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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!
The Hippy Homemaker's Citrus Softscrub
- 3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 25 drops lemon essential oil
- 40 drops tea tree essential oil
- 1 tsp. orange oil
- 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.
Squirt onto your bathtub, toilet bowl, sinks, or in your showers and scrub away!