One night while my adorable little bear was splashing in the bathtub, he released his little brown cargo into the bath water without warning. I am sure that this has happened to every parent, but the first time was still a bit of a surprise for me.
While trying not to think about what I was doing, and restraining my laughter, I pulled the plug from the drain to let the water out of the tub. Then my husband (who didn’t even try not to laugh) and I bickered about who would catch the floating debris.
After some negotiating, we finally reached a deal where he would gather the paraphernalia and I would sanitize the tub. Using a conventional disinfectant, I wiped down the tub, rinsed it, and refilled it. We put Little Bear back in the tub and finished the bath. When we lifted him out of the water, we were shocked to see that his entire lower body that had been submersed in the lukewarm water was completely red. His poor tender skin was so incredibly sensitive to any type of chemical!
During the next few days, the more I thought about the incident, the more it bothered me. Although the skin is the largest organ in the body, it is extremely thin. It is also permeable. When my little one is soaking in his bath, the pores on his skin are wide open. Putting my kid in a chemical bath set up a scenario where those chemicals could be absorbed right into the blood stream.
I decided to find a gentler alternative to clean the tub that would not irritate his sensitive skin or expose him to unknown harmful substances.
Surprisingly, I found that I could easily and effectively clean the tub with ingredients that I already had in the house: baking soda, borax, and pickling salt. Because the mixture is so simple, I won’t even call it a recipe. I can even tailor the concoction to suit my needs. For instance, when I am doing a quick routine clean, I just use baking soda to scrub the bathroom. However, once in a while I combine equal parts baking soda and borax to eliminate any mould that might be lurking in the corners. Finally, if the bathroom needs some extra scrubbing power, I combine equal parts baking soda, borax, and salt. Since our plastic spaghetti container is no longer needed in the kitchen, it works really well to keep our scouring powder mixture in the bathroom.
I have been using homemade scouring powder for a long time on our tub, shower, and sinks, and I am extremely happy with the results. Not only does it clean effectively, but it is also fine for Little Bear’s sensitive skin – even when we have to clean the tub half-way through his bath!