Homemade “Soft Scrub” | Revised Homemade Shower Cleaner

Homemade Shower Cleaner
I thought I should have maybe titled this post, “Why My Homemade Shower Cleaner Didn’t Work — and Here’s One That Does!”

It took me a pretty short time to figure out that something wasn’t quite right with my Homemade Shower Cleaner.

Read on to find out what went wrong.

First of all, I am so sorry about this.  I just get so excited when I find a DIY recipe to share with you all…

You know–a way to
get the toxins out of your home and your body
save money and
– still get the job done.

I just love that kind of thing.

Well, I feel horrible when I have to come back and tell you that something I shared just wasn’t right.

Like when I had to post on update to my Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid.

Other things I have to admit aren’t as humiliating, like when I realize that Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips aren’t just foofy hair ornaments.

Or when when I change my mind about The Best Essential Oils Company for the money.

But this one is a little humbling.

You see, after using my Homemade Shower Cleaner to get some of the soap scum and mineral deposits off of my shower, it looked great.

I really thought I had found something wonderful–and so I posted about it.

It was a super simple recipe — basically just castille soap and vinegar.

What I didn’t know was that there is an issue when mixing those two ingredients together.

I read a number of posts, looked up pH scales, and even corresponded with a few chemists (one of them being my father-in-law.  He’s really a genius, and very engaging, and has some great stories about his days teaching in the high school chemistry lab.  I wish he’d been my teacher :-).)

What happens, it seems, is that the acid and base in the vinegar and the castille soap react, causing the castille soap to unsaponify, which basically means that the soap is broken down to its original oils.

Whatever the reason–my spray bottle is now clogged and though I couldn’t really see it, when I scraped my fingernail (or this pan scraper) against the shower wall, a bunch of residue from my not-so-good-shower-cleaner came off.

homemade shower cleaner


Sorry about that folks.

I do have some good news to share, however.

A Revised Homemade Shower Cleaner – Homemade “Soft Scrub” that took off the filmy gunk and is my new shower cleaner.

I got this recipe from Live Renewed and I really like it!  (Notice that Emily at Live Renewed made the same mistake I made.  Turns out a lot of bloggers have been posting vinegar and castile soap cleaning mixtures that just don’t work.  Glad I’m not the only one :-)!)

{Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running – thanks!}

 We use rags for everything in our home.

Super frugal and a great way to use clothing that isn’t usable anymore.

I’m glad that I finally have something that works to clean our shower.

This would also work on your:

– bathroom sinks
– kitchen sink
– kitchen countertop
– toilets
– anywhere that you need a little cleaning strength without a lot of abasiveness

It even got that “Shower Cleaner Unsaponified Gunk” off of my shower–lickety split.

Sorry if I caused you all trouble.

This Homemade Shower Cleaner really works.

For other DIY Personal and Home Care Products, check out:

“The Best” Eye Makeup Remover
Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Jojoba Oil Face Wash
Easiest Deodorant
– Foaming Hand Soap
Nourishing Sugar Scrub for Hands and Body
Nourishing Lip Scrub

This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer.


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  1. great recipe thanks for updating it. Thanks for sharing at Tasteful Tuesdays this week! Do you sew or know someone who does? I have a fabulous pattern sale (18 patterns for under $25) and giveaway going on right now.http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2013/02/sew-fab-e-pattern-sale-and-giveaway.html

  2. Congratulations on admitting your mistake–I know that’s hard, especially when you have publicized what you’re doing!

    I love the combination of baking soda and liquid soap. You can also use it as a facial scrub, to remove some laundry stains, and on pots and pans! Great stuff.

  3. I haven’t made this before, but we do the baking soda/vinegar cleaning for most everything. I recently started using table salt to get some of the tougher stuff off the tub, it seems to work pretty well. But, I think I will have to give this a try!

    • You mean you use baking soda and vinegar together?

      • Yes! It works quite well. I also use it for unclogging drains, and cleaning the toilet. Plus, my kids like to watch it all bubble up :-)

        • That’s interesting seeing all the comments about the vinegar and castile soap canceling each other out. I think my father-in-law was right…the acid base combo unsaponifies the castile, causing the gunk.

          • I made that mistake when I first started “natural” cleaning, thinking I was getting the best of everything. I made a batch of an “all purpose” cleaner that had vinegar and dr. bronners, and when I came back to it the next week, it had all separated. So I tend to stay away from mixing too many things now. But I stick baking soda in an old parmesan cheese container and sprinkle that, spray with white vinegar, and scrub scrub scrub :-)

  4. I make my own cleaning products too! I kind of use the same thing, but I made my own “comet” cleanser.
    It is just baking soda and (optional) essential oils, in a canning jar with holes poked in the lid. I shake it on and the scrub, I also use it with my vinegar based glass cleaner, So basically I shake on baking soda spray on a little vinegar and water and scrub.
    I have no doubt your soft scrub recipe works, because what I do works amazingly well too! It will scrub off gunk and grime you didnt even see was there until you started scrubbing and saw that the “white” sink was not actually white at all until the layer of scum was scrubbed off. The scrubbing too takes very little elbow grease.
    Baking soda is awesome for scrubbing off stuff like that!
    Also I had no idea about acidic things and castille soap, that is really interesting!

  5. Glad to know it works! :) And that I have all the ingredients on hand. My son is 13 and has yet to clean his own shower. This weekend he takes the plunge. He’ll thank me later.

  6. It’s probably not as natural as you’d like, but I’ve had really good luck with equal parts vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap. I spray it on, let it set for about 15 minutes, scrub, and rinse! Works so much better than anything I ever bought from the store!!

  7. Juliana says:

    I use just about the same thing, however I’ve found that it works just as well to pour whatever amount of baking soda into a bowl, then squirt enough Dr. Bronners in to make it into a nice paste (sort of like tooth paste?). If I am cleaning something particularly gunky or germy, I add a teeny splash of essential oil. I just add water, do varying degrees, as I use it with a rag. So… I thought I’d throw that out there just in case someone is less measurement-minded. :)

  8. shannon says:

    This works so well! I made up a batch. I tweaked it a bit to make it easier to squeeze out of my container. I just added another tablespoon of distilled water. I put about 15 drops of peppermint oil, just cause I like the smell. It works with very little effort and I will be making it again…Thanks

  9. thank you so much, i love this cleanser! do you know how it would work as a dishwasher detergent?