Mopping Floors with Sal Suds

Today was floor mopping day. My floors are tile and get really, really dirty – with three kids, three dogs at the moment, and a backyard full of dirt. Biased though I be, Sal Suds is still the absolute best at getting hard surface floors clean.

Mop Floors With Sal Suds

I don’t have all that much explanation here. Mop with Sal Suds. There’s nothing better. It is so effective, requires so little product, and leaves no cloying aftersmell and no residue. I add ½ Tbsp. of Sal Suds for my whole house. (Seriously – that’s it! More is NOT better in this case – You will be rinsing bubbles off your floor for the rest of the week if you go overboard here.) In my early days in this house, I made the job much more difficult by underestimating the power of Sal Suds. I added way too much to the mop water. I think my record number of needed rinses was 6, and I ended up swabbing the floor with beach towels to clean up the bubbles.

Special Tip:
I often add 20 drops of pure Tea Tree essential oil (not the Castile soap – just the oil) to the water for some extra antibacterial power.

The fancy trick is to fill the bucket with water first and then add the Sal Suds. If you add the Sal Suds while filling the bucket, it will overflow with bubbles. I dunk the mop in the bucket a couple times, wring it out pretty well and mop with it. Unless you’ve added too much Sal Suds, there is no need to go over the floors again.

So what do you do if you get a little happy with the Sal Suds bottle? Either call it a day and invite the neighbors over for a bubble party, or go over the floor with a dry mop to soak up as many bubbles as you can. Then, go over the floor with a vinegar rinse – about 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of vinegar. The vinegar smell will disappear after it dries.

83 thoughts on “Mopping Floors with Sal Suds

  1. I see that you recommend adding tea tree oil to the Sal Suds floor cleaner. Can this be used on hardwood floors AND marble? I’m very cautious about using EOs on delicate surfaces. Thank you for all you do!

    • Hi Marisa- It’s good that you’re protective of your marble. It makes for a beautiful home! The issue with marble is that acidity can etch the stone. Sal Suds (and also our Castile soap) are alkaline, even with the addition of essential oils. Here’s more on caring for natural stone: http://www.lisabronner.com/cleaning-stone-with-castile-soap-sal-suds/ For hardwood floors, your biggest enemy is going to be excess water. Take care to mop up any pooling water quickly.

  2. I just got Pure Castle Soap, 18 in 1 Hemp Peppermint. What is the right mixture for washing hardwood floors? Do I need to rinse the floor after washing it with this product?

  3. I’ve been using Sal suds for years by making my own product. I safely use it in my bird room, on mirrors, windows and on any surface that needs to be clean by combining lemon peels, fresh rosemary from my garden, cloves, cinnamon barks into filtered water that I boil for about 10 minutes, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil cover the pot. When it’s cool transfer into bottles and before transferring into a spray bottle I squirt a bit of Sal suds, et voilà. All my friends and family adore it. It smells fantastic, it works wonders, it is natural and safe to use around my birds and on their cages.
    A little bit goes a long way. thank you for making this Sal side. I love it.

  4. If im using a flat mop to mop floors how can i make the solution (like in a spray bottle for mopping) the dilution mentions for 3 gallons using a string mop only

    • Hi Susana- A flat mop and Sal Suds work great on floors! For a quart of water, you just need a couple of drops. This dilution works in either a spray bottle or a squirt-type bottle.

  5. I’m new to Sal Suds and will be making up 2 spray bottles as you suggest – One for an all-purpose cleaner and one for Sal Suds Lite. I like to keep things simple.

    I am guessing that the all-purpose bottle would be used for kitchen counters, bathroom cleaning.

    But I am confused about floors. My house has 1) tile in the kitchen and bathrooms and entryway 2) hardwood floors on the 2nd floor and 3) a laminate floor in the living room and dining room.

    Please tell me which dilutions (all purpose cleaner or Sal Suds Lite) would I use on each of those types of floors? Or would the hardwood and laminate floors require a solution even more dilute than Sal Suds Lite?

    For the hardwood and laminate floors, I spray the floors with a cleaner and then go over them with a damp microfiber mop.

    Thanks in advance !!!!

    • Hi Susan – That’s great that you’re using the Sal Suds! It’s my go-to for so many things! I use the Sal Suds Lite primarily on windows and carpets and the All-Purpose Cleaner nearly everywhere else, including counter tops, bathroom and general cleaning. Floors require a more diluted version of 1/2 Tbsp in 3 gallons of hot water, or 1/2 tsp in a quart of water (such as if you’re using a spray or squirt bottle) and mop up with a microfiber mop. Use this same dilution on all your floors. With the hardwood and laminate, just take care to avoid pooling water.

    • Hi Ellen- Your floors will have a nice sheen to them, leaving behind the natural finish of your floor. It won’t be a glassy shine, but you wouldn’t want that as it could mean a slippery floor.

  6. I’d like to use Sal Suds in my Rubbermaid Reveal mop. It is only holds 22 ounces of water. How much Sal Suds would I put in it for mopping? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Deb- For 22 ounces, start with adding 1/4 tsp. to the water. I haven’t tried this in a spray mop, but I’m keen on the idea. Let me know how it goes.

    • I just tried this @ a little under 1/4th tsp to 16oz of water in my XoX spray mop. Came out amazing. No streaks and super clean.

      Wish I could use essential oils for aroma, but the bottles are plastic and Essential Oils and plastic are a no go. If only some company would invent spray mops with glass bottles or bottles safe from leaching. Next time I’ll just use a regular Bronner’s scented Castile soap like citrus.

  7. Hello Lisa!
    Please clarify for me. Since I don’t know if my hardwood floors are sealed or unsealed, I am terribly CONFUSED about which cleaning product is safe for use on my floors. After much searching and contrary information, Googling brought me to you and Dr Bronners Sal Suds. Can I use Sal Suds for cleaning my hardwood floors, regardless of their finish, as long as I’m careful to use the recommended dilution, minimal amounts of water… and immediately dry mopping with a microfiber cloth? I so appreciate your help. How does cleaning floors become such a crazy how-to 😕!? Thank you!

    • Hi Sharon – There is so much information out there, sometimes it is confusing! Here’s a quick test to know if your floors are sealed. In an inconspicuous spot, pour a tablespoon or two of water. If it beads up, your floor is sealed. If it soaks in, they are not. Most newer homes have sealed floors while older and historic homes have unfinished flooring, but this is not a hard-fast rule. If you have a sealed floor, Sal Suds is safe. As you noted, you do want to avoid puddling and mop up any extra water. Avoid water on an unsealed floor as it can cause staining and swelling.

  8. Hi,

    Can I add rubbing alcohol 90% to it if I want to disinfect my floors?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Anna – Rubbing alcohol can be mixed with Sal Suds. However, certain proportions are beneficial, and others detrimental. Adding alcohol up to 5% of the Sal Suds amount can increase the cleaning ability. But any more than that, and the alcohol will kill the foaming property and decrease the cleaning effect of Sal Suds. The mopping recipe calls for ½ Tbsp of Sal Suds in 3 gallons of hot water, so you wouldn’t want to add more than a couple of drops of alcohol or you’d knock out the cleaning properties of the Sal Suds. At such a small amount, the alcohol wouldn’t offer any added benefit. I don’t add anything besides Sal Suds and find it does a great job on all my flooring.

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