We all are (painfully) aware of the toxic chemicals that are found in common household cleaning products. What if there was a greener, healthier approach to cleaning your home? Well, I have some good news for you - there is a great alternative to the harsh chemical-laden products!
Essential oils are hard workers, accomplishing a multitude of tasks, from purifying the air to protecting your leather furniture. Read on for our favorite cleaning tips using these "gifts of the earth."
1. You can use a variety of essential oils to cleanse, deodorize, and protect your home.
- Add 10-15 drops Bergamot to your laundry detergent for a fresh, clean load of laundry. Tweet this!
- Add 7-10 drops Bergamot to a wet washcloth and add to your dryer instead of a dryer sheet.
- Put 2–3 drops in a spray bottle for a quick and effective cleaning spray.
- Mix together 1/4 teaspoon Clove oil with 1 liter of water in a glass jar. Spray on mildew covered surfaces and let sit overnight. The next morning, scrub with a stiff cleaning brush and spray the Clove solution again to help prevent mildew from growing back.
- Add 10 drops Cypress to a spray bottle filled with water for a surface cleaner.
- Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a glass spray bottle and add 10-20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil for a natural stone and granite cleaner.
- Add 20 drops Lavender to 1 gallon of vinegar for a fragrant fabric softener. Add 1 cup during the rinse cycle for large loads and 1/2 cup for small loads.
- For a natural mirror cleaner, mix 1-2 drops Lemon with 1 tsp. vinegar in a 1 oz. spray bottle and top off with water. Shake well before using.
Put some Lime on a cotton pad to help remove grease spots and sticker residue.
- Use 10 drops Marjoram in 1 liter of water to clean toilet seats and other surfaces.
- Apply 2-4 drops of Melaleuca to your pets bed to deter fleas and other insects.
- Add 7-10 drops Oregano to 2 cups of water and mix in a spray bottle for an effective, high-performance all-purpose surface cleaner.
- Use Patchouli as a natural bug repellant. Soak small strips of cloth in a mixture of 2 cups water and 10 drops Patchouli, and then hang the strips outside or wherever bug deterrent is desired.
- Mice hate Peppermint! Apply several drops of undiluted Peppermint to a cotton ball and place wherever you suspect mouse activity. Reapply as needed.
- Add 2-4 drops Rosemary to your favorite chemical-free wood cleaner to make your home smell fresh and inviting.
- Because of its effectiveness against food-borne pathogens, you can add 4 drops Thyme to your dishwashing water when washing cutting boards and knives that have come into contact with raw eggs and meat.
- Add 3-5 drops Wild Orange to your favorite chemical-free dish soap enhance its cleaning power.
2. Instead of your typical cleaning spray, use baking soda. This is a well-known deodorizer, but it will also whiten surfaces and cut grease.
3. Use liquid castile soap. Combine with baking soda for an amazing tub scrub or add a few tablespoons to your mop water with a citrus essential oil. You can find this in your local health-food store and online. Unscented is usually best for most purposes.
4. Vinegar also cuts grease, deodorizes, and dissolves mineral deposits. To cut the smell, add in a few drops of Lemon essential oil.
5. For more cleansing power, use borax. Borax disinfects, whitens, cuts grease, and deodorizes. *Although it is natural, borax is toxic when ingested, and can cause skin irritation. Keep away from children, pets, and food preparation areas.