Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oh, Martha!

Martha Stewart never ceases to amaze me with all of her crafty ideas. From cooking to cleaning to actual crafting, the woman does and knows it all.

Over the years, I have made an effort to have a gentler impact on the planet in all aspects of my life, stemming from my collegiate background in marine and environmental science. Food is an easy one, as is most seen in this blog, but I also try to use less harsh products when it comes to cleaning my home. It's better for the planet, it's better for my pets and it's better for me. Strong chemical products quickly leave me with a headache, so my go-to cleaners are usually a spray bottle of white vinegar diluted with water or a spray bottle with two to three ounces of Dr. Bronner's liquid pure castile soap (peppermint scent) diluted with water.

Earlier this week, I came across the recipe for Martha Stewart Tub Scrub on Pinterest. With all the ingredients already at home, I mixed up a small batch and gave it a shot. I wet the tile walls of my shower, and armed with a tough bristled scrub brush, glopped on some of the Tub Scrub and let the abrasive power of baking soda and a little elbow grease do the rest.

A little while later, I had shiny white tiles in my shower. In Philly, hard water build-up is no stranger. I spray tough spots with diluted bleach and scrub, but that doesn't always do the trick. In the past, I've tried CLR (lime is a key component of hard water stains), but the smell was so strong I gagged. No thanks. As I scrubbed with my Tub Scrub mixture, I was surprised (okay, and pretty grossed out) to see beige water running down the walls. Looking at the walls before scrubbing them, the tiles looked clean!  Obviously, not so much.

If you don't mind putting in a little scrubbing power, this is an effective and inexpensive cleaner.

Tub Scrub
Baking soda
Liquid soap
Essential oil with antibacterial properties (peppermint, rosemary, tea tree or eucalyptus)

My mixture contained 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 6 drops of peppermint oil and about 7 teaspoons of water (enough to make a paste but not be too soupy). Scoop it up on your scrub brush and get to work!

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