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Cheat Sheets & Recipes

How to Make a Castile Soap All-Purpose Spray

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 Cleaning Spray

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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Mili says:

I just bought the Castile soap and was excited to start using it in my home. I have made the all purpose spray and notice streaks on the surfaces I’ve cleaned. How do I make sure there are no streaks?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mili- Be sure to wipe with a damp, absorbent cloth. This sometimes happens if the cloth is dry or isn’t absorbent enough.

Daniel says:

Hi, if I make a all purpose spray, how long it stayed good in bottle? One month or less? And if I cleaning with this spray granite countertops, wood furniture, leather furniture and bathroom, I need rinse after that or not? Also I like citrus smells, what you recommend to buy for all purpose spray? What soap for make a all purpose spray?Thank you.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Daniel- I have found that the All-Purpose Spray lasts at least a month, probably longer but I run out of it. If it is smelling “off” to you, then dump and remake. If you go through it rather slowly, make smaller batches so it doesn’t sit around. To use, spray and then wipe with a damp cloth. All the scents cleaning equally well, so pick your favorite.

Esmeralda says:

Hi Lisa,

I’m new to Dr. Bronner’s products. I see in a lot of your posts your recommendation to spray with the all purpose cleaner and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Does it have to be a microfiber cloth?
Can I use a sponge or a regular cotton cloth?

Thank you.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Esmeralda- Welcome to Dr. Bronner’s! I like the grabbiness of a microfiber cloth, but whatever you have on hand will do fine. To better grab the soap and ickies, use a damp cloth.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Frances – I don’t have loyalty to a particular brand, but I do look for USDA certified organic oils.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maci- Soap works by latching on to dirt and germs and which are then rinsed away with water. It needs to be rinsed off to be effective. When soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends hand sanitizers with ethyl alcohol at a concentration over 60%, which are effective in reducing most germs.

A Word of Caution About Vinegar and Castile Soap | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] I actually really enjoy cleaning), but briefly, for dirty exterior windows, spray them with my Castile soap solution, wipe them with a chamois, then spray them with vinegar and squeegee. Works great! Better than […]

Nicki says:

Would it increase the cleaning power to add baking soda to this solution, and if so, how much would be appropriate?
Thanks.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Nicki- Baking soda adds a soft abrasion to the cleaning power of the soap, which makes it a good scrubber for grimy sinks and such. Added to the All-Purpose Spray it would likely clog the sprayer though. For an extra antibacterial boost, instead add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to the spray. For areas that need extra scrubbing, spray the All-Purpose Spray, then sprinkle with baking soda.

Laura Jevtich says:

Can this product be used to kill weeds? We are using concentrated vinegar, but I was thinking this might be as good as vinegar, and it smells better.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Laura- Castile soap would not be a great go to weed-killer. Although it’s not great for plants full strength, it wouldn’t knock them out all that well. I think you’re better off with vinegar. I’ve found that hot vinegar works best, stinky though it may be until it dries.

Jacquie says:

Can Castile Soap be used on granite countertops, please?
I’ve used it tile floors and other surfaces with no problems.
Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jacquie- Yes, the Castile Soap is safe for granite. With stone, the concern using acidic solutions, but Castile Soap is alkaline.

Erika says:

Hi, Lisa! I’ve been using your soaps for quite some time now and I absolutely love them. I wanted to ask would this recipe be safe to use on fabrics like plastic or pleather? Like gym mats? I want to make a slightly more diluted version of this. I won’t hate to ruin very expensive equipment. My daughter is special needs and I do lots and lots of wiping and cleaning nasties! I read that somewhere that a glass bottle is best because the oils or essential oil can degrade plastics. Now I’m worried! Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Erika- I’m glad to hear you find our soaps helpful! Sal Suds is slightly better at cutting grease and is more clean rinsing than the Castile Soap. It is safe on the leather, vinyl, pleather and gym mats. It also doesn’t react with minerals in hard water the way that Castile Soap does. The All-Purpose Spray (1 Tbsp. in a quart of water in a spray bottle) would work, or you could make a bucket of wash water with a dilution of 1/2 tsp in a gallon of water. Dunk in your cloth, wring it out and wipe things down. If you don’t have Sal Suds, the All-Purpose Spray with Castile Soap (1/4 cup in a quart of water) are safe on these materials. You can read more about Castile Soap and Sal Suds this blog post: https://www.lisabronner.com/sal-suds-or-castile-soap-which-one-should-you-use/

Erika says:

I meant to say (would*) in my original comment. Sorry!
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I’m relieved to know that I can use it on her gym mats, equipment, toys etc and they won’t damaged. I will definitely try the Sal Suds now too! 😀

Vee says:

Does this work on viruses? Is it effective to use in this current state of affairs?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Vee- To help prevent the spread of germs on household surfaces, the CDC recommends a two-step process of cleaning then disinfecting. For cleaning, a general household cleaner or detergent and water is recommended prior to the second step of disinfection. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps and Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner can be made into a household cleaning spray by combining ¼ c. of the Castile OR 1 Tbsp. of the Sal Suds in 1 qt. of water in a spray bottle, with an optional 20 drops of Tea Tree essential oil. Detergents and soaps, including our Pure-Castile Soap and Sal Suds, work effectively by attaching to dirt, germs, and grime and rinsing them away, leaving clean surfaces behind. Dr. Bronner’s soap products are effective cleaners but are not disinfectants since they do not contain a pesticide and do not kill, but instead remove germs, dirt and grime from surfaces. Disinfectants are chemicals used on hard surfaces and are registered with the EPA. For more information on the CDC’s recommended disinfectants and more advice on household preparedness, please visit their website.

Stephanie says:

Can I use this solution to clean kitchen counter that comes in contact with raw meat? Is it effective in removing bacterias? I found the solution soapy too. If I further dilute it with water, is the cleaning property going to be affected? Also Can I just leave the surface to air dry? Thanks So much. Sorry for coming up with so many questions altogether.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Stephanie- Yes, the Castile All-Purpose Spray does clear away bacteria. I don’t recommend diluting it any further, but air-drying is fine.

Carrie Henderson says:

I would like a good cleaner for the shower tile. Would 1/4 Castile in a quart spray bottle followed by a vinegar wipe be a solution to the harsh chemical products?

Janine says:

Hi Lisa. Can you make an air freshener spray using Liquid Castile soap and fabric softener? I love the smell of Downy. But I also love the Bronner’s Almond fragrance, which I’d be happy to use instead. Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Janine- You wouldn’t want to spray soap without rinsing it off because it can leave a residue on fabrics and surfaces that will attract dirt. A few drops of pure Almond essential oil in a diffuser might give you the scent you like.

Natasha says:

Hi! Was wondering if you had advice on making a moth/carpet beetle repellent spray- I’ve never made anything like this! I’m thinking about using lavendar (which is supposed to repel) and cedarwood oil (to repel and kill). I need an emulsifier for these oils & water but don’t want to use alcohol due to the fire hazard (and I want to spray this VERY generously on carpets and generally in the room) Do you think castile soap would be good or can you recommend something else? If so, could you please recommend quantities? Thank you so much

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Natasha- I’m sorry you’re having to deal with these pesky pests. This is not a problem I’ve faced, but I don’t think you’re going to want a wet application. The residue left behind by the soap will cling to and attract oil and dirt, leaving your carpet very dirty. If it were me, I’d try a dry application. I’ve read that diatomaceous earth (DE) can be effective. Sprinkle on carpets and really brush it in. Allow to sit and vacuum. Washing fabrics, such as curtains and bedding, in Castile soap will also help (see this post: https://www.lisabronner.com/dust-mites-and-castile-soap/). Check with your local pest control company for other methods.

Scum, Scum, Go Away says:

[…] I’ll get to that.) To do this, I spray the sink or tub with my Antibacterial Bathroom Castile Soap Household Cleaner spray. Then, I sprinkle a cupful (240 mL) of baking soda liberally on the sink or tub. With a washcloth, […]

Castile Soap: 18 Genius Ways To Use This Powerful Natural Soap 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. […]

Cleaning Toilet Bowls with Dr. B's says:

[…] my Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray or my Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile All-Purpose Spray with added pure essential tea tree oil (1/2 tsp. or 50 drops, which is a little more than what I […]

10 Steps to Green says:

[…] Ingredients – Beware of the “-eth” Who Gave Soap a Bad Name Sal Suds in a Spray Bottle How to Make A Castile Soap Household Cleaner Spray Open Wide Falling Off the Green […]

Lisa Pratte says:

I made the cleaner and found it was too soapy when cleaning countertops. I had to go back over with a wet cloth to remove the soap.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lisa- I’m sorry that happened to you! Dilute your spray further to cut down on the bubbles (another tip – when making the spray, add the soap into the water and not the other way around). I find a damp microfiber cloth to be great at picking up excess water and soap.

Cleaning Stone with Castile Soap & Sal Suds says:

[…] the Castile Liquid soap, make up a bottle of my All-Purpose Castile Cleaning Spray, with 1/4 c. of your favorite Castile soap and 1 qt. of water.  Spray the surface and wipe with a […]

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Louise- Both the Castile soap and Sal Suds are great for handwashing dishes, but we don’t recommend either for the dishwasher. They bubble up too much and can leak out of the seals. Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners) for suggestions for a safe product for dishwashers.

Carol Seward says:

What can I use to get the mildew stains off my husband’s boat on the seats and interior? I used to clean it with a Mr. Clean magic eraser but it has not been cleaned in 3 years and the cover leaked so can not get all the stains out.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Carol- While I find being on a boat quite enjoyable, caring for one is outside my area of expertise. However, I do know that mildew is caused by not-so-lovely little organisms, is notoriously difficult to eradicate, and often stains fabrics. Any substance that would be intense enough to kill mildew and remove stains would adversely impact the seat’s vinyl. Unfortunately, if mildew has gotten into the foam in the cushions, it will reappear, and it may behoove you to replace the cushions. For hard surfaces, try soaking the area with a mixture of vinegar and water then clean with a stiff brush, or scrub off with a baking soda paste. Test in an inconspicuous area first.

Amina says:

Hi Lisa, can you pls give a simple bodywash recipe using your Caste Soap? Does adding tea tree oil to a commercial bodywash make it anti-bacterial?

Going green with shampoo | Simply Mimi says:

[…] I actually really enjoy cleaning), but briefly, for dirty exterior windows, spray them with my Castile soap solution, wipe them with a chamois, then spray them with vinegar and squeegee. Works great! Better than […]

Ali says:

Hi!
I am hoping to replace my Febreze Fabric Refresher spray with something more natural. Can your Castile soap be used? Not looking for a stain remover, just a spray for couches, clothing, curtains, etc.. to make them smell nicer.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ali – While I agree our soaps smell great, you wouldn’t want to spray on fabrics without rinsing it off. But I do recommend mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oils into baking soda – a great natural deodorizer on its own – then sprinkle on carpets and fabrics, and vacuum up. For a general room freshener, put a stovetop potpourri on or spritz a bit of our Lavender Hand Sanitizer into the air.

Scum, Scum, Go Away says:

[…] problem. I’ll get to that.) To do this, I spray the sink or tub with my Antibacterial Bathroom Castile Soap Household Cleaner spray. Then, I sprinkle a cupful of baking soda liberally on the sink or tub. With a washcloth, scrub all […]

Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap says:

[…] How to Make A Castile Soap Household Cleaner Spray […]

Ditch the Antibacterial: Soap is All You Need says:

[…] This goes for surfaces around us as well.  Spraying them with a leave-on antibacterial spray (yes, I mean Lysol), or even a spray and wipe disinfectant, is not nearly as effective at removing germs, dirt, and grease with a soap and water spray. […]

Using Soap to Test for Hard Water says:

[…] This is what we call soap scum on bathroom surfaces.  Or, if you make up a batch of my All Purpose Castile Spray using hard water, you’ll see a cloudy layer that settles to the bottom.  This mineral fallout is […]

Using Soap to Test for Hard Water (Video) says:

[…] This is what we call soap scum on bathroom surfaces.  Or, if you make up a batch of my All Purpose Castile Spray using hard water, you’ll see a cloudy layer that settles to the bottom.  This mineral fallout is […]

Paula Wilson says:

Lisa, something is wrong with this page. The directions above it’s just an empty box. What’s the recipe for the household cleaner please?

joyce o harris says:

Lisa, in the 1970 s, we washed our cats in your peppermint soap. Per label directions and it was safe. Did it for years. But the ingredients have changed a little and it no longer says ok to wash cats and dogs. Why has this happened?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Joyce – Wow! Thanks for being a long-time Dr. Bronner’s user. The ingredients in our Castile soap haven’t changed tremendously. The change in recommendation for cats is due to our greater understanding of the impact of essential oils on them. Newer research has indicated they can be unsafe for their systems. We do recommend the Unscented Castile Soap for cats. The Castile with essential oils is still fine for dogs.

Sharon says:

I’m just about to buy my first bottle of Dr Bronners Liquid Castile soap was planning on buying unscented & adding my own essential oils depending on the use. I see warnings about cats in the comments – I shouldn’t add essential oils into ‘mixtures’ used where the cats might walk. Should I presume the scented varieties of Dr Bronners should also not be used around the cats? (I have 2 and they go all over the place despite my best efforts to train them to stay on the floor!). I’d not thought of this. I plan on getting a big bottle and using for multiple purposes.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sharon – You can go ahead and get that big bottle. As long as you’re diluting the Castile soap with water in a spray bottle – and your cats are keeping their tongues to themselves and not licking things – the risk is very minimal. The essential oils in our products are only 2% and you’ll be heavily diluting it and then wiping it off. Also, if you’re adding your own essential oils, we recommend no more than 15-20 drops per 32 ounces.

Jenny D. says:

Hi Lisa, wondering if I can spray this solution on a clean, cotton washcloth, then let it dry, and then place it in between linens in my linen closet to repel bugs. I live in a hot, dry climate, so bugs aren’t a huge issue. But I sometimes find moths and carpet beetles…both very destructive! All the winter linens just got washed and put away, and I want to make sure they’re not eaten by the time I retrieve them for winter use. I was thinking both peppermint and lavender. Thank you, and use so many of your tips!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jenny – There wouldn’t be much if any benefit for the soap to be on the cloth. Because Peppermint and Lavender do have some deterring ability, use pure essential oils instead. Let me know how it goes! Those little bugs can get expensive!

Christine says:

Lisa, Can this combination be used for other purposes? I used 16 oz water, 1/4 cup your peppermint soap, and 8 drops of lemon essential oil. I would love it if it also doubled as a surface cleaner or something else.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Christine – Yes, this could be used all over the house. Your blend has twice the amount of soap that I usually put in mine, but go with what works for your situation. I’d use this on counters, tables, walls, cooktops, sinks, tubs…

Dani says:

I thought that essential oils would un-saponify the Dr Bronner’s and you would be left with a cheesy, gloppy like consistency. Is that ONLY if there is too much oil and soap ? Does the 20-30 drop plus quarter cup soap plus all the water not have that result? I am guessing not but wanted to see where that tipping point is. I use the Dr Bronner liquid tea tree and eucalyptus for everything even washing my hair and showering. Dishes, laundry, etc…..

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dani – I’m glad you’re enjoying the soaps! Tea Tree and Eucalyptus are awesome. It’s vinegar – or other acids – that unsaponifies the soap. Essential oils do not react with the soap.

Jo Ann Mikos says:

Will the 1/4 cup to quart be okay for cleaning painted walls? I’m using the hemp tea tree

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tracey – Yes, it is safe for granite. With stone, the concern is not to use acidic solutions. This is alkaline.

Tammy says:

I’ve read that if water is used you need to either use a perservative(Optiphen Plus) or keep the cleaner in the refrigerator, what are your thoughts?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tammy – Any time you are diluting the soap, you are shortening the shelf life. Considering that the shelf life is at least three years, you have a lot of leeway here, but it’s not indefinite. If you don’t use this spray up in a month, you might need to remake it. If it smells off, then dump it, and make a smaller batch next time, or ramp up your cleaning.

Jenna says:

If I wanted to make a fruit and vegetable wash in a spray bottle what ratio should I use? Should it just be soap and water only?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jenna – For a fruit and veggie spray, you can use a less concentrated solution than the housecleaning spray. Try 1 or 2 Tbsp. per quart of water. You don’t need to add anything else.

sandy says:

Can I use the Citrus or Tea Tree for an all purpose cleaner and mix that with water? or can I only use the Sal Suds for an All purpose cleaner?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sandy – The Castile makes a great All Purpose Cleaner as well. You need a little more than for the Sal Suds: 1/4 c. of soap to 1 qt. of water.

Yoshiko says:

Hi Lisa,

We have a wooden kitchen bench top.

Can I still use your all purpose spray receipe from your cheating sheet for this? That is ¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle.
Or do you have other receipes for this ?

Thank you for your help!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Yoshiko – Yes, the All Purpose Spray would clean that well.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dianna – If you wipe with a damp cloth, then no. The water and fibers of the cloth will pick it up.

Sota says:

Hello! Can I use this solution ratio as a hardwood floor cleaner with my spray-dispensing mop?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sota – I would definitely give it a try. You probably don’t need this much soap though. Maybe start with just 2 Tbsp. in a quart of water. Increase it if you need to, but what you don’t want to end up with is bubbles on your floor.

Deborah says:

Hi

I’m looking forward to making this but as April mentioned, I will be avoiding essential oils as I’m also a cat owner. I am going to make the unscented version. Can you tell me if there is any particular shelf life on this? Does it keep well if I make up a large batch?
Thanks

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Deborah – Leaving out the essential oils is perfectly fine. While I’ve never had this tested professionally, by experience I can say that this solution is good for a couple months at least.

Karen Daniels says:

Hello,
I just read an article from a small pet veterinarian and she claims that the internet is loaded with scary articles regarding this issue with essential oils around pets. She says they are ridiculous. She’s never ever seen a pet get sick or even worse, die from essential oils. Never apply directly to a pet (same as our skin) and just be careful letting it become airborne as it will fall onto there fur and they will lick it off while they are cleaning themselves. Be sure that kitty has the ability to roam to another room in case they don’t like the smell. I use a diffuser with patchouli oil daily and my kitties are extremely healthy and happy. Hope this brings comfort to you and your kitty or kitties.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rhonda – To fill a 1 qt. spray bottle, it ends up being 3 3/4 c. water and 1/4 c. soap, but you can increase or decrease the concentration as you like.

April says:

I am wanting to make this but am looking to get in the habit of not using certain scents that could be harmful to cats. Despite how much I love the smell of peppermint, tea tree oil, and lavender, I have to steer clear for the most part. Is it okay to use the unscented and not add oil?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi April – Yes, the unscented Baby Mild will work great without any essential oil. The concern for cats is ingesting certain essential oils. So on any surface they are prone to lick (including themselves), you should avoid essential oils. Sounds like you know all that!

Cheryl says:

This may be a silly question but is it ok to use a lemon essential oil? I know tea tree is mentioned. I was wanting to use the lemon oil with the unscented baby soap. Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cheryl – Yes! Lemon essential oil would be great!

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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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