Sal Suds Cleaner in a Spray Bottle

I just realized that I have never blogged about my Sal Suds spray bottle despite the fact that it is my most reached for house-cleaning weapon. In fact, I think I disappoint some people when they ask me what I use on various household surfaces, because the answer is mostly “Sal Suds in a spray bottle.” They seem to be looking for something more exciting.

This is the jack of all trades in my house. It’s great on my finished wood table, granite counters, tile floors, pleather high chair, plastic toys, painted walls, microsuede bar stools, metal grill… In fact, I haven’t found much house stuff I wouldn’t use it on.

So here’s my ratio:

Fill a quart spray bottle almost all the way with water. (This is the fancy trick, because if you put the Sal Suds in first, you’ll lose a lot in bubbles.) Then, add 1 Tbsp. of Sal Suds.

That’s all. If you put in more Sal Suds, you’ll have bubbles, bubbles everywhere.

89 thoughts on “Sal Suds Cleaner in a Spray Bottle

  1. HI Lisa,

    In general when cleaning with the all purpose Sal Suds spray, should you let sit a few minutes to let it work, or wipe right away. I was doing my kitchen and sprayed all contertops and then stainless appliances and then went back to wipe. The stainless dishwasher was the last thing I wiped and you can see the run streaks of the sal suds. I’m not sure if I should have done that.


  2. Hi Lisa

    I just bought Sal Suds for the kitchen. As I wash my dishes by hand, do you recommend diluting Sal Suds in a soap dispenser? If so, what ratio do you recommend?

    Also, can Sal Suds be used as a laundry detergent for an HE machine? Again, if so, what ratio do you recommend?

    Thank you!

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Sals Suds has Coca -Betaine in it – a toxic substance in the right conditions and not good for the environment. Can you speak to this?

  4. Within the last 4-5 months i have begun making my own non-toxic cleaning and personal care products. I have tried a few Dr. Bonner products and find that they are fantastic – much better than the commercial variety of these products. In fact, I just had to say that I have an oven that has shiny black surfaces, and I have always had a hard time getting the streaks off after wiping them down. That is, until I used Sal Suds for my dish soap. I just wring out my rag, wipe down the greasy surfaces, and wipe over with a dry cloth. No more re-doing and re-doing it to get rid of the streaks! I have also used this as a floor cleaner, and not only does it work wonderfully, but it makes getting scuff marks off a charm – just another swipe with my mop, and presto – they are gone!

    I also love the company’s commitment to environmentally and socially friendly products, and so will be purchasing as much as i can from your company! Thank you for making my job easier!! 🙂

  5. I am so sorry for my delay in responding to these comments. I hope my responses will still be of some help.

    Andrea – 1 Tbsp. (or 3 tsp.) Sal Suds in a quart sprayer is a good concentration. You can add pure essential tea tree oil for an extra antibacterial boost – 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. per spray bottle. For toilets (and I should put up a post about this!) I like to empty the bowl by turning off the water at the back of the toilet and flushing the toilet. Then, spray the bowl down thoroughly with the Sal Suds solution. Take a good toilet brush and sprinkle baking soda on it. Use it to scour the bowl down well. Then let it sit for about 10 minutes. Turn the water back on and flush! You’re doing great with the castile soap. I use it foaming pumps as well and I use it on my face. The Sal Suds is a little more effective and a lot more clean rinsing than the castile soap. The castile tends to react with hard water and can leave a film that is noticeable on shiny surfaces. I use both, but the Sal Suds around the house more.

    Diane – Thank you for your support! I had never thought of using the alcohol, but I can see that it would work since it is a good solubulizer. Excellent tips and reminders for around the house. I did discuss mixing Sal Suds and alcohol with a chemist. There would be no adverse reaction.

    Gina – The longer the Sal Suds is in contact with a surface, the more disinfecting it will do. Ten minutes is recommended for full disinfecting. You don’t want to let it dry, though, which would produce the streaks. Unless the surface is really nasty, I generally spray and then wipe. If we’re talking bathrooms or surfaces that may have touched raw meat, then I’d let the solution sit a bit.

    Lisz – I keep my Sal Suds in a quart bottle diluted at about 1:4. That’s really so that I don’t use too much and waste it. I have friends who put it in a pump and they don’t dilute it. You don’t need much, though. Yes, SAl Suds can be used in an HE washer. We recommend 1-2 Tbsp. per large load.

    Hillary – Just like the SLS/SLES confusion (sodium lauryl sulfate vs. sodium laureth sulfate), there is a lot of mixing up of coco-betaine and cocoamidopropyl betaine. Unless you’re talking to a stickler like at Dr. Bronner’s, people interchange these two components in discussion and in use. If you were to order coco-betaine from most suppliers, they would actually send you cocoamidopropyl betaine. Cocoamidopropyl betaine is the problematic one, partially because the “amidopropyl” component indicates additional petroleum fraction. Coco-betaine is made from coconut fatty acids. I know it sounds like I’m splitting hairs here, but molecularly they’re very different. I have a Word document here that one of our chemist friends wrote for me about this. If you’d like it, email me at

    Jane – Awesome! Glad that you’re in sync with all that we’re doing here and that Dr. B products have made your life easier!

    Whew! Made it through! Let me know if I can answer any more questions!

    all the best,

  6. Do you clean mirrors with Sal Suds? Is it the same 1 TB per 1 quart water? Thanks!!!

  7. Hi Laina – If my mirror is greasy or somehow really dirty, I’d use Sal Suds. However, if it just has water spots and maybe a few fingerprints, I’d just go with a half vinegar/half water solution with a squeegee or microfiber cloth.

    All the best,

  8. I’ve Dr. the sal suds in water to clean my stainless steel. It leaves marks behind. How would one use the cleaner for stainless steel appliances so that it doesn’t leave cloudy marks behind?

  9. Chris do you use microfiber cloths? Try using those with plain water (wring well first) to remove any streaks. Make sure to buy microfiber that says “split” fiber or it isn’t really microfiber. If you look around you can get many for not a lot of money so don’t pay $10 for 3 little cloths. If I remember, I paid $15 for 30 cloths. That will last anyone a very long time if used right.
    I use these for most light cleaning all over the house. They pick up dust without scattering it all over the room. Wring until almost dry and use for streak free window, picture glass, tv screen, computer screen cleaning without chemicals.
    The method is to fold the cloth into fourths, turn it over when streaks begin to show, then turn over and use both sides of the fold. Refold until you have used all eight areas of the towel. Then rinse in clear water, wring until almost dry and it is ready to use again.
    Rinse, wring well, and hang over a towel rack, they should be completely dry in an hour or so. Never put the cloths in the laundry with fabric softener. Some washers and dryers have so much fabric softener buildup they will still be ruined. Fabric softener clogs the split fibers and the cloth will not absorb water. Instead it becomes water repellant.
    Okay, that’s all I know. Have you tried microfiber cloths to wipe away the streaks? 🙂

    • Use vinegar in the washer rinse cycle- it removes any detergent buildup instead of adding more. It works beautifully AND is great for sensitive skin- my son has serious problems with eczema and this is recommended by his dermatologists. This has probably been said here before but it is such an important thing to do.

    • Thanks for your suggestions. I will try them. Love the Sal Suds.

    • dee & krystal,
      wish i’d seen this before purchase. sad sigh. :(doesn’t say “split” fiber on tags, label or site…hoping it was not a bad-buy.
      Ritz® Microfiber Dish Cloth + Bar Mops/towels:
      can you tell if they’ll work, or if they just added “microfiber” to sell more?

      double jinx: “Some washers and dryers have so much fabric softener buildup they will still be ruined.” mine @ apartment complex, so probably…pre-cleaned in+out with clorex wipes…cold water, sal suds+baking soda, vinegar rinse. cool dryer,

  10. So if I understand I should spray with the Sal Suds solution and wipe with the cloth? Do I use a second cloth the way you explained afterwards if I see some streaks? Do you remember where you bought yours? I have some but it may not be of the same quality. Thanks for your prompt reply.

  11. Chris, it sounds as if you are happy with the cleaning using Sal Suds now, I was adding a way for you to remove those streaks with plain water among many other uses.
    If I remember, I bought mine online which probably means Amazon. I think I got a pack of thirty or so for about $15 but can not remember exactly. To be sure, you can get affordable cloths without breaking the bank. If you care for them they last a long time as well.

  12. Sorry, in other words, I would use the microfiber with plain water for the streaks and if you have wrung them out well, so they are almost dry, you will be left with a shine on appliances, windows and other surfaces without needing additional products.

  13. Thanks Dee and Krystal for your input. I will check Costco here and will try your method Dee of folding the cloths for added use.

  14. dee & krystal,
    wish i’d seen this before purchase. sad sigh. 🙁 doesn’t say “split” fiber on tags, label or site…hoping it was not a bad-buy.
    Ritz® Microfiber Dish Cloth + Bar Mops/towels:
    can you tell if they’ll work, or if they just added “microfiber” to sell more?

    double jinx: “Some washers and dryers have so much fabric softener buildup they will still be ruined.” mine @ apartment complex, so probably…pre-cleaned in+out with clorex wipes…cold water, sal suds+baking soda, vinegar rinse. cool dryer,

    • It has been awhile since my first post, so I looked up the cloths again. I saw several highly rated brands on different sites, all described by fibers per square inch and none listed as split fiber. Maybe the issue of mislabeled or misleading cloths has been fixed. The Ritz cloths you mentioned are well rated on Amazon, the only question is if they have been clogged with fabric softener. If so, it can not be removed or stripped because it binds chemically to the parts of the fiber that absorb.
      The Ritz cloths are expensive too so if the don’t work anymore, look on Amazon, Walmart, and others sites. I saw plenty of 15 to 30 count packs at $.50 to 1.00 for each.
      When mine get messy, I run a sink of plain water (sometimes a few drops of Sal Suds), agitate them by hand, rinse, wring and hang dry.

  15. Oh, that is a problem. It isn’t one microfiber can not help with, at least not at first. I can’t handle cigarette smoke but did once move into a place previously occupied by a heavy smoker. It was repainted but nothing was done to remove the layers of tar, nicotine and other things in the smoke that had built up everywhere else.
    Smoke clings to everything, from ceiling to floor. When there is enough you can see that it is brown and sticky so dust sticks to the smoke and layers start to pile up. This is why you are seeing streaks. You have started removal, and that is good news.
    This is a job for Sal Suds because it is best at dissolving greasy, oily, and in this case tar. It will deodorize at the same time. To break up the sticky stuff that has already built up, you may need a stronger solution of Sal Suds. The Sal Suds may need to stay on the surfaces for up to five minutes before wiping, depending on how much buildup you have now.
    If it were me, I would start with a regular dilution of Sal Suds left on the surface for up to five minutes. If that does not work, then begin increasing the strength of the dilution by one teaspoon, using the same amount of time on the surface before wiping. Work cautiously at first. Of course it will take more rinsing to wipe away stronger dilutions. Be careful with painted surfaces. Any cleaner mixed strong enough or left long enough to remove heavy duty staining, may damage paint or may remove the finish from cabinets or furniture.
    Mix small batches*. A dilution required to remove smoke from upper cabinets, walls, and ceiling registers may be stronger than what is needed for counter level.
    If you have inexpensive blinds it may be worth thinking of replacing those. If they can not be replaced, take them down one at a time, put in the bathtub and spray liberally with Sal Suds. Leave for five minutes and then scrub before rinsing. You might need to do this a few times to get in the crevices. Afterwards you can rehang them if there is a way to put something underneath to catch drips or lay them flat on a plastic sheet to dry. There is a cool trick of placing a shower curtain tension bar at the back of the shower to hang baskets from for easy storage. I bet that is another option.
    Smoke sticks to all walls, curtains (or blinds), furniture and so on. Getting all the smoke out may require carpet cleaning or (worst case) replacement.
    This can be a big job. I had to begin small. We used a day to get just the glass in one room clean. Rather than spending a day washing the glass from light fixtures, all those went in the dishwasher. Before, the light fixtures were brown and fuzzy. So were the windows.
    Towels had to be put down before cleaning wood and appliances because brown sludge would drip off onto everything. It took a long time but eventually the job got done. That was really a worst case scenario.
    I am betting you are not facing that sort of job.

    *small batches – easiest way for anyone needing it, pour out 1 cup of regular dilution Sal Suds into another container, add 1/3 teaspoon to increase dilution if needed.
    Or 1 liter/15 ml regular dilution, pour out 250 ml and add 1.5 ml to increase dilution.
    based on 1 tablespoon/quart. 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons and 1 quart = 4 cups
    based on 1 tablespoon = 15 ml and 1 quart = 946 ml ratio remains approximate using 15 ml to 1 liter base solution
    this info or conflicting info may be elsewhere on the site. If conflicting metric dilutions are posted, of course use those posted by the people who know (Lisa).

  16. After using this cleaner (say on counters), do you need to wash it off? Can I just spray, wait, and wipe off with a paper towel or rag?


    • Hi Amanda – Yes, I just spray, wait, and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth (or whatever you choose). No rinsing needed.

  17. I have a wonderful dog named Ben that thinks the cushions on my couch are a napkin for cleaning his face after meals. They are slipcovered and I wash them to try to keep them at least presentable. After a few years of pre-soaking and hand scrubbing with minimal results I give up and buy new slipcovers.

    I have recently switched my cleaning to Bronner products and decided to give one last effort to my very grimy cushions. I sprayed them with my Sal Suds all purpose solution….and threw them in the washing machine. I didn’t even let them sit very long…not expecting much.

    Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! They are completely clean…I mean CLEAN…not just better but no more deeply ingrained grime. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your great products 🙂

    Ben…do your worst…I’ve got it covered!

  18. Is it possible to mix with hydrogen peroxide in the same bottle? Was hoping to make a one bottle bleach alternative spray for the bathroom tile. Also in what ratio would you suggest doing this?

    • Hi Alexis – I haven’t used hydrogen peroxide, but you’ve piqued my curiosity. However, I don’t have a recommendation for you yet.

      Can another reader weigh in here?

    • It may be more of a problem, and cause a complicated situation than you want to deal with. Hydrogen Peroxide is as strong an oxider as chlorine bleach but in different ways. For the most part it is safer to use, and without toxic effects of by-products. Personally would use separate spray bottles, or use a sprayer that could be placed into the original peroxide container for these reasons:
      1) Peroxide in liquid form is not stable and always trying to break down. For this reason it is sold in brown light blocking containers. Light will quickly cause it to break down into it’s by-products of water and oxygen.
      2) Many mixtures with other chemicals are safe but cause expansion. Peroxide can be safely mixed with baking soda, will foam, but of course not should not be in a closed container where pressure could build and burst the container. You will need to check all the ingredients of any products and make sure there is no residue in your sprayer.
      3) The sprayer would need to be light blocking and air tight to prevent deterioration of the peroxide. Chemically it is H2O2 or 2 hydrogen molecules and 2 oxygen molecules. This is a forced and unstable condition that gives peroxide it’s chacteristics. It is always trying to shed an oxygen molecule, leaving 1 oxygen to float away and H2o water.
      There are other reasons but I think it is really easier in this case not to bother. Especially when you don’t have to rinse it off if you don’t want. Spray it on and walk away would be the easiest, I think.
      I hope this helps

    • Wow, Dee! What awesome information! Thank you very much for taking the time to write all this.

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