Better, Cheaper, Safer 4-Way Soft-Scrubber

Better, Cheaper, Safer 4-Way Soft-Scrubber

Conventional household cleaners = money and toxins down the drain.

Nowadays, consumers literally throw money down the drain with the industry’s household cleaners that really don’t even get the job done. But that’s not the most serious consequence of using conventional cleaning products. Of course, I refer to the hundreds of toxins that are present in those products that cause damage to our bodies and to the environment.

A better, cheaper, safer alternative

With those considerations in mind, after a little experimenting, I came up with a recipe for a safe, effective and inexpensive alternative to the supermarket’s offerings for sink cleansers. This gentle and easy 4-Way Soft-Scrubber has become one of my very favorite sanitizers. I cannot imagine going back to the chlorinated cleanser that I had used for most of my married life.

You should find this cleanser easy and inexpensive to make. It smells good, cleans effectively and is perfectly safe to use. And then, you may just feel rejuvenated with its wonderful fragrance. Guaranteed, you will no longer be throwing money down the drain!

This scrub works 4 ways: the baking soda provides gentle grit power and deodorizes; the essential oil or GSE disinfects; and the detergent cleans, helping the baking soda to strip away grease, stains and debris.

Print the following recipe information and adhere the label to an appropriate sized container with clear packing tape so you and/or other family members will always know how to mix up more when needed.

Better, Cheaper, Safer 4-Way Soft-Scrubber


  • 2 to 3-cup food storage container
  • 1 1/2 cups baking soda (more or less as needed)
  • 1/2 cup environmentally safe liquid laundry detergent or soap (i.e., Trader Joe’s Next to Godliness or Costco’s Ecos are several; or use your own homemade liquid laundry soap)
  • Optional: Add 10 drops of GSE (Grapefruit seed extract) for additional disinfecting power (or use 10 drops of tea tree or lavender or rosemary essential oil for the same effect)


  1. To Make: Place 1/2 cup laundry detergent in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup baking soda and stir to combine (or use a rotary beater to quickly combine). Keep adding baking soda until mixture is the consistency of cake frosting. If needed, add a little water to achieve the right consistency. Transfer mixture to container. Keep container tightly closed. If mixture begins to dry, add in a little water and stir.
  2. To use: Scoop out a little soft scrub onto a clean, damp rag. Scrub sink and faucets. Rinse. Use a clean dry cloth to dry and shine the sink and chrome faucets to a sparkling gleam.

Many uses:

  1. Use on any porcelain surface including the toilet.
  2. Removes tarnish from silver.
  3. Cleans stainless steel sinks beautifully.
  4. Removes water stains from faucets.
  5. Removes various stains from crock wear and pots and pans.
  6. Removes caffeine stains from drinking cups.
  7. Counter-tops and even tile grout clean up nicely.
  8. Cleans the stove top of baked-on grease (heat burner for a few minutes to soften grease, then carefully clean using a thick cloth to avoid burns).

Why not mix up a batch of 4-Way Soft-Scrubber, try it out and then come back and leave a comment? Tell me what you think.

Or, do you have a favorite soft scrub recipe of your own? Care to share?

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  1. This is a great recipe. I’m going to share it with our Mother’s of Faith group this week. Our topic is healthy choices for your family! I would put someof this in a Mason jar with a shaker top on it. Recycled Parmesan cheese lids fit perfectly on Mason jars!! It would actually even look good under the sink!

    1. @birthrightrose,
      Actually this is not a dry mixture. It is very moist and thick like cake frosting. Once you mix it up you’ll see the consistency. It’s really a nice cleanser to use, unlike the chlorinated ones at the supermarket.

      1. Thanks for the correction. I will put it into a deli tub then. Thanks for your inspiring posts! (And I really like to see Grapefruit Seed Extract in recipes! We’ve been using it for years!!)

    1. @shannon,
      This soft scrub lasts indefinitely. I’ve never had it go bad, even after months. It tends to become a little dry after a while, but then you just add in a little water to re-moisten it. There is nothing that spoils in the recipe, so it remains as good as the day you made it, even months after it’s been mixed up.

  2. I LOVE the sound of this! I, too, have been steadily stepping away from bleach-based cleansers to natural products. As a mom it’s great to know that my home is safer–and that it’s ok to get my young kids in on the scrubbing! 😉 Another product that I’ve tried and really like is the Norwex Cleaning Paste; it’s a little pricey, but the tub it comes in should last for years as you need such a small amount. They have awesome stuff if you prefer to not have to mix your own.

  3. This sounds fantastic! I, too, have been steadily stepping away from bleach-based cleansers to natural products. As a mom it’s great to know that my home is safer–and that it’s ok to get my young kids in on the scrubbing! 😉 Another product that I’ve tried and really like is the Norwex Cleaning Paste; it’s a little pricey, but the tub it comes in should last for years as you need such a small amount. They have awesome stuff if you prefer to not have to mix your own.

  4. Have you ever read the MSDS for tea tree oil? It’s not entirely benign. And lavender EO has been shown to have estrogenic effects on young boys, so keep that in mind when making cleaning supplies to use around children.

  5. Could you use castile soap in place of the laundry soap?

    I’ve been using some natural cleansers, but confess I’ve continued to buy Comet, because I wanted a scrubbing powder that disinfected! This would be a great alternative.

    1. @carrie,
      You’ll be happy when you mix this up because it really does have great scrubbing power, yet it’s gentle. I love this stuff and everyone who’s ever used it has told me that it’s so pleasant to use and effective.

  6. Hey Sharon, where do you think I can find the GSE. I live in a small town with a Wal Mart, Harris Teeter and Target. Do you have a source locally or will I need to order from somewhere?


    1. @Kathy,
      The best buy for GSE that I’ve found is at Vita Cost (see link below). It is abut half the price you would pay at a retail store. The following link also has about 50 customer reviews (all but 3 are 5-star) with many uses listed by the reviewers.

      Other than that, you would need to find it at a health store or natural grocer like Whole Foods.

  7. This is a great recipe, I will have to mix some up! I don’t know why it never dawned on me to put some GSE in it! Perfect!

  8. This is really great. I have tried SO many things to get stains off my pots & pans and I’ve found nothing works. I am off to print this!

    Sarah M

  9. I mixed this up today with Sals Suds, and added the GSE and lemongrass EO and set to work on the bathrooms. Lovely stuff! Even used it on the mirrors, and was very impressed that it rinsed right off.

  10. I actually have all these ingredients on hand! Also on hand, a couple tubs in need of a good scrub. Serendipity!

  11. I make a very similar recipe from the book Clean House, Clean Planet. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and tea tree oil (along with the baking soda and some vinegar and water). I love it!!! My husband was a bit skeptical at first, but then he cleaned the bathroom with it and declared it better than Soft Scrub! I was amazed at how well it cleaned the stove. I just wiped a thin layer over the tough spots and let it sit for awhile and the stuff wiped right off! I also got some tough berry stains on our laminate counter top. My husband had the idea to try this cleaner. We left it on overnight and the next morning we could wipe the stain away. Truly a great cleaner!

  12. O.k… I have taken it for a test drive on my stainless sinks and I have to say it is the bomb! I used both GSE and grapefruit EO, probably ten drops EACH, because I like the qualities of each AND grapefruit is such a happy smell for me.
    I still need to scrub my funky white porcelain sinks (it IS what happens when you use them a lot!) but I can tell it will work like a dream. I have been using lemon halves (after they have had their juice reamed from them) and plain baking soda which works and smells nice but I think the dish soap gives it the extra bump in effectiveness with less muscle required.
    Thanks… and I WILL be sharing!

  13. This sounds similar to my impromtu shaking of some baking soda and squirting of my all purpose cleaner (nature clean’s, which actually can double as a laundry detergent).

  14. I hae made cleanser before, but not with laundry detergent, just equal parts of salt and baking soda, and essential oil

  15. You can’t be able to really get even for life was never been fair. Although there had been so much to refer for an alternative home solution but still you get to spend a little. But I think I rather suggest natural remedy rather than those chemical product who’s been just causing you time and money.

  16. I am the main laundry doer in my house… though my 3 boys are old enough, I just do it otherwise the washer and dryer would be going non stop…my biggest problem stains are the grease ones…I have tried lots of stuff including non toxic, but right now I find that the Sunlight dish soap works best…I use one of my sons old hair dye containers, it has a small opening in the lid, I pour the dish soap on the grease stain and use a toothbrush and gently work it into the stain,and leave it until I do laundry, if it doesn’t take it out I just do it again and launder again, it does work…You can also use the sunlight on mould on the wall etc. in the bathroom….

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