Hello! I knew I had to clean our front porch very well before I gave it a new coat of paint, but wasn't sure what cleaning product to use. So I asked a guy at the local hardware store, and he said he used Soft Scrub for that task at his house.
Sounded like a good idea, but I wasn't sure if I wanted that cleaner around my nearby perennials, so decided to search the Internet for a DIY version.
And thanks to Pinterest, here's what I found and used:
Citrus Soft Scrub (don't recall the source)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner is a well-known brand)
15 drops orange essential oil (see notes below)
15 drops lemon essential oil (see notes below)
Mix all ingredients to form a paste, adding more castile soap if needed to obtain desired consistency.
Notes: the "recipe" called for 10 drops each orange, lemon and lime essential oils. I had just the first two on hand, so increased their amounts as indicated. If you have just one of those three essential oils on hand, then use 30 drops of that.
Store in a container with tightly-closed lid. This mixture will dry out otherwise. (you can still use it if that happens; just add water or liquid castile soap to the mixture and stir to get a wetter consistency, or use extra water on your sponge or cleaning rag.)
I didn't bother to take a picture of the finished product, since basically it looks like a white paste. Not too thrilling.
I don't typically use Soft Scrub, so I can't say if this DIY version is its equivalent, but it worked well enough that the paint went on smoothly and looked clean.
Since then, I've used Citrus Soft Scrub to clean other surfaces around the house, like bathroom and kitchen sinks and our vintage cast iron claw foot tub. This soft scrub smells nice, is pleasant to use and is easy to rinse clean. And once you've purchased the ingredients, it's relatively inexpensive to make per batch too.
And what more could you ask from a soft scrub-type cleaning product?