Make your own tub, tile and shower cleaners — cheaper, better and faster
By Mary Hunt
The only thing better than making things myself is when things I make turn out to be cheaper, better and faster than something I can buy in the store to accomplish the same goal. That makes me so happy!
Dear Mary: I love, love, love the homemade tub and shower soap scum remover. It works better than any product I have ever used. Our tubs and showers have never looked so good! Now I would love to know how to make my own daily shower cleaner — the kind you just spray and walk away from between cleanings. Any ideas? — Polly
Dear Polly: Yes! I’m confident this is the right recipe.
DAILY SHOWER CLEANER
–1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
–1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
–1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap (like blue Dawn)
–1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid (like Jet-Dry)
–2 cups water
Pour all of the ingredients into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Mix gently. Each day before you step out of the shower, spray the walls, and then walk away.
This no-rinse, no-wipe, no-scrub shower cleaner spray is safe to use on glass, glazed tile, stone, tubs and shower curtains. The gentle formula contains no bleach, ammonia or harsh chemicals, and it won’t scratch surfaces or leave behind a dull residue.
Store your daily shower cleaner in a dark cupboard, as hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly in the presence of light.
For readers who may have missed it, here is that nearly magical cleaning potion you love so much (as do I):
TUB AND SHOWER CLEANER
Pour 1 cup blue Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn, if you are using a 16-ounce bottle). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with white vinegar. Apply the sprayer top. Shake gently to mix.
To use: Spray liberally on the area to be cleaned. Allow it to sit from 30 minutes up to overnight, depending on the severity of the problem. All of the offensive gunk and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away. For especially challenging situations, or if this is the initial treatment, use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing. Caution: Do not use on stone, marble or granite.
Dear Mary: We live with extremely hard well water. Given this challenge, can you recommend a suitable brand of laundry and automatic dishwasher detergent? Thank you! — Jeannine
Dear Jeannine: Rather than changing products, I suggest you supplement what you are using now — in both the clothes washer and automatic dishwasher — with super washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate. It’s a natural product that looks just like white powdered detergent. It boosts the power of soaps and detergents because it instantly softens the water. I’d start by adding 1/2 cup to each laundry wash cycle and dishwasher load. You can just toss it in the machine before you close the door. As a bonus, it will clean out the hoses and pipes in your appliances to keep them from mineral buildup that can wreak havoc.
Most supermarkets and discount stores carry Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. Or, you can easily order it online through Amazon. It comes in a 55-ounce box for about $5. Good luck, and be sure to let us know how that works for you.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, go to the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.