I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist

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Pinterest Thursday April 4th

On the first Tuesday Thursday of every month I will post about something I found on Pinterest that I actually did!  Sometimes it will be about a craft project, sometimes about food and sometimes about a ‘miracle’ cleaning product.

This months Pinterest Project is a cleaning solution.

(Pinterest has switched to Javascript for embedding pins.  Wordpress doesn’t support Javascript so I can’t embed the orig pin.  I am still trying to figure out a way around this problem.  So  you won’t see my pin, but I do have links to the blog post and my own images.)

I HATE cleaning my tub.

I don’t mind cleaning, I just hate cleaning the tub.

The bending over, it’s back-breaking, the scrubbing….

So I was pleased to see a pin that claimed to be “The Best Shower/Tub Cleaner” with out scrubbing.

Tub Cleaner

Plus it only has two ingredients; dish soap and vinegar.  This post says to use Blue Dawn Dish Soap, which coincidentally, is the kind I have.  It is my favorite dish soap.  Some pins/posts about this mixture say it has to be blue Dawn, I can not attest to that, as I have not tried any other combo.

The science behind it.

Blue Dawn contains surfactants  as cleaning agents; including sodium lauryl sulfate (or sodium dodecyl sulfate), sodium laureth sulfate, and lauramine oxide (lauryldimethylamine oxide).

A surfactant is used to remove oils from the surface of something, like your dishes or tub.  It contains two parts, the hydrophobic tail and the hydrophilic head.  The hydrophobic tails want to hide from the water, so the molecule orients itself by pointing the tails inward forming a sphere, with the hydrophilic heads outwards.  This orientation allows for the oil soluble tails to trap oils and wash them away with water.

Vinegar is made with acetic acid and water making it a moderately strong acid.  As a cleaning solution it is great at dislodging dirt and grim that is basic.

And by basic, I don’t mean simple, but basic in acidity.  Dirt, grim, hard water, mineral build up, soaps and detergents are usually basic.  So chemically vinegar works great on these alkaline stains.

As you could guess the combination of the surfactants in Blue Dawn and the acidity of vinegar should take care of any type of grim lingering in your tub or shower.

But does it work?

Bath Cleaner before


OK, don’t judge me.

Here is my tub before.  For the record, the green stuff is bath tub paints, which if not washed off immediately, is a little difficult to clean.  You should have seen it when we moved in, it was much worse.


use a 1:1.2 ration of Blue Dawn to vinegar.

Heat the vinegar, do not boil, just heat it enough to enable the soap to dissolve into the vinegar.

Pour hot vinegar into spray bottle and then add the dish soap.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture to mix.  Careful not to shake too hard, it could suds up.

Then spray to your heart’s content.



Just remember that which goes on, must come off.

Let it sit.  For as long as you can stand it.

But remember it smells like vinegar, lots and lots of vinegar.  If you have a bathroom fan, use it!

Other sites say do not use water, just wipe off with a dry cloth.

That did nothing for me.

I had sprayed it on a dry shower/tub and I had to scrub, which was exactly what I did not want to do.

I had one of those green scouring pads.  I used it with water and lo and behold, my tub came clean!



Now, I will admit, it was not as miraculous as I had hoped.  But it still worked great, and each time I use it to clean the tub it works better and better.

You don’t have to confine it to the tub/shower.  You can also use it on the sink, you just want to make sure you can rinse whatever you clean really well.


Happy Pinning



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Pinterest Tuesday March 5

On the first Tuesday of every month I will post about something I found on Pinterest that I actually did!  Sometimes it will be about a craft project, sometimes about food and sometimes about a ‘miracle’ cleaning product.

Holy CRAP! When did it become March?  Yes, yes I know, five days ago, right?

Before I joined Pinterest I found this post about making homemade laundry soap.  I went back to it after finding similar post all over Pinterest, so I could try it out.

Source: beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com via Dawn Marie on Pinterest

Last spring I made this soap but didn’t make a record of it because, well at the time I wasn’t aware I would be sharing these things with you.  So I waited until I need to make more and this time I took some pictures.


Here is what you will need:

  • 3 bars Fels-naptha soap
  • 1-2 containers oxyclean or store brand oxyclean 3-4 lbs
  • 1 box Borax 4 lb 12 oz box (2.15 kg or 76 oz)
  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 4 lb (1.81 kg)
  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz)
  • 1 bottle Downy Unstopables 13.2 oz (375 g)

Frugal_Soap01The original post didn’t use the scent booster but I didn’t really like the scent of the Fels-Naptha soap.  You can also use Purex Crystals or Gain Scent Booster, or leave it out.  There is also some debate about which bar soap to use.  It doesn’t really matter as long as it is a laundry soap.  It would not be good to use bath soap as the ingredients are different.


Add all the ingredients, excluding the bar soap, in a clean 5 gallon bucket.  It would be ideal if it had a lid, but I just lined mine with a garbage bag, which I can close for storage.  You want to do this part in a well ventilated area, or outside, because you don’t want to inhale the fine dust particles.

Place one bar of soap in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.


You want to make sure there are no smooth surfaces, that the whole bar looks like this:


Let the whole bar cool to room temperature, this might take a little while.  Once it is cooled it breaks apart in to a powder.  If you find hot spots just let it cool a little longer.

If there are still smooth surfaces on the bar or it is not cool, it will not crumble into a powder.  It will break into small pieces, just not a powder.  You can see some of the bigger pieces in my picture.  The larger pieces don’t always dissolve completely in cold water.

Alternatively you can grate the soap or run it through the grating blade on your food processor (not a chopper or blender).  That is too much work for me!

Add the soap to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  It is advisable to do the mixing in a well ventilated area as well.

I store smaller amounts in one of the oxyclean containers for easy use.

Use 1-2 table spoons per load, if using a front-loading washing machine add to the drum not the detergent basket.  Or just follow your washer’s instructions on using a powdered detergent.


Now the smell of microwaved soap might not appeal to you.  My husband was not happy about it and neither was I.  Afterwards I microwaved a bowl of baking soda with water and vinegar.  I would run it for a few minutes to heat up the liquid and then let it sit.  I did this three or four times adding more liquid as needed.  I then wiped out my microwave and left the door open to air it out.

This batch will last 9-12 months depending on how much you use.  I probably use more than I should, but my husband works in construction and I have two boys….

Happy Pinning