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Homemade Tub & Tile Cleaner

This homemade tub and tile cleaner is SO easy to make, smells wonderfully, and works GREAT!

I was so, so happy with how this recipe from my friend Ruth (from Living Well, Spending Less) turned out.

It smells wonderfully. It is easy to make. And it works really well.

Just be sure that you mix it up in a larger bowl. You would think I would have learned my lesson about baking soda and vinegar! 🙂

I realized after mixing it up that I don’t have a funnel.

So I improvised and used my tea pot instead. Hey, it was a little non-conventional, but it worked!

And then I used the spilled cleaner to scrub my clean off my kitchen table.

See more homemade cleaner recipe ideas I’ve tried here.

Head on over to Ruth’s blog to see her incredible post with 10 homemade cleaning recipes that can all be made with just the same 10 ingredients in less than 10 minutes each. She even has a free printable recipes sheet.

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53 Comments

  • andrea c says:

    Does it have to be a plastic container??
    I have some old olive oil jars, that would probably be perfect, except they are glass.

    • Crystal says:

      Let us know if you try glass. I think it should work. But I can’t say for sure since I’ve not tried it!

      • Youd be better off using a glass container, the vinegar will eat a plastic spray bottle over time and it will crack and split and eventually leak. Works great on toilets. We use an alternate method:

        Baking soda with some lemon juice to make a paste, rub it on the grimy spots of the toilet and let set for 15-20 minutes. Spray with vinegar and then wipe clean. Gets rid of the grossness little boys leave all around the hinges and nuts and bolts and leaves it smelling fresh 🙂

        • Joy says:

          I’ll have to try this. I have 3 boys (4 if you count dh). LOL. I usually just use a bleach wipe daily on those hinges and base.

        • Nancy says:

          I’ve been using the same plastic bottle for my window cleaner (vinegar, water, and a touch of detergent) for over 5 years and it is still going strong.

  • Jenn Arms says:

    Did you ever try the cleaner….equal parts Dawn dish soap and Warmed vinegar mixed well in a spray bottle! Cleans my bathtub of grime from the dirty hubby like a charm!

    • Crystal says:

      I am totally trying that the next time I actually have Dawn on hand… I’ve heard it only works with Dawn. Is that right?

      • Angie D says:

        I have good luck with throwing baking soda, ANY liquid dish soap (including Dr. Bronners) and a scrubby. Maybe I’m using too much elbow grease though. =)

      • Tina Dill says:

        We did the warm vinegar and dawn and it made fumes so strong I couldn’t be in the bathroom. It just about choked my husband!

        • Robyn says:

          I’ve read that those horrible fumes are caused by heating the vinegar. I don’t heat the vinegar and I don’t have the fumes – just smells clean and fresh like the dish soap and seems to clean really well without having to scrub.

    • Jenevieve says:

      I use Palmolive and vinegar in my shower and it works great! I just poured some vinegar into the palmolive container (about equals parts soap/vinegar) and just squirt some onto a sponge when I shower and wipe things down. I’ve been very pleased, and it is so easy!

  • Lori says:

    Hi – does this recipe keep for awhile or do you need to make it when you want to use it?
    Thanks – I love these cleaners.

  • Dianne says:

    Once the baking soda and vinegar have neutralized each other, how does it clean?

    • Crystal says:

      I think those are just to provide some liquid and consistency to the cleaner. The salt and lemon juice and dish soap do most of the cleaning. You could leave the baking soda out, but I think it help it achieve a better consistency for scrubbing.

      • Dianne says:

        Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

      • Alysa says:

        I know this is an old comment but felt this might help someone else along the way. The consistency is like a loose soft scrub but I wouldn’t try it in a spray bottle. Instead save a dish detergent bottle or something like a soft scrub container for this. I use just the vinegar and any dish soap in my shower cleaner and it works great for most of it, I occassionally have a spot that needs more. I don’t have any fume issues but I never heated the vinegar since its not really needed and is not practical to do each time.

    • Abby says:

      Thanks for asking this! I wanted to know the same thing, but the word “neutralized” was not coming to me.

  • jesslyn sarnowski says:

    Yes or No …. Can this solution be stored or Do I have to use it all right then ? I seen that about the neutralizing but it still wasn’t clear

  • K says:

    I absolutely love the idea of using more natural cleaning solutions. I don’t like the idea of breathing in the harmful fumes emitted by the store-bought cleaning products. It’s one of the reasons that I dread cleaning. I’ve tried cutting the chemicals w/ water….. helps some, but I feel that the smell is still too strong – and it lingers. Opening windows and turning on fans does help.

    I feel assured that the natural cleaning solutions remove visible dirt. My only reluctance is that I wonder if they deodorize and disinfect/sanitize as well as the store-bought cleaning products.

    I’d love to know what others have experienced w/ regard to my concern.

    Thanks.

    • :D says:

      Vinegar, lemons, and essential oils all have antibacterial and antiviral properties. If you do some googling you’ll find a wealth of info and scientific studies on the subject.

    • Tamika says:

      The deodorizing you’re getting, vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda each have their own deodorizing properties (so you’re good there). As far as disinfecting, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol are two very good choices. Vinegar does kill quite a bit itself, but for a good solution, use equal parts alcohol and vinegar (what ENTs use to put in children’s ears that have chronic cases of swimmer’s ear). If you are really worried about disinfection, give a good rinse off with whatever solution you choose, and let stand. When you use those nasty chemicals, even bleach, unless you let it stand until dry without rinsing, you really aren’t killing anything. It’s time plus the chemical that disinfects.

  • Kristen says:

    THANK YOU for posting this. I’ve tried some of the other recipes (warm vinegar, baking soda and Dawn, etc.) and they didn’t do a darn thing except make my tub slippery. I needed to clean my tub today (good timing!) so I gave it a shot and it was great. I think the inclusion of the salt in this one gives it the scrubbing power necessary for cleaning a tub.

    Anyone know a good way to get baking soda in bulk? It would be nice to have a larger amount on hand when I want to use it for things like this.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m so glad you found it to work well. I was excited at how well it worked, too!

    • Heather says:

      Check Sam’s Club – that’s where I get ours. A gigantic bag costs about the same per ounce as getting the small boxes from Aldi. Check samsclub.com and you can find out exactly how much a bag costs at your local store (love that feature!).

      • :D says:

        That’s where I get my baking soda. I think it’s a 13 lb bag for around $6?? If I remember correctly…

        • Kristen says:

          Thanks! We have a BJs membership, but I’ve never thought to check for baking soda there. Here’s hoping they carry it like Sam’s does!

          • Alysa says:

            I am sure they have it, likely in the baking section. I buy the 13.5 lb bag at our Costco for very little also, think it was less than $6. It was less than buying the same amount in tiny boxes from Aldi for me also. Walmart’s 12lb bag price is $7.57 in my area.

    • Carol Fryer says:

      They sell big boxes at Walmart for just a couple of dollars. In my local one its right across from the laundry soap….right next to bar soap and washing powder, and borax for making homemade laundry soap.

    • Liesel says:

      We buy big bags of baking soda, sometimes at Sam’s club, but we also get them at Wal-Mart in the swimming pool supply section during the summer–people use it to balance pool pH.

    • Kelsey says:

      Amazon has big bags of baking soda. It’s used for pool cleaning. I think it’s an 8lb bag.

    • Amy says:

      Check on amazon shopping for bulk baking soda is edible grocery item so ask local bakery where they order theirs from they may order it for you and u pay the bakery good luck. Hydrogen peroxide all over dirty old tile bathroom reveals nasty overflow from boys then sprinkle after heavy foaming sprinkle well box of baking soda leave on floor for 30 min then scrub w short bristle brush broom let sit again 30 min then mop up even grout is brighter.

    • Keri says:

      Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda (13.5 lb.) at Sams

    • Kath says:

      I buy a large bag of baking soda @ BJ’s. Costco and Sams might have it also

      Happy cleaning with less expensive, no chemical cleaning !

  • Rachel says:

    Thanks so much for this. I need to work on our showers this week so this is great timing. I’ve tried the Dawn/warm vinegar recipe and found it did really remove soap scum, but was very slippery and required lots of rinsing to complete my task. Looks like this will be very economical, and even moreso if I use plain old salt instead of the RealSalt you have pictured, but I totally understand using what you have on hand, too. I have not found a source to get RealSalt cheaply.

    • becky says:

      It’s stilk not “cheap”, but we buy RealSalt at vitacost.

    • Cindy Stevens says:

      I have not warmed the vinegar ever and do not use salt and it works very well. No baking soda either. Just vinegar , dawn and some water, not a lot. Cleans shower walls and tub like new.

  • Anna says:

    Where do you buy your essential oils? And what is a good price?

  • Julie says:

    I’m a little concerned about the salt – could that scratch the tub?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I had the same concern. I’d test it on a small area to be certain. I guess most cleaners, natural or not, have the potential to damage porcelain, marble, laminate, etc., and you can’t know if someone else has the same finish as you do, so I’d test to be sure.

  • Debbie says:

    Sounds great! I will definitely give this one a try. I use baking soda or vinegar for all my cleaning. The only thing I have to use lots of elbow grease on is my shower floor.

    Even though the baking soda and vinegar in this recipe will neutralize, just be aware that vinegar can etch stone if you use it alone or it is not neutralized. As can lemon juice over time.

  • Kelly W. says:

    Did you have any problems with your spray bottle spraying the solution? I bought a couple from Family Dollar and nothing will come out…

  • Kelly W. says:

    Sorry, lol. Just read your instructions more closely and got my answer about the spray bottle!

  • Susan says:

    I am very sensitive to the smell of vinegar to the point that I don’t enjoy my meal if sitting too close to someone eating a vinegar – based salad dressing. I love the idea of making natural cleaning products but the thought of having that vinegar smell around all the time has kept me from doing so. I used it to clean my son’s asthma nebulizer but that was a very occasional use. Does the lemon juice or essential oil knock out that vinegar odor?

    • Alysa says:

      Lemon juice and essential oils can block out much of the smell but its not completely gone. But there are alternative recipes that you can use instead such as ones with isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide that work as well also. I have used isopropyl and water in equal amounts which works incredibly well also. I am sure there are other recipes but 1/4 cup each works well as a test and is inexpensive. I have done it w/ reusable wipes in a container and in a spray bottle as well. Good luck.

  • Ginny says:

    I saw this recipe a couple of years ago, tried it, and been using it ever since. This stuff is like WOWSA!!! I also use it in my sink and toilet. My tub, sink, and toilet never shined brighter. Thanx for this. You totally rock!!

  • stephanie says:

    Would replacing the baking soda with borax work as borax and baking soda are similar chemicals (both bases) but borax does not react with vingar? I use the all purpose cleaner 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp borax, 1 tbsp dish soap + 3 cups water absolutly everywhere and have bulk borax on hand? I have heard baking soda/vinegar recipes arnt as effective as borax/vinegar recipes? Has anyone tried both?

  • Amanda says:

    Vinegar is acidic and not good to use on grout, so I’m not sure this would be a good tile cleaner.

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