Spring Cleaning & Essential Oils

When looking out my window at the  Daffodils in my garden, the 1st thing I think of is canstockphoto19191185“Oh, so pretty!” And the 2nd thing that I think is, “Boy are my windows dirty!!!!!”
Due to my sensitivities, I like to clean my house with natural products. Some, I will admit are store bought, & some are homemade using Baking Soda, Sea Salt, White Vinegar, Castile Soap, Olive Oil,  & of course, Essential Oils.
I’ve been using some form of natural cleaners since the 1970’s… I know, I’m dating myself. Our neighbor, Mr. R, was a gentleman hippie, & a passionate environmentalist. He really inspired my mother, and she had us shopping at the health food store, recycling bottles, washing & flattening pet food cans long before it was an everyday thing to do. I also grew up using Baking Soda, Borax & White Vinegar as cleaning products, so what I am doing now has kind of evolved from that.
Being an aromatherapist, my 1st thought is always what blend to use for the chore at hand. For most cleaning, especially kitchen & bathroom counters, floors & fixtures, I like to make an all-purpose spray cleaner.

Some  essential oils to consider are:

Bactericidal or Antibacterial Oils: Coriander, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Niaouli, Palmarosa,  Pine, Tea Tree. Thyme

Antiseptic Oils: Cajeput, Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Fir, Grapefruit,  Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime,  Litsea Cubeba, Orange, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Pine, Tea Tree & Thyme.
( you can choose 3 or 4 of these oils or you can use an appropriate diffuser blend. I Like to use Purify Diffuser Blend at a 2% dilution. Shake well before use.(If you have natural stone counters or floors, depending on the finish, do a spot test first.)

Other ways to use essential oils:

canstockphoto7199800Washing Windows: Add 10 – 15  drops of Lemon essential oil, 2 tbsp of white vinegar in a 28 oz or 828 ml spray bottle, and fill with water. (If your windows are really dirty & you need a bit more cleaning power, add up to 2 more Tbsp of White Vinegar to the spray bottle) Shake well before use.

Washing Floors: Mix 5-10 drops of Essential oil (Try Lemon, Pine, Palmarosa, or Tea Tree, or a combination of oils) with 1 Tbsp of Castile soap and add to your bucket of wash water & mop away.

*If you have young a baby who is crawling you may want to use  1 or 2  tsp of Lavender Hydrosol added to your floor wash water instead of using the essential oils. For children age 2 – 5 years old, you will want to choose oils & lower dilutions that are more appropriate for their age. Essential oils to consider using are Lavender, Lemon, Grapefruit, & Palmarosa.  I will admit, I tend to err on the side of caution where children are concerned.

Cleaning wood furniture: Add 3 drops of Lemon or Orange essential oil to 60 ml of Olive or Jojoba oil. Buff with a soft cloth. Be sure to open some windows for ventilation. If you have concerns do a patch test on your furniture before using the essential oil. (Avoid getting essential oils on fabrics).

Clean your Microwave: Place a glass bowl, filled with 1 cups of water, & 5 drops of Lemon or Orange essential oil inside your microwave, run for 3 min on High. Let it sit for 5 more minutes. The steam will loosen any spilled or dried food.  Carefully remove the bowl, & wipe down your machine. Makes clean-up really easy.

Natural Sticker “Goo” Remover: Lemon essential oil works really well to remove the sticky residue from price tags & labels. Just a  drop or two on a cotton ball, & voila! (The essential oil breaks down the glue, & it wipes off of glass & most plastics.) Do a spot test first & be sure to wipe/wash off any residual essential oil.

Toilet Bombs: are made from Baking Soda, Citric Acid (A low strength acid that comes from Lemons and/or oranges), Antibacterial essential oils, & a spray or two of water. Really simple to make & use. And they smell amazing! (SAFETY TIP: Use gloves & a  mask when making this product) 

And don’t forget to clean your air with your ultrasonic diffuser or a room spray made from antibacterial essential oils; like comforting Lavender,  a crisp Citrus or fresh Spearmint. And the side benefit is how good these scents will make you feel…

Happy Cleaning & Happy Spring!!! And when you are done cleaning, you can get on with the fun stuff like gardening…

My Blog is for information only. Essential oils are for external use.

  • When using essential oils for cleaning be sure to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • do a spot test first before using on your hard surfaces and use at your own risk.
  • Ventilation is always a good thing…
  • When making essential oil products, like Toilet Bombs, wear a mask & Gloves
  • Keep all of your essential oils & cleaning products away from children & pets.

Battaglia, SalvatoreThe Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003. Print.
Worwood, Valerie AnnThe Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991. Print.

Bugs of Summer…

Summertime… The sunshine, going to the beach, gardening, the warm nights watching Lady bugthe stars. What I could do without is the bugs. I do my best to respect nature & I can appreciate all the good that Ladybugs, Bees & Spiders (Arachnids, I know) do for the environment but do the ants, beetles & “BIG” wolf spiders have to come in my house?

I like to use essential oil whenever possible to “repel” the bugs. Some of my favorites are Cedarwood, Spearmint,  Eucalyptus Radiata, Dives or Citriodora, Geranium, Patchouli & my all time fav- Lemongrass. ( I do like Catnip too, but  every time I try to use it, my cats go a little, okay a lot crazy)
These essential oils are more appropriate to use around older children & adults.

If you have younger children (age 2 – 8)  essential oils that you may want to consider are Geranium, Rosalina, Tea Tree & Spearmint just to name a few.

There are different ways to use essential oil blends in your home; here are a few to consider:

  • Try diffusing your blend, as it works well for airborne bugs like flies &  mosquitoes.
  • Room Sprays- make a blend of your favorite oils, then mix  20 – 25 drops with 125 ml of purified water or a Hydrosol.
  • You can also put a few drops of your blend on a cotton ball & put it on your window sills, around your patio doors as well as in closets & attics.***Don’t use this method if you have young children & pets.

While a blend will work as an all-purpose bug repellent, certain essential oils work well antfor specific bugs & situations. If you have a problem with:

Ants: Make a blend of 8 drops of Peppermint & 12 drops Spearmint essential oil to 250 ml of water. Shake well before using. Spray around doorways & windows (especially the window screens). If you have a lot of ants entering your house  I find that Peppermint works really well. Apply a few drops to a cotton ball & place in areas where you see the ants entering your home. ***Don’t use this method if you have young children & pets.

Flies & Mosquitoes:  Lemongrass & Peppermint in a diffuser or as a room spray would be a good choice. ***Lavender & Rosalina would be a good alternative  if you have young children Read More