DIY Soft Scrub (Plus Important Safety Information)

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This Easy Homemade Soft Scrub gets two kinds of ick out of your house–toxic chemical “ick” and bathroom “ick.”

Cleaning bathrooms is not my favorite household chore–are you with me on that? I mean bathrooms are icky in and of themselves for reasons we all know, but when there’s a bathroom that only the “men” (or little boys, if you get what I mean…) in the house use, then it can get even ickier.

Unless you have a bathroom neat freak for a husband or son, I’m sure you can sympathize with my struggle.

diy soft scrub and sponges with text overlay for social media

Especially when you have 3 “men” showering and using the bathroom (need I say more??), there’s ick in the toilet, ick in the bathtub and shower–and even ick on the floor.

Some of the ick can get cleaned up pretty easily with a basic homemade or store bought natural all purpose cleaner, but sometimes you need some more power behind you for those tough cleaning jobs.

That’s when this Homemade Soft Scrub made without any toxic ingredients comes in oh-so-handy.

Bonus–it’s an easy, affordable way to keep your home clean and sparkling. This soft scrub made with all natural ingredients is a gentle yet effective cleaner that works wonders on stubborn dirt and grime.

All you need is baking soda, liquid soap, and some optional essential oils. The combination provides enough abrasive action to tackle tough spots without damaging delicate surfaces like those found in sinks or bathtubs.

You might think you need more than that, but you really don’t–and there are even reasons why adding other things might not be a good idea.

Read on to find out why….

castile soap, baking soda, essential oil bottle, water, and sponges and scrub brush in blue basket
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Following is a VERY short list of things you will need to make this scrub. For all the information, including amounts, please scroll down to the printable recipe card.


Following is a brief description of how to make the scrub. For the full information, scroll down to the handy dandy printable recipe card.

Place all ingredients in bowl. (Photos 1 & 2)

baking soda in a bowl and baking soda and castile soap in bowl collage

Mix completely–use more liquid soap as needed to make thick paste. (Photo 3)
Spread the mixture where you want to clean. Rub in to clean.
Store in airtight container. (Photo 4)

essential oil in bowl and homemade soft scrub in a small jar collage


Making your own soft scrub is a great way to save money and be kinder to the environment.

AND there are all sorts of places you can use this around the home:

  • showers
  • bathtubs
  • kitchen counters
  • countertops
  • tile floors
  • tile grout
  • stove top
  • kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • bathroom and kitchen faucets and knobs
  • microwaves (inside and out)
homemade soft scrub in a jar

How To Use

Put a small amount of the scrub on a damp cloth, damp sponge, toothbrush (a toothbrush is particularly good for cleaning small areas like tile grout or around the base and crevices of sink fixtures) or scrub pad, apply to the surface, then scrub in a back and forth or circular motion.

You can also put some of this all natural diy soft scrub cleaner on the area you want to clean, the scrub with a cloth, sponge, pad, or brush.

This Tub and Tile Scrubbing Tool is a great option for tackling tough jobs.

Do Peroxide or Vinegar Make This Scrub Work Better?

You might notice that some DIY Soft Scrub recipes on the internet have hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in them.

While those sound like both of these ingredients would add a more powerful punch than just plain old water, there are good reasons why I didn’t include them in this recipe, or rather why they’re just alternative.

Why Vinegar Shouldn’t Be Used for This Scrub

Vinegar reacts with baking soda, so if you choose to use vinegar instead of water for this scrub, you’ll want to make only small batches and use the scrub immediately. If you don’t, the result will not be any more potent than just using water, so you might as well save your money and just use water.

Why Hydrogen Peroxide Shouldn’t Be Used for This Scrub

Peroxide mixed with baking soda makes carbon dioxide so it’s possible by storing this mixture (or the vinegar and baking soda mixture) you could break your container.

You also don’t want to mix vinegar with peroxide. It will turn into peracetic acid which is corrosive and potentially harmful to you, your kids, and your pets. So don’t do that either. (source)

Other Ingredients to Keep Out of Your DIY Soft Scrub

Just in case you’re tempted to use other strong ingredients like bleach or isopropyl alcohol, the fumes from those aren’t great for you, so it’s best to skip them too.


You definitely want to store this homemade scrub in an airtight container. A glass jar like a shallow mason jar or jelly jar works well and that’s what I like to use (basically because they’re cute–am I right? I mean, it really is true that mason jars make everything better), but you might choose a plastic container to avoid glass breakage in the bathroom.

These jars are for holding yogurt, but they’d be so cute with homemade scrub in them. Truth is, they’d be cute with ANYTHING in them.

Other DIY Cleaners

If you’re looking for other ways to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in your home, try these homemade cleaners on for size.

shower cleaner scrub in glass container

Homemade Soft Scrub — Only 3 Ingredients!

This Homemade Soft Scrub gets your bathroom (and more) clean and sparkly without all the chemical toxins!
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  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Mix completely, using more liquid soap as needed to make a thick paste.
  • Spread the mixture on the area you wish to clean.  Scrub in back and forth and/or circular motion with a rag, sponge, brush or scrubbing tool.
  • Store in an airtight container.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you make homemade cleaners for your home? I’d love to hear what ones and how they work for you!

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  1. Kudos to you, Adrienne, for providing us with an easy-to-follow recipe. Your clear instructions make it accessible for everyone to create their own safe and effective Soft Scrub at home.

  2. Hello! I’m sorta new to the homemade world so what is a broad spectrum preservative? I’d like to make up a batch to keep on hand. Thanks!

      1. Ok but what is it? If I go to the store and say I need a broad spectrum preservative, what will they give me?

        1. There are a bunch on the internet – if you look it up you will see different ones. Sodium benzoate appears to be a pretty common one. Gluconolactone is another. There are others that have brand names attached to them.

  3. Do you have a great declogger for our toilet? I have used vinegar and baking soda. My husband says because of the 2 cancelling each other out it would not work. The toilet still becomes clogged. I have used peroxide because it would “eat” the stuff that is stuck. Thanks a bunch!
    God Bless,

    1. I’m not sure and haven’t investigated that. I would look into the type you want and see if the cleaner’s ingredients will react negatively with it.

  4. I am so happy someone posted this 😀 I’ve seen a lot of posts with vinegar and baking soda that would neutralize the solution, but I didn’t realize castile soap is alkaline and would be affected by the vinegar. Looks like dish soap might be a good replacement, being neutral to begin with. I will be trying this recipe, thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. Can you make a batch of this shower “soft Scrub” cleaner and store it? Or is this a make as you use kind of recipe? I am VERY new to this and haven’t had much success.
    Thanks for reading my comment

    1. Sure thing – of course :). You could store it for awhile – but like anything else it will go bad after awhile. Well, natural things will spoil sooner than the chemical stuff.

  6. 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

  7. 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. 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!!