Make Your Own Natural Citrus Softscrub For Your Sinks, Tubs, and Toilets!

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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 soft scrub, so I got to work 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.

Never combine castile soap and vinegar

Castile soap is alkaline and when mixed with an acid, such as vinegar and/or lemon juice, it causes the soap to de-saponify. What this means is that the oil and water that were emulsified when making the soap, are separated and the soap is no longer soap. There are many blog posts out on the internet that bloggers have combined baking soda, castile soap and vinegar, but really all you are getting with those recipes is a less effective cleaning mixture! Never fear! I came up with a great recipe for a soft scrub sans the vinegar! It cleans at least twice as good as all of those other recipes simply because I am using chemistry to work in my favor! When making things like dishwashing soap, you can use the vinegar with water as a rinse agent; it works VERY well in this case. The key here is not to COMBINE the acid and base, but to use one after the other! Clean with the alkaline and follow up with the acid!

DIY Citrus Softscrub for Your Sinks, Tubs, Toilets, and more -

The Hippy Homemaker's  Citrus Softscrub

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!



  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl until mixed together completely. Transfer to a recycled squeeze bottle such as an old dawn bottle or an old ketchup bottle. 
  2. Squirt onto your bathtub, toilet bowl, sinks, or in your showers and scrub away!
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  • yes it can be substituted. Though they are supposed to be the same thing, orange oil tends to be made with the essential oil cold pressed from the peel and an emulsifier so that it will mix with water to make whatever cleaning agent you want with it. Orange oil is cheaper and comes in a bigger container, but I would not use it for any kind of body care products because I wouldn’t consider it as pure as orange eo, with the added emulsifier!

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  • lydia

    I’m going to make this Friday! I just noticed that my boys (1&3yr olds) bath tub looks clean but has a nasty layer of slime! Ewww. Thanks for this recipe!! I love all your recipes!!!

  • Ashley Arestad

    Can’t wait to try this!!

    You mentioned needing a cleaner for mineral buildup. I use a cut lemon. Just rub on! I swear it works! I had bad mineral build up on my shower doors and I just rubbed in and let sit for a few minutes. If you need a little extra scrub power you can use some baking soda. But the lemon works well enough for me!

  • Kristen

    It’s mayonnaise…No…It’s Citrus Softscrub!!!

  • Kristen


  • DMattz

    Just a quick clarification, I noticed in the below sentence a word that may have meant to have been bowl.

    “Combine ingredients into a bowel until mixed together completely. Transfer…”

    Thank you for the recipe, I don’t want to come across rude, just noticed a slightly odd mixing vessel

    • oh my lol yeah, i wrote this post using my tablet back in the day, it must have auto corrected that! LOL that would be a terrible vessel to make this in bahahaha thanks for the heads up I will fix that immediately!

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  • Sara Lee

    I use a combination of your Citrishine, baking soda and water for my sink and the tough jobs. It may a few tries to break it all down, but does a decent job. I also use to clean out glass bottle that I can’t get my hand in. As a side note: I make coffee ice cubes for iced coffee. The only problem is it leaves a nasty oil residue in the ice tray. I fill it with water and Citrishine, let it sit for a few hours and, voila, its clean!

  • Kari-Maryland

    How long can this soft scrub be stored?

    • I keep mine stored under the kitchen sink and it stores just fine over a couple months. You may have to add a bit of water to it if you let it sit for too long but just add a small amount of water and shake the bottle and it’ll be as good as new!

  • MW/Ohio

    Yes, I did add liquid to the laundry soap..oops. Just followed the list of ingredients:
    2/3 cup liquid castile Soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Lavendar Castile Soap)
    Love the site….love your story. Brian Schmuck is engaged to my sister, Deanna, and he told me about your blog when I was talking about going green and making my own laundry soap. Glad he did!!

  • MW/Ohio

    argh…I made the powered laundry soap for the first time and mine resembles mashed potatoes….not dry. Help!! MW/Ohio

    • You are commenting on the natural Citrus Softscrub, but you said the powdered laundry soap resembles mashed potatoes? Did you add liquid to it? It should just be a grated bar of castile soap (not the liquid castile soap), baking soda, washing soda, borax, and if you are using them the laundry softener crystals.

      • Michelle

        Yes, I did use 2/3 cup liquid following the ingredient list below (oops)
        2/3 cup liquid castile Soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Lavendar Castile Soap):

        I still am using it…just have to use the hot water cycle first to melt the glob and then I switch back to the proper temperature. lol
        Love the site…love your story. Brian Schmuck is engaged to my sister, Deanna, and he suggested your site after he heard me talking about going green and making my own laundry soap at a family birthday party.

        • OHHHH! ok I see, you were looking at the laundry post from July. yes I used to make that recipe for my laundry soap, and it was a really weird mixture to say the least. It worked just fine on my laundry but over time I improved my laundry soap recipe. I wanted one that was actually a dry powder lol, and I felt like that one just wasn’t.

          I will have to tell Brian thanks for the extra readers! It’s nice to meet you (over the internet!) 🙂 Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you have even if I don’t have a post about it. I get all kinds of questions every day over Facebook, email, and even texts lol even my closest friends ask me questions all the time