I love having a homemade all-purpose cleaner readily available, but sometimes you need something with more oomph, you know what I mean?
The house we’re renting has white laminate counter tops. They’re so porous that if a slice of beet falls off your cutting board, you must stop you’re doing right that moment and clean it up, otherwise you’ll have an unsightly red mark on the counter forever.
Oddly enough, we had this same type of counters in our rented townhouse in California too. That’s actually how I learned the hard way about cleaning up beets ASAP (carrots too, and pretty much anything else that isn’t white).
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I used to rely on a very popular “scrub” to get me out of those stained-counter jams.
This was pre-real food days of course, back when our kitchen was filled with boxed cake mixes and “just add this” for an instant dinner. Not only did I not know about the dangerous ingredients in many common household cleansers, but I hadn’t developed a bleach alternative recipe OR my heavy duty citrus infused vinegar cleanser either.
However, despite the fact that I have both of these homemade cleaners on hand (and the ingredients to easily make more if I need to), I still tend to think of over-the-counter cleaning products first.
The good news though, is that it’s getting easier to think twice and consider whether or not what I’ve already made will work, OR if it’s possible to make a new cleaner that will get the job done just as good, if not better, than the chemical-filled store-bought cleaners.
I made carrot cake this past weekend and got shredded carrot all over the counters in the process. I knew that when it came time to clean up my mess, I didn’t have anything in my cleaning arsenal that would be strong enough to get rid of the orange tint.
I knew my old trusty scrub would work, but I didn’t want to use it again. The last time I used it in California I accidentally got some on my skin and it burned! It also has an incredibly strong smell and I didn’t like how it made the whole kitchen smell sterile, instead of just smelling clean.
Then I remembered that Marilee from Bend Soap Company shared her homemade Bend Soap Milk Scrub recipe with me. She said it was just like the store-bought stuff, but that it was so much gentler on their skin (since it’s made from their own in-house goat milk soap).
She also said it was really easy to make and worked on a variety of surfaces – toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers… even stainless steel pots, sinks and stoves!
Taking a look at the ingredients in her recipe, I can see why it works so well:
- Baking soda is known to be a natural whitening agent.
- Vinegar helps to eliminate germs.
- Goat milk soap itself is truly an excellent cleaner.
My daughter helped me make a batch of this homemade bathroom scrub and we got to scrubbing. Within seconds, the orange tint was gone! I took the homemade bathroom scrub to our master shower and scrubbed the grout. Then I went to the bathroom sink and scrubbed it too!
Aside from the fact that this homemade bathroom scrub works amazingly well, I love that it doesn’t have a harsh smell, which would have made cleaning the small stand-up master shower unbearable.
I also love that while the baking soda helps whiten surfaces, it won’t stain your clothes!
I wore a black t-shirt and my jeans when I was cleaning and it didn’t bleach my shirt at all. I know for a fact the hem of my jeans got the cleaner on them (even “short” jeans are a bit long on me) and there’s no stains from the cleaner whatsoever!
I can’t say this about the typical bathroom scrub – I would purposely put on an old t-shirt and pants that I didn’t care whether or not they got stained, because even the slightest lean on the counter meant a ruined shirt!
Thank you Marilee for this awesome recipe – you bet it’s a keeper!
Bend Soap Milk Scrub (homemade bathroom scrub)
- 1 cup shredded goat milk soap from Bend Soap Company (Tea Tree, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Tangerine Spice and Lavender all have antibacterial properties which are good for cleaning)
- 1 quart glass mason jar
- 1 quart water (distilled, if your tap water is not suitable)
- medium saucepan
- 2 cups baking soda (I buy mine in bulk)
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar OR lemon juice
- glass bowl OR large re-sealable container
- squeeze bottle (optional)
Step 1: Make liquid goat milk soap concentrate.
Boil 1 quart of water. Add 1 cup shredded goat milk soap to a quart mason jar. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water into the jar and stir until dissolved. Cool slightly, but not completely.
Step 2: Make bathroom scrub.
Add baking soda to a re-sealable container or a bowl. Add liquid goat milk soap concentrate and stir well. Add vinegar and stir until thoroughly mixed. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Either keep in the re-sealable container OR pour back into the quart mason jar for storage.
Allow to cool completely overnight for a thicker cleaner OR add additional water to thin and fill a squeeze bottle. Just be sure the spout opening of the bottle is large so that it doesn’t get clogged.
Note: If the mixture separates as it cools, use an immersion blender to mix it back together. You could probably use a regular blender instead, but I haven’t tried that method myself.
Spoon out (or squeeze) and use a sponge or a hard bristle brush (depending on what surface you’re cleaning) and scrub. Rinse with the sponge and wipe dry with a towel.