Green Cleaning with Essential Oils

Essential oils have some really amazing properties that make them great for cleaning your home. Many essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Those are the three main categories of YUCK that you want to get rid of when you clean your house.  And you want it to smell nice in the end, right?! Most of the cleaners you can buy in the grocery store are full of chemicals that personally, I don’t want around my family. Making your own household cleaners with essential oils will give you peace of mind that you are reducing the amount of toxic chemicals in your home, while still cleaning effectively and making your home smell wonderful. Essential Oils can be used to make cleaning products for many areas of your home, from your laundry routine, to sanitizing the kitchen and eliminating mold in the bathroom, without the harsh chemicals. Most of the recipes I’m about to share contain common household ingredients, like vinegar and baking soda, that you probably already have, and they don’t cost much either.

It is a good idea to take a few precautions when making your own cleaners. First, only mix your ingredients in glass or stainless steel bottles. Essential oils can react with plastics. You can use recycled glass bottles or jars, canning jars, or order some glass spray bottles from an online supplier. Second, with essential oils, more is not necessarily better. Too much essential oil will just leave an oily residue behind and will not clean better. Too high a concentration of essential oil also has the potential to damage surfaces so you should also test your cleaners on an inconspicuous area of the surface you’re cleaning.  Finally, although essential oils are not toxic, I would recommend keeping all cleaners out of the reach of children and pets.

All Purpose Cleaning Spray       

Clove essential oil                                                 2 drops

Grapefruit essential oil                                        4 drops

Eucalyptus essential oil                                      2 drops

Rosemary essential oil                                        2 drops

Cinnamon essential oil                                        2 drops

Water                                                                         2/3 cup

White Vinegar                                                         1/4 cup

Mix all ingredients together in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray onto cloth or surface and wipe clean.

Mold and Mildew Cleaning Spray

Melaleuca essential oil                                          4 drops

Lavender essential oil                                             4 drops

Eucalyptus essential oil                                          4 drops

Wild Orange essential oil                                       4 drops

White Vinegar                                                           2/3 cup

Water                                                                           1/4 cup

Borax                                                                            2 tsp.

Mix all ingredients together in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on surface, wait 15 minutes, then rinse. To keep mold and mildew from returning, repeat weekly.

Mattress Cleaning Spray

(or Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!)

Bergamot essential oil                                           2 drops

Lavender essential oil                                             3 drops

Cedarwood essential oil                                         2 drops

Water                                                                            1/2 cup

Mix all ingredients together in a 4 oz. spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on mattresses and other items that are or could be infected. To improve results, vacuum thoroughly and regularly, and use the spray as often as needed.

Glass and Window Cleaner

Lime essential oil                                                       4 drops

Lemon essential oil                                                    4 drops

Water                                                                              1/2 cup

White Vinegar                                                              1/2 cup

Rubbing Alcohol                                                          1 tsp.

Mix all ingredients together in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on glass and wipe clean with a paper towel or lint-free cloth.

Furniture Oil with Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil                                                  18 drops

Lemongrass Essential Oil                                         8 drops

Sandalwood Essential Oil                                        12 drops

Olive Oil                                                                          4 ounces

Mix all ingredients together in a 4 oz. glass bottle. Pour small amount on clean cloth and rub on wood surface.

Tea Tree and Grapefruit Scrubbing Powder

Tea Tree Essential Oil                                                 18 drops

Grapefruit Essential Oil                                             18 drops

Baking soda                                                                   1/2 cup

Mix baking soda and essential oils in a wide mouth jar. To use, wet surface, sprinkle powder, scrub, and rinse.

Pest Control

Here are some non-toxic ways to rid your home of unwanted pests.

Ants: Wipe cabinets with a damp sponge and 6 to 8 drops peppermint essential oil. Then wipe windowsills, doorway cracks and the corners of cabinets under the kitchen sink.

Centipedes, earwigs, and silverfish: Place several drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in areas that collect moisture such as basements, garages and cabinets that house plumbing fixtures.

Mice: Make a solution of a cup of water and 20-30 drops of peppermint essential oil and spray it wherever you find mouse droppings.

Mites and weevils: Place  whole nutmegs in flour containers.

Other insects: Place loose bay leaves in kitchen cabinets.

 

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