Monday, March 7, 2011

The Latest Concoction: Homemade Bathtub Scrub

I maintain that baking soda cleans a bathtub just as well as anything, if not better. It seriously gets my bathtub sparkling clean. There are no chemical fumes or residue when you use baking soda. Even better, it costs next to nothing. Baking soda and vinegar are my bathroom cleaning staples.

But I hate cleaning the bathroom. Using baking soda may give me the results I want, at a price I really like, but it does take some effort. It can get pretty wet and messy scrubbing with the baking soda & water paste. My bathtub cleaning routine works, though, so I've stuck with it for the last couple years. That is, until I came across a better, still baking soda-based, method.

The new method is using a homemade soft scrub recipe that I found on the blog, Live Renewed, in a post all about natural bathroom cleaning. The bathtub in my son's bathroom needed a cleaning in a bad way and I happened to have all the ingredients for the homemade tub scrub, so I made it.

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner's hemp almond soap. I love this stuff. It's really versatile - you can use it for cleaning, laundry, even on your body. A bottle of it goes a long way, too -- you don't need to use much to get results. I picked mine up at the local natural food/health store for around $8.)
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. vinegar  (turns out, since I wrote this post, I learned that you really shouldn't mix vinegar and castile soap. For an explanation why, check out this post.)

Mix the baking soda and castile soap -- I reused a washed-out 16-oz. yogurt container (since you want something with a lid, it worked really well). Add the water and stir with a fork. Add the vinegar and mix. According to the recipe I followed, you need to add the vinegar last or the scrub won't have the paste consistency that you want.  Also, the recipe says to only make this scrub in small batches because it can get dried out when stored.  This recipe makes enough for anywhere from 2-4 cleanings, depending on how much you use and how big your tub is.

Then Superman and I went to work...

One of the things that drew me to using natural cleansers a couple years ago is that they're safe for kids. I don't have to worry about his skin getting irritated or about him inhaling toxic chemicals. I was more than happy to let him help me clean his bathtub. After all, I've got to make the most of these years when he thinks cleaning is fun and grown-up.

Anyway, the scrub worked so well! It wasn't nearly as messy as my old baking soda and water routine. Plus, it smelled so nice as I cleaned.  I just got some of the scrub on my cleaning brush (that is, before the boy took it, as you can see above) and cleaned. The grimy bathtub ring (I know, ewwwww) came right up. After a little bit of scrubbing, we rinsed out the tub with the shower and wiped down the sides with a wet rag. From start to finish, it maybe took ten minutes at the most. I'm converted.


BBD-Lite said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog and just wanted to let you know that this recipe worked like a charm. I was using baking soda + hydrogen peroxide before, but I've run out of hydrogen peroxide so...I tried yours and wow it just melts through grime and hard water stains. I used the Tea Tree and it smells so fresh and clean. I wasn't sure about adding vinegar to castile soap so I left it out but it still worked.I got a little bit excited haha and tried it on my (stainless steel) sink - works for that too! Thanks for posting this.

Steve Berke said...

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