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With all the demands of a clean home, do you think about what you’re cleaning with? Many common cleaners contain harsh chemicals that impact the environment and the body. Keep it a peaceful space by getting rid of the toxic cleaners and using a natural solution; essential oils. These plant-based products are earth, family and pet-friendly, all things you want for your healthy home.
Essential oils are great for the body and your home! Here are a few tips to keep your house looking clean and free of toxic chemicals.
Why Use Essential Oils?
The benefits of essential oils are truly endless. They’ve been used before chemical cleaners were available, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. Essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid plant extract that’s very aromatic. They’re used for their medicinal, cosmetic and household benefits. They’re created by extracting and concentrating the cells from plants through either distillation or expression (cold pressing) extraction. These oils come highly concentrated and have various health benefits depending on the oil.
It’s important to know that each oil has a different benefit and a strong scent. Oil blends are helpful to utilize different oils for one purpose, such as a purifying blend to sanitize and freshen the air.
If you’re considering using essential oils, it’s very important to do your research and know you’re using them appropriately. Thankfully, it’s easy to find research and reviews, since the popularity of essential oils is growing rapidly. Here are some good tips to know as you get started:
- Essential oils come in different price ranges, from different companies. Look for oils that are high quality and companies that test their oils carefully.
- Know where the oils come from. Ideally, you’ll be looking for oils from plants growing indigenously rather than in a greenhouse.
- Understand the three main ways to use essential oils; topically with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, aromatically with a diffuser and in a few cases taken internally, such as a drop of lemon in water.
- Always store essential oils in glass bottles and keep away from heat.
- There many kinds of essential oils, so understand the benefits of each one before purchasing.
One of the best benefits I have found from using essential oils is their household use. There are many harmful chemicals in common household cleaners used every day. However, you can rid your house of these products and germs by cleaning with essential oils.
In the Kitchen
In a place where you prepare and store food, why keep harsh cleaning chemicals nearby? One of the most popular areas of the home to use essential oils is the kitchen. Many solutions are easy to create with a few drops of oil and household items. Lemon, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils are great places to start when looking at what oils to use in the kitchen.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
Get a glass spray bottle and combine one cup distilled water, one cup white vinegar and 10-20 drops of essential oils. Lavender is a great multi-purpose oil that has great antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Lemongrass is a great mood-lifter and has antiviral benefits. Oregano is another option that works well as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. These can be combined or left individually to create a clean kitchen surface.
To give your dishes a good rinse and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh, add 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender, bergamot or wild orange to your natural dishwashing soap and run. It’s that simple!
In my kitchen, spills happen often and of course, right on the white grout. It’s easy to get that grout looking like new again. Simply take 1/8 cup of distilled water, a half cup of baking soda and 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. This will form a paste to wipe over the grout. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes and scrub with a wet sponge. Wipe any excess off with a wet cloth.
In the Bathroom
Bathrooms seem to take an unnecessary amount of cleaners to get the job done right. From toilet cleaners to special tub foams, these harmful chemicals can be dangerous on the lungs and skin. Tea-tree oil is one of the best alternatives to common bathroom cleaning products. Not only does it have high antimicrobial properties, but it also works to fight mold and mildew.
In a glass spray bottle, combine 15 to 20 drops of tea tree oil and two cups of distilled water. Shake vigorously and spray on the inside of the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing and washing.
Not only will you love the aroma of your shower cleaner, but it will stick around as you use the shower later. In a glass spray bottle, shake together one cup of distilled water, one cup of vinegar, 15 drops of lemon essential oil and 15 drops tea tree oil. Spray down daily after showering to keep your shower sparkling!
Aerosol and commercial fresheners tend to wear off after only a few minutes. Create a lasting scent with 1/4 cup of distilled water, two tablespoons vanilla extract and 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice and shake well. Lavender is a great deodorizer, as well as citrus scents and mint. One of my personal favorites is 10 drops of lavender and five drops of lemon, to create a fresh scent
Other Household Uses
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Not limited to the bathroom and kitchen, essential oils can be used all over the house. Pick a few of your favorite scents and integrate them into your cleaning routine. Lavender, wild orange, thyme and peppermint oils have fresh scents and naturally fight against germs.
If you don’t have time to wash all the blankets or your couch is smelling a bit out-of-sorts, a natural fabric refresher is a good go-to. Combine one cup distilled water with five drops rosemary, five drops lavender and five drops of lemon essential oil in a glass spray bottle and shake well. Spray to eliminate odors and germs from fabrics and even carpet.
Drawer & Cabinet Deodorizer
This is a great solution to keep clothes smelling fresh and take out any musty smells from shelving. With a cotton ball, add four drops of your favorite oil and drop in the corners of your drawers and cabinets. Change weekly for a fresh scent. Citrus and lavender oils work well to take away odors.
Don’t Forget to Diffuse
One of the best ways to use and enjoy essential oils is through a diffuser. By doing so, you can practice aromatherapy in your home and receive all the benefits. Has the cold hit your household? Try diffusing some eucalyptus or lemongrass to clean the air. Home for the holidays? Try diffusing pine or spruce oil to get everyone feeling festive. My personal favorite is lavender, to help promote restful sleep and create a relaxing atmosphere.
Heat can cause damage to the oil, so you'll need to use a cold air diffuser. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so find one that fits the environment you desire for your home.
As essential oils gain more popularity, we are sure to learn more of their uses and benefits. This is a great place to start if you’re looking to eliminate harmful chemicals from your cleaning routine and encourage a healthy lifestyle in your household. Be sure to do plenty of research to find the best solutions for your family.
Looking for more ideas to create a green home? See Environmentally-Friendly Cleaners You Can Make At Home.