I have a “friend” with a bathtub that is so gross, they didn’t even want their name to be revealed out of embarrassment, but they did want me to find a great way to clean their bathtub (and sinks, toilets, etc.). I knew that they were looking for a softscrub, so I got to work on finding a recipe that would help to clean up all of the nastiness that was caked on the bathtub’s floor. After a preliminary search of the internet, I found pretty much the same recipes everywhere that I went, and all of them combined both vinegar AND castile soap, and as I have been learning (from Lisa Bronner’s blog), that is a big no-no.Castile soap is a base and when mixed with an acid, such as vinegar and/or lemon juice, causes the soap to de-saponify and become water and oil. So all of those recipes out there that are baking soda, castile soap, and vinegar; are really just oil, water, and baking soda that you are scrubbing your tub with. Because of this problem, I came up with a great recipe for softscrub sans the vinegar, that cleans at least twice as good as those other recipes just because I am using chemistry to work in my favor! In things like dishwashing soap and cleaning dishes, you can use the vinegar with water as a rinse agent; it works VERY well in this case.
My next project for this “friend’s” bathroom, is to figure an easy way to get rid of the mineral build-up on their faucets, but for now the tub is worthy of a bath, whereas before I would not have even taken a shower in it. You can make this recipe with just the baking soda, castile soap, and water if you do not have the essential oils or orange oil on hand. I just add them for that extra awesome cleaning power!
The Hippy Homemaker’s Citrus Softscrub
- 3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap, but some people love to use the Tea Tree Castile soap, to kill 2 birds with ones stone)
- 1/2 cup water
- 25 drops lemon essential oil
- 40 drops tea tree essential oil (this kills mold and is antibacterial and antiviral amongst other things. This stuff is PERFECT for cleaning the bathroom!)
- 1 tsp. orange oil (I buy mine on Amazon, but I have seen it in Lowes and Home Depot in the natural gardening sections. You may even be able to find it at Walmart, but of that I am not positive.)
- Combine ingredients into a bowel until mixed together completely. Transfer to a recycled squeeze bottle (such as an old dawn bottle or an old ketchup bottle. (Be aware that if you use a funnel that is HARD, it is impossible to get into a dawn bottle or some other bottle with a small hole. Yes, the immature person that I am, just laughed at how dirty that sounded…)
- Squirt onto your bathtub, toilet bowel, sinks, or in your showers and scrub away!