Homemade Shower Cleaner

Make this Homemade "Soft Scrub" or Homemade Shower Cleaner and ditch the expensive stuff that's filled with chemical nasties.

UPDATE:  Please read my Updated Homemade Shower Cleaner | Homemade Soft Scrub.  The cleaner here doesn’t do what I thought it would.

I’ve been working hard to make more and more homemade homecare products recently.

Things like homemade glass cleaner, homemade dish soap, and the like.

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Today, I’ve got a homemade shower cleaner to share with you!

Cleaning bathrooms is NOT one of my favorite things.

You remember that song from The Sound of Music, right?  “Raindrops on roses and cleaning the bathroom….”

Ahem.  We just got the 45th anniversary copy of The Sound of Music as a family Christmas present so it was kind of on my brain  :-).

Anyway, I really don’t like cleaning bathrooms.

And I really don’t like all of the chemical stuff that you supposedly need to buy in order to get it clean.

If you’re like me, and you just don’t like cleaning the bathroom, then this homemade shower cleaner is going to make your life a lot easier.

We seem to have an issue with hard water.  We get a film on our shower that needs to be removed now and then and we have one of those acrylic shower stalls, so you really don’t want to use an abrasive cleaner that would put scratches on it–making it harder to get clean in the future.

So the other day, it was time to clean the shower again :-(.

I looked all over the internet to find something easy to make–and that would work!

I found one DIY shower cleaner that was super popular, but it used a premade dish detergent with color and fragrance in it–two things that I really like to avoid– and so I kept looking.

What I finally found was this great DIY shower cleaner from Elizabeth’s Kind Cafe.

I whipped it up super quick and really–it worked great!

No need to scrub a ton and scratch up your shower.

And no exposure to super toxic chemicals.

Why make your own Home Care Products?

1.  Reduce toxic exposure for you and your family.  Like I said, I really dislike the chemical and fragrance smells in the multiple chemical-laden products on the shelves these days.

2.  Use less packaging.  With all of the multiple cleaning products in the stores, I prefer to make my own items, and then refill the reusable spray bottles, etc., thereby lowering my impact on the environment.

3.  Lower toxins in the environment.  Every time you purchase something that’s loaded with chemicals you encourage companies to keep making them, and after you use it you are putting the toxins back into the air we breathe and the water we drink.  Let’s keep this stuff out of our environment as much as possible, shall we?

UPDATE:  There is some info on the internet about not mixing castille soap and vinegar, but this really does seem to work.  I am going to do some more experimenting and will get back to you on this.

Here are some other great posts about Natural Home Care Products:

No Streak Glass Cleaner
Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Why I Don’t Make Laundry Detergent

Since I’ve made quite a few DIY household products, I had everything in my home needed to make this.

If you don’t, all of the ingredients are fairly easy to find and you will be able to use them for other DIY projects in the future.

 You should be able to get most of the ingredients for this Homemade Shower Cleaner at the store.  If you prefer to shop online, you could check out Mountain Rose Herbs.

Right now, I have some essential oils on sale in my Healthy Living Store and you can also check out Native American Nutritionals for essential oils.  I recommend them in my Best Essential Oils Series.

What DIY Home Care Products do you make?


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Thank you! This is so timely. I was just looking at my shower wishing I knew of a good DIY cleaner! I’m a fairly new reader and enjoy your content. Thank you, also, for the info on essential oils. I look forward to getting some in the future.

  2. This cleaner is definitely one that I need. But I thought the vinegar and soap cancelled each other out. Maybe not though, if this worked great for you.

    I too enjoyed learning about essential oils and how to analyze them for purity. Thanks for your hard work in bringing such vital information to us.

    • You know, I just read that the other day as well….I’m going to see what I can dig up about this. It appears that they do from what I am reading so I am going to go examine the shower and see…maybe I’ll have to do another “oops” post — Thanks for mentioning this :).

  3. Curious about your thoughts on the baking soda/vinegar combo. Many things I have read about these say the acid and base cancel out and render the blend ineffective. But… you have indicated that it works! Thanks for your posts!

    • Hi Hope. I just responded to another reader about this. You all are sharp! I had seen something like that but really thought this worked. So I am going to have to go back and really check out the shower. Might be “back to the drawing board” on this one…hope not :).

  4. Stephanie W. says:

    I’ve been getting into natural cleaners more, too. It’s really wonderful how well vinegar and baking soda clean–better than commercial products and without the toxicity. I love posts like this!

  5. I clean my tub and shower with baking soda and a long handle dish scrubber. Wet shower, sprinkle with soda, let sit, then scrub off and rinse. Pretty easy and it gets off everything!

  6. The dish scrubbing brush is key I think to keeping it easy. Also letting the baking soda sit there. I’m not proud to say that my showers have gotten pretty bad before getting to them and this wipes the mildew right off! My husband has even gone behind my back and cleaned with the chemical stuff and I’ve recleaned with baking soda and gotten it cleaner! We do not have hard water. We have annoyingly soft water actually so not sure if that makes a difference

    • Nice! Yes, I don’t know about the hard water. What is “annoyingly” soft water? I’ve been thinking about getting a softener…..Ours is about 8 grains. Thanks!

      • LOl, it just feels soft! Like it never rinses out the soap all the way. Our city also uses a strong chemical in it 2 times a year and it actually smells like bleach. freaks me out. The softness just makes me never feel fully clean I guess. I know hard water has it’s own issues but I wish I had that instead.

  7. Cool! Bookmarking this for later use! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. I’ve started using a vinegar/water mix as my general cleaner. I use Seventh Generation’s tub and tile cleaner for the shower. I recently read that Borax is not a healthy ingredient in green cleaners. I just googled it and found this information:

    What’s the problem with borax?
    Borax can have short- and long-term health effects:

    Short-term irritant. Borax can be irritating when exposure occurs through skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. Poison reports suggest misuse of borax-based pesticides can result in acute toxicity, with symptoms including vomiting, eye irritation, nausea, skin rash, oral irritation and respiratory effects. Toddlers and young children face special risks from hand-to-mouth transfer of carpet or crack and crevice, dust or spray borax treatments.

    Hormone disruption. Borax and its cousin, boric acid, may disrupt hormones and harm the male reproductive system. Men working in boric acid-producing factories have a greater risk of decreased sperm count and libido. According to EPA’s safety review of these pesticides, chronic exposure to high doses of borax or boric acid causes testicular atrophy in male mice, rats and dogs.

    Animal studies reviewed by the EPA indicate that while the female reproductive system is less sensitive to borax, exposure to it can also lead to reduced ovulation and fertility. Borax and boric acid can cross the placenta, affecting fetal skeletal development and birth weight in animal studies of high-dose exposures.


    • I’ve heard about issues w/ Borax as well but haven’t been sure what to do about it. I am assuming you are bringing this up b/c you are thinking we shouldn’t be using it, right? I might have a new better option anyway – stay tuned :).

  9. Since we’re on the subject of showers/bathroom cleaner, anyone know of a good way to get rid of mold on the bathroom ceilings? I’d prefer something natural but mold itself is a health problem so anything effective would be great. thanks!

  10. The debate about borax is just that; the research I’ve done disproved the side effects enough for me to continue using it. Just a thought.

    Also a question: Dr. Bonner’s website says not to use it mixed with vinegar because they cancel each other out, becoming inert, in a nutshell. I wonder if, over time, this formula would become less effective as it sits in the spray bottle?

    Thanks for this post! Gonna try it, but maybe with a different soap?

    • Thanks! About the Bronner’s, I am going to be posting an update. The cleaning solution for sure works, but there is a slight film left behind so I am working something else out. The issue is sort of about inertness, but you’ll see the details in my next post – it’s pretty interesting. I haven’t figured it all out but something is going on for sure – thanks! I don’t know about a different soap b/c it looks like it’s the pH that’s the issue and it looks to me like soaps are all bases.

  11. I admire that you are such a DIY type of mom. I like the idea of using less chemicals and yet at the same time can get the job done. Do you also have any suggestion on what is an effective way to clean the lime scale in the tub? It’s always such a headache for me to get rid of that hard water stains and they are stubborn too. I found that something like Simple Green Lime Scale remover works well, but they are difficult to find and probably not safe either.


  12. This is something that I haven’t really dug into yet, but I should really start. I hate cleaning the bathtub. It is the absolute worst!! :)

  13. I’ve been looking for this, so I’m really happy to have found this recipe on your site. Thank you Adrienne!

  14. I just started using all-natural cleaners and love them! Before, I had been using the Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner that hangs in your shower, you push a button when you get out, it sprays the (unhealthy) cleaner all over your shower.
    Well, I poured out the rest of the cleaning solution, washed out the plastic container and refilled it with White Vingegar and Young Living Lemon Essential Oil. Now, I step out of the shower, push the button and I am cleaning with healthy cleaners!
    *About twice a month I do use either Borax or Baking Soda to give it a good scrub down!

  15. I didn’t know you could make your own cleaners, I will try this for my bathroom.

  16. Hi Adrienne,

    I use mrs. Myers clean day surface scrub for our shower. But, I would love to make my own since I go through the mrs Myers do quickly. Looking forward to hearing what you think is the best DIY solution. :)


  17. This does seem to be a hot topic. Tubs are definitely tough to clean. I’ve used vinegar in it before but my husband noticed it was rusting the metal parts in the drain so I had to stop using it. I’ve used baking soda and that works if you keep up with keeping the tub clean. I’ll look forward to hearing about any changes or new info regarding the cleaner! Thanks for posting!

  18. http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292
    A good post about castile soap is to clean and the vinegar to rinse but you can mix Sal Suds and vinegar the link says.

  19. I forgot to say that we have a water softener and it really does help things stay cleaner longer but I also squeegee the shower when I get out and I can go a long time between cleanings that way.

  20. I emailed this recipe to my chemist husband to see if he could shed light on the acid/base issue. Here is his reply:

    This has a pretty good chance of working. There are two types of soap (borax and liquid soap), so you are essentially cleaning with existing soap. The baking soda is reduced by the smaller amount of vinegar, so the net is a pH increase. That would be good because caustics clean well. Technically, borax is the salt produced from boric acid, but borax is the main ingredient in many powdered soaps.

    Bottom line: It should work slightly better than the borax or liquid soap alone.

    Basically (no pun intended, lol!), as long as it is not equal parts of acid and base ingredients it won’t cancel each other out. The vinegar will only adjust the ph of the baking soda to create a more effective ph for cleaning.

    • Interesting. Are you subscribed to my blog? I think I am going to email you about what I found. Maybe you can ask him why. I don’t know what is going on.

  21. I am subscribed. You may still have my email. I bought a dehydrator through you about 6 months ago, which by the way I love! Feel free to send over what you found and I’ll have my husband take a look at it. He gets a kick out of doing chemistry and reaction analysis, lol!

  22. Saw your email. I’ll have him take a look.

  23. Re: Regarding our water softener. We bought it in 2000 or before and use potassium chloride pellets instead of salt in it. It makes skin and hair feel silkier. Soap and detergents lather much better also. We love it but like everything else, some people love it and some people love hard water.
    I really don’t know much about the acid/base issue regarding castile soap and vinegar.

  24. Making your own home care products is a great way to help the environment and look after your family . Your homemade shower cleaner sounds great. By the way, we have a water softener as well. It really does help reduce the amount of scale that builds up on sinks, showers etc.

    • Interesting, April. Do you mind it leaving your hair silkier? I’ve heard some folks say it leaves it flat. – thanks!

      • I honestly have never found that, I like the silkier feeling – my hair feels ‘cleaner’ if that is possible :) In fact, when we had hard water when I was first in the UK I used to look forward to visits to Canada/the US so I could use soft water again. I think your hair looks thicker than mine though so I don’t know if you will feel this way too, but for me soft water is the way to go.

        • Well, then you may have just sold me :). I don’t think my hair is thick – it’s quite fine, but naturally wavy . I typically blow it straight these days – when I stayed at someone’s house w/ really hard water it was super curly. That was kind of fun but this gunk in my house isn’t :(.

  25. I have been using baking soda and vinegar to clean my tub. First I wet the tub down, then sprinkle a bit of baking soda on an are about a foot square, scrub, then sprinkle a tiny bit more, spray on vinegar from a spray bottle, full strength, let it fizz, then scrub a little more, and rinse. Works great for me.

  26. Great tip! I found you on the Barn Hop and I would love to have you join the fun on my Creative HomeAcre Hop!

    Hope to see you there!

  27. It’s always good to find another DIY cleaning solution. Thanks for sharing this one. Please feel free to drop by my Tuesday Greens linky to link up this or any of your other green posts. http://www.craftygardenmama.com Have a great week!

  28. When you get that acrylic shower cleaned good….put a thin layer of Turtle Wax on it and make sure it does not get on the floor of your shower or you will slip and fall. This wax keeps the water beads from sticking there and making water spots. Friend shared this with me.

  29. Hi, Thanks for including me in your post! Elizabeth, ElizabethsKindCafe.com

  30. I just tried the shower cleaner, and had a problem with the sprayer getting clogged. Is it better to make the solution in advance so it dissolves better, so is there a better sprayer to use? I love using green ingredients to clean and like to use grapefruit essential oil to scent. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi MaryAnn. I am so sorry – did you see that I had to redo this? It made a mess of my sprayer as well and left a film. There is a link to the update in the post – I think you’ll like the new version a lot better. Take care!

  31. Katie Sayre says:

    Hello, Just came on your site through the better mom, and enjoyed nosing around a little. If you would like to reduce the chemical use in your home, I would strongly recommend you look into Norwex cleaning cloths. They are a very dense microfiber that allows you to do most of your cleaning with just water. I love them and rarely use cleaners, natural or otherwise. I don’t sell them but recommend you look around the web for a local representative.

  32. I made this and it made a huge amount which did not completely dissolve and because it was so gritty, it clogged every spray bottle I put it into. Was it a liquid for you? I ended up using it out of a bowl and it cleaned pretty well, but what to do with the foamy left over? It’s such a waste. What could I have done wrong?

    • It’s not meant to go in a spray bottle. I just kept mine in a plastic container. I didn’t have foamy left over. I don’t know what to say. I know I am going to have to redo my body lotion recipe for warm weather. It’s a complete liquid right now. Maybe try a small amount and see if it happens again?

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