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Dr. Bronner's Products

Sal Suds Cleaner in a Spray Bottle

Check out my updated how-to blog post on All-Purpose sprays.

I just realized that I have never blogged about my Sal Suds All-Purpose Cleaner 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 (1 L) 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. (15 mL) of Sal Suds.

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

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Sophi says:

Hi. I’m looking for an all purpose cleaning solution for classrooms and restaurant kitchen surfaces. While bleach is commonly used, and recommended by the health department, I’d like something natural and equally as effective.

Is there a recipe that I can try for all purpose cleaning that includes sal suds?

Are there articles and studies you can kindly send the link that are about supporting the use of natural cleaners and use of sal suds in the classroom/school/public setting? We are dealing with a lot of germs and pollutants here and I want to help business owners switch over to natural cleaners that they can trust to remove bacteria.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sophi- Thanks for reaching out. There has been a lot more discussion of healthy public spaces of late because of the concern about the spread of Covid, but the info is relevant to all germs. One point to keep in mind is that there is a distinction between cleaning and disinfecting. In general, all surfaces need cleaning, but not all need disinfecting. And prior to disinfecting any surface, it must be cleaned. Cleaning can be done with soap (or detergent) and water. Soaps or detergents clean by removing. They remove germs, dirt, oils, and other debris. Sal Suds is a detergent. Disinfectants clean by killing. They are biocides. Sal Suds is not a disinfectant. However, there are a wide range of disinfectants, that can be relatively safe to humans (such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol) or quite toxic. Because classrooms and restaurants must adhere to unique standards of disinfection, they likely will need to choose from an approved list of disinfectants. However, even on this list, there are safer options and more dangerous options.

Here is a list of references that cover topics from healthy school cleaning to safer disinfectants:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf – General overview of Cleaning and Disinfecting (does not address safer options)
https://healthyschoolscampaign.org/blog/a-new-national-standard-for-healthy-school-facilities/
https://www.healthygreenschools.org/about/standard/
https://impact.greenseal.org/ – Great timeline of Green Seal work. Check out the links in the timeline.
https://greenseal.org/disinfecting-guidelines
https://www.healthygreenschools.org/resources/guidelines-for-covid-19-cleaning-and-disinfection/

Michael Norman says:

Lisa, I’m looking for something I can spray on a micro fiber cloth to dampen it just enough to use for general household dusting on most any surface. Is Sal Suds what I’m looking for? If so, what is the diluting ratio to water?
Thanks much, Lisa!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Michael- A spray made with either Sal Suds or Castile Soap is what you’re after. If using Sal Suds, our biodegradable household cleaner, add 1 Tbsp. to 1 quart of water. If Castile Soap, which is a true soap, add 1/4 cup to 1 quart of water. Check out my updated post on making these sprays here: https://www.lisabronner.com/giy-all-purpose-cleaning-spray/. And for an overview of the difference between the two products, head here: https://www.lisabronner.com/sal-suds-or-castile-soap-which-one-should-you-use/

Meghan says:

I have read that using distilled water and a mild dish soap is safe for cleaning a tv screen. Have you ever used Sal Suds for this?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Meghan- I have not, but will look into it. If you do give it a go, spray the cloth rather than the screen to clean. Then let me know how it goes!

Abby says:

Hello! Could you tell me what the shelf life of the all purpose cleaner is after it’s made up? Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Abby- I’ve never heard of the Sal Suds spray going bad, but then again, I use it up within a month or two. If it is smelling “off” to you, then dump and remake. If you’re not going through it that quickly, make up a smaller batch.

Kat says:

Hi there! I tried making an all purpose spray with SalSuds and found that the detergent separated out of the water and created a cloudy/goopy solution in my spray bottle. Any thoughts?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kat – I’m sorry to hear that! That does not sound fun. A couple ideas – is there any chance there was residue for something else in the bottle? If so, there could have been a reaction with the Sal Suds – in which case, rinse everything well, run water through the spray pump, and remix the Sal Suds and water. Second idea – is it particularly cold where you are, or was the Sal Suds particularly cold? It has a freezing point in the 60’s, due to the coconut oil source of the ingredients. When it freezes, it turns white and thickens up, eventually turning solid. This does not harm the Sal Suds, and once it warms up, it becomes clear and liquid again. You can warm it by bringing it into a heated room, or set the bottle in a bowl of warm water to speed things up. Other than those two, my thoughts turn to the water or the Sal Suds. If you try the combo with distilled water, does this still happen? If not, that indicates there might be something up with your water. To check the Sal Suds, does it look or smell different? There’s a time stamp in the code printed near the bottom of the bottle. The first two numbers indicate the year, and the next three tell the day of the year out of 365. We haven’t had reports of bad batches, but I would be happy to check.

Arianna says:

Hi Lisa, I’m trying to figure out how to clean out the inside of my oven, and it has that black, really baked on grease streaks, I used baking soda and water paste and left it in overnight, and vinegar to clean the rest off, and that did nothing. Is there a way to clean it with the Sal Suds? I use Sal Suds for pretty much everything else in my household and I absolutely love it. For everything else I use the Castile Soaps. I’ve never been happier having just vinegar, baking soda, and Dr. Brönner’s, to clean up any mess my 3 young children throw at me! Have to yet to lose a battle. TIA!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Arianna- Oven crud is some of the toughest stuff out there. Probably why conventional oven cleaner is so very toxic. If your oven has a self-clean feature, that’s a good place to start, because it is cleaning it with heat, which as long as you let it cool, is a very non-toxic method. A couple other ideas: Try making up a batch of the GIY Soft Scrub (https://www.lisabronner.com/giy-soft-scrub-with-dr-bronners/), but with the Sal Suds variation. Another possibility, and maybe do this before the Soft Scrub, is to put a pan of vinegar in the oven mixed with boiling water. Turn the oven on high to get it really steamy and then turn it off and let it sit til cool. That might help soften the layers. Let me know what works!

Zora says:

I would use BonAmi with soap on a sponge. You might have to repeat but this stuff literally cleans everything I can across so far

Beatriz says:

Hi Lisa, I hope you are doing well. I just bought sal suds for all purpose cleaning around our house. It is great. But when I spray it, I get this strong smell that makes me cough. Is this normal?
Thanks,
BJ

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi BJ- Spraying our soaps can produce a fine mist of the product in the surrounding atmosphere, especially areas that aren’t well ventilated. It’s not common, but sometimes these fine mist particles trigger bronchial cells in the lungs, causing a brief bronchial spasm and coughs. But know our soaps do not contain any toxic ingredients. If your spray bottle has the option, it may be helpful to set the nozzle so that the mist is not so fine. Holding the bottle close to the surface you are spraying may also help.

Karen says:

Hi Lisa:

Do you need to rinse surfaces after using the All-Purpose sprays, whether they are made with Sal Suds or Castile? Do you just wipe off, or do you need to follow with Club Soda?

By the way, my son and I just cleaned all the windows in our house, inside and out, using your method of Sal Suds Lite followed by Club Soda. Our windows have never looked so sparkly! We live in the high desert, where there is always wind. It’s a constant battle to keep our windows clean. Strong smelling chemicals, like ammonia, bother my asthma. But cleaning them using your method gave me no trouble at all. My 10 year old wanted to help and thought it was fun to use the squeegee. Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Karen- To use the All-Purpose Sprays, simply spray then wipe with a damp cloth. It’s that easy! It’s great to hear the Sal Suds Lite and Club Soda worked so well on your windows. Thanks to you and your helper for this testimonial!

cameron clark says:

can the laundry solution (1.5 TBS sal + 1/4 c soda for HE washer) be made ahead and stored in a gallon container? I tried this and wasn’t sure of the ratio and couldn’t ever get the soda to disolve so I wasn’t certain I was getting the proper mix each time I washed

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cameron- Sal Suds is so good at whitening and brightening, I only use baking soda when washing rags and really grimy loads. In my top loading washing machine, I add Sal Suds, then baking soda. One after the other. If your machine has a soap dispenser, add the Sal Suds there and sprinkle the baking soda on top of the clothes.

Sarah Gijsbers says:

Can you please put your products is a more earth friendly container? Single use plastics are so bad for the environment. Thanks!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sarah- Thank you for your interest and concern in plastic reduction. We share your concern! As a company, we are evaluating various technologies and programs to continue to reduce our use of virgin and petroleum-based plastics and also increase recyclability of all of our packaging. For example, we are exploring improving refill programs with retailers and co-ops, and keeping an eye on like-minded companies and partners who are exploring closed-loop programs. And on top of that, we are exploring ways of making our bottles out of “ocean-bound plastic,” post-consumer plastics otherwise bound for oceans. But in the meantime, know that we currently use 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) PET plastic bottles for most of our liquid soaps and Sal Suds bottles, and we participate in “bottle-to-bottle” recycling for our PCR PET resin — the recycling of used plastic bottles into new bottles, which helps conserve virgin resources and reduces landfill.

With Natural Cleaners, Kids Can Clean Too | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] and a bright, child-sized scrub brush I found, so that means bathroom sinks and counters, using the Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray or Castile Soap Household Cleaner spray. Maybe things aren’t quite as sparkly or streak-free […]

fusionmuck says:

Hi Lisa, I am looking for some antibacterial action when using Sal Suds as a general purpose cleaner. How much tea tree oil can I add to a mix solution of 1 quart? 2 drops sound right?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there- You can add up to 20 drops or 1/4 tsp. for that extra boost you’re looking for.

Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] 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 Cleaner in a Spray Bottle […]

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jan- Some prefer to use distilled water with Castile soap because the minerals in hard water can cause the dilution to be cloudy, but that’s not a concern with Sal Suds.

Janis says:

Doesn’t this need a preservative? Will the salsuds alone keep the water from becoming a cesspool of bacteria and fungi?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Janis- It shouldn’t turn if used within a reasonable amount of time. One option is to mix it up in smaller batches that will be used up more quickly.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Bill- The metric usage there is for our international customers. If you’re here in the U.S., the quantities are 1 Tbsp. Sal Suds added to 1 quart of water.

Cleaning Microsuede says:

[…] Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray Fill a spray bottle with a quart (1L) of water. Add 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sal Suds. (The water goes in first, or else you’ll be fighting the outpouring of bubbles if you try to fill it after the Sal Suds.) […]

Cleaning Stone with Castile Soap & Sal Suds says:

[…] Suds, a mild detergent, is also alkaline and completely safe on stone of all types.  For a Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray, use 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) of Sal Suds in 1 quart (1 L) of water.  For mopping, use ½ Tbsp. […]

Martha Jackson says:

Do I need to rinse the Sal-Suds solution with clear water after using it? Thanks very much. I love the product.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Martha- Simply wipe with a damp cloth. I prefer microfiber for it’s “grabbiness”.

Catherine B. says:

Once this is mixed up how quickly does it need to be used to remain effective? Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Catherine – I’ve had bottles of this dilution sitting around for 3-6 months and it still worked great. I’ve never had one turn bad, but maybe use within 3 months for sure. If you don’t think you’ll go through a quart solution in that time, mix up half a quart of water with 1/2 Tbsp. of Sal Suds.

Carrie J. says:

After trying so many biodegradable, multi-purpose cleaners that never quite worked as well as they claimed, I have to say that I am THRILLED with Sal Suds! I’m a welder working in a dirt-under-your-nails manufacturing plant, and needless to say my shower gets pretty grody if I don’t stay on top of cleaning it regularly. The last cleaner I tried promised to get that layer of production grime off my tub, but it never quite got it fully clean and the grime just built up. I tried Sal Suds once, making four quarts of the spray-bottle recipe just in a bucket and just going to town with a sponge, (and making use of some baking soda on the really tough spots) and the hard water stains, soap scum, and welding grime all but melted off! My bathtub hasn’t been this clean in months! After looking for a multi-purpose cleaner that would work in place of the usual plethora of cleaning products, I’m sold on Sal Suds! I’ve been a fan of your Castille soap for years (you peppermint and tea tree scents are amazing!), thank you so much for creating another quality product that is so worthy of the Dr. Bronner’s name!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Carrie- Excellent! I am thrilled that you are thrilled! Thanks for the great testimonial.

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Sal Suds Cheat Sheet

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