Eco-Friendly DIY Scrubbing Cleansers

When faced with dirty bathroom tile or a stove top caked in cooked on grease, it is so tempting to reach for the bottle of Prefab Toxic Scrub That Will Not Be Named or to chicken out and call a cleaning service . For less money, and without the toxic fumes, you can make your own DIY ecological scrubbing cleansers. I have tried them myself and I can attest to the fact that they work. You’ll feel great knowing that you are flushing fewer harsh chemicals into the water supply, and you’ll love scrubbing the tub without inhaling nasty fumes.

1. Castile soap and baking soda: Networx writer Sayward Rebhal, who is an expert when it comes to ecological living and who keeps her house so naturally clean that her landlord will definitely not be calling a tile contractor to regrout when she moves, introduced me to this scrubbing cleanser. Squirt a ring of castile soap on the surface that you are cleaning, and then generously sprinkle baking soda over the ring of soap. Wet a sponge, and scrub away. This is an excellent tub cleanser. I personally clean my tub with it, and I am satisfied with the results. Bonus tip: Dr. Bronners makes a nice thick household cleaning soap called Sal Suds. You can use regular castile soap, but for extra heavy duty cleaning, try the Sal Suds. It smells really good, too, like pine.

2. Dish soap-based scrubbing cleanser: The lovely and vivacious Mary Beth from Cupcakes and Crinoline posted this fabulous recipe on, the online home improvement community. Her recipe: A quarter of a cup of baking soda, one tablespoon dish detergent, enough distilled vinegar to make a paste from the first two ingredients. Stir it up. Put some on a sponge and scrub away. This works exceptionally well for cleaning stove tops.

3. DIY antibacterial scrubbing cleanser: Thank you to Jill from One Good Thing for posting this recipe. This DIY scrubbing cleanser is similar in ingredients to the previous two recipes, but it includes tea tree oil, which is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. A note: Be careful when using tea tree oil. It can irritate skin if the undiluted oil comes in contact with skin. Its smell is also strong; I advise you to use it for cleaning in diluted form only. Just a couple drops of tea tree oil is all you need. I have reduced the amount of tea tree oil in the recipe so that the cleanser is less irritating. Mix together three quarters of a cup of baking soda, a quarter of a cup of castile soap, 1 tablespoon water, 5 drops of tea tree oil, and one tablespoon of vinegar to make a paste. Then put it on a sponge and scrub away!

Photo: sdominick/

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

thank you

Kirsten Mcculloch

Thanks, some great tips there. I wanted to add that you can also use clove oil in your bathroom cleaner - it's better than tea tree oil at killing mold. Just make sure to get clove leaf oil, not clove bud oil (clove bud oil is usually sold for aromatherapy), for cleaning mold.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Chaya, for Sharing this!

Helen Wu
Helen Wu2 years ago


Fi T.
Fi T.3 years ago

Cleansing should go hand-in-hand with conserving the environment

Marianne Good
Past Member 3 years ago


Magdika Cecilia Perez
Magdika Perez3 years ago

thank you

Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder3 years ago


Maria S.
Maria S.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing this useful information.

Lisa Zilli
Lisa Zilli3 years ago