

As a side note, I’ve been using this soap for my son who has severe eczema, and it has made such a difference!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kerry – I’m so glad our soap has been a help to your son! As for a kitchen spray, the soap and water All Purpose Spray is a great option and will get rid of bacteria from meat and more. Soap gets rid of bacteria because it attaches bacteria (or dirt or grime) to water so that it can be rinsed away. It is effective and much safer than antibacterial products which are giving rise to antibiotic resistant “superbugs”. Here’s a good article on that:

Don’t mix the soap with bleach as it will react, and alcohol is unnecessary. Good old-fashioned soap and water still is best.

7 Reasons You Need To Try Castile Soap & 18 Genius Ways to Use It - World Healthy News says:

[…] All-Purpose Household Cleaner – making a castile soap spray with water, castile soap and tea tree oilcleaning couldn’t be easier – just follow the step-by-step instructions in the video. Use it to wipe down all manner of surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. […]

Amanda says:

Hello Dr. Bronner, 🙂 I am not clear on the shelf life of a diluted solution with reverse osmosis water? Could you please enlighten me?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Amanda – I’ve never had a dilution go bad, but perhaps I could estimate a 6 month shelf life? If it doesn’t smell right, mix up a new batch.

Marjorie Sovec says:

For an all purpose cleaner how much soap do I add to a 26 oz spray bottle? Once I add the soap to the water so I need to shake before use?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marjorie – About 3 Tbsp. of soap would work well in your 26 oz. spray bottle. You might want to give it a swirl or two to mix the soap and the water, but it mixes really easily so it doesn’t take much shaking.

DIY Household Cleaning Products | Rinsky & Michelley Cleanse the Day says:

[…] an all-purpose cleaning spray using a recipe I found from Lisa Bronner’s website – Going Green with a Bronner Mom. I had all of the ingredients and liked the recipe. Other websites suggest adding white vinegar to […]

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Candace – As long as it is pure essential tea tree oil, therapeutic grade is fine. If it doesn’t say “pure essential”, then it is diluted in some other carrier oil, like olive oil. I buy mine online through Frontier Natural Products, but there are many other options out there.

Kportmama says:

Do you wipe with a wet/clean cloth after using the household dilution? I find it leaves a film behind…

Lisa Bronner says:

I use a damp microfiber cloth after I spray surfaces. I don’t need to wipe it again.

Susan says:

Hi just wondering if I dilute the cleaning concentrate could I use this in the carpet cleaning machine? I really don’t like to use chemical based cleaning solutions.. Thanks, Susan

Sheila says:

I just bought a bottle of the almond soap. Can I use this instead of the tea tree oil?

Ana says:

Great recipe that I’m going to make today. I do have a question though. I have read that essential oils break down the plastic and chemicals from it then leach into the solution, which ends up on the surfaces we clean. On the same blog I read that using ACV glass bottle is a great substitute. Apparently regular sprayer fits on it. And yes, sprayer is plastic but so far there are no alternatives to plastic sprayers. I guess it’s still better than having the entire container be plastic. What are your thoughts about plastic and essential oils?

Colleen says:

We have handscraped hickory floors. What would you recommend to clean? Thanks

Deana says:

Is there a Dr. Bronner brand tea tree oil? If not, what brand did you use in the video? Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Esther – Thanks! Yes, it will separate and you’ll have to shake it from time to time.

All the best,

Esther says:

Hi Lisa,
I LOVE your blog!
When I make my cleaner and add tea tree pure essential oil I notice that the oil does not keep mixed together with the rest, is there something to add so this won’t happen? Or I have to shake every time I use it?

Amber B. says:

Hi Lisa! I have recently started using your castile soap for cleaning. What do you think about using distilled water for those that have harder water? That’s what I used.I was wondering if the all purpose spray is safe for cleaning wood? I would really love a list of what its safe to use on. Also, I did mix up some granite cleaner using it. I used 4 drops of the soap, 1/4c. 70% rubbing alcohol and the rest water in a 32 oz. spray. It works wonderful!


George says:

I use a 28oz spray bottle from the Dollar Tree store (the come in red, blue and green spray heads) and has nice ratio markings on the side. I use 1 part peppermint Castille soap, 1 part rubbing alcohol (originally 50% but I switched to 70% since it’s only $1.49 per 32oz bottle at Winco) and 8 parts tap water. I put in the water last because of the way the ratios are marked are on the bottle. If you do it with a moderate stream foaming isn’t an issue. I top it off with about 20 drops of tea tree oil. Works like a charm and the peppermint gives it a nice fresh smell.

Marjorie Sovec says:

What is best recipe for cleaning glass-top stove. Gets very greasy when browning meat. Have the house cleaning recipe made up but it doesn’t work very well. Have also tried the one suggested for windows. I think it’s the “grease” that causes such problems.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marjorie – Glass top stoves look awesome, but as you know, can be a pain to clean. Try making the All Purpose Cleaner with Sal Suds (1 Tbsp. in 1 qt. water). Spray that on your stove and sprinkle with baking soda. Let that sit for a minute or two (not til it dries, though), and scrub off with a microfiber cloth. If that doesn’t take care of it, go back to the spray and baking soda, but this time use a hard plastic scraper to lift the spots off your stove top. Wipe then with a clean damp rag and dry.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marjorie – Sal Suds is Dr. Bronner’s Biodegradable All-Surface Cleaner. It is a mild, non-toxic, vegetable based detergent. It works in situations where hard water interferes with the effectiveness of Castile soap. It is more clean rinsing, and slightly better at stain removal. Here’s a link to the product page on the Dr. B website:

So that’s the straightforward answer. The more emotional answer is that I love Sal Suds and could probably write a poem about all the ways it saves my life on a daily basis. Hmmm. Considering this is Dr. Bronner’s and we put everything and the kitchen sink on our labels, maybe I will write that poem and see where we can squeeze it in…

Lisa Bronner says:

I do apologize for my delay in responding to these comments. I hope my answers are still helpful.

RSmith – The castile soap is not a “leave-on” product like a sanitizing spray that would contain alcohol. The residue from the soap is not harmful, but because it is soap, it attracts and binds to dirt. Therefore, you would notice a quick build up on the surfaces you sprayed. If you spray it on and wipe it off with a damp cloth, this works well. Personally, I would go with the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds for cleaning upholstery and such. It is more effective and more clean rinsing.

Melissa – The shelf life of the diluted soap depends on a variety of factors, but I’ve found that this particular spray solution does fine for several months. What I notice changes is the essential oils. I think that the solution is still an effective cleaner after that, though.

Taryn – Yes, it would work great on granite countertops. I have granite in my kitchen and spraying with this and then wiping with a microfiber cloth makes them really shine.

All the best,

Melissa says:

Hi Lisa – I’m going to make this soon as well as a hand soap and was wondering what the shelf life is for diluted castile soap?

RSmith says:

Can you use this solution as a fabric spray on couches, bedding, curtains and such? When sanitizing toys, must you always wipe off with dry/wet cloth or can you leave it on?

Dr Bronners = better than California Baby | Katelyn Perkins says:

[…] started in Germany in the mid-1800′s. We had a bottle of lavender that I’ve been using as a cleaning spray (put a few drops in a spray bottle of water – for counter tops, wiping down the table, etc.), […]

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rain – Here’s the gist of the video: Get a high quality quart spray bottle, fill nearly to the top with water. Add 1/4 c. castile soap (any flavor). You can add about 20 drops of tea tree pure essential oil, if you’d like, for extra antibacterial action. Shake it up and start cleaning. The little trick is to put the water in first so that you don’t overflow with bubbles.

Spray it on surfaces and wipe with a cloth – my recommendation is a microfiber cloth.

Hi Amanda – I have granite countertops and the Sal Suds and CAstile soap sprays both work great. They are alkaline, so they don’t have that etching possibility as with the acidity of vinegar. I usually use the Sal Suds because it’s slightly more effective, but if I’m having an ant problem, I use the castile soap because it also repels them.

All the best,

Amanda says:

I was wondering if anyone has used DB on granite surfaces? I am typically a fan of vinegar based, home made all purpose cleaners, but I was warned by the installers about using vinegar on granite as it would break down the seal. Does anyone use DB on granite? And, if so, are there DB castile products to shy away from? For instance, can I use the citrus on the granite? Thanks so much to you all.

Jenny says:

Hi Lisa, I have not yet tried this, but just read that citric acid works better for toliet bowls than vinegar. I have very hard water so my bowls stain very badly at times. I always use distilled water for cleaning supplies because of the hard water, which of course I always have anyway-haha.
I am so excited to have found a reliable source for homemade cleaning supplies, thank you so much.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jenny – Glad to hear you’re on the same path! For the citric acid, will you be using a powder dissolved in water? Let me know how that works.

All the best,

Rain says:

Hi! Thank you for great cleaning tips! Can you write out what you say in the vid? Rain

Dawn says:

I just got my first bottle of castile soap. I have heard wonderful things about it and I am going to try it. I got the peppermint. Can you mix vinegar with the soap mix? I have heard that vinegar is good for disinfecting too.

Baking soda, soap mix and vinegar may be a multi step process any which way. Baking soda and vinegar together get fizzy and I am sure if you mixed them too early, it may take out the fizzy too soon. I do think that if you can add soap mix with vinegar, you can cut this down to 2 steps at least and it is better then using harsh chemicals!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dawn – I hope I’ve responded to you in time before you’ve tried a vinegar/castile soap mix. They both are extremely useful in housecleaning, but they do not mix together. It is a very common misconception. However, you will get a white, chunky, oily mess if you try it. You can read more of my thoughts about that here in my post, “A word of caution about vinegar and castile soap”: Baking soda can work well with the castile soap, as an added scouring agent, but it will clog a sprayer, so you can’t make a solution of it. I keep baking soda in a shaker bottle (an old seasoning bottle) and sprinkle it on surfaces after I’ve sprayed them with my castile soap spray. If you scrub with this and wipe it off, you won’t really need the extra vinegar step afterwards.

Please let me know if I can be of further help!

All the best,

Jen says:

I add food coloring to my solutions so I can easily tell them apart. My castile spray is yellow, vinegar spray is green, and homemade Windex is blue (of course).

I clean the toilet bowl with bleach (pour in 1 cup, wait 15 min, scrub and flush.) I also keep a spray bottle of dilute bleach for the cutting board, on the rare occasions when we prepare meat. I realize some people try to avoid bleach, but in my mind it is still the best option to clean those two items. (And if that’s all you’re doing with it, your exposure is still pretty minimal.)

Mary Beth says:

Cutting boards should always be cleaned with iodized salt And nothing else … and you should never use a sponge on a cutting board …. both are breeding grounds for bacteria and you’re basically introducing them

Tanya says:

Will this solution work to clean inside of toilets? I tried looking for a post on toliets and couldn’t find one. I’m I just missing it?

Lisa Bronner says:

@Tanya – I haven’t gotten to toilets yet. I’m still deciding on my best method. Here are a couple options: my first is a little time-consuming, but I think it works the best. Turn the water to the toilet off, then flush the toilet. This will drain the bowl. Spray down the inside of the bowl with the Castile soap spray with the added tea tree oil. Let that sit there for 10 minutes. Then scrub it with a toilet bowl brush, turn the water back on and flush. You can also do this with the Sal Suds spray if you prefer. You can also add some baking soda to your toilet bowl brush for some added scrubbing power. Also, if the bowl is particularly dirty, add the baking soda, and then spray with a vinegar solution. I realize all of this is rather time-consuming, so when I’ve streamlined the process, I’ll blog about it. I’d love to have any input on this!

All the best,

Lisa Bronner says:

@ Kenny – I was putting 1/4 c. of castile soap per quart of water for my all purpose cleaner. So if you’re only making 16 oz., use 2 Tbsp. of the castile soap. The lavender essential oil would be a wonderful scent to have.

Happy cleaning!

Kenny says:

Thanks for the great video!

I attempted to half your recipe, since 16 oz is half a quart. Filled up to the 16 oz mark with cold filtered water and about a tablespoon of Dr B’s Lavender 18-1. Added 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Does this sound good for an all purpose house cleaner?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Angela – If you get the right concentration – not too much, you can just wipe this off with a damp cloth. No extra rinsing needed. It is safe on most household surfaces, but you might notice a film on really shiny surfaces. It’s the hard water residue. Hope this helps! Lisa

Jeanette says:

Is there a recipe to use with the Castile soap to achieve a shine on shiny surfaces? I am in love with the smell of cleaning with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in peppermint, but notice the film on my countertops, bathroom tile, smooth stovetop, and faucets.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jeanette – I find that using a microfiber cloth after spraying with the Castile All Purpose Spray does a great job of leaving surfaces really shiny. I have polished granite countertops in my kitchen and find that the microfiber cloths are the key. Costco sells a pack of 36 in the automotive section for $15-ish.

Angela says:

Does this solution need to be rinsed? What surfaces can it be used on? Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

@ DJ and Cameo – Any of the castile soaps will work, but I usually use the Tea Tree because it has added antibacterial capabilities. If that’s not on hand, though, I use anything. It’s 1/4 c. castile soap in a 1 quart spray bottle, filled the rest of the way with water. I bought my spray bottles at Home Depot, and I bought the pricier ones (around $3/bottle). I happened to be there when the supplier for the cheap ones was stocking the shelves, and he told me they were really flimsy and would break in a year. Once, I found a 6 pack of heavy duty spray bottles at Costco, but they haven’t been there the last times I’ve checked.

Take care,

Cameo says:

How many ounces is the water bottle you used? I picked up on the 1/4 c Dr. B’s, but wasn’t sure of the ratio of Dr. B to water.

dj says:

Which Dr. Bronner Soap did you use?
What is the ratio, soap:water?

Where do you find good spray bottles? Mine always seem to break.

PS: April 2011 Dr. Bronner has a sale on their original soaps, so I’m stocking up.


U says:

[…] when I found a few ant scouts in my kitchen the other day, I grabbed my bottle of Castile Soap cleaning spray and doused them. They shriveled up on contact. As I said, I shouldn’t be surprised. However, I […]

Deb Frost says:

You have such helpful information. Thanks so much for having this blog and sharing all the uses of your great soap! I’m really loving it.

Despina Yphantides says:

Love the header photo and video…:). Excellent information, thank you!


Lisa Bronner

Green means life. “Going Green” is living in such a way to promote vitality and vibrancy in every sphere of life. Grab an idea to make your days healthier, simpler, and more beautiful at their core.

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

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