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My love of green cleaning is widely known. But it might surprise you to hear I am not a lover of cleaning or housework. I like having a clean and tidy house, but the actual cleaning and tidying part? There’s no love lost. My household cleaning philosophy is it gets cleaned when it’s dirty, and if we have people coming over I will clean and tidy a bit more than normal, but otherwise I have no cleaning schedule or anything like that apart from hoovering regularly, and tidying things away when it needs it.
My hope is that when my daughters are older they will remember me sitting on the floor building Lego houses with them more than the sparkling clean kitchen sink we always had, or the perfectly clutter free living room. That’s what I tell myself anyway…
That being said, the kitchen sink does need cleaning sometimes. We installed a white ceramic kitchen sink when we refurbished our kitchen and it really does show the dirt. When it does need a good thorough clean I’ve been turning to this homemade scouring powder that I’ve been making for a little while now.
This homemade scouring powder consists of only three simple ingredients but packs a strong punch. The secret is the citrus peel. Gently dried and ground finely, it’s packed full of it’s fruit oils, that combined with the abrasiveness of the bicarbonate of soda and salt make light work on dirt and grime. Beautiful smelling, it’ll leave your sink with a delightful citrus zing. It’s also a fantastic way of using up citrus peel that might otherwise be binned if you don’t have access to composting facilities.
I’ve adapted the recipe from Crunchy Betty to give it a bit more scouring power, and boy is it a good one!
It does take a little bit of patience to make but the best things do come to those who wait!
How to Make Homemade Scouring Powder
The peel of one grapefruit or large orange; or two large lemons/limes or clementines. Whatever you have to hand basically!
2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda* (I buy mine in bulk)
3 tablespoons of coarse salt
Take your citrus fruit peel and tear into small pieces – no larger than the size of a ten pence piece. Sit the peel on a plate and leave somewhere dry and warm. My preferred location for the plate at present is on top of the fireguard, beside our wood burning stove. It’s been drying the peel out really quickly and has the added bonus of sweetly scenting our living room. Alternatively, place your plate on top of a radiator or on a nice sunny window ledge if you’re somewhere sunny right now (you lucky thing!).
Leave the peel to dry out – turning the peel at least once per day – until the peel is hard and dry. Depending on where you’re drying your peel, it might take a day to four days.
Place the dry peel in a food processor/blender and blitz until you have a soft, fine powder.
Combine the powdered peel with the bicarbonate of soda and salt and place in a clean dry lidded jar.
Directions For Use
As with any cleaning product, natural or otherwise, always test on an inconspicuous area first. Once you’re happy you’re good to go:
Sprinkle your scouring powder liberally on to the surface you want to clean.
With a damp cloth simply scrub the area, adding more scrub as you feel is required.
Once finished rinse down the area that you’ve cleaned.
This homemade scouring powder is ideal on ceramic sinks and toilets, but might be too abrasive for acrylic baths/shower trays or some metal sinks. If you want something a bit gentler you can either omit the salt, use more finely ground salt, or swap the salt for borax substitute*, like in the Crunchy Betty recipe. If you do use the borax substitute, do make sure you rinse thoroughly once you’re done scrubbing as borax is notoriously difficult to remove once dried!
Keep your scrub in a clean dry lidded jar. If you are using salt or borax in your mixture it should keep for around a month, if not it will probably keep for around 2 weeks. Use your nose and your discretion.