If only everything were as easy as placing a romantic classified!
"Just got out of long-term toxic-cleaner relationship. I am looking for a new product that doesn’t leave me with a thumping headache or sneezing fit after our encounters. It’s not too much for a girl to ask for, is it? A cleaning product that doesn’t need to be locked in cabinets or used with “adequate ventilation?” I promise I am not needy; a casual weekly rendezvous for a spin around the bathroom sink is fine by me."
When it comes to a healthy, clean home, I whole-heartedly agree with Mae West, “An ounce of performance is worth a pound of promises.” Over the years, I replaced unhealthy cleaning products in my home like a sharpshooter at target practice; taking out the bad guys with rapid trigger-pulls. I had methodically evaluated my cleaners and replaced those with ammonia, chlorine bleach, and synthetic fragrances with kinder choices.
But I still hadn’t found a safe, creamy soft scrub that made my sink shine.
A kind recipe meeting all my requirements, replied to my ad, but with a hitch. I had to mix it myself. Myself? In this age of convenience? Before I donned a lab coat and lined my counter with chemistry beakers, I questioned, “Wouldn’t it be easier to drive to Target and just pay for a familiar brand?” Granted, I would probably spend a few extra minutes perusing the end caps looking for sale items. Come to think of it, I hadn’t checked out the new holiday products yet. No doubt I’d fill my cart with unnecessary impulse buys. Maybe it would save time and money if I worked from the kitchen.
A little elbow-grease never hurt anybody.
I set aside an afternoon to prepare. I was happily surprised to find my creamy soft scrub recipe consisted of three simple ingredients:
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap
- 2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
Baking soda was multi-functional;it cut grease, scoured, deodorized, and mildly bleached. It was already one of my go-to products. I used it to kill tiny, unpluckable weeds in the brick walkway and scrub baked-on cheese from my lasagna pan.
Castile soap, with its vegetable base, was an extremely gentle, multi-functional soap.
Vegetable glycerin promised to keep my soft scrub moist between uses. I have found that this is optional. If you are combining the two ingredients above as you go, then great! If you want to keep it in a container for the next use, add the vegetable glycerin. Believe it or not, this is also used as a sweetener in the kitchen and in toothpaste, shampoos, soaps and herbal remedies! Baby steps... today, we are scrubbing sinks.
I mixed the ingredients in a wide-mouthed salsa jar until it reached a toothpaste consistency. To pacify my obsession for cleanliness and to spice up this first date, I added a few drops of tea tree essential oil, known for its disinfecting properties. Just a couple. Understanding concentration is important with essential oils.
It was so easy! I invited my kids to help me measure, stir, and smear. We made several small tubs, one to place under each sink cabinet. It dawned upon me, I had spent decades convinced I needed products with different ingredients, colors, and fragrances, when all I needed was a few kitchen staples.
I felt duped for believing the only way to clean my home was to use chemically laden products and annoyed that cleaning had become an off-limits task for my children.
With this new concoction, I encouraged them to scrub and wipe as much as they wanted. I let the kids go wild labeling our containers with catchy-names like “Sink Frosting.” I jotted the recipe onto each container as well, knowing if I had to search for my recipe cards every time the product ran out, I would find myself back at Target.
With this velvety, soft scrub, I finally found a healthy relationship based on trust and mutual respect. It fulfills its promise of keeping my sink clean with kind ingredients, and I promise to be faithful to our weekly rendezvous.
Our blog, the Savvy Path, focuses on one theme a month. Learn together, makes some changes, move forward. Nice and easy. Stay tuned as we explore budget-friendly cleaning ideas, tips and products.