The fragrance of a true vegetable oil soap on wood floors is as wholesome as bread baking in the oven. So-called vegetable oil soaps available commercially are usually detergents, but detergents may be necessary to avoid soap scum if you have hard water.
If you are lucky enough to have soft water, a brand of all-purpose vegetable oil soap–Sodasan– smells particularly rich and nutty because it contains linseed oil.
Since Sodasan is hard to come by, and I have hard water, I turn instead to using an all-purpose detergent such as Murphy’s Oil Soap, Infinity Heavenly Horsetail, or Life Tree’s Home Soap, and I add some fragrant herbal antibacterial tea such as peppermint or lavender, as well as a few other ingredients for this, my favorite floor cleaning formula:
1/8 cup soap or detergent
¼ to ½ cup vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup fragrant herb tea
2 gallons warm water.
Combine ingredients in a pail or bucket. Swirl the water around until it is sudsy. Proceed as normal.