Homemade Soft Scrub


How old am I? I am not telling, but I am old enough to remember when Soft Scrub first came on the market. My dad was so excited because after every trip to the lake with our ski boat, he would come home and scrub the boat down to remove all the “stuff”. When Soft Scrub came on the market, he gave it a try.  And wow was he excited.  It was less messy than powdered cleansers because it clung to the surface of whatever you were cleaning.  It was not gritty and still cleaned as well as Comet.  Lately I have had a lot of success with Homemade Dishwasher Detergent and Air Freshener so I couldn’t wait to try homemade Soft Scrub.

It was a cinch to make. 1/2 cup Borax to 4 TBSP Murphy soap.  Mix with a fork until it reaches a frosting like consistency. Tada! you are done. Put in a lidded container. So I tried it out on my tub.  Wonderful, loved it.  Next the sink.  It did the job, rinsed well, leaving no gritty residue. So I tackled my cupboards. Uh oh. Here I ran into a problem.

The consistency of this mixture is more of a paste than a lotion.  When scrubbing my cabinets I found it didn’t cling to the surface.  This was something I had not noticed when I cleaned a horizontal surface, but on a vertical, yuck! As I scrubbed the paste became and powder and flaked all over the floor.  I had just mopped!  See what I mean?

This is an effective cleaner, and it is less expensive, but Soft Scrub it is not.

Note regarding this post – originally I gave this pin a rating of This Pin Flopped. Below you will see a thoughtful comment from a reader that pointed out that Soft Scrub is not a cleaner recommended for wood, whereas Murphy soap might be more appropriate. Oops! I stand corrected. So as to whether this cleanser will perform just like Soft Scrub, I will say that I have used Soft Scrub to clean my cabinets for years and like the result. In fact, I intend to continue to do so despite Soft Scrub’s own recommendations. But, using cabinets as a point of determination as to whether this is a flop is unfair, since that is not the recommended use of the product. I still don’t feel I can give it a rating that it rocks, because it did not perform similarly enough to Soft Scrub.  Soft Scrub is more creamy, clings to the surface and doesn’t dry into crumbles on the surface while cleaning. So, depending on how you intend to use this mixture, you will find it effective. Just don’t expect it to be exactly like Soft Scrub. It will perform many of the same tasks, but will not have the same feel.



  1. I don’t think this failed since it worked fine on tub and sink. But that on wood cabinets? Granted, not as crunchy as commercial soft scrub, but the Murphy’s alone would have been fine. The max i would use on any wood would be very diluted liquid dishwashing detergent unless they were absolutely caked with grease. Me thinks u may be trying to over clean. I wouldn’t use commercial soft scrub on cabinets either. Not meant for wood.

    • tenngarden,
      Thanks for sharing your insight. And woops, you are right. I tried to read the fine print on my bottle of Soft Scrub, but even with reading glasses had trouble, so I went to the website. Soft Scrub is not recommended for wood of any kind. That being said, I have been cleaning my cabinets with this product for years and like it for cleaning off sticky spots of dripped pancake batter,ketchup, or jam type spills that have gone unnoticed and dried. So, despite the recommendation, I will still probably use it this way as it has never damaged my cabinets and saved me some elbow grease. But I do not want to be unfair to anyone’s post. I will be adding a note to my post to reflect that with this information, I agree it does not deserve a flop. But, because it does not have the same creamy consistency and does not perform or feel exactly like Soft Scrub, I don’t feel it rocks either. Were it called Homemade bathroom cleanser or something like that, I probably would. I will let readers use my experience to inform them whether this will work for them based on their intended use. Thanks for commenting. I hope you will come back and that you find our site useful.

  2. Good to know Sherri! I am a Soft Scrub user and like the creaminess of Soft Scrub. Never used it on cabinets. I’m thinking if I did, I wouldn’t use the “bleach” version :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you mentioned that. I never use the bleach version, because I always end up with a white spot on my clothes. I didn’t think to mention it. Thanks Jeni.