I have hard water. There, I said it. My water is the hardest water of all waters. It is minerally, and sometimes yellow. It etches metal, watermarks glasses, and has even turned my whites dingy. I hate having hard water. Yes, I could buy a water softener, but that would be easy, and I hate easy, more than I hate hard water. Ironically, I feel kind of bad hating on hard water. I mean, it’s like the water underdog, an unsung mineral hero, if you will. Hard water is chock full of calcium and magnesium, both of which are good for your body. So, on one hand you get to ingest free minerals by drinking it, and on the other hand, you get to endlessly scrub said minerals off your taps, tub, etc.
Hard water and I have been at war for years. Hard water always wins. Always. Out of desperation over the years, I have tried every bathroom cleaner on the market. Every. Single. One. I used them knowing that they contained endocrine inhibitors and cancer causing agents. I used them even though they made me feel dizzy or nauseous or sometimes both. I used them until my bathroom smelled like a giant toilet puck. All the products I tried worked, but they all came at a price, one that when I had my daughter, I didn’t want her to have to pay. So, I made the switch to green. But not just any green: homemade green, which is really the best green of all.
The switch didn’t happen overnight and I have tried many variations on cleansers until I found what works best for me. I even kept all my other bathroom chemicals for a year, skeptical that my toilet couldn’t possibly stay nice and shiny and my tub could never be soap-scum free (or mostly soap-scum free, anyway).
The soft cleansing scrub that I have ended up being successful with works well. Really well, if I may say so myself. It’s gentle enough to use on the granite sink in my kitchen, but tough enough to kick soap scum’s butt in the tub. I use it along with my trusty sidekicks: the old toothbrush, and the no-scratch scrub sponge. The toothbrush is great for tricky to get at spots like the drain, or in and around the taps, while the scrubby part of the sponge is like a second-layer attack on soap scum.
When you pair this scrub with a spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar and water, you have all you need to get your bathroom clean and shiny. Give it a try! You’ll be surprised how well something so simple can work!
So here’s what I do:
DIY Soft Cleansing Scrub
1 cup baking soda
1.5 Tbsp distilled water (you can use regular, of course, but distilled tends to give the scrub a longer shelf life)
1.5 Tbsp vinegar
1.5 Tbsp castille soap (I have also substituted with Dr. Bromner’s sal suds, which is terrific, and smells like pine trees)
5-10 drops lemon, lavender, or tea tree oil (or a combination of all three if i’m feeling crazy)
Measure baking soda into a large bowl. Add water, castille soap, and vinegar. Upon contact with the baking soda, the vinegar will bubble a bit, but mix and it will stop. Add your essential oils, give another mix to combine, then transfer to an airtight container.
To use, scoop out a tablespoon or so and treat it like any other soft cleanser.
This amount usually only lasts me a week or so, but it’s so quick to whip up, I don’t feel too hassled making it.