This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Homemade Whitening Scrub

April 12th, 2012

Yesterday, I posted this recipe in the comment section and decided to whip up a batch, since I’ve never made it before. The recipe is from The Naturally Clean Home. I talked about this little book before; it’s filled with all kinds of recipes. When it comes to cleaning, we all face different challenges that depend on our homes, the surfaces we clean, and our lifestyles. That’s why this book is great, you can try out a variety of recipes and find the one that works best for you situation.

Mr Chiots and I are tea and coffee drinkers and we have light beige formica counters – not a good combination! I try to wipe them up as soon as a spill happens, but they sometimes escape my view (especially since Mr Chiots is the chief barista and I’m often working when he’s making coffee). When I saw this recipe I figured it would be perfect for removing the stains that creep up on kitchen counter.

(from The Naturally Clean Home)

1/2 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup borax
1/8 cup grated lemon, orange, grapefruit peel

Combine all ingredients in a container with a shaker top and mix well. Sprinkle small amount on surface and scrub, rinse well. If stains are bad let sit on surface and consider adding some peroxide to enhance whitening effects.

The borax gives this scouring powder a whitening/brightening effect, but it can be left out. It can also be drying to skin, so slather on some coconut oil before using or use rubber glove.

I happen to have grapefruits in the pantry, so that’s what I used. The smell is AMAZING. After mixing the grapefruit peel with the baking soda, I pulsed it in my small food processor to cut the grapefruit peel into smaller pieces. I figured it would also help release the citrus oil into the baking soda, it did.

I set to work using this scrub on the kitchen counter, focusing on the coffee and tea stains. As the saying goes “the proof is in the pudding”, I scrubbed up the counter and returned to the office to work. When Mr Chiots went out to make afternoon coffee he yelled from the kitchen that the counters looked great. I guess that means it worked! These countertops are one of the surfaces in our home that I really dislike, they’re old, the previous owners used harsh cleaners which was hard on the surface. As a result they stain easily and are tough to keep clean. I’m glad to have come across this recipe that will help me keep them looking nice.

What is one surface in your house that is hard to clean or that gives you problems? Have you found anything that helps with your particular problem?

Stocking Your Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
Learning to Love Castile Soap
Make Your Own: Foaming Soap
Make Your Own: Infused Vinegar
Make Your Own: Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Make Your Own: Color Safe Oxygen Bleach
Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning
Friday Favorite: Charlie’s Soap
Friday Favorite: Twist Sponges
more to come…

9 Comments to “Homemade Whitening Scrub”
  1. daisy on April 12, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I’ll bet this cleanser smells amazing!

    Our hexaganol tile in the shower is just not fun to keep clean. I ended up regrouting as I could not keep it mildew-free with all of the things I tried. Won’t be having that in our next house!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Maria on April 12, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I have the same book and it is a good one.

    Reply to Maria's comment

  3. Jodi Tork on April 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I hate my kitchen counter tops!! They are very old, white and there is a burned area. I can never keep them white, or even close to that. I have always used spray bleach, but as I move closer to more natural products I found that my spray bleach was the only thing I was hesitant giving up. I can’t wait to try this!!! bye, bye bleach!

    Reply to Jodi Tork's comment

  4. Kirsten on April 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Got any tricks for grout? Our bathroom is original 1951 powder pink, and the floors are tiny pink tiles…with blackened grout. I’m guessing someone tried bleaching them in the past, which I’m told makes the grout black. They’re clean – I mop often – but look AWFUL – it’s embarrassing.

    Reply to Kirsten's comment

  5. harper on April 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for this recipe! We have a horrible old plastic-y white kitchen sink with knife cuts all over it and I hate putting bleach on it to keep it clean. (Which means it never really gets cleans, since I don’t like using bleach). I sure hope this works! I can’t wait until we can afford to install a REAL stainless steel kitchen sink.

    Reply to harper's comment

  6. Maybelline on April 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I have white hexagonal tiles with (no so) white grout. Would this recipe work on grout? I have plenty of citrus (mostly lemons) to dedicate to this recipe.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  7. Peggy on April 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Grapefruit? I bet it smells wonderful! This is the recipe I use to clean our boys’ bathroom… trust me with 3 teenage boys it gets NASTY! This is the only scouring powder which leaves it smelling fresh as well as clean plus they don’t mind using it either. So far I’ve tried lemon and lime (they had a bunch of organic limes reduced so I bought the lot and froze them!) but I will definitely have to whip up a batch with grapefruit the next time we buy them. We sometimes add a drop or two of tea tree oil to a batch to up the bacterial fighting.

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  8. KimH on April 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I think the kitchen counter near the coffee pots are the trouble areas. Like yours, they are white, old, and Clorox bleach spray is the only thing I’ve found to really clean the stains. Like Jodi, thats really the last really toxic product I use and sparingly at that..

    Definitely looking forward to trying this.. and I gotta get that book. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  9. Maria on April 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Sometimes creating our own cleaning products can produce better results than the commercial ones. While I am looking forward to test your recipes’ results, I am sure I will have fun creating it.

    Reply to Maria's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning

For most people, bathrooms probably top the list as the least favorite room to clean. It also tops the list...