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Dr. Bronner's Products

Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet

There is a lot of overlap here with the Castile Soap Dilutions Cheat Sheet because the products can often be interchanged. It is largely a matter of personal preference, but the Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is more clean-rinsing in hard water situations, and is slightly more effective on grease and tough stains. As with the Castile soaps, these recommended dilutions are not set in stone. You may have dirtier stuff, larger sinks, a larger washer, etc., and may need to tweak these amounts to your own situation.

Click here to download the Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet.

Sal Suds, Sal Suds, How do I love thee?

I use it for…
Clothes
Towels
Sheets
Halloween costumes
Tile Floors
Carpet
Granite
Painted walls
Painted shelves
Plastic trash cans
Make Up brushes
Dishes
Lunchboxes
Dog bowls
Dog carriers
Dog collars
Windows
Cars
Car leather
Finished wood
Wood cutting boards
Plastic cutting boards
My grill (aka bar-b-que)
Outdoor metal furniture
Outdoor plastic furniture
Plastic toys
Stainless steel appliances
Paint brushes
China
Glass vases
Pottery
Beach balls
Diaper Changing pads
Wicker baskets
Artificial greenery
Painted MDF
Microsuede
Plastic storage bins
Tooth brushes
Tooth brush holders
Porcelain bathroom fixtures – toilet, tub, sink
Metal doorknobs
Plastic light switches and covers
Cork trivets
Rubber oven mitts
Silicone parts of my breast pump
My plastic nasal irrigator
Brita water filter
Plastic cooler
Stainless steel water bottles
Exterior of small kitchen appliances
Nylon tents
Fruits and veggies

This list doesn’t name every possibility but shows that there is very little that can’t be cleaned with the Suds. The long and short of it is, if it’s not on this list, then I probably didn’t think of it. Sal Suds is safe for any surface or material that can get wet (but it’s not meant for people or animals – it can be drying). However, if you have something that’s iffy, do a spot test.

Dilutions:

Laundry: 2-3 Tbsp. (30-45 mL) for a large load in a top loading washer. Optional: For extra whitening/brightening, add ½ c. (120 mL) baking soda to wash cycle and/or 1 c. (240 mL) vinegar to rinse cycle. Halve these amounts for HE washers.

Pretreating Laundry Stains: Pre-measure Sal Suds for load. Apply some or all directly to stain(s). Let sit 30 minutes or more. Add remaining Sal Suds to washer. For lighter stains, spray with All-Purpose Spray (below).

Handwashing Delicates: 1/2 capful Sal Suds in about 1 gallon (4 L) of water. Swish gently. Let soak 10 minutes. Swish again. Rinse with clean water. Gently press out excess water with a towel. Hang clothing or lay flat to dry.

All-Purpose Spray: 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sal Suds in a quart (1 L) of water. Hint: Put water in the bottle first. Optional: For extra antimicrobial punch, add 1/4 tsp. (1.25 mL) tea tree essential oil. Use on any surface that is safe in contact with water.
Sal Suds All-Purpoase Cleaner in a Spray Bottle

Stainless Steel Sink: Spray sink with All-Purpose Spray and sprinkle with baking soda from a shaker. Scrub then rinse.

Toilets: For best results, empty toilet. Spray bowl thoroughly with All-Purpose Spray, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Pressure Washer/Carpet Cleaner: In cleaning solution chamber, fill with water and add 1 drop of Sal Suds. Add 1 c. (240 mL) vinegar to rinse water (optional). Use All-Purpose Spray on carpet spots (use sparingly).

Window Wash: (aka Sal Suds Lite) ½ tsp. (2.5 mL) in a quart (1 L) of water. Spray and squeegee. Follow with a spray of pure club soda, or half vinegar/half water, and squeegee.

Fruit & Veggie Wash: 1 drop of Sal Suds in a bowl of water. Dunk and swish the produce. Rinse in clear water.

Dishes (Handwashing): 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) Sal Suds in a large sink of water. Or 1 drop Sal Suds for one pot, more if needed.

  • So I don’t use too much, I keep a bottle of diluted Sal Suds by my sink: 1/2 c. (120 mL) of Sal Suds in a quart (1 L) of water. A small squirt in a pot or a larger squirt for a sink.
  • With All-Purpose Spray: Using Sal Suds to Clean Dishes

Mopping (Wood, Laminate, Vinyl & Stone Flooring): ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) Sal Suds in approximately 3 gallons (12 L) of hot water. 20 drops tea tree oil (optional). Dunk mop (microfiber, preferably) and wring thoroughly. On wood and laminate, avoid excess water and mop up wet areas.

Cars: ½ Tbsp. (7.g mL) Sal Suds in 3 gallons (12 L) of water for exterior. Use All-Purpose Spray on interior surfaces and leather seats. Wipe with damp cloth.

Patio Furniture: 1/2 Tbsp. (7.5 mL) Sal Suds in a bucket of warm water. Wash with sponge, microfiber cloth or stiff brush. Wipe with damp cloth.

Download a one-page copy of the Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet.

If you have SLS concerns, check out this blog post: There is no Cancer Risk from SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

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Tracey says:

This is the BEST cleaner! I use it on windows and its totally streak-free. I use it to wipe down most surfaces in my home. It’s the only thing that doesn’t irritate my lungs. LOVE IT!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tracey- Excellent! I’m glad to hear it!

Dorothy says:

I’m looking for a disinfectant for my bathroom and around the house. Is there something that I can dilute and spray?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dorothy- There is distinction between cleaning and disinfecting. In general, all surfaces need cleaning, but not all need disinfecting. Soaps or detergents, including Sal Suds and Castile Soap, clean by removing. They remove germs, dirt, oils, and other debris from surfaces. Here’s my deep dive into how soap works https://www.lisabronner.com/how-soap-works/. Disinfectants clean by killing. They are biocides. Unless someone is sick, I do not regularly disinfect my surfaces. This is per the CDC’s recommendation (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html) as unnecessary disinfecting can reduce the efficacy of disinfectants and unnecessarily expose us to more intense chemicals. However, when disinfecting is called for, either alcohol between 60%-90% spray surface and let air dry – or Hydrogen Peroxide, if bought at the standard pharmacy concentration of 3%, diluted with water at a ratio of 1:5 – let sit for 1 minute. Alcohol smells worse but hydrogen peroxide can bleach some surfaces, so spot test before deciding which to use first.

Daniel says:

I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am obsessed with the smell of fir trees and the forest. This smells like that. Can I use it as body soap in the shower, or will it slowly melt my skin off?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Daniel- I hear you! I too enjoy the scent of Sal Suds. However, it is our all-purpose household cleaner and because it can be so drying to skin, we don’t recommend it for body care. What would be nice though is to create your own pine-scented Castile Soap by adding fir, pine, or spruce essential oils to the Unscented Castile. Start with about 1 tsp. for a quart of soap, and add more if you’d like a stronger scent. If you try it and find a combo you like, please let me know.

Lisa says:

Hi there! I just used a 50/50 combo Dawn Dish Soap + Vinegar to successfully clean soap scum off my glass shower doors. It worked well, but the smell was awful (I’m used to a vinegar smell, so I think it was the Dawn). Would it make sense to try a 50/50 combo of Sal’s Suds and vinegar next time for similar results? Thanks so much!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lisa- Vinegar does not react with Sal Suds in any way, however, we recently did effectiveness testing on this one because I get a lot of questions, and Sal Suds mixed with vinegar is less effective at cleaning than Sal Suds alone. Diluted vinegar alone cleans soap scum. Dilute one cup of vinegar in a quart of water and spray it on the scummy surfaces. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, but not long enough for it to dry, and then rinse it away with very hot water. A GIY (Green-It-Yourself) Soft Scrub with baking soda, vinegar, and either Sal Suds or Castile Soap scours soap scum away. Here’s the recipe: https://www.lisabronner.com/giy-soft-scrub-with-dr-bronners/

Lena says:

Can you mix sal suds with vinegar in a bottle? I read that you can’t mix vinegar and Castille soap because the mix of acid and base will unsaponifies the castille soap (reverses the soap making process).

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lena- While vinegar does not break down Sal Suds as it does the soap, it does decrease the cleaning power of Sal Suds. There is no benefit to combining them.

Ashley says:

Wondering if Sal Suds is safe to use to wash down jackets or sleeping bags with verses a specific down wash detergent. Thanks!

Lisa says:

Hi Lisa. I am having trouble with my dilutions.

I am using sal suds for an all purpose spray and feel like my dilutions are off for this. I broke it down from your dilutions above for a 16oz bottle but I think I still have it wrong. Should I being using distilled water with this?

Also, I use castile soap for hand wash but there are always little films floating within. I always mix this with distilled water, as I know castile soap reacts with hard water. Am I adding too much castile soap? I am using a 16oz bottle for this as well.

What are your suggestions for dilutions for both of these in 16oz. bottles? What is the shelf life for both once mixed also?

Thanks for your time. Love your products 🙂

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lisa- It’s great to hear our products work well for you! A 16oz bottle of Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray would use 1/2 Tbsp (or 1.5 tsp.) Sal Suds. Regular tap water is just fine with Sal Suds as it doesn’t react with the minerals present in hard water in the same way Castile Soap does. I’ve never had a bottle of this solution go bad, but generally use within two or three months.

The dilution for a foaming hand soap dispenser with Castile Soap is 1 part soap to 3 parts water – or roughly 5oz soap and 10oz water in a 16oz dispenser. If this seems too concentrated, dilute further to 4oz soap and 12oz water. Many customers prefer to use distilled water because it makes for a clearer solution with the Castile Soap. When using water with any hardness, you will see the cloudy, though harmless, precipitate in the solution. For shelf life, follow your nose – if it is smelling off, then dump and remake. If you find you don’t go through it fast enough, mix-up a smaller batch.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Frances- The Sal Suds is not designed for automatic dishwashers, and I have not had success in my personal experiments with it as such. In general, it foams too much for the way the machines work. With my hard water, I also found a film on my glassware. However, I also know that many of my readers have used it successfully as such.

Tania says:

Hi Lisa,

I love Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and sal suds! I have used castile soap for years and make our foaming hand soap with it. I discovered Sal Suds through Grove Collaborative and have decreased the amount of cleaning solutions I use around the house. I know that once diluted Sal Suds all-purpose spray is good for a couple of months. What is the shelf-life of the undiluted Sal Suds once I open the bottle?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tania- It’s great to hear our products are working so well for you! Sal Suds has a guaranteed shelf life of 24 months once opened. There’s actually a symbol on our labels, and others’ on the market, that looks like an open jar with a number in it. This indicates the product’s shelf life once the product is opened. (I have to admit, it wasn’t that long ago that I learned this little nugget!)

yameirae@hotmail.com says:

Hi

I have another question, since vinegar can be combined with sal suds is it possible to use citric acid instead?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Yameirae– I haven’t tried doing this, but thinking theoretically, you should be able to swap citric acid for vinegar. I looked this up in the book Putting Food By. To get the 5% dilution common to most household vinegar, you would need to dissolve 2 Tbsp. fine citric acid in 2 cups of water. Then follow the dilutions for vinegar.

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Sal Suds Cheat Sheet

Sal Suds, Sal Suds, How do I love thee?

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