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DIY Tub Scrub

DIY Tub Scrub

Cleaning

Last Updated on September 23, 2020

I hate vacuuming, but I love cleaning the bathroom… especially the bathtub. To be honest, I haven’t always loved cleaning the tub. 

It’s rigid. It’s bumpy. It has hard water stains and can take a lot of scrubbing. 

My roommate is on vacation for a couple of months. I peeked into his/the guest bathroom to make sure it’s being cleaned properly. I wasn’t surprised at all – it’s not. 

I don’t think he’s scrubbed anything a day in his life. And, if he’s reading this – hopefully he’ll get  the memo. I will make tub scrub anytime! It takes moments and doesn’t require you to do any scrubbing. 

The bottom of the guest shower is that rigid, bumpy material. Dirt can easily get trapped into those ridges. It’s super difficult to scrub. 

how to clean a shower – zero waste:

To clean my shower in a zero waste manner, I start with a rag. Dip the rag into the tub scrub. Rub it in circular motions on the tub or shower floor. 

Walk away for 10 minutes or more depending on how bad the stains are. Come back and wipe the grime away. I feel like an infomercial, but it’s really that easy. It practically wipes away. 

Then I fill a bucket with water and make sure all the scrub is washed away. 

I love this scrub because it’s super easy and it’s not filled with unnecessary chemicals. It’s not dangerous if you breathe it in. You don’t feel like you’ve fumigated your house. And, it just cleans super, super well. 

tub scrub: 

Mix all of these ingredients in a small bowl. The mixture should become a thick paste. It doesn’t keep very well. This mixture is what I use for the entire tub. 

There’s not very good natural light in this bathroom. But, hopefully you can see the difference. This also works excellently for grout! 

before:

after:

I don’t make too many cleaning products. I typically keep to my all-purpose sprays and this tub scrub. But, I reached out to y’all on instagram about what you struggle with cleaning all naturally. I’m coming out with a dusting spray and cleaner for laminate and hardwood floor.

What places do you struggle with cleaning all naturally? 

*This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page.

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  1. FYI – I tested this yesterday and it works great! Going into my permanent DIY recipe book πŸ™‚ I used my favorite Dr. B scent too – almond. It was sooo much more enjoyable to clean the tub this way. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us.

  2. I just tried this and it’s amazing! I live with two tradesmen (read: extra grimy tub!) and it was cake!! Minor amount of actual scrubbing but I’m sure with a normal tub it would be nothing. Other cleaners have damaged my cloth so badly, I had to toss the cloth; and this just rinses clean. I’m not worried about it irritating my skin or going down the drain. THANK YOU!! Honestly. Thank you.

  3. I just tried this and it’s amazing!! Thank you for sharing! I always loved your blog and have followed you for years. Have you ever heard soap nuts? If not you should look it up. You buy them on Amazon and they are good for everything! Cleaning, laundry, dishes, mirrors etc.

  4. Do you think this would work for tile showers and grout? I’ve been having the hardest time finding something that will clean it well, and end up using nasty smelling cleaner that makes me dizzy.

    1. This works very well for tile and grout. Use a scrubbing toothbrush or the like for really dirty spots. If the grout is really stained, try spraying on straight white vinegar or straight or diluted hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide works best on mold.

  5. You said it doesn’t keep well. How long WILL it keep? Love your blog, BTW. It’s what has inspired me to attempt zero waste.

  6. My go to tub and toilet bowl cleaner is a spray bottle of citric acid 1%. That is 10 grams citric acid powder in a quart of warm water or a heaping teaspoon per quart. It doesn’t have that vinegar smell and eats rust stains like no other as it is a strong chelator of iron and other metals that stain tubs and sinks. Where do you get citric acid? I buy mine on eBay or Amazon and I like to buy the USP grade so I can use it in the kitchen. A pound lasts a very long time at a teaspoon per quart of stain remover and it costs much much less than buying and squeezing lemons (Use lemons for cooking, they are expensive).

    The other magic cleaner is sodium carbonate or washing soda. It is a much stronger cleaner than sodium bicarbonate, hence it’s name of washing soda (which your Grandma would know it by). It is the main ingrediant in automatic dishwashing liquids and clothes washing detergents since phosphate was banned many years ago. Again, maybe a tablespoon of washing soda per quart of water and this one is helped by adding your choice of hand dishwashing soap. If you don’t want to be bothered buying washing soda, you can buy any liquid automatic dishwashing detergent and use 2 TBSP per quart of water and be done with it. It is made from non-foaming detergents and washing soda so it is the same product with a big markup and advertising budget.

    So use the citric acid spray and let sit 10 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Then follow with the washing soda spray and and wait another 10 minutes then you may have to scrub, depending on how long the soap films have built up. Ring around the tub is mostly a mix of calcium and magnesium deposits mixed with the calcium and magnesium salts of your soap. The bar soap and liquid Castille soap (traditionally made from olive oil and always much more expensive than tallow based soap) but BOTH will react with hard water deposits to make that greasy soap film that sticks to your sink and tub. You need to convert those hard water salt deposits back to the soda form which is soap and water soluble. So the washing soda can do this without harming you or the tub like using lye would.

    Baking soda is a mild abrasive and will remove thin soap films easily but not the thick stuff unless you have really strong elbows. If you still have bad iron stains after using both the citric acid and the washing soda, then when everything is as clean as possible, place a piece of tissue over the stained area and saturate it with citric acid and let it sit overnight. This will work on polyester resin plastic sinks and tubs and also the porcelain ones too. If the porcelain is chipped through to the iron, then that is what is causing the iron stains and the area can be spot reparied after cleaning and thorough drying with a porcelain epoxy repair kit bought at the Home Depot or hardware store. Getting an exact match is tough but they all will stop the rust stain problem from porcelain chips.

  7. Wow. Usually cleaning our tub requires some really noxious chemicals that get my asthma all flared up and still the tub doesn’t get really clean. I’ve tried many at make-at-home cleaning solutions that the grime in our bathroom just laughed at. But this one… This is a winner! Thank you for sharing such a simple yet effective recipe!

  8. I really struggle with finding a natural way to clean granite countertops. A lot of natural ones are still to harsh (IE vinegar)