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Homemade Anti-Bacterial Scouring Powder

Homemade Anti-bacterial Scouring powder is mild and smells nice. But it really will help you scrub dirt and stains off things like kitchen counter tops, porcelain tubs and sinks, tile floors and most non-porous surface. And if you use an essential oil that kills bacteria, your scouring powder will be anti-bacterial too. cleaner 3

The borax and baking soda give this mixture its abrasiveness. You can choose any of the germ-fighting essential oils. Citrus oils are good, but if you have cats, you might want to skip the citrus, although my understanding is that cats will try to avoid anything that is citrusy smelling.

Cream of Tartar is actually the scrapings from inside wine barrels after wine has fermented. It is a natural whitener for all kinds of cleaning. You can use it to clean and gently whiten most anything including fabric. In this mixture it is used to help whiten grout and other surfaces.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons borax (The “20 Mule Team” stuff)
10 drops lemon or other citrus essential oil – I use Heritage Essential oils Plague Defense which does contain lemon oil along with several other oils known to kill bacteria and viruses. Other bacteria-killing oils include:
Cinnamon, clove, lemon grass, thyme, lavender, melaleuca, peppermint, oregano.

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Combine all ingredients in a container with a shaker top. I use a stainless steel shaker. I put it all in a bowl so you could see it, but I usually just put it in the shaker and mix it with the end of a wooden spoon.


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Stir well with a plastic or wooden spoon, metal does funky stuff with the cream of tartar. Attach the shaker’s top.

To use:
Wet the area to be cleaned, shake some of the cleaner on the surface or on your cleaning sponge/cloth, rub the area til its clean, rinse. Rinse out your cloth. Store the cleaner in a dry place.  For an extra boost of cleaning power, wet the are you want to clean with vinegar and then sprinkle on the powder.  The fizzing action can help with stain removing.



  1. marly67

    Keep up this good work. We need you.

    • Sylvia

      Aww… thanks Marly. 🙂

  2. marly67

    Great recipe! Thanks so much. I’m making this tomorrow.

    • Sylvia

      Let me know how you like it Marly

  3. Vicki

    Really like this, my favorite type of recipe from you. I too have seen the straight soda and have not been thrilled. Timely as cleaning day is Friday. Thanks.

    • Sylvia

      Let me know what you think of it, Vicki

      • Vicki

        Works the best! Love that I do not get that gag reflex that most commercially purchsed cleansers give me and my porcelain is beautiful. Thanks.

        • Sylvia

          You are so welcome. I like it too!

  4. Jennifer B.

    Can’t wait to try this on my white tile bathroom floor!

    • Sylvia

      Let me know how it works for you Jennifer

  5. Donna Miller

    Thank you for this Sylvia!
    I love this recipe. I’ve only seen the straight baking soda option and hadn’t been totally satisfied. Gonna give this a go! The pictures are so pretty too!
    Donna Miller recently posted..The 4th & Final Generation