Cleaning with Essential Oils

Blog Post Cleaning with EOs

Have you taken a look at Pinterest lately for ideas of how to clean with essential oils?

Does the shear amount of recipes and how tos confuse you?

Well here we are going to have a no-nonsense look at some ways you can SAFELY incorporate EOs into your cleaning routine. I am going to caveat this article with letting you know I rarely use essential oils in my cleaning routine. With 3 children ages 6 and under, 3 dogs and a cat; I do not feel comfortable using them in my household cleaners. But thankfully I do know how to make cleaners as it is something I have done since before them.

Things to be aware of

1) Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)is often called upon to use for surface cleaners. But it can eat through porous surfaces, so, don't use it on your granite type counter tops- it can ruin them. More about that can be read here: http://www.geeksonhome.com/about_5721802_can-lemon-oil-granite-table_.html

2) Essential oils are FLAMMABLE, therefore unless using on a no-heat cycle they should NOT be used in your dryer i.e. on dryer balls or as dryer sheets.

3)Tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) can cause SEIZURES in small pets and potentially in children. So if you are using it in your floor cleaner (or any other cleaner for that matter) make sure it has dried BEFORE your children play on that surface.

4) There are essential oils that for various reasons are unsafe for your children and pets. It is for this reason that you alone are responsible for doing research on checking and ensuring the oils in the blends you may be using are safe for your family. Please do not assume that some company has done their due diligence- their job is to sell a product it is YOUR JOB to make sure it is something you want your family using.

Ways to Use Essential Oils in your Laundry

Without risking the potential for blowing up your house or at the very least your dryer my suggestion for use in the laundry is to ONLY use essential oils in the wash cycle. A great way to do this is add a drop of tea tree to your softener to help with cleansing of the clothing. If you use vinegar as your softener feel free to add a few drops of your favorite scented essential oil as well. This helps with the immediate vinegar scent which does not last through the dry cycle. The best reason to use essential oils in your laundry is for the removal of other scents or for cleansing purposes.

If you want an awesome scent on your clothes post washing and drying my recommendation is to make a linen spray. You can easily do this with a pure grain alcohol (think vodka) and several drops of your favorite scent essential oil. Spray on your clothes once dry or even on them as they line dry. This will add a nice fresh enjoyable scent without risking a fire-hazard. I will be posting a video soon on how to make a linen spray- watch for the link!

Ways to Use Essential Oils for the Whole House

Floors

First I am going to re-iterate the concern for using tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil around pets and kiddos. It can cause harm so please make sure it is dry before allowing them to step on it. But aside from tea tree there are many, many great options for cleansers!

Here is a link to a great easy all-purpose hard floor cleaner recipe: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/homemade-floor-all-purpose-cleaner/

Carpets: To refresh your carpets make up the following mix and place in a sprinkle container (like those Parmesan cheese containers with green lids). 1c. baking soda, 1/8 c. corn starch, 1/8 c. borax, 10 drops lemon (Citrus limon) 10 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), 10 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), 10 drops ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Sprinkle the blend on your carpets let sit for at least 30 minutes then vacuum up.

Windows/Mirrors

Who here hates streaky mirrors and windows? Me too! A great trick Iearned in my short stint leasing for an apartment community was to use newspaper with your window cleaner. That's right newspaper- another great reason to get the Sunday paper (aside from coupons!). For a cleanser mix up a bottle of 1 c. white vinegar, 15 drops of lemon (citrus limon) and top with filtered water.

Aromatherapy

What better way to use essential oils than to make your home smell wonderful? Now our amazing ultrasonic diffusers can be used pretty much non-stop without concern, however, nebulizing diffusers (ones that you plug the essential oil bottle into the machine) have limits to decrease risk of an adverse effect (30 minutes on 1 hour off). So make sure you are not over-doing it on the essential oils. 5-6 drops are normally what is called for in an ultrasonic diffuser but make sure to check your manufacture recommendations in your user’s manual. In the recipe below we are creating a master blend- these blends allow you to add a few drops to your diffuser each use and will last for a while. More recipes coming soon!

Fall Refresher- add drops in a 5ml bottle, apply an orifice reducer and add drops to your diffuser as needed.

20 drops cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

20 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)

20 drops ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalol)

I hope this gives you a great introduction to the world of cleaning with essential oils. Look out for a new post coming soon- 20 easy aromatherapy recipes to use in your home! As always if you have any questions please feel free to comment or message me.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, as such nothing herein is intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any known illness or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider before using alternative or complementary therapies as many can interact with medications. All information provided is for educational purposes only.