A huge number of people in the United States purchase scouring cleansers for keeping counter tops, sinks, stoves, pots, and pans clean. If you did a poll and asked people what they didn’t like about Comet cleanser or Ajax cleanser, though, you’d probably get one of three answers; they are expensive for what you get, they have the strong aroma of chlorine when they are used, and they are quite abrasive. Suppose you could make your own scouring cleanser that was cheaper, didn’t have a chlorine scent, and wasn’t nearly as abrasive as those on the market? Well, you can do just that.
Some time back, I wrote about how a person can make their own powdered laundry detergent by simply combining one part washing soda and one part borax. This is cheaper and works better than powdered detergents sold in stores. Homemade scouring cleanser is very similar, with one of the ingredients being something that most people throw away; egg shells.
Egg shells are made almost entirely out of calcium carbonate. The same is true of oyster shells and snail shells, but for most people, egg shells are far for available. Simply rinse the egg shells and then let them thoroughly dry. Once dried, put them through a blender, food processor, or use a mortar and pestle to crush them into a powder. Combine 1/4 cup of powdered egg shells, 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate), and 1/4 cup of borax. Mix thoroughly. The result is scouring powder.
To use it, dampen the surface to be cleaned, apply the powder, and scrub with a damp cloth. It really is as simple as that. The cleaner works quite well, yet it contains no chlorine bleach and it isn’t expensive.
This scouring powder is mildly abrasive and the finer the egg shells are ground, the less abrasive it is.
Calcium carbonate is often simply called ‘lime’ and it is present in limestone rocks. Both calcium carbonate and sodium carbonate are alkaline. They work in the same way, to loosen and break up stains, dried on materials, and so forth. This makes the scouring powder effective, while also being inexpensive and quite easy to make.
To increase the power of the scouring powder, spray the surface that is to be cleaned with vinegar, then sprinkle on the scouring powder. The combination should bubble since the scouring powder is alkaline and the vinegar is acidic. The bubbling action helps to loosen the grime that is being cleaned.
All of this produces a product that works well but which has no heavy chlorine aroma to it. If you don’t have any washing soda, you can even make your own by cooking baking soda in the oven. This is great for people who are trying to be more self-sufficient.