For some time now, I've desired to use more natural household cleaners, but finding solutions that are easy to employ and (in my opinion) actually work well has been an ongoing task.
A couple years ago, I resolved to not purchase any more commercial cleaning supplies (even when they're a great "bargain") in an effort to use up what I already had and then force myself to find better solutions. I knew if I had "back up" supplies, I'd never stop procrastinating about changing!
So, one thing at a time. As my various supplies have run out, I've started experimenting. I had a number of bottles of Comet scouring powder that had been given to me (along with Cameo and a few other scouring powders) and about a year ago, I used the last of those.
My initial idea was to just use baking soda as scouring powder, since I can get it cheaply and it's safe, abrasive, etc. I used baking soda for a number of months but was not thrilled with the results. It wasn't abrasive enough and required a lot of scrubbing but still didn't produce results comparable to the commercial scouring powders I had used.
Then my friend Abigail sent me a booklet titled "200 Fabulous Frugal Uses for Baking Soda" by Vicki Lansky.* In it was a recipe for homemade scouring powder. Since I already had the three ingredients it used, I figured it was worth a try.
Homemade Scouring Powder
1 cup baking soda
1 cup salt
1 cup Borax powder**
Mix all ingredients and store in an air-tight container. Use as you would use commercial scouring powder.
Mixing up a batch of the scouring powder took just a minute or so. First I used it on my kitchen sink (porcelain). Wow! I must say I was very very impressed. This scouring powder works wonderfully. While it does require scrubbing effort, I definitely didn't think it required any more scrubbing than Comet did. I could see results almost immediately, which was a shock to me since I didn't have high hopes after my previous experiences.
I was even more delighted when it came time to rinse the sink I had just scoured. The sink was rinsed in less than a minute, without the gritty residue that Comet always left. I can remember rinsing, rinsing, and rinsing my sink after scouring with Comet, and when it dried, it still had residue on it. For that reason, I would scour the bath tub before my shower rather than before the childrens' baths, since I didn't want scouring powder residue in their baths, and it seemed almost impossible to rinse away completely.
I also scoured my bathroom sink (plastic). Again, I was pleased with the results. I am so excited to have found a simple, natural, frugal solution for scouring powder, and of course the "old-fashioned" part of me is happy that it's "homemade". ;) Just one less thing I need to worry about buying now! I never did like having those metal + cardboard containers to get rid of when I used Comet.
*I'll be sharing more ideas from this booklet as I try more new things, so stay tuned!
**A box of Borax powder costs about two dollars and can be found in the laundry aisle. I already had some on hand because it is used in my homemade laundry soap. Is Borax safe for use in homemade cleaning supplies?
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