Cleaning with Essential Oils
A frequently asked question from new essential oil users is, “How do I use my essential oils?”. While this answer varies greatly depending on what therapeutic benefit you are looking to achieve, and what essential oils you have, one way new and experienced essential oil users tend to leave out is cleaning your home.
When we buy a household cleaner from the store, it comes with the expectation of cleaning our home and ridding it of germs and other harmful bacteria. However, each year up to 10% of all toxic exposers come from standard house hold cleaners. Most of the hazards after exposure are acute, causing skin irritation or burning eyes that eventually fade away. Through extensive research, new information is released every year regarding the long term affects (including and up to infertility and cancer) many of these common cleaners cause.
After our sinks are sparkling clean from these toxic chemicals, they are washed down the drain where they make their way to our local municipal treatment plants, inevitably leading to local streams and rivers which then create a great danger to fish and other wildlife. Once the container is empty, it must be thrown away adding even further to the mounds of trash created by people every day, and dumped in already overflowing garbage sites. Many of these cleaning containers cannot be recycled due to the chemical residue left behind.
Many essential oils are not only fresh in aroma, but carry high antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and disinfectant properties. Mixed with other non-toxic cleaning agents, they are powerful in cleaning your home in a way that is safe and effective.
Listed below are basic recipes and methods that are simple and effective in cleaning your home using essential oils and other non-toxic agents. I find that keeping a spray bottle full of vinegar helpful in speeding up many of these. While the initial smell of vinegar is not pleasant, it fades very quickly leaving behind a clean aroma. You may also notice that the recipes below that recommend Lavender specify to use High-Altitude Lavender. High-Altitude Lavender Essential Oil has a higher Linalool constituent level making it a more powerful cleaning agent than the traditionally used variations of Lavender. A higher Linalool content means higher antiseptic and disinfecting properties. By all means, if what you have on hand is standard Lavender, don’t let that stop you.
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
Stainless Steel Sinks
- Baking Soda
- Soft Sponge
- Lemon or Sweet Orange Essential oil
- Olive Oil
- Paper Towels
- Rinse and remove any food from the sink. Then, using the baking soda and soft sponge, work in a circular motion scrubbing the sink.
- Rinse the sink with vinegar and allow the baking soda to fizz. Using the sponge and water rinse the sink of the baking soda and vinegar.
- Wipe the sink dry with paper towels.
- Add a small amount of olive oil and 2-3 drops of your essential oil of choice to the basin of the sink. Buff using another paper towel until your sink is shiny and clean.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Baking Soda
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Sprinkle baking soda around the inside of the toilet bowl.
- Add 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Add vinegar to the toilet bowl allowing the baking soda to fizz.
- When the baking soda stops fizzing, use a toilet bowl brush to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Then, flush.
Multi-Purpose Cleaner (windows, kitchen and bathroom)
- Empty spray bottle
- 1 cup Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- ¼ TSP Dishwashing Soap (optional)
- 5 drops of either Lemon, Tea Tree, or High-Altitude Lavender Essential Oil.
Mix the listed ingredients above into the empty spray bottle. Shake well and use as you would a standard window cleaner.
When Flu and Cold season arrive, deep cleaning can be desired for ultimate protection. Instead of pulling out a popular standard disinfectant, follow our multi-purpose cleaning recipe but exchange Immunity Essential Oil for the others listed.
- Bucket of water
- ¼ cup Vinegar
- 10 drops of either/or a combination of Lemongrass, Pine, or Tea Tree Essential Oil
- ¼ TSP Dishwashing Detergent
Mix together above ingredients and use to mop on any type of flooring, including hardwood. I personally own a steamer mop. While the manufacturer advices against it, I add essential oils directly into the water reservoir with the recommended amount of water, and then mop my floors. I have never personally had an issue, and have been doing this approximately 4 years now on all hard flooring in my home including hardwood. My preferred oils for this are Lemongrass and Pine.
- Mason Jar
- 1 Cup Baking Soda
- 15 drops of High-Altitude Lavender Essential Oil
Mix the ingredients listed above into the mason Jar. Shake vigorously breaking a part any large clumps of baking soda. Allow the mixture to sit overnight so the oils cab be properly absorbed into the baking soda. Sprinkle onto carpet and let it sit for 10 minutes. Vacuum as normal. This recipe can be doubled or tripled to allow extra to be stored for later use.
Fabric Refresher Spray
- Spray Bottle
- 1 TBLS Baking Soda
- 2 Cups water
- 10 drops of either/or a combination of Lemon, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Pine, or High-Altitude Lavender Essential Oil
Add the above ingredients to the spray bottle. Shake until all baking soda is dissolved. Use as you would a standard fabric spray on curtains, bedding, and furniture. We do recommend using any spray on an inconspicuous area of fabric to make sure no discoloration happens as there are many types of fabric all with different characteristics.
While there are many other cleaning recipes available with essential oils, we hope these basic techniques open a new world of non-toxic cleaning to your home. May you find joy and peace in knowing your family is in a clean and safe environment. Most importantly, have fun! Cleaning your home joyfully is another wonderful way to glorify God and all the blessings he has brought into your life.