Dust-free, scratch-free scouring soap paste cleanser

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IrishLass

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The idea for making this concoction all started when I ran out of Comet powdered cleanser recently (which I use for cleaning my shower floor), and when I went to buy another canister, I found out my grocery store no longer stocked it. :confused:

Out of curiosity, I wondered how hard it would be to make my own scouring powder and started looking online for DYI Comet powder recipes, while in the meantime, my nephew who is currently living with us offered me his tub of scrubby cleansing paste made by a well-known MLM company to tide me over. I was quite surprised at how well it worked to get my shower floor clean and pristine, and I especially liked how it didn't kick up cleanser dust into the air like regular powder cleansers do...... and then as things so often happen in my DYI mind, I thought to myself, 'Gee wiz, this little tub of scrubby paste is so awesome yet soooo expensive, but lookee here- there are only 3 simple ingredients in it, and the main one, which is the scrubby-but-non-scratchy ingredient, is the exact same ingredient that others are using in their DYI Comet powder recipes (marble flour, aka calcium carbonate, aka chalk, aka feldspar, etc..) and it is super cheap to buy....how hard could it be to make my own for pennies on the dollar?". For what it's worth, the other ingredients in my nephew's paste were natural soap and a trace amount of coconut oil.

Somewhat excited and impatient to make up a sample amount right away, I went to my health food store and bought some NOW-brand calcium carbonate powder, as well as a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's peppermint scented 'Castile' (mostly coconut oil) soap, and got to concocting.

While I wasn't able to get my concoction to the exact same consistency as the paste that my nephew loaned to me (theirs is a little drier than mine but somehow still holds solidly together), it's close enough for me and it works quite well in the same way, although for kicks I might tweak it in the future just to see if I can get it closer in consistency.

I had to wing it with the ratios, but in the end I used about 1/4 cup of the calcium carbonate, which weighed 56g on my scale, and 6g (about 1 and 1/2 tsps.). of the liquid soap. I didn't add any coconut oil. I figured it might very well be possible that there were traces of a coconut oil superfat in the Dr. B soap, so I didn't bother.

In percentages, this is what it looks like:

90.32% calcium carbonate
9.68% liquid soap

At first, I was trying to mix the two ingredients together in a small bowl, but that was proving to be rather difficult, so I transferred them to a Ziploc baggie and smooshed them into a well-blended, cohesive mass before dumping it out into 2-oz low-profile tub container and pressing it firmly down into the container. It filled the container about 2/3 of the way up.

To use, you're supposed to dampen a microfiber cloth or sponge or whatever other cleansing implement of choice, swipe it on the surface of the paste to pick some of the paste up and then rub it on whatever mess that you are trying to clean.

To test my concoction out, I chose my hubby's badly tea-stained, plastic coffee travel mug to use as my guinea pig. On several previous occasions, I'd tried getting those stains out with one of those Scotch-brand scouring pads and soap, but was never able make much if any headway at all. Barring soaking it in bleach, I had resigned myself to the fact that it was probably stained permanently, but what do you know- the paste worked like a charm and got the stains out! Yay! :thumbs: It also works well at cleaning hardened food off my porcelain dishes and my stovetop.

I really like this paste form of scouring powder. It's nice to not have to deal with getting cleanser dust airborne everywhere.


IrishLass :)
 
This is awesome! I have that awesome and overpriced MLM cleaning paste. It works so well, but I tend to hoard it for my stove top since it’s so pricy. I will try this out and thanks for sharing!
 
Here is a recipe that I have used for years. I use this instead of scouring powder or commercial soft scrup.

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
1/2 cup liquid or cream soap
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
25 drops tea tree EP
10 drops lemon EO
10 drops peppermint EO
 
@IrishLass "Dr. Bronner's peppermint scented 'Castile' (mostly coconut oil) soap" -- Question: Why not use your own LS??? Dollars to donuts it would clean as well. I like this idea. Thanks for sharing!

DIY 100% Coconut Oil LS:
0% SF; Water at 2 X KOH. Dilution: 40% Soap to 60% water. Makes good laundry soap -- I pour it into a re-purposed Purex Detergent jug and use that cap to measure the amount per load. Add white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Run a second rinse cycle to make sure all the soap scum is removed.

Other use: DIY All-Purpose Orange Spray Cleaner:
31 oz water
1 Tablespoon 100% Coconut Oil LS
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Liquid Calgon (water softener)
1 Teaspoon Orange EO


I Spritz my black range top, wipe with a paper towel and it cleans up grease spatters and stuck on food crud to a mirror finish. Works on formica counter tops, finished wood window sills, all appliances, big & small; not sure about stainless tho... don't have any of that.
 
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This is awesome! I have that awesome and overpriced MLM cleaning paste. It works so well, but I tend to hoard it for my stove top since it’s so pricy. I will try this out and thanks for sharing!

I know, right? It's a really good product, but goodness- it's insane how much they charge for their paste considering how very inexpensive the raw ingredients are. You can buy a whopping 10 lbs. of fine calcium carbonate powder online for $5.00 cheaper than what they charge for just one of their 6.7 oz canisters of paste. I was doing some calculating, and going by my very rough estimates based on the weight of the calcium carbonate I used to fill a 2 oz canister 2/3rds of the way full with paste, I figure that with that 10lbs of calcium carbonate I found online that I could probably make enough paste to fill 20 of their canisters for $5 cheaper than they charge for just 1 canister. Even the comparatively more expensive 12 oz. bottle of calcium carbonate powder I bought at the healthfood store is able to fill about 1 and 1/2 of their canisters for $22 less than what they charge for just 1.

Here is a recipe that I have used for years. I use this instead of scouring powder or commercial soft scrup.

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
1/2 cup liquid or cream soap
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
25 drops tea tree EP
10 drops lemon EO
10 drops peppermint EO

Thanks for sharing, Linda! When I was looking online for a DYI Comet powder recipe, I ran into lots of folks using a baking soda/washing soda/borax combo and I almost made it but I couldn't find the washing soda component at my grocery store. I have the Borax and baking soda, though, so I'm going to keep looking for the washing soda and when I find it I'm going to go ahead and make it to see how it compares.


@IrishLass "Dr. Bronner's peppermint scented 'Castile' (mostly coconut oil) soap" -- Question: Why not use your own LS??? Dollars to donuts it would clean as well. I like this idea. Thanks for sharing!

You're welcome, Zany. I most definitely would have used my own LS, but unfortunately I've run out and need to make another batch. :cool:


IrishLass :)
 
If you can't find washing soda, spread baking soda in a shallow pan and put it in the oven at 400-450 F for about 1 hour or until the weight of the pan + powder doesn't change much anymore. The baking soda will lose about 1/3 of its starting weight, speaking from memory. The texture will also change from a slightly lustrous and flowable powder to a dull and somewhat clumpy powder.
 
I most definitely would have used my own LS, but unfortunately I've run out and need to make another batch. :cool:
Doncha hate that?! I know the feeling... I just ran out of my hand lotion today. Now, if I just had 4 more hours in a day, I wouldn't worry about such things. :p
 
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Update on my paste.....which, btw, I've been wanting to tweak in order to improve it's consistency when dispensing it from the container with a damp cloth. The MLM paste is much easier to transfer to my damp cloth than is my own concoction. I have to rub mine much harder to pick the same amount of paste up, although a damp brush picks it up nicely enough. Apart from that, it cleans great!

So, I'd been doing some reading the past few days, and one of the places I was perusing was an old technical manual full of formulas that I ran into on Google Books. It had quite a few cleaning paste recipes, a few of which sounded very similar to the MLM cleaning paste, i.e., calcium carbonate or some other type of non-scratchy abrasive such as fine clay, etc., plus powdered soap or soap flakes or soft soap, and oil, which showed me that this type of product is not as unique as I thought it was. I don't know why I thought it was so unique to the MLM company, but come to find out there have been (and still are at present) several other companies marketing such a product, some that have been making and selling such a product way before the MLM company in question ever even came into existence. I don't know why I never thought to look, but it turns out that several different brands can be found on Amazon, and for much cheaper than the MLM brand. Who knew? Apparently not me! LOL

Anyway, I looked over the ingredients of each of them and they are all basically the same, or at least very similar- e.g., a non-scratchy abrasive such as clay or feldspar (calcium carbonate), etc.., soap, some kind of lubricating oil, scent....and some also include glycerin. And according to the reviews, they all produce a hard, dry, densely compacted substance that is easily transferrable to a damp cloth when lightly rubbed. And they all clean well.

Well, to make a long story short- I whipped up another batch today (even though I'm not done with the one I made back in June), because there's an important ingredient I left out of that batch I made in June......an ingredient I had discounted because it made no sense to me at the time- a lubricating oil of some kind. The old recipes in the Google Books manual included it, and all the brands on Amazon also included it, so I thought to myself.....hmmm...maybe that's why I have to rub mine so hard to be able to pick any of it up on my damp cloth? I also wondered if the type of soap mattered, liquid or dry? Some (but not all) listed soap flakes on their ingredients list.

So, this is what I did today:

-122g calcium carbonate (roughly 1/2 cup worth)
-20g flaked Zote soap (found a white bar of it at Walmart down the laundry aisle). I grated it first in my processor with the cheese grater attachment, then further pulverized it with my main blade into small flakes that came out more roundish than flat, but at least they were tiny. If I had let the soap dry out more before pulverizing, they would have been more flat, if not powdered, but that's what excited impatience will get you. lol
-1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons mineral oil. (I lost count if it was 1 or 1 1/2, but I definitely know it was not more than 1 1/2 teaspoons).

I put everything but the oil in my mini Ninja double-bladed processer and whizzed it really good before adding the oil in 1/4 tsp. at a time, whizzing in between and then squeezing some in my fingers after each addition to see if it might pack/compress well enough in my container.

It felt kinda sorta fairly good and compressible for the most part at one point and so I started pressing it into my container, but when I was done and tested it out with a damp cloth, I realized I should've listened to my gut instinct that it wasn't quite ready yet (excited impatience had reared it's head again, lol). It's somewhat cohesive, but not quite cohesive enough. Now I have the opposite problem- it transfers to my damp cloth way too easily! lol On the positive side, though, it bubbled nicely and cleaned well. :)

I'm going to take it back out of the container and add more oil, or possibly some glycerin.

Stay tuned for the epilogue!


IrishLass :)
 
So, this is what I did today:
-20g flaked Zote
-1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons mineral oil.
I used Zote a hundred years ago to test a polyol mix for transparent soap. It is crap (excuse my French). If t'were me, I'd be using a soap from my private stash that has an INS of 160 (so-called "perfect" soap) or higher. You can "flake" it fairly easily (and patiently LOL) with a potato peeler.

Also, you might be interested in seeing the cleaning/stain-removing power of just straight mineral oil. Try staining your counter or a cutting board with something like blueberry juice or Kool Aid. Let it set for a while. Then clean it by rubbing a bit of oil on the stain with a rag to work it up. You can try doing this with a variety of your soap flakes as well, to see which one works best. ;)

ETA: OR... to simplify the process further, why not just grate up some Lava Soap? And add the mineral oil to that? Walmart has it at $5.75 for a 2-bar pack. :cool:
Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Pumice, Water, Glycerin, Coconut Acid, Sodium Carbonate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Titanium Dioxide, Chromium Hydroxide Green, D&C Yellow 10.

2¢ Worth.gif
 
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@IrishLass I know its been a minute since this thread was posted. I found some jars I would like to use for something and I'm wondering if you are still using and happy with this cleanser. I never did get around to making any.
 
Dibbles here is a recipe I have used with success.
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup Borax
1/2 cup liquid soap or cream soap (If using cream soap, it may take a little more.)
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar.
25 drops tea tree EO
10 drops lemon EO
10 drops peppermint EO
Mix dry ingredients together, breaking up any clumps. Add liquid soap and mix with a whisk. Add essential oils and mix with spoon. Add white vinegar and mix with spoon. Pack into containers.
 
@lsg, thank you! I need to make some liquid soap paste soon so I might give that a try. I also might not have time to mess with it all until after Christmas, but I thought it would be a nice stocking stuffer for my kids.
 
I love this thread, though I've almost stopped using Comet-style cleaners in my shower after discovering that Dawn dishwashing liquid cleans the shower so well. I'm thinking that I have all of these ingredients between my laundry room and my soaping bench, so why not make some? I'll share what I learn...
 
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