Mopping with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap or Sal Suds

My mop bucket connects me to my childhood. For the bulk of his career, my dad Jim Bronner, younger son to Dr. Bronner, was a chemist and inventor, and at one point he was commissioned to create various floor care products. To test these out, he had all manner of floor cleaning tools, including this super industrial, blue, wheeled mop bucket that would look at home in a high school’s custodial closet. It’s bulky as all get out, but it reminds me of Dad, and the nostalgia makes it beautiful.

When it comes to cleaning hard floors, there are many methods that work equally well so long as the floors end up clean and free of residue. For the most part it comes down to personal preference. I recently did a reader poll on my Going Green Facebook page to get a sense of the prevailing mopping trends, and the responses were wide ranging: traditional mops and buckets, spray mops, spin mops, flathead mops, string mops, steam mops, and even a few motorized robot mops. Some even mentioned crocheting their own pads for the flathead mops, which is pretty next-level. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I do go for microfiber string mops and flathead pads I can wash and reuse. They’re super easy to throw in the washer with my load of cleaning cloths.

In my house, I have engineered tile in the highest traffic areas, engineered bamboo in the living rooms and office, and carpet in the bedrooms. Carpet cleaning is its own topic which I’ve covered elsewhere. For the tile and bamboo, I bring out the earlier-mentioned blue wheeled mop bucket. I use the microfiber string mop for the tile which does a great job getting in the uneven surfaces of the grout lines, and the flathead mop for the smooth bamboo floors.

Two Dr. Bronner’s products work excellently on hard floors, be they wood, laminate, vinyl, all manner of stone, or some engineered material. I don’t have a preference between these two when it comes to floors: the Pure-Castile Soap and the Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner. The differences between them are that the Castile is a soap and the Sal Suds is a detergent. For those of you who will ask, read about their differences here. Use whichever one you prefer. Note that Sal Suds is more concentrated and so you’ll need less of it.

Your choice of scent is where you can express yourself. Sal Suds is scented with essential spruce and fir needle oil. The Pure-Castile soaps come in eight scents. Combining the Tea Tree with the Eucalyptus Castile Soaps makes a convincingly clean smell, or you could opt for something soothing like Lavender, or even create your own by using the Unscented Castile Soap with your own essential oil blend or leave it scent-free.

Vacuum or sweep before mopping

The first step to cleaning hard floors is to get rid of loose debris with a good sweeping or vacuuming (without a beater brush). Then pick the following method that works best for you.

Mopping bucket

Feel free to double or triple this batch to fill your bucket as needed. Since I have a lot of floor to mop, I use a triple batch.

  • 1 gallon (4 L) water
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. (37.5 mL) Pure-Castile Soap OR 1 tsp. (5 mL) Sal Suds
  • Optional: 20 drops of Tea Tree pure essential oil for some extra antibacterial power

Put the water in the bucket first so that when you add the soap, you don’t get an overflow of bubbles. (That’s my fancy tip for this recipe.) Submerge the mophead, whether it’s a string or flathead, and wring out until damp. Mop the floor. With this dilution, no rinsing should be necessary. However, if you see bubbles on the floor, go over it once again with plain water.

Squirt or spray bottle

For the squirt bottle, you can reuse a Dr. Bronner’s quart bottle, an athletic bottle with a push/pull lid, or you can refill the bottle that came with your spray mop. To remove the spray mop lid, first fill a small saucepan with 2-3” of water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s reached a boil, remove it from the burner. Taking care not to burn yourself, hold your empty spray mop bottle upside down in the water with the lid fully submerged for 90 seconds. Using a pot holder, give the lid a firm but short twist and the lid will pop off. Clean out the bottle with hot water and a few drops of Sal Suds or Castile Soap. Rinse.

  • 1 quart (1 L) of water in a squirt bottle
  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) Castile Soap OR 1/8 tsp. (.6 mL) Sal Suds

Combine this solution in your squirt or spray bottle. Dampen your mop with plain water. Squirt or spray the floor and mop over with the mop. Again, rinsing should not be needed, but if you see bubbles, go over the floor again with plain water.

Be sure not to leave any soapy residues on the floor. For one thing, they would make the floor incredibly slippery. Second, soap attracts and holds on to dirt, making your floors dirty faster. It is also very important not to leave standing water, which could warp wood or etch stone. If needed, absorb any excess water by pushing a dry towel over the floor with your mop handle.

Solving your mopping quandaries

Help! I spilled a large amount of Castile Soap or Sal Suds on the floor. I can’t get the bubbles/suds up. What do I do?

You could invite the neighbors over for a slip and slide bubble party, or to clean it up, absorb the liquid with a large towel. Then, if it’s soap, use the foam cutting power of alcohol. With a solution of 1 cup of  isopropyl alcohol (70%) in a gallon of water, remop the floor. (Take care to have a window or door open to vent the room as alcohol is flammable.) If it’s Sal Suds you’ve spilled, do the same with a solution of 1 cup of vinegar in a gallon of water.

Help! I added vinegar to my Castile Soap mopping solution and now I have an oily goopy mess. How can I clean that up?

Vinegar unsaponifies soap, which means it breaks it back down to oils. If you have combined the two and gotten it on a household surface, you can clean it up with Castile Soap or Sal Suds and water.

Is it safe to mop with Castile Soap or Sal Suds around cats and pets?

I have three cats and a dog myself, so this is certainly something I’ve thought about. The concern for cats in particular is that ingesting or absorbing pure essential oils can be harmful to their sensitive systems. However, in this situation, not only are the essential oils in both products a relatively small amount–less than 2%–but they are extremely diluted by the water in each of the recommended dilutions. Further, per the method above, there should not be soapy residues left on the floors. Residues are detrimental in many regards. If you have remaining concerns, use the Unscented Pure-Castile Soap which is free of essential oils.

I prefer to use the bar soaps. Is there a way to mop with them?

Yes! The Bar Castile Soap is just as versatile as its liquid counterpart, though it takes an extra step or two. For mopping, add 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) grated bar soap or ¼ c. (60 mL) soap cream to 1 gallon (4 L) hot water. Stir with the mop handle to dissolve. Soap Cream is a fun little GIY* that you can learn how to make from my article on the Bar Soap Cheat Sheet. 

To wrap it up

Our floors are the single largest horizontal surface in our houses. Cleaning them is a quick route to making the whole place feel bright and cared for.


Further reading

Sal Suds cleaner shows >60% biodegradation after 28 days per ISO 14593

This recipe and many more are in my book, Soap & Soul: A Practical Guide to Minding Your Home, Your Body, and Your Spirit with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, available now in hardback on or at your favorite bookseller, and as an eBook and audiobook (read by me!) from wherever you download or listen.  

Download Now!

Sal Suds Cheat Sheet

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


Download Now!

Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

Dilute! Dilute! OK! But how much? Print this guide!


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Mohamed Hashi says:

This article is practical and infused with personal touches that connect the reader to the broader history of the Bronner family’s commitment to effective and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. Her tips on preparing the floor, selecting the right cleaning product, and executing the mopping process are straightforward. The inclusion of troubleshooting advice for common issues is particularly helpful. This article is a valuable resource for anyone looking to maintain their home’s cleanliness with safe and sustainable products.

William says:

Hi! Interested in trying the Sal Suds for our hardwood floors with water-based polyurethane finish, but have read that strongly alkaline cleaning products can dull and scratch this type of finish, and that pine oils can also cause damage. I’m mostly seeing pH neutral products like Bona being recommended – is there something specifically about Sal Suds that prevents the potential damage I’m reading about? Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi William – Great to hear you’re getting to know the Suds! When the Sal Suds are diluted at the recommended levels, the pH of the solution is very near neutral (always depends on the starting pH of the water you’re using). The dilution for mopping is 1 tsp. per gallon for a bucket, or 1/8 tsp. in a quart if you’re using a squirt bottle.

Sharon says:

Hello, Lisa! Much to my dismay, I read an article alerting users that Dr. Bonner’s Sal Suds causes mold build-up in washing machines. I have faithfully and happily used Sal Suds for my laundry for months…and am confused and concerned about continuing its use. I am mold sensitive. Please advise. Thank you.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sharon – Would you be able to point me to the article so that I can see the details of the concern? Mold is produced when moisture and warmth remain together for a period of time. This is the recipe for things to grow. The key to preventing mold growth is to keep the components dry, which might mean wiping them down soon after each load runs. After I read the article, I’ll be able to provide more detail.

Pamela Willett says:

Dear Lisa,

Reading through your post, I am reminded of an experience I had many years ago in the early 70s when I knew your grandfather and Gladys. Since I worked for them, they generously offered their airstream trailer for us to live in the middle of their avocado orchard. I was delighted to have this Airstream as my home and I began to lovingly clean it with Castile soap. The home on the property had he rolled up piece of carpeting that was to be discarded so I prepared the Airstream floor by removing the old flooring and measuring the space. I took the discarded carpeting which was a beautiful cream color and in very good condition but very dirty to the tennis court and laid it out and proceeded to wash it with Dr. Bronner, peppermint Castel soap. I used a bucket of soap solution and a garden hose. While I was in the process, Gladys stopped by and was delighted to see my progress! She excitedly said….” I will have to tell Dr. Bronner! He will be so happy!”

Such happy memories knowing Dr Bronner and Gladys. They were kind, generous inclusive folks.

Pamela Greenslade-Willett

Lisa Bronner says:

Beautiful, Pamela! Thanks so much for sharing these memories!

cathy erdle says:

Hi. I have an oiled wood floor. Is it safe to use your Castile Soap on this finish?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cathy – If it’s a hardening oil like Tung Oil, which is my guess that it is, then yes, the Castile would be a great option.

Amy Pirnack says:

Hi Lisa! Thanks for the info. Could you specify if it can be used on wood flooring that has been urethaned? Our landlord is requiring we use only Bono, and we want to use Sal suds. Can you help? Thanks again!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Amy – I apologize for my delay in responding. Taking a look at the ingredients in Bono, Sal Suds is much milder. It is an excellent option for cleaning urethaned wood. Follow the method above and be sure you don’t leave bubbles on the floor. Go over it again with a damp mop if you find any bubbles left.

Jennifer says:

How about sal suds for cleaning sealed concrete floors? Is sal suds ph balanced?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- Sal Suds is safe to use on sealed concrete. Sal Suds is alkaline, not pH neutral. Usually the concern with flooring is choosing a cleaner that is not acidic, which Sal Suds is not. It is clean rinsing and mild enough for flooring.

Nancy says:

Hi Lisa, I live in an apartment, I am going to try this method I found (NO MOP BUCKET REQUIRED) using just a drop of Sal Suds with pre moistened microfiber cloths contained in a tight seal shoe box. Here is the link, maybe it will be helpful to others.

Thank you for this wonderful product

allen says:

hi, i’ve been using bronner’s unscented liquid castile soap for mopping. my kitchen’s linoleum floors collect a lot of grease and dirt. i put a couple squeezes of the castile soap in a bucket of water, and it works great at cutting the grease. but it always leaves a soapy oily residue, if i dilute it more, it won’t cut the grease or clean as well. will sals suds also leave an oily residue at the concentrations needed to cut grease and dirt?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Allen – The Sal Suds is even better at grease than the Castile, so I think it would be a good idea for you to give it a try.

Kathleen says:

Hello Lisa! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sal Suds! I’ve used the counter spray (recipe) for years. I just purchased a Roomba floor mop and am interested in knowing what you think is the best dilution ratio.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kathleen – You and me both! I have not used the Roomba floor mop, but I would try a super diluted solution for it. Maybe just 1 drop (seriously) in with the water. I’m basing this off of my experience with carpet cleaners. If this doesn’t seem to be enough, increase it. If you see remaining bubbles, then that’s too much.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Michelle – I’m not well-versed in danish oil, but if the manufacturer instructions say to use a mild soap or mild cleanser, then either product would be a great option. I would start with the Castile soap.

Louise says:

Hello I use your products religiously as a mum of 4 your products are my treat to myself.
They make keeping my family and home clean a breeze. Although being all the way in Australia they are not always as easy as I would like to get hold of . I always share with friends my love of your truly safe and natural products as unfortunately words like eco and natural get branded around everywhere these day. In the Dr Bronner label you have my trust love your brand and story x

Lisa Bronner says:

Thank you for your kind words and support, Louise! It means a lot. I’m glad to know my family’s products are a help to you.

Angela says:

Sal Suds has been so liberating! But I want to make sure I am using the correct amount. My spin mop bucket only holds 2 gallons of water. Is the dilution formula 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water regardless of the type of floor that is being cleaned? I want to clean hardwood floors, ceramic tile, marble and travertine floors. For the hardwood floors, is it best to use a solution in a spray bottle and mop up with a microfiber mop? If so, what would be the correct formula for a 22 ounce spray bottle? Today, I accidentally used 2 teaspoons (about a capful) in my 2 gallons bucket of water to clean my floors. Do I need to do an extra rinse now? Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Angela- It’s great to hear you’re finding the Sal Suds so helpful! Yes, the dilution is the same across all flooring types. The issues with hardwood floors is standing water. Continue to use your spin mop, but take care to mop up any puddles. Sal Suds residue won’t harm flooring, but as with any soap, it will attract dirt. Mop with clean water to remove the residue. If you haven’t already found my Sal Suds Usage Cheat Sheet, you’ll find the recipes on it to be helpful.

Marcy says:

Help!? Stinky mop and now stinky floors

Hello i have been using Sals Suds for a few days now, but now that ive switched from using other floor cleaners and bleach, now i only use sals suds but its been terrible. After i clean the floors i have a stinky mop and no matter how many times i wash the mop the sals suds wont get the odor out even when i add peppermint oil. I also tried adding baking soda and it makes no difference. I have a puppy that has accidents on the floor.

What can i do to get rid of the stench on my mop?? do i need to add something??

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marcy- Transitioning away from bleach does take some getting used to as far as how clean smells. Bleach is such a powerful smell that we learn to associate with clean. Over time, as you use these greener methods that have less potent fumes, clean will start to smell different. I have a mop head that I can toss in my washer, which works really well, but if you’re doing it by hand, wash the mop in Sal Suds and hot water, than rinse in a sink of hot water with 1 cup vinegar added. Let air dry.

Kay says:

Is this safe for new Quartz countertops and Porcelain floor tiles? What about Marble floor tiles?

Maria says:

I’ve been cleaning hardwood floors with sal suds and find that even at suggested ratio, it leaves a dulling, unattractive film on the floors. Any tips on avoiding this?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maria- Feel free to reduce the ratio further so that there is no residue left behind. Also, when you’re mopping be sure that the mop is evenly damp but not too wet so that there isn’t excess solution on the floor.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Samantha- The issue with natural stones like marble and limestone is that they’re soft and they dissolve in acids. This is why vinegar or any sort of acidic cleaner is out of the question. Dr. Bronner’s products are alkaline, and thereby are safe for these surfaces.

Cynthia Bensley says:

A caution regarding tea tree oil – it is highly toxic to dogs. Repeated exposure of their paws to the oil on floors could be hazardous.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cynthia- It’s important to take care with essential oils around pets. At too high of a concentration, they would very well make a dog ill. But the essential oils in our soaps is 2% – a very small concentration. The soaps are then further diluted when used as directed for mopping and housecleaning.

TJ says:

Hi Lisa,

I have luxury vinyl tiles and would like to know the dilution if I want to mix in 32 oz bottle. I will be using in a spray bottle and microfiber cloth to mop with. And would prefer not to have to rinse after using. Thanks for letting me the dilution in 32 oz bottle. TJ

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi TJ- Mix up about 1/8 tsp. (a few drops) of Sal Suds in 32oz of water for floors. At that dilution, no rinsing is required.

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.

Lisette R Stafford says:

I wouldn’t put sals directly into the steam mop. What I do is spray sals suds all purpose dilution onto the floor. I have removable pads for my steam mop. I steam mop a section at a time, checking the pad for dirt. When the pad gets dirty I put on a new pad. The pads are washed in my machine with a little sals suds.
I have been doing this for years on my wood and ceramic tile floors.
To clean the grout, baking soda, a drop of sal’s and hydrogen peroxide to make a thick pourable paste. Apply to grout lines and let it sit for a while. You can actually see the dirt bubble up.
After doing this several times, you’ll notice the grout a little cleaner each time.

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!

Carolyn says:

If I just use the all purpose spray dilution on bird cages, should I rinse afterwards? Don’t want to kill my sun conure. He’s over 20 years old and I’m rather fond of him! All One!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Carolyn- Use a quite damp cloth to wipe the All-Purpose Spray off the cage. This will provide enough rinsing. I recommend using the Unscented Castile so that the essential oils won’t impact your sun conure. What a beautiful bird type!

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.

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

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Sal Suds Cheat Sheet

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Castile Soap Cheat Sheet

Dilute! Dilute! OK! But how much? Print this guide!