Today I finish my crusade against harsh toxic cleaning chemicals by offering essential oils as a natural safe alternative to conventional cleaning solutions. You can use therapeutic-grade essential oils that have natural anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal properties for a wide variety of every day cleaning tasks around the house. Essential Oils can help combat household odours, mold, bacteria and viruses. You can add your favourite essential oils to any of the basic home made green cleaning mixes that I have shared over the past few months in Go Green with Baking Soda, Go Green with Vinegar, and Go Green with Lemons, to clean floors, deodorize carpets, boost laundry etc.
Fill your home with organic scents from nature. You will feel a lot more energetic and healthy breathing in essential oils after a day of cleaning rather than the toxic fumes that come from many of the conventional cleaning products. Some of my favourite essential oils for cleaning include lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, thyme and pine.
I am not an expert about the properties of each essential oil. But I will just to give you a quick overview of oils that have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Camphor, cardamom, chamomile, citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, tea tree, ginger, juniper, lavender, orange, lemon, lemongrass, lime, pine, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, marjoram, spearmint and thyme all have antibacterial properties. Lavender, lemon, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, tea tree, oregano, sandalwood and thyme are all known to have natural antiviral properties. Eucalyptus, tea tree, juniper, lavender, lemon, patchouli, sage, sandalwood and thyme are all well known to have antifungal powers.
When purchasing essential oils, make sure they are pure therapeutic-grade. These good oils come in dark amber or blue bottles in order to preserve their potency. Whole Foods and other health food stores usually stock a good range of high quality essential oils. You can also purchase them online. Two of my favourite websites are Mountain Rose Herbs and New Directions.
But take note: pure essential oils are potent and powerful. A little goes a LONG way and this is one of those instances where less really is more. Another important thing to mention about essential oils is that there are certain oils that are known to induce labour in pregnant woman and aggravate other medical conditions. Please consult an aromatherapist, aromatherapy book, or a credible aromatherapy website for more information about this. I am not an aromatherapist so will not even attempt to dish out information about this or other health related issues. So back to the cleaning!
These are some of my Top Natural Cleaning Uses For Essential Oils:
Use essential oils as a natural air freshener:
Just add 8-10 drops of your favourite essential oil to a spray bottle of filtered water for a natural air freshener that is preferable to conventional toxic sprays. Furthermore, different essential oils are associated with different moods. So depending on what you need, spray away! I LOVE lavender, lemon or orange.
Use essential oils to make a natural dishwashing liquid:
fill a quirt bottle with castile soap. Add 20-30 drops of antibacterial essential oils. I like citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange for use in the kitchen.
Use essential oils to make a natural dishwasher powder:
mix 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups of borax. Add 20 drops of antibacterial essential oil. Again, I like the citrus oils like lemon, lime, orange and tangerine. Use 2 Tablespoons with each dish load.
OR just add a few drops of essential oils to the dishwasher load to help disinfect the load. I personally like the citrus oil for this: orange, tangerine and lemon; but peppermint is also fantastic!
Use essential oils to create a multipurpose household cleaner:
Fill a spray bottle with water and a couple of drops of natural dishwashing soap.
Add 5 drops each of lavender, lemon and pine oil. My mother likes to just add 15 drops of eucalyptus oil. She has been doing this for years!
Use essential oils to make a natural spray for kitchens and bathrooms:
mix a spray bottle of water with 4 drops of lavender, 4 drops of lemon, 3 drops of eucalyptus, 2 drops of rosemary. This is great for cleaning mild surfaces.
Use essential oils to make a natural scouring cream:
mix ½ cup baking soda with 18 drops of antibacterial essential oils. Again, I like lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree or citrus oils. Then add just enough drops of natural liquid soap to create a paste.
Use essential oils to clean hard floors:
To clean hard floors use the basic mix of 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a bucket of water. Then add your preferred essential oils. I always add 5-10 drops of lemon oil, pine oil, or tea tree oil. For extremely dirty or greasy floors, you can add in several drops of natural dishwashing soap.
Use essential oils as a natural carpet deodorizer:
To make a gorgeous fragrant carpet freshener add about 20 drops of essential oils to 1 cup of baking soda. Mix this together and then seal in a glass container for about 12 hours (or overnight) in order to allow the oils to infuse. Use this mixture to sprinkle over your carpet the next day and then vacuum this powder up. I personally love lavender!
Use essential oils to naturally deodorize your vacuum cleaner:
to get rid of stale odours in your vacuum cleaner place about 5 drops of your favourite essential oil onto a tissue and place this in the collecting container or bag of the machine. Continue vacuuming and the gorgeous scent will be dispersed throughout the machine.
Use lemon essential oil for laundry stain removal:
add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to stains, allow to sit and then wash as normal.
Use essential oils to make a natural laundry soaker:
Combine 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup salt and 3 drops of tea tree oil. Soak clothes for at least an hour to sanitize and deodorize. Then wash as normal.
Use essential oils to make a natural laundry soap:
mix 1 ounce of liquid castile soup with 3 drops of rosemary, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus or tea tree oil for a fantastic laundry liquid.
Use essential oils to deodorize and disinfect laundry:
I use about 10 drops of lavender oil in my laundry. It acts as a natural disinfectant and also makes all of my clothes smell gorgeous.
Use essential oils to wash and kill dust mites in bedding:
I add in 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to the wash cycle when washing bedding, linens and towels. Dust mites feed on our dead skin cells and therefore, live in our bedding. Not only does the eucalyptus oil repel dust mites, it also smells good too!
Use essential oils to naturally deodorize clothes in the dryer:
instead of using toxic dryer sheets, simply place 10 drops of lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus or lemon oil on as wash cloth and place in the dryer. It will scent the whole load.
Use essential oils to deodorize and clean windows:
add 10 drops of lemon oil to your natural window cleaning mixture (1 cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle of water). The lemon scent is so refreshing, especially in the kitchen!
Use essential oils to polish hard wood furniture:
mix 3 Tablespoons of vinegar with ½ teaspoon of jojoba oil. To this add 10 drops of lemon essential oil.
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Please feel free to email me with any other essential oils tips you have!
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Category: Go Green Kitchen
About the Author (Author Profile)
Tess Masters, a.k.a The Blender Girl is an actor, presenter, voice over artist, cook and writer. She writes a quirky food blog, Healthy Blender Recipes, sharing quick easy allergy free gluten free vegetarian recipes with whole foods. Tess writes the eco food blog for Go Green America TV and is a regular contributor to The Balanced Platter. She and her recipes have been featured on Chow.com, Epicurious.com, Glamour.com, and the LA Times, as well as countless websites and blogs around the world. Tess resides in Los Angeles, California with her partner and their dog, Cookie.