All-Natural Homemade Scouring Powder

Natural bathroom cleaning

This easy recipe for homemade scouring powder cleans everything from stuck on floor messes to tile goo. (Not that I’ve ever experienced those personally…) It is inexpensive to make and cleans better than store brands without the vague smell of chemical warfare. I use this all the time to clean our bathroom, which is currently shared by 5 people while we remodel our master bath. With three of those five people being in the under 5 category, the tub especially has the potential to get pretty nasty.

I knew that this stuff worked well, but to put it to the test, I restrained myself from cleaning the bathroom for two whole weeks (meaning I was incredibly busy and didn’t get time to clean it for two weeks). It was bad… really bad. I also knew that my kids would be soaking in said freshly cleaned tub that night and didn’t want them to lose any skin pigment from the cleaners I used so I turned to this natural homemade powder.

Did it work? Oh yeah… I  cleaned the tub one half at a time so I could see the difference. Even with my less than exceptional camera, you can probably tell which side got cleaned first. (Top side, if you can’t tell with my camera)

All natural homemade tub cleaning scouring powder e1437968550957

So, how do you make it? The recipe is very easy and very inexpensive:


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cupt salt
  • ½ cup borax powder


  1. Pour ingredients into jar or bowl.
  2. Mix or stir until well mixed.
  3. If you want to make a shaker, put in a pint or quart mason jar and poke some holes in the top (carefully) with a sharp serrated knife.


  1. Lightly wet surface with water or undiluted white vinegar (for really bad messes)
  2. Sprinkle powder on and let sit 5 minutes
  3. Scrub with sturdy brush until clean
  4. Rinse with water or vinegar (for really bad messes)

A Better Option

I recently found Branch Basics, an amazing natural cleaner that is safe for even chemically sensitive people and that can remove soap scum in seconds, clean the entire house, gets stains out of clothes, dirt out of grout lines, cleans an oven like magic and is safe to use on skin. In fact, it is tear free and I’ve been using it for baby shampoo! I’m addicted. You can find out more here. I even feel safe letting my kids clean with it!

Want more natural cleaning ideas? Check out last week’s post about natural homemade floor cleaner recipes.

Is your tub clean? Have a way to get it cleaner naturally? Please tell me about it below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I’m sorry if you have answered this before, but what is a good source for buying baking soda in bulk? Thanks.

    • hi sarah, just browsing and noticed your question.  I buy my baking soda from a local restaurant supply. hope that helps :)

    • I am wondering if this cleaning recipe works also on acrylic bathtubs. They are more easily damaged and scrached?

    • I suggest that you inquire at your local feed shop or country supply store. In my area, baking soda is about 1$ per box (454g), but at the feed store, 50lbs is 30$. It is food grade for livestock, so is great for these projects.

    • I get baking soda in bulk from Sams Club or BJs buying club.much cheaper than regulate store. $5.99 for 13.5 lbs

  2.  I used just borax the other day, and it worked really well.  Is there any reason you know of NOT to do this?

  3. I used pretty much the same thing for scouring powder. I also make a lemon cleaning oil by taking a quart jar and filling it almost full with white vinegar. Then I collect all my lemon peels and seeds and put them in the jar and let it soak for about 6 weeks. The vinegar draws the oils out and it makes a great cleaner. It smells like lemony vinegar (so a little better than straight vinegar). 

  4. Borax is not toxic, but you do not want to inhale the dust or ingest it. I still use gloves to clean with it. It is anti-fungal. I have horses and it has been used as a natural treatment for thrush of their hooves.  I have heard of people getting a rash after using borax, so use gloves and be on the lookout. Our well water is hard and turns sinks and tubs blue, but borax cleans it perfectly!

  5. I tried this for the first time and my shower/tub has never been cleaner. It got off stuck on scum that even the “natural” clorox cleaner made from “plant extracts” could not budge. Thanks for the post!

  6. Hi this is great! I was wondering what the salt does? And if you know if the salt is too abrasive for the newer plastic tubs? Also I found a cheese shaker and sugar shaker at the dollar store, these work great for shaking out the cleaner. Yeah!

  7. ok, I just made some up and used it clean the burner pans on my electric stove. It is amazing!! I have used oven cleaner (oh the chemicals and smell) and comet and Bar Keeper’s Friend and none of them worked. My burner pans practically look new and they were REALLY bad. Thank you for sharing this, going to clean my bath now.

  8. Know of anything that will kill and get rid of the mold stains in the tub calking? I have tried hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixed into a paste sitting overnight, but that didn’t do much…

    • Dr. Oz had a lady on his show that had some great uses for epsom salt. It was on his website but I am not sure if it is still there. You could Google besu uses for epsom salt in the home and you will probably find it. It used epsom salt, dish washing liquid (I used Dawn) equal parts. I do not remember anything else then you mix it into a paste. You can make it ahead and keep it under your sink in a container for when you need it. You put the paste on and leave it for a while then come back and use a brush on it. She had a dirty, ugly, mildewy tile and grout and it cleaned it perfectly. I do not have tile on my wall only on the floor so I was not in need of the kind of cleaning she demonstrated. Good luck!

    • I did google that and found that borax kills mold and mildew. Use 1 cup borax to a gallon of warm water. You apply it and let sit a while. Maybe a 1/2 hour. Then you use a brush to remove the moldxand mildew. It kills it but doesn’t remove the stain you’ll need bleach to do that. Then you sprat the area with the sane borax mixture to leave a film the wards away the reoccurance if the mold and mildew. I live in FL and I choose this method and it has nor returned! Praise God! The same borax mixture that you spray on. After the water evaporates the borax leaves a barrier to ward off the reoccurrence if mild and mildew. Hasn’t come back here!

    • I used 1 cup of borax dissolved in 1 gallon of warm water. You apply this and let sit for about half hour. Borax kills it but doesn’t remove the dark color. After a half hour you take a brush and scrub it off. Then you rinse .apply bleach to get rid of the color. Then rinse. Make a new batch of borax water mixture put in a spray bottle and spray the surface. When the water evaporates the borax film is still there to protect against the re occurance of mold and mildew. I live in FL and I did this and it has never come back. Regulate sprays with borax water will keep it at bay and also make cleaning easier

  9. I made some of this yesterday and tried it today. I had to experiment with the amount of water used in step 1 but the product works great. Thanks for sharing. I will continue to use the scouring powder around the house, and I will share this article with friends and family and on my blog.

  10. My homemade cleaner tip is that
    I have found that a lid from a parmesan cheese container fits a regular size canning jar (pint or quart). It already has the holes in it. That way you don’t have to cut your own holes in a canning lid.

  11. Just made this ( just happened to have all the ingredients,whoa!) and it works wonderfully. I added about ten drops of Eden’s Garden Sweet Orange Essential Oil ( to one jar (shaken,not stirred) and added some fresh lemon zest to another. I clean homes on the side and I have noticed in the last ten years or so, that my clients want me to use more biologically sound products. This is a nice addition to my hoard of products! Thanks for posting!

  12. I save large bulk spice and Parmesan cheese containers to use as shaker containers. I do not care to use my canning jars for anything except food.

  13. Can i mix this powder with some water & make a paste ? I need to apply it on the walls in the shower ( i have tile all the way up to the ceiling ) Thank you

  14. Sweet Wellness Mama, I’ve spent so much time reading all your blogs that I feel like we are friends. I thank you for all your hard work in researching info & sharing your great wealth of information! I have one comment/suggestion though. Sometimes I jump from one subject to another & often get “lost” & can’t retrieve the site I wanted to return to :(. I think it would be most beneficial if you had a way to type in what one may be looking for & be able to go back to it that way!! I’ve been seeking an accompanying recipe all afternoon & still haven’t been able to locate it. Have greatly enjoyed your blogs & am thankful for all I have learned! How does someone so young & busy as you become so wise? Anne

  15. Our daughter in law just had their baby and she is looking for a good natural nipple cream for nursing. Thought you might have one . Love your stuff, Thanks Penny

      • My solution is simple & proven after 48 months of experience & trying commercial products. Wipe away any saliva from nipples & dry, Next express a few drops of breastmilk & rub all over nipples & areola (sp?) & allow to air dry. Nature knows best.

        • Yes! This is exactly what I did. Only needed relief the first month or so, but the breast milk seemed to help. Make sure to let it dry so nipple pads, bra, shirt, etc. don’t stick. That hurts! 32 months breastfeeding-whoa I just figured that up! Best thing I did for my son but glad to be done?.

  16. The scouring powder worked very well on a tub and surrounding tile. Thank you! It’s wonderful to feel refreshed after using scouring powder… not blown away by chemicals. Using vinegar as a rinse on tough areas worked!

    Thank you to all the helpful commenters above too.

  17. Thank you so much for all of the great recipes! I have so much fun whipping up lotions and such for friends and family. Noticed today that my tub was especially gross. Did a quick search, found this recipe, mixed it up, applied, let it sit about 5 minutes, added a little water to make a paste, scrubbed and viola! Tub looks fantastic…no more soap scum! Thank you!!

  18. Hi katie, im Verenice from Nigeria. I love what you are doing, GOD will increase you in wisdom. Please what is borax and what department of the store can i get it from? And is it the normal bakeing powder? Thanks.

  19. This scouring powder us the best! And using the vinegar made it that much mire effective. Thank you, for all your work and sharing with the rest of us! 😀

  20. To make shakers, I use a drill and put a number of holes in the lid. It’s easiest to do it while the lid on the jar. The size of the holes (i.e., the size of the drill bit) and the number of holes depends on what I’m planning on shaking. I do this with canning jars and their lids for all sorts of things, not just cleaning.

  21. I live in a home with really hard water. This worked like a charm to get rid of the soap scum and mineral residue. Thanks so much!

  22. I remember during Home Economics class here in Nigeria, we were taught to make scouring powder using dried egg shells that have been ground mixed with detergent.

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