One of the areas in which I have really tried to grow is in the area of homemade detergents and cleaners.
Even before we moved, and made an effort to simplify our lifestyle I contemplated whipping up a natural bathroom cleaner. Those conventional cleaners marked “natural” still made me cough whenever I used them. However, I balked at this switch because I couldn’t see how a natural cleaner would get my bathroom clean ~ and I like a very clean bathroom.
Last year I received a copy of The Naturally Clean Home as a Christmas gift and decided to give a homemade tub scrub a try.
There were several recipes to choose from, and the one that seemed the best fit was a homemade soft scrub scented with lavender essential oil.
I was able to easily find the needed ingredients based on what I already had on hand at home, at the local grocery, or through Amazon: 1/4c powdered milk, 3/4c baking soda. 5 drops of lavender oil, and 1/8c liquid castile soap.
What on earth is liquid castile soap? I’ve seen it as a primary ingredient in most cleaning recipes. If you are an experienced soap and/or cleaner maker you probably aren’t asking this. But if you are a newbie like me, a quick google search will tell you that it is a soap made from vegetable oils like palm, coconut, and olive; and named for Castile, Spain ~ a region known for its olive oil.
Once the ingredients are assembled, the cleaner is very easy to put together. Simply mix in a container and add enough water to achieve a consistency that can be squeezed from a bottle.
With my new homemade cleaner, I was actually excited for once to perform one of my least favorite household tasks: cleaning the fiberglass shower stall.
I grabbed my bottle and my upcycled terrycloth rags and set to work.
What I really liked about my new cleaner:
~My stall was super shiny and smelled of lavender.
~It easily cleaned the soap scum and ring around the tub.
~I didn’t cough while cleaning up.
~I knew exactly what was in that bottle.
What I didn’t like:
~I had to use a lot of water to get the tub clean. Ok, this is a very picky thing. But my favorite “cleaning the bathroom method” has been to spray a dry rag with the cleaner and go to town. Surfaces clean up very nicely and very quickly without having to run the tap. This will not work with a soft scrub type cleaner so cleaning the shower takes about twice as long.
~The cleaner starts to separate after a bit. The soda settled to the bottom, and no amount of shaking would get it to reincorporate. I added some additional water, and it works, but the result is very liquidy.
In spite of my shiny tub, I have to be very honest and confess that there have been some moments where I missed my conventional scrubbing bubbles. All the same, we’re going to keep trying and keep working with it, maybe even using a different recipe. The book, which I would still highly recommend for any natural home, includes several.
What are some that you use? If you have any links to pertinent posts of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments.
|The Naturally Clean Home|
|Here is the liquid castile soap that I used. I prefer the unscented.|
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