Paleo Tub Scrub!


By Leslie Why Reap

HA HA, I made you look, didn’t I?  So maybe my new PTS (Paleo Tub Scrub) isn’t truly Paleo due to the absence of bathtubs back in the day, and perhaps it is not truly “mine” since I found it on and I didn’t invent it…. BUT by virtue of enthusiastic creation and application and passionate adoption, I have made it mine.  It is mine because we all need to find ways to live more Paleo/Primal, more off the grid than on, with a smaller footprint and more independently of all those wildly profitable consumer goods that toxify our terrain and bodies.  So in an effort to do all of the above AND because I needed to clean my tub and not feel like I was going to die, I decided to try my hand at a Homemade Cleaning Products 101.  First up, a simple and effective Tub Scrub (good for shower walls too), since renamed “PTS" (Paleo Tub Scrub)!  

Since I made a New Year’s Resolution not to play Doctor Google in 2012, I decided to play Chemist Google (or Google Chemist?) instead.  It was a quick search and a short path to find my ideal homemade product.  Would it work?  Why not simply buy a tub cleaner?  They work - right?! Good question.  Actually, that isn’t a really good question because it can likely be answered by your personal experience with tub/shower cleaners.  They are highly toxic.  Or at least they seem to be since most won’t disclose the ingredients on the bottle.  Unless you buy an “organic” one and spend more money which is an attractive option if you don’t have an extra 5 minutes to make your own.  Besides, anything that carries a warning label in two languages that takes up half the backside of the bottle and claims to have “No Obnoxious Fumes!” is surely suspect in my mind.  They make your throat burn and eyes water, and if you have the pleasure of really having to scrub the tub/shower for more than 30 seconds, you will find that you start to get lightheaded as well.   Not the kind of high I want.

Now I can hear the excuses coming, “I don’t have the ingredients,” “I don’t clean my house someone else does”…blah blah blah.  Be a little self-sufficient.  Studies show that people that make, bake, build, and create things are actually happier and more fulfilled.  So get the ingredients, make the stuff and give it to your housecleaner or use it yourself, and then take a deep inhalation and know that you are not poisoning yourself, your family or the environment with that noxious stuff that is so “handy” and “easy.”   Revel in the fact that you MADE something today!

How to make your very own PTS:

  1. 1.1 cup baking soda
  2. 2.Mixing bowl
  3. 3.3/4 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s which I buy in bulk)
  4. 4.Spoon
  5. 5.Essential oil, for fragrance (Dr. Bronner’s comes with essential oils, wow, step saved!)
  6. 6.Pump-style soap dispenser (I put mine in a pint mason jar)
  7. 7.Sponge or scrubber pad

Pour 1 cup baking soda into the mixing bowl. For larger quantities, you can double or triple the recipe.

Add liquid castile soap, a little at a time, while mixing continuously with a spoon. Keep adding the liquid castile soap until the mixture resembles a slightly thick shampoo. You may end up using more or less than 3/4 cup.

Sprinkle scented essential oil into the mix and stir well. The amount you use will depend on the scent you select and how strong a scent you prefer. Start with five drops, and add more if desired. The fun part of making your own cleaner is the freedom to choose the scent you want - anything from the clean smell of cool cucumber to the more exotic, spicy frankincense. The essential oils are optional.  You can omit them if you prefer.

Pour the mixture into a decorative pump-style liquid soap dispenser. Store any leftover mixture in a sealed container. This cleaning mixture will keep for up to a year. (I didn’t have one of these lying around so mason jar did the trick).

Use the mixture by pressing the pump to dispense a small amount on a sponge or scrubber pad and applying it to the tub. Scrub the tub area and rinse with water.

How to use it:

Do I really need to explain to you how to clean a bathtub?  Google it.  The short version…I applied it with a scrubby sponge to tub and shower walls, scrubbed and rinsed.  Soap scum, dirt, rings, gone but not forgotten as a lovely organic pepperminty smell remained.  No burning eyes, no gasping for air, no polluting the earth!  I love it.

Read more: Homemade Safe Tub Cleaner |