I have 2 pet peeves in my home: dirty walls and a dirty tub and sink. Everything else can be in disarray, but if our walls are relatively clean (#children–relative is the best word here) and the bathroom tub and kitchen sink are clean, everything is okay. Keeping these areas clean is easy to do with my homemade sink and tub cleaner. This cleaner is a homemade knock off of Soft Scrub or Scrubbing Bubbles. Unlike those popular cleaners, this homemade tub and sink cleaner is made with non-toxic ingredients that you probably already have sitting under your sink or in your cleaning caddy.
The Best Natural Ingredient For Cleaning Tubs and Sinks
Baking soda is the BEST natural ingredient to use for cleaning tub and sink surfaces as it not only degreases surfaces but it will also freshen and brighten.
Sprinkling baking soda on the surface of a tub or sink and then wiping the area with a wet cloth or brush can work really well for surfaces with mild build up. But for surfaces that need some extra scrubbing power, I like to combine baking soda with castile soap or Sal Suds and hydrogen peroxide to create a powerful cleaning paste. This combo adds an extra “punch” to the baking soda, lifting dirt, oils, and other build up that can occur.
(Check out 13 natural cleaning hacks using baking soda for more ways to use this underrated ingredient.)
Ingredients Needed to Make a Homemade Tub and Sink Cleaner
To make a homemade tub and sink cleaner, you’ll need 3 ingredients (with an extra optional ingredient)…
1 cup Baking Soda
Baking soda freshens, deodorizes, and removes dirt and grease from the surface of a tub or sink. I like to buy a bulk size bag of baking soda for cleaning–this option can be found at Target, Walmart, and on Amazon.
1/4 cup Castile Soap or Sal Suds
Liquid castile soap is a plant based concentrated soap used to make multiple cleaning products from all purpose cleaner to stain remover. Sal Suds is the heavy duty big brother to castile soap and is fantastic at cutting grease and tackling super dirty surfaces. Both do a great job at lifting dirt, but if you’re tackling a super dirty or greasy sink or tub, Sal Suds may be the best option. Sal Suds may also be used to make a variety of cleaners, from all purpose cleaner to dish soap.
1 Tablespoon Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it the perfect cleaning ingredient for a tub or sink. Hydrogen peroxide takes a bit of time to work so it’s best to let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Hydrogen peroxide needs to be stored in a dark bottle, where light can’t reach the hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide also shouldn’t be exposed to the air for prolonged periods. If you plan to make this scrub in advance, skip this ingredient or use a dark container or anything where light can’t seep through.
Optional: Essential Oil
Product marketers have done a fantastic job at convincing us that clean is associated with a particular scent. If our homes smell a certain way, they must be clean. This simply isn’t true! Most of the scents used in cleaning products are simply there to trigger a “good feeling” and sell a product. Those scents don’t add anything to a home except a bunch of undisclosed ingredients (and some ingredients may cause health issues). If you want to add a scent to this homemade cleaner, because you love a particular scent in your home, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Personally, I love grapefruit, lemon, or lemongrass. But know that this scent is completely optional; it’s not required for cleaning purposes.
How to Make Homemade Tub and Sink Cleaner
Making this homemade cleaner takes less than 5 minutes. Here’s how to make it…
- Add the baking soda to a bowl or directly to your storage container, followed by the castile soap or Sal Suds and hydrogen peroxide.
- Whisk the ingredients until they form a thick paste.
- If you want to add a “clean scent” to the paste, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and stir. Lemongrass, lemon, or grapefruit are lovely for the kitchen or bathroom.
- The cleaner is ready to use immeadiately after combining the ingredients or you can place a lid on the jar and seal until you’re ready to use. If you’re using hydrogen peroxide, use an amber jar or something that won’t allow light to seep through the jar.
How to Clean a Tub and Sink
To clean a tub and/or sink, scoop some of the paste from the jar and apply to the surface area. Use a cleaning cloth or scrub brush to evenly distribute the paste across the surface. Let the paste rest on the tub or sink surface for a few minutes, then use a damp cloth or scrub brush to scrub the surface. After scrubbing the surface, remove the paste with fresh clean water. This cleaner should be safe for all surfaces; however, it’s always best to spot test in a small area before using any cleaning product.
Homemade Tub and Sink Cleaner
- storage jar
- mixing spoon
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap or Sal Suds for extra tough jobs--lots of dirt or grease build up
- 1 TB hydrogen peroxide 3% strength--this is what you'll find in drug stores, grocery stores, etc.
- essential oil of choice optional, if you'd like a "clean scent" such as: grapefruit, lemon, eucalyptus, or lemongrass
- In a medium-size bowl, add the baking soda, castile soap or Sal Suds, and hydrogen peroxide. Stir until the ingredients resemble a thick paste. If you want a thinner paste, add more soap or water (distilled water if storing the cleaner, tap water is fine if this is a one-time, immediate use product).
- Use the paste immeadiately after combining or store for later.
- If storing the cleaner for future cleaning needs, spoon the paste into a jar (such as a wide-mouth mason jar or Weck jar) and seal the jar. This cleaner will harden when exposed to air for a prolonged period of time. Use an amber jar or something that won't allow light to seep through if using hydrogen peroxide in the paste and storing for later use. It's also important to leave room at the top of the jar for expansion. The cleaner will expand within the first 24 hours. Store for up to 1 month.
- To clean a tub or sink, scoop some of the paste from the jar and apply to the surface area. Use a cloth or scrub brush to evenly distribute the paste across the surface. Let the paste rest on the surface for a few minutes, then use a damp cloth or scrub brush to scrub the surface. After scrubbing the surface, remove the paste with water. This cleaner should be safe for all surfaces; however, it's always best to spot test in a small area before using any cleaning product.
This recipe was originally shared on Live Simply in 2015. It’s become a very popular reader favorite. Check out more reviews for this recipe, here: DIY Homemade Scrub Cleaner: Like Soft Scrub.
Any suggestions of a great weekly cleaner for cultured marble bathroom vanity and sink? Both our bathrooms have them and I feel they are a pain to clean. I’m afraid of scratching the gel coating on them and haven’t found any good advice on the internet about acceptable DIY cleaning solutions. Manufacturers will warn that they can scratch easily and become dull/hazy with anything abrasive. But other than that, they don’t give advice on what is considered safe, other than a commercial product called Gel Coat, I believe, that is basically like a car wax. Not sure how that helps with disinfecting though. Thanks!
Hey Samira, I wish I knew of a good solution. Marble is one of those surfaces that is particularly sensitive, so I’m hesitant to recommend anything.
Worked perfectly for my moderately dirty tub! My advice is to make the paste the consistency of toothpaste so you can rinse it all off easily. Otherwise it’s another round of leaning over the bathtub I just didn’t need!
So glad it worked well for your needs, Jen!
Oh my goodness! Awesome recipe. I use this all the time in my kitchen sink.
So glad you like it, Ardell!