KIOS: Cleaning, Part 3: My Baking Soda Scrub Recipe and Using Essential Oils

This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short.  If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on.  I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.

Last week, I promised you my baking soda scrub recipe.  It was perhaps a bit grandiose of me to call it a “recipe” – so let’s just call it “a vague set of guidelines” for making your own baking soda scrub.


  • baking soda
  • dish soap
  • water


Fill a container (with a lid) about 2/3 full of baking soda.  Add a few squirts of dish soap on top.  Add water.  Stir, adding more water as needed, until the mixture is the consistency of soft frosting.  (*Note:  This really is NOT edible so don’t eat it!)  You’ll need to stir it every so often as you store it because the baking soda settles to the bottom.

Note:  Other recipes I’ve seen for this kind of scrub call for using the soap to moisten the baking soda without using any water but this results in a scrub that takes FOREVER to rinse off.  I’ve found that just a little soap with mostly water works just fine and is much easier to rinse off.

This particular batch is a little on the watery side but you get the idea.

How to use:

I use a spoon to drop the scrub onto a washcloth, sponge, or pan.  I don’t put the washcloth directly into the container, not wanting to contaminate the whole container of scrub with whatever I’m cleaning.

For not super dirty things – Rub the scrub over the pan/tub/sink/toilet/whatever you’re cleaning and scrub until clean.  Rinse.

For very dirty/crusty/stubbornly dirty things:  Cover the offending item with a good layer of the scrub.  Leave on for several minutes (or a long time is fine too if you forget about it).  At some point, come back to it and scrub it off.  This particularly works well on the bathtub if you haven’t scrubbed it in weeks (not that I would ever do that, of course *ahem*).


Here are a couple more things that I know are great to use but I just haven’t managed to get my act together to use them.

1.  Hydrogen peroxide:  Hydrogen peroxide combined with vinegar is a great disinfectant.  You need two spray bottles, one which must be dark so the peroxide doesn’t degrade.  You spray one on, then the other, and then let them sit for a bit before rinsing.  This works great for fruits and vegetables too.

2.  Essential oils:  Here are a few essential oils that are supposed to have disinfecting properties: cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, oregano, rosemary, sweet orange, tea tree, and thyme.

I also recently read about thieves oil, which is a blend of cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary and clove essential oils that is supposed to have really strong disinfecting qualities.  I’d like to start using essential oils, incorporated into my baking soda scrub and also by making some kind of all-purpose cleaner to spray, rather than just using straight vinegar.


A little more about disinfecting with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar

In particular, essential oil of oregano has been extensively studied and found to be highly effective against many crazy bacteria.

A little more about thieves oil

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6 Responses to KIOS: Cleaning, Part 3: My Baking Soda Scrub Recipe and Using Essential Oils

  1. jonandleah says:

    I just made the baking soda scrub this morning to clean the bathroom, and it worked amazing! Sparkly clean, and it really took soap scum off easy. I had been wanting to try it for awhile, but hadn’t. I am gradually figuring out how to clean without any chemicals, mostly there now. I found a great website where I can get most of the things I need to make my own cleaning stuff, including moving into making handsoap and such.

  2. jonandleah says:

    Last one was from Jon, leah enjoys the fruit of my labors as well!

  3. Pingback: KIOS: Grooming, Part 8: A Side Discussion About Fragrances (and why you should avoid them) | Salmon and Souvlaki

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