Dr. Bronner's Products

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. It’s safe for mopping wood, laminate, vinyl, and stone flooring.

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. (7.5 mL) of Sal Suds to approximately 3 gallons (12 L) of water 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 Tea Tree 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 (4 L) of water and 1 cup (240 mL) of vinegar. The vinegar smell will disappear after it dries.

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Virginia says:

Is it safe to use Sal Suds and fir/pine essential oil for ceramic tile floor? Thanks Lisa 🙂

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Virginia- It sure is! Sal Suds is mild, works in all types of water, and exceedingly clean rinsing.

Don says:

Can Sal Suds be used to clean epoxy coated garage floors with out dulling the shine? Thans.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Don- Yes! Sal Suds is exceedingly clean rinsing. It doesn’t leave any residue behind to dull surfaces.

Wall Cleaner Needed says:

Do you think this would work well for painted wall? A candle I purchased put soot all over my walls and I am looking for a way to clean them efficiently. Chemical household cleaners have not been working well. Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there- The Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray (1 Tbsp. Sal Suds in a quart of water) is safe to use on painted surfaces. It’s good to spot test in an inconspicuous area first though. Spray, then wipe with a damp cloth.

Zoie says:

Does tea tree oil is safe for Sphinx if I add to Sal Suds and how much should add to 16 oz.


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Zoie- Yes, that would be fine for cats because Sal Suds is so clean rinsing. As far as amount, it is to preference, but for a 16oz. bottle, since it would be diluted for each use, you could add about 100 drops. Roughly 1 3/4 tsp. That’s if you want to “tea-tree-ize” the whole bottle. I typically add into essential oils into the dilution but either works.

Green Cleaning Your Bathroom | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] Suds and Castile Soap are safe and effective on wood and tile. For mopping my whole house, I add ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) Sal Suds OR ½ c. (120 mL) […]

Dianne says:

Hi Lisa
Can Sals Suds be used on my unsealed concrete floor? It’s on an unheated enclosed patio room.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dianne- It sure can. Just be sure to rinse after cleaning.

Anna says:

How much sal sud and tea tree essential oil should I put in the 750 ml Rubbmaid plastic bottle spray mop? Is essential oil can’t put in plastic bottle as I saw one of the person comment said” essential no go on plastic” if so, is this safe to mix with all purpose spray as there is still tea tree on in.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Anna- For a 750 mL bottle, believe it or not, I would add less than ¼ teaspoon to the water. Maybe just start with like 3 drops. For floors, you really don’t want to have too many bubbles that you then need to go over repeatedly to pick up. You can add 3-4 drops of Tea Tree essential oil. At this concentration, it will not degrade the plastic. Undiluted essential oils are much more potent and can degrade plastic.

Courtney says:

Would you recommend using distilled water to make up my spray bottle of floor cleaner (that I use with a flat microfiber mop)? My well water is fairly hard and I’m wondering if that’s contributing to some of the haze and residue left on my hardwood floors.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Courtney- It could very well be. Minerals in water interact with Castile soap and can leave residue behind. This is especially true with well water’s high mineral content. Distilled water will help mitigate that. Alternatively, use Sal Suds, which doesn’t have that same concern.

Brenda says:

I have LVT on my kitchen floors. I have used the castile soap (diluted) with water and it left a filmy residue. Is the Sal Suds a better remedy for my LVT tile floors?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Brenda – I think the Sal Suds is the way to go for your LVT (luxury vinyl tile). It is slightly more clean rinsing than the Castile, especially in hard water.

Angie says:

Hi!!! I am in love with all of the products. My question. Is im wanting to make a concentrated floor cleaner with using Sal suds im a gallon dry with distilled water and essential oils. Im wanting to store in a 24oz bottle. So I can just make my.mop water in the sink add a few squirts but I cant.seem to get the dilution down right. How much would you add??

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Angie – If I’m following you, you want to make up a mixture of a slightly diluted Sal Suds concentrate for mopping that you would then further dilute in your mop bucket. If I’ve got that right, in your 24 oz. bottle, perhaps try 1 cup of Sal Suds, 3 cups distilled water, and 50 drops of your essential oils. (The amount of essential oils varies greatly depending on which ones you’re using since some are much stronger than others – adjust to your preference.) To use, you’ll want 2 tsp. of this combination per gallon of water. Depending on how big your squirts are, I think that might be one good squirt?

Rick Williams says:

Hi Lisa!
I’m looking for a way to give Sal Suds a little more antibacterial punch than with tea tree oil. How would it be if I mixed in a quart of white vinegar per gallon of mopping solution? And one other thing. I assume that Sal Suds works like other soaps, ie by emulsifying dirt and grime. What happens to the emulsifications? Do I need to mop again with clean water?

Thanks for your great products. I love Sal Suds as well as your Castille Soap and Organic Sugar Soaps. They’re just the best!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rick- Thanks so much for your kind words! Adding vinegar to a Sal Suds mopping solution would not help. Vinegar does not have greater antibacterial benefit than the Sal Suds itself. Also, although there is not a chemical reaction between the vinegar and the Sal Suds, the vinegar with its very acidic pH would hinder the efficacy of the Sal Suds. I don’t know of a way to make the Sal Suds any more antibacterial. It’s already great at clearing up germs. Another option is to use the Tea Tree Castile soap instead. Use about ¼ c. of Castile in 3 gallons of water.

Erica says:

I apologize if this has been asked and answered (I may have missed it) I saw people asking about “Luxury vinyl” flooring – but I need to know about ancient 1970’s vinyl floors (they are awful!) Everything I use just makes them sticky – yes, I said sticky! Since we rent – I have no control over changing them. Do you have a recommendation on how to clean them? Thanks 🙂

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Erica- For vinyl flooring, mop with Sal Suds. Its exceedingly clean rinsing, doesn’t leave residue behind, and also doesn’t react with hard water. Dilute 1 tsp. Sal Suds in a gallon of water, then mop up. I like microfiber for its “grabbiness.”

Jennifer Knupp says:

Hi, can I use this to clean rubber floor mats (thick horse stall mats) in my garage gym?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- Yes, Sal Suds can tackle that. For spot cleaning, use the All-Purpose Spray (1 Tbsp. in a quart of water in a spray bottle). Spray, then wipe with a damp cloth. For larger areas, 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. I didn’t initially think of mopping for larger areas, but that would also work.

PJ Schuler says:

I have a refillable spray mop that I use for quick clean up. I was planning on using the all purpose spray recipe, but your mopping solution is much more diluted. What would you suggest the dilution be for approximately 24 oz container?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi PJ- That’s a great use! You would definitely want to keep it pretty diluted so that there is no Suds left on the floor. Start with a dilution of ¼ tsp. in 24 oz. and see how it goes. If you’re noticing too many bubbles, cut it down even more. If you’re not seeing the cleaning action, bump it up a bit.

Kerry Ariail says:

Can Sal suds be used in a steam mop? I’m thinking no as the suds would stay in the reservoir and only the steam come out, but wondering if you e tried this?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kerry- I’m not familiar with steam mops, but as long as the mop picks up the solution and doesn’t leave it on the floor, it should be fine. Usually this means it has a rinse compartment (I’m thinking of a carpet cleaner here). Sal Suds, like any soap or cleaner, when left on the floor will attract more dirt. If you do use Sal Suds, you only need one drop with water in the cleaning solution compartment. Maybe other readers will comment here with their experience.

Joy says:

Hi Lisa,

Do I need to use clean water to clean the floor after mopping with “(7.5 mL) of Sal Suds: 3 gallons (12 L) of water”?

Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Joy- No need to rinse the floors. The soap latches onto the grime and the mop then picks it up.

TJ says:

I am in the process of installing luxury vinyl tile. The manufacturer recommends a neutral PH cleaner. Does Sal Suds fall into this category? If yes, what do you recommend as a dilution solution? Thank you. TJ

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi TJ- Sal Suds is not pH neutral, however, it is mild and clean rinsing. Use 1/2 Tbsp. in 3 about gallons of hot water.

Ronnie says:

Hi Lisa,

What are your thoughts in regards to dilution for luxury vinyl tiles? I believe the recommendation is to use a neutral cleaning product and just not sure if using diluted Sal Suds would work. I see you recommended it for laminate, but not sure if you think this would work for luxury vinyl tile as well. Thanks. Ronnie

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ronnie- While Sal Suds is not pH neutral, it is mild enough for luxury vinyl flooring. Use 1/2 Tbsp. Sal Suds in 3 gallons of hot water.

Sara Saez says:

Hardwood floor looks amazing with Sal Suds. But do you recommend using it on porcelain tiles? And if so would the dilution mention be the same?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sara- Sal Suds does excellent work on porcelain tile too. Use the same dilution.

Gwen says:

Ahhhmazing! I’ve tried many, many, many different products and DIY recipes on our sealed hardwood, all have left a “haze” which drives me crazy. I use a microfibre mop daily as our fur baby, a Great Dane, leaves drool and footprints everywhere ? I made up a gallon of Sal Suds solution for wood floors and added Thieves blend essential oil. I poured some into a smaller spray bottle and went to work! My floors shine and feel wonderfully clean! It was a miracle! Because of this phenomenal result, I made up a litre of all purpose and used it everywhere. The painted kitchen cupboards look as if they were freshly painted!! Ahhhmazing! Stainless steel sink and appliances glow and are streak free! Soap scum in my daughters shower and bathroom gone (took a bit of extra elbow grease ?). My home is clean and smells so good! Thank you ?Salad Suds is a permanent product in my home.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Gwen- That’s awesome! Thanks for the great testimonial!

Marisa Allred says:

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!

Lisa Bronner says:

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: For hardwood floors, your biggest enemy is going to be excess water. Take care to mop up any pooling water quickly.

Tom Killam says:

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?

Sophie Herndon says:

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.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sophie- I’ll bet that smells fantastic!

Susana says:

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

Lisa Bronner says:

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.

SusanB says:

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 !!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

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.

Lisa Bronner says:

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.

My Cleaning Cabinet says:

[…] Washable microfiber mop head – Toss it in the washer after each mopping and air dry. […]

Deb D says:

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!

Lisa Bronner says:

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.

David says:

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.

Denise Herrera says:

I had hardwood floors in my old house and they were SO HARD to clean! This is awesome! I’ll keep this in mind for my next home.

Sharon Rysavy says:

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!

Lisa Bronner says:

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.

Anna says:


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

Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

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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