As the cold days of winter come to an end, the arrival of spring inspires us to clear the dust and clutter from our homes and our heads. When you reach for your cleaning products this spring, consider employing some of your favorite essential oils to help you get the job done naturally. As you probably know, many typically household cleaning agents are chock full of toxic, harmful and just generally gross additives. On the other hand, essential oils are typically derived from plants and have gentle formulas. That means a safer clean for your valuables and your family!
Essential oils are wonderful for brightening our mood and easing stress, but they can also play a helpful role in keeping your home clean and germ-free. Many essential oils have powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, along with fresh, clean aromas. The calming and uplifting fragrances will set your mind at ease, and you can rest assured that your house is fresh and clean without any toxic residue. Essential oils are safe to use around pets and children and are effective enough to replace many dangerous chemical cleaners.
Here are a few of the most popular essential oils used for both cleaning and aromatherapy:
Tea tree has been used for thousands of years and is a powerful germ- and bacteria-fighting essential oil. It’s also one of the most popular oils for aromatherapy because it’s a natural immune booster and can soothe and treat respiratory ailments. It can be used to clean a variety of surfaces and is especially useful in the bathroom. Add a few drops to water in a spray bottle and use it as a daily shower spray to keep your bathroom free of soap-scum and mold. You can also spray the mixture around the house to deter bugs.
This essential oil has a wonderfully fresh and clean scent that helps elevate your mood and clear your mind. Use lemon oil in the morning to wake up or anytime you need a boost of mental clarity. This bright and joyful oil boasts antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties and is a great tool to use in the kitchen because it neutralizes odors and can cut through grease and grime. Apply a few drops to disinfect a wood cutting board or make your stainless steel appliance shine. You can also add some to a water and vinegar mixture for a natural and effective window cleaner or use it to create a homemade laundry scent booster that’s gentler than the store-bought stuff. If you have one essential oil cleaner on hand, make it lemon—this one is truly versatile!
One of the most pleasant smelling natural antibiotic oils is lavender. This stress-relieving oil is a wonderful addition to a relaxing bath but can also help out around the house. Combine a few drops of lavender with a vinegar-based cleaner and enjoy the germ-fighting properties and enchanting aroma. Use lavender’s soothing scent to upgrade your dish soap or add it to water to make a linen spray for towels and bedding. Many people also use lavender to make homemade disinfectants and air fresheners. Plus, its light, floral scent is perfect for enhancing household deodorizers and laundry detergents—a couple of drops and your whole cleaning cabinet will smell like the French countryside!
Not only is orange one of the most uplifting scents, but like its fellow citrus oil lemon, it can kill bacteria and cut through grease. Orange oil has a wonderfully uplifting fragrance and has been used throughout history to combat issues like fatigue and depression. Combine it with water and vinegar for an effective natural floor cleaner or an energizing kitchen countertop spray. In fact, orange essential oil is particularly popular as a base for a versatile, all-purpose house cleaner. You can mix it with other essential oils for a dreamy, aromatic experience or pair it with white vinegar for some double-duty cleaning power.
One whiff of peppermint oil is all you need to put some pep back in your step. This cooling, refreshing oil is popular for its ability to increase mental alertness, but it also packs a powerful germ-fighting punch. You can add it to most any natural cleaner for an invigorating scent and added antibacterial benefits. It also helps deter spiders, ants and mice when added to water and sprayed along cracks and crevices. We’re particularly fond of using peppermint essential oil throughout the house during the holidays, but spring is as good a time as any to refresh and reinvigorate!
This oil has a lovely fragrance and the power to help you stay focused on tasks when your mind is fuzzy. Not only can it give you a natural lift and a memory boost, but it also packs powerful antiseptic properties. Use it in your natural laundry detergent and dish soap or add it to water as a surface cleaner for your office or study area for a clean workspace and a brain boost. A drop or two will make any natural household cleaner smell divine.
Most essential oils are safe to use on surfaces when properly diluted, so experiment with adding a few drops of your favorites to water or natural soaps and cleaners. They can be just as tough on grease and germs as conventional cleaning products, without the harsh chemicals. And don’t be afraid to mix and match your favorite scents for a custom formula that smells so good you’ll actually want to clean! The added mood-boost can help you kick spring cleaning procrastination and might even encourage you to do your housework with a smile.
What are your favorite essential oils for cleaning?
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