Essential Oil Combinations for Cleaning

Cleaning With Essential Oils

By far, my favorite use for essential oils is cleaning, especially during this time of year when you want to freshen everything up but it’s not quite time to throw open the windows with abandon. Making your own cleaning solution is easy and using essential oils will add extra cleaning power and freshness.

Here are some recipes and tips:

Add 8-10 drops of essential oil to any all-purpose cleaner, dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent. Many, many essential oils have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Some of these are the usual suspects: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Thyme and of course, the all-purpose oil, Lavender. (Seriously, if you don’t have Lavender in your aromatherapy kit by now, I don’t know what to tell you!)

You can make your own easy homemade all-purpose cleaner by combining 2 cups hot water, 10 drops of essential oil, and a tablespoon of liquid castile soap in a spray bottle. Shake it very well to combine. Eucalyptus, Thyme, Peppermint, and Clove oils are great for getting rid of unwanted smells as well as having those antiseptic qualities.  Lemon is also great and adds that bright, fresh aroma to your surfaces.

Now . . . let's talk deep cleaning . . .

I've moved many times in the last ten years, and I can safely say that moving is my least favorite thing to do. Something about seeing everything I own in boxes, moving those boxes, then having to unpack those boxes… ugh!  If there's an upside, though, moving does force me to get rid of things and to really get in there and tackle a deep cleaning.

One thing that I’ve had to do every time I’ve moved is to clean my oven. Commercially made oven cleaner is the most caustic, awful substance on the market.  It will eat through your skin and destroy your lungs. I suppose that’s why it works. Here is a great alternative that I found online at www.motherearthliving.com:

Natural Oven Cleaner:

½ cup coarse salt
¼ cup washing soda (some grocery and hardware stores stock this or you can order it online)
1 lb baking soda
¼ cup water
¾ cup white vinegar
10 drops thyme oil
10 drops lemon oil

(I bet you could switch out other citrus oils or pine oils for the lemon if you wanted to.)

Combine salt, washing soda and baking soda in a glass container. Add just enough water to make a paste. Remove oven racks and heat oven to 250* for 15 minutes. When the oven is up to temp, turn it off.  Spread the paste to the surfaces of the oven with a sponge and allow to set for half an hour. Combine vinegar and essential oils in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the surfaces in the oven and wipe clean. Rinse well.  What a relief not to have to use that awful oven cleaning stuff that’s bad for you and for the environment!

Natural Carpet Cleaner 

Now, about carpets. The occupant who used to live in my current apartment was apparently a smoker. My coat still comes out of the closet smelling like cigarette smoke.  Here is a recipe that I’m going to try on the carpets to help with residual cigarette smoke AND to actually clean the carpet. Two birds, one stone.

Combine 4 cups of water, 1 cup castile soap, and 15 drops of peppermint oil. I’m using peppermint, because it is a strong deodorizer, but you could probably use whatever oil you prefer. Mix all ingredients very well until foamy. You could use a blender for this. Rub foam onto area you want to clean. Let dry thoroughly and vacuum well.

Natural Air Freshener to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell

Battling the stale cigarette smoke smell has become a part-time job. I could burn candle diffusers day and night, I will still get a blast of old hotel room smell when I first walk into the apartment. It’s getting better, but I have to stay on it. You can create your own room spray to fight the smell of cigarette smoke with one cup of water to 5-10 drops of whatever oil you want in a spray bottle. Like I said above, the stronger smelling oils are better for deodorizing and most have the added benefit of being antibacterial and antiviral: Eucalyptus, Thyme, Rosemary, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Cloves, just to give you some ideas.  If you'd rather go with something that's already mixed, try out Germ Buster blend--it's potent, deodorizing and it smells good!


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