GIY Soft Scrub with Dr. Bronner’s

This GIY trick is the magic of chemistry right before your eyes!

Soft scrub is a great aid to clearing away soap scum, ring around the tub, mold, stubborn water spots on glass.  It’s a great way to shine up your kitchen sink.  You’ll probably find that you keep this bottle just as handy as your Dr. Bronner’s All Purpose Spray.

This soft scrub will remain blended in your cabinet, so you don’t need to remake it every day.  Unless of course, you use it up.  Which you will.  Because you’ll love it, too.

Here’s the recipe from the video all written out:


1 c. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap OR ¼ c. Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
3⅓ c. baking soda
1 c. water
¼ c. white vinegar

In a big bowl, combine the baking soda with the Pure-Castile Soap OR the Sal Suds.  Mix it with a fork until well blended and no lumps remain.  Add in the water and mix thoroughly again.  Add in the vinegar and keep stirring until no lumps remain.  (If you’re wondering about the vinegar with the soap, check out the video for an explanation!)  Pour the solution into an empty quart bottle, using a funnel.

To use this, squirt it over the surface and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.  Rinse with a wet cloth.

(And remember: since these ingredients are totally safe and non-toxic, kids can use them, too!  Hand this bottle over to them and let them scrub away!)

Author Profile
Lisa Bronner

Lisa Bronner is a prolific writer, consumer advocate, and speaker on health and green lifestyle issues. She is author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom,” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s.

See all stories by Lisa Bronner
  • ocalagirl45

    Add in a few drops of lavender essential oil or a favorite other scent and it’s even nicer!

  • teadivamuse

    I love this! Fun to make, effective to use. Keep them coming!

  • Is the Baby Mild okay to use for this? My understanding is that there is additional olive oil in the Baby Mild. I have a huge container of it and I’d like to use it up (I have found that I prefer the peppermint soap for my showers so I am not using the baby mild like I once was).

    • EricSyre

      Mix together the Baby Mild and the Peppermint (50/50). You’ll prolong your peppermit soap and the scent will still be strong. I’ve been doing that for a year, both with the peppermint and almond scents. Works like a charm.

    • Yes, there should be no problem using the Baby Unscented soap for this.

  • AlmostJane

    Will be sure to try this! I’m sure it’ll be great. Dr B has never failed me on ANY cleaning project. Even got MUSTARD out of clothing once! Have been sold on all the wonderful Dr Bronner ever since.

  • Sherri

    What is the shelf life for this mixture? It would be helpful if you could add this information to all your post. 🙂

    • Lisa Bronner says she’s never had it go bad on her, but it probably loses efficacy after about a year or so.

  • RK

    I made this and it filled 1.5 32 oz bottles so have an empty spare ready or cut The recipe in half. This will last a long time, what is the shelf life?

    • We haven’t tested the shelf life, but in our experience this easily lasts for 6 months or more. The only thing that might happen is that it would dry out or the ingredients would separate.

  • therealjeaniebeanie

    Could you explain the purpose of the vinegar? I’m not sure why it’s necessary, and since it is neutralizing at least some of the baking soda, how is that helpful? What would happen to the mixture if it were left out? (I did watch the video, but it didn’t answer these questions.)
    I make a soft scrub cleaner on the fly by shaking some baking soda into a dirty sink, squirting in a bit of Dr. Bronner’s (I like Tea Tree Oil for the antibacterial effect), then I mix and scrub with a wet sponge or microfiber cloth. Works great!

    • Hi! Your “soft scrub on the fly” is great and something many of us often do ourselves—we agree that it works great. As for adding the vinegar to the soft scrub mixture, the reaction between vinegar and baking soda creates Carbon Dioxide and salt (Sodium). I’m guessing that this soft scrub harnesses the power of salt’s own cleansing and absorbent qualities. Because there is much more baking soda than vinegar in this mixture, much of the baking soda remains unreacted. So basically you have a mixture that includes soap, baking soda and salt (once the reaction is complete). The salt may also have preservative qualities that help the mixture stay fresh longer.

  • Misty Partly Cloudy

    Love this stuff, cant clean without it. In case anyone is wondering, I tested the pH with my pH meter & pH strips and both read 7.0 so its neutral! 🤩

  • RD_DownUnder

    I’m relative novice with your products having only used the Castile soap for around
    a year, and then only for people! We have just obtained our first bottle of Sal
    Suds and have made up a litre of the all-purpose spray.
    I liked the look of the soft scrub but have a question for you: Given the difference in
    liquid volume between Castile and Sal Suds (187ml) is extra water required when
    using Sal Suds to make up the cleaner?