Powder cleanser and a rough sided sponge is often the weapon of choice against built up grime and stains on kitchen and bathroom surfaces. The scouring power of the commercial cleansers is great, but the health hazards are concerning. Could a natural homemade scouring powder of baking soda, wetted with white vinegar work just as well?
- Better for you – commercial powder cleansers contain known carcinogens, and can cause eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation*
- Better for the Earth – less chemicals in your home is less chemicals washed down the drain and into our waterways
- Saves Money – you can’t beat the low cost of baking soda and white vinegar
- Works great – my counter stains disappeared quickly
- Still takes a little elbow grease to scour stains away
- Doesn’t work quite as well as a big name commercial cleanser
Recently, my husband gave up the diet soda habit (I’m so proud!) and started brewing his own green tea instead. He has an automatic brewer that sits on our counter and sees almost daily use. Over time, I’ve noticed tea-colored stains building up on our white “grafix” formica countertop. I decided to try and tackle them naturally.
I spritzed the countertop with white vinegar then sprinkled with a layer of baking soda (fizz, fizz). As the bubbles died down, I set to scrubbing with a standard scrubby sponge – the kind with a rough side to it. After a good scour, rinse, and a second round for good measure my counter was bright, and white, and as good as new. All the stains were gone! The natural scouring powder worked!
For the sake of science, I decided to clean a small section with a big name cleansing powder I happened to have under the sink. As I cleaned with it I noticed several things: 1) it had a little bit of dye in it (this seems completely unnecessary). Either that or it took some of the color out of my sponge (even more concerning). 2) After catching a whiff of it, I felt a burning sensation in my nose, and the back of my throat (yikes!). 3) It took many more rinses to completely clean off – this is especially concerning as I was cleaning a food prep surface. Also, it worked a tiny bit better than the natural stuff. Not a lot better, but enough that you could see the slight difference in white when compared side by side on the same stain. After a few days I noticed the counter cleaned with baking soda was getting dingy faster than the spot cleaned with commercial powder.
Overall, I think the natural homemade scouring powder worked well on my countertop. It didn’t work as well as the commercial cleanser. The commercial cleanser, however, left a burning sensation in my throat and a nasty taste in my mouth just from the cleaning fumes. That was enough for me to throw it away. In this case, almost as good cleaning power + no health hazards = WIN!
Have you ever tried natural products to get those set in stains out of your kitchen and bathroom surfaces?
*see big name commercial powder cleanser Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)