What do you use to mop your floors that smells good or is unscented?
June 30, 2021 2:16 PM   Subscribe

We need to find a kitchen floor cleaner that works but doesn't smell horrible.

So far we've used, mixed with water and applied with a string mop:
  • the original unperfumed pine scent of Pine-sol (ideal, but no longer available)
  • a Walgreen's "Nice" brand knockoff which was the same (equally good, but no longer available)
  • Dr. Bronner's castile soap (dangerously slippery unless we use so little that gray grime is left on the floor)
  • plain white vinegar (completely ineffective except at keeping nasty-smelling things from growing in the mop)
  • the newer Pine-sol in a "fresh lemon scent" that smells nothing like lemon or freshness but instead is an appalling floral toxic-waste scent
The horrible not-at-all-lemony perfumey scent of the new "fresh lemon" Pine-sol is unfortunately persistent and pervades the entire house for hours after it's used. It does work, though, unlike, sadly, the Dr. Bronner's soap we like for other purposes, which made the floor hazardously slippery when we used enough to get it clean, so stinky perfumed Pine-sol is the best option we have at the moment. At the rate we're using it, the bottle's going to last five years, so it seems impractical to try a bottle of every single floor cleaner on the market until we find one that's bearable, especially since the "fresh lemon scent" label claim turned out to be a lie.

I don't mind natural scents, such as the piny scent of original Pine-sol or the pleasant lavender or peppermint scents Dr. Bronner's uses, or any lemon scent that actually smells lemony, but something about the cheap perfumes commonly added to many products is really unpleasant. A little bit of perfume would be okay, if only it smelled nicer or they didn't add so much. Oh, and I can't tolerate strongly orange-oil-based cleaners, even though they smell nice, as I seem to have developed an allergy to them at work. I think that's the only relevant allergy I have, though. In case it matters, our location is a large city in the southern US.

What do you like to use to clean the floor? Have you found any good alternative that get the floor clean and doesn't smell of horrible perfumes?
posted by metonym to Home & Garden (33 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
... what is your floor made of?
posted by Dashy at 2:18 PM on June 30, 2021


Response by poster: It's ceramic tile. Thanks.
posted by metonym at 2:19 PM on June 30, 2021


Best answer: Have you tried Dr. Bronner's sal suds? When I last used it, it smelled faintly piney. You do have to rinse it, though.
posted by Lycaste at 2:20 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Bleach and water. It also dries a tiny bit slippery but not like soap. Leave the windows open and don’t mix in any acids. Gets your floors really clean.

Or you could use old school brown bottle Lysol, which smells medicinal and weird, but also gets your floors rly clean.
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:21 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Per @GoCleanCo on Instagram, hot water with a splash of bleach and powdered Tide laundry detergent, like 1/4 teaspoon. It has to be the powdered kind.
posted by jschu at 2:21 PM on June 30, 2021 [5 favorites]


I've used wet Swiffers, and can also recommend Bona products.
posted by Dashy at 2:23 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Fabuloso both looks like a sport drink and smells like a sport drink. I leave it up to you to determine if that's unpleasant or not. The blue one smells like my spongebob flavor ACT mouthwash tastes. It's weird but I like it because it smells candy sweet instead of like poison. (Do not drink lol.)

Unless they've changed the cap design, you should be able to open them and give them a sniff right there in the store.
posted by phunniemee at 2:23 PM on June 30, 2021 [5 favorites]


Borax or baking soda dissolved in hot water, then rinse with hot water.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:25 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I use Tide as mentioned above. It works really well. You have to be careful to not use a lot of the Tide as it will film. 1 tsp in a 4L bucket. I also bought the Vileda mop she recommended. Love it. So easy.
posted by Ftsqg at 2:34 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Apparently you can get a six-pack of original formula Pine-Sol online! This URL may not look super legit but I got there from a link on pinesol.com. (On this page, where it says "LOOKING FOR THE OLD FORMULA OF PINE-SOL® PINE?")
Is this the Pine-Sol scent from a few years ago? Yes, this is the “Pine-Sol Original Pine” scent. The product contains 8.75% pine oil and is the scent you know and love.

Why is it only available here? Pine oil supplies are limited and have become more expensive and will continue to be an issue around producing original pine scent Pine-Sol. We are not able to manufacture the original scent in the quantities required to be available in stores nationwide.
So perhaps you can stock up and avoid the problem for a while, at least.
posted by redfoxtail at 2:41 PM on June 30, 2021 [7 favorites]


Best answer: I agree with you on the terrible new scent of Pine-Sol. The dollar store knock-off brand seems to be following the old formula, so that may be worth a try.
posted by KayQuestions at 2:42 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: I use Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Concentrate on the tiled parts of my apartment (diluted as instructed). Comes in a variety of scents, so maybe you could find one you like? Also useful for cleaning other surfaces.
posted by sparkling at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2021 [5 favorites]


Best answer: Murphy's Oil Soap? I don't find the smell unpleasant and it dissipates quickly.
posted by cyndigo at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2021 [6 favorites]


Best answer: Seconding Dr. Bronner's sal suds - its pine scent is natural and really just lovely.

(I say this as someone who also likes Bronner's scents overall and has similar feelings to yours re: aggressively scented cleaners.)
posted by marlys at 2:52 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: The Mrs. Meyers’ all-purpose cleaners come in a variety of fairly laid-back fragrances, gets the floor clean, does not dry with a slippery finish, and lasts awhile because you dilute it a lot. Most scents are fine, but do not get the mint one unless you want your home to smell like a Bed, Bath, and Beyond store because it smells nothing like mint. The vegetable limited-editions are pleasant herbal-florals and the lavender has a nice blackberry note to it.
posted by corey flood at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: The tide (unscented in our house) really does work well.

I also think the method floor cleaners smell AMAZING. They have almond and lemongrass ginger I believe. Not overpowering, just...nice and not really like "cleaner" scented, more like good hand soap.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 2:55 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: I use Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Concentrate on the tiled parts of my apartment (diluted as instructed). Comes in a variety of scents, so maybe you could find one you like? Also useful for cleaning other surfaces.

i am partial to the lemon verbena scent

I also have a soft spot for the purple Fabuloso. But I think that is less likely what you are looking for, although it does its job. It just brings back some good smell memories for me.
posted by domino at 2:59 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Well-diluted Simple Green followed by an unscented ammonia window cleaner and a towel wipe is what I use on tile and stone. I haven't looked into whether it's actually good for the materials. But, it hasn't done any visible damage in many years.
posted by eotvos at 3:06 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: If you want that original pine-sol scent I recommend pinalen . I live where there are a lot of latinx people and so it's available in regular grocery stores here. It smells and works just like original pine-sol. To me the scent is strong when you are using it but it's not unpleasant and it fades fairly quickly.
posted by shmurley at 3:38 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Lowe's says they have pine-y PineSol, also Staples. Note: pine oil is a disinfectant, that's why they use it. I have used and enjoyed purple Fabuloso, often available at Big Lots. I also like saying Fabuloso.
posted by theora55 at 3:43 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Seconding Murphy's Oil Soap; it's what I use (diluted) on my tile floors.
posted by culfinglin at 3:54 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Castile Liquid Soap has a nice peppermint scent and leave the floors squeaky clean. I used a wringed out mop and don't allow it to sit on our wood floors not slippery at all.
posted by tman99 at 4:12 PM on June 30, 2021


Any mild detergent diluted in hot water will work. I just use the unscented detergent i get for laundry, so I like to add rose geranium oil to keep pests away as well. Every couple months i do a wipe down with vinegar to get rid of any detergent build up.
posted by ananci at 4:13 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: +1 simple green, it’s mildly scented when appropriately diluted and lifts grime + sanitizes with no residue. Mopping the floors when I moved in was shocking. The method almond floor cleaner I have is for wood floors and leaves a slight residue, but it smells pleasant and not super strong, the brand overall has some pleasant, mild scents.
posted by momus_window at 4:35 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


This is my laundry detergent. It smells AMAZING. Simple ingredients, too. If detergent is the way to go, this detergent is the way to go.
posted by aniola at 5:14 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I'm a fan of Murphy's Oil Soap (not much smell) and the purple Fabuloso (pleasant smell).

(I'm particularly fond of the Fabuloso scent because it's used to clean the Hideout, my favorite bar in the world)
posted by MrJM at 5:28 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Our scent-sensitive household uses a steam mop. I don’t have a particular one to recommend, since we just use one we got free when someone in the neighborhood offered it up. But we like how it works, given that it only needs water.
posted by daisyace at 5:44 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


I use this small batch natural cleaning concentrate in the ginger blossom fragrance in my spin mop. I also use it as a general cleaning product. It smells wonderful and the ingredients are so mild I don't worry about my breathing-issues dog being around it.
posted by DrGail at 6:47 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Nthing Mrs. Meyer's all-purpose cleaner. I like geranium.
posted by jgirl at 7:46 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I’m very sensitive to perfumes and artificial scents in general, and I mop with Simple Green. A gallon of the basic all-purpose concentrate has lasted me several years.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:19 PM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]


Bona multi-surface or Swiffer/Swiffer pet (wet). They're super neutral. (cannot do perfume intensity)
posted by firstdaffodils at 10:49 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Unscented ammonia and water. It smells like ammonia, of course, but is strongly alkaline and will saponify greases and oils, allowing you to remove them with water. It leaves no scented residue, and works fine on tile.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:23 PM on June 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: So many great answers! It's wonderful to have so many options. Thank you all!
posted by metonym at 10:06 AM on July 1, 2021


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