They say your home is your castle. But what do you do when that castle gets dirty and you don’t want to use the harsh chemical cleaners you find in the grocery store?
I suggest you make your own essential-oil-based cleaners instead.
They have many of the same antibacterial, antimicrobial and germ-killing powers as the commercial products, but without the harmful chemicals.
Plus they smell TERRIFIC!
Toss the commercial cleaners & clean with essential oils instead
Just make sure you start with pure, essential oils. Products labelled “fragrance” tend to have as many chemicals in them as the cleaners you’re trying to avoid.
Following are six different options, depending on what cleaning task you need to tackle. Or make several and clean your whole house from top to bottom.
1. All-purpose cleaner:
Your all-purpose cleaner is the true workhorse among your cleaning supplies. It’s the one you reach for most often. So it’s got to work well.
Combine a half of a cup of white vinegar, three cups distilled water, one quarter of a teaspoon (around 10 drops) of tea tree oil, and one quarter of a teaspoon (around 10 drops) of pine oil in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.
If you find the smell of the tea tree-pine combo too strong for your tastes try swapping out the pine with orange oil, instead.
When researchers tested vinegar against commercial cleaning products, they found the kitchen staple kills a whole range of household bugs. Such as the flu virus, for example. Let it soak for a half an hour and it can even tackle the bug that’s behind tuberculosis according to one study.
2. Air freshener:
Don’t let the air inside get stale just because the windows are closed.
Mix 10 drops of cinnamon oil, 10 drops of clove oil, and 10 drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon vodka (witch hazel works too) and six tablespoons of filtered water. Pour into a fine mister, shake well and spray.
3. Cleaning wipes:
Traditional antibacterial wipes contain questionable chemicals, can contribute to the superbug problem and are expensive. This reusable version solves all those issues.
You’ll need three teaspoons of natural liquid soap (one we like is Clearly Natural, Essentials, Glycerine Hand Soap Unscented, available online and in stores), 50-drops of tea tree oil, three cups white vinegar, and a few old cloths (cut up t-shirts are perfect).
Combine the liquid ingredients in a bowl. Soak the cloths in the liquid, and wring out the excess. Store the damp cloths in an airtight container. After using a cloth, simply wash it and repeat.
4. Bug spray:
When bugs move in you can’t get rid of them fast enough. But off-the-shelf bug sprays are downright dangerous. Keep them from moving in in the first place with this simple bug repellant instead.
Combine one cup of water with 15-20 drops of peppermint oil. Spray into the cracks, crevasses, and corners where pests might come in such as around window and door jambs.
Some commercial carpet cleaning companies are finally getting on board with chemical-free cleaning. But to keep your carpets fresh between professional visits, try this recipe.
Two cups of baking soda, combined with 10 drops of lemon oil, five drops of lemongrass oil, and five drops of tea tree oil.
Sprinkle lightly on carpets and let sit for a few hours. Now vacuum. The baking soda lifts out stains and deodorizes, while the oils kill germs and bacteria.
6. Floor cleaner:
When the family tracks dust, dirt and germs into the house fight back with this effective floor cleaner.
Stir one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of distilled water, 10 drops of orange oil, and 10 drops tea tree oil into one gallon of hot tap water. Then mop your floors as usual.
The orange oil cuts through the dirt, grease, and grime. Plus, research has shown orange oil may help prevent the spread of dangerous bugs such as E. coli. Other studies have found orange oils can inhibit mold toxins and a number of different fungal strains.
Tea tree oil is also a powerful disinfectant. Experts say it’s a potent antimicrobial. In fact, in one study researchers found tea tree oil was even effective against certain drug-resistant bugs such as MRSA and pseudomonas when allowed to soak for an hour.
7. Glass cleaner:
For windows and table tops, put down the blue stuff and reach for this homemade glass cleaner instead.
Mix one cup of plain white vinegar, 10-15 drops of lemon oil, and one cup of water. Spray and wipe with a clean lint-free cloth. It’ll cut through the dirt and grime without streaking.
To give clothes a long-lasting freshness boost, simply add around 10 drops of your favorite scent (we’re partial to lavender) to a rag or washcloth and tuck it into your dresser door or closet.
Since the oils will evaporate over time you’ll have to add a new round of drops to the cloth occasionally.
9. Linen spray:
Freshen your sheets and help slip into slumber with this peaceful spray.
Combine two cup distilled water, two tablespoons of vodka or witch hazel, and 15 to 20 drops of lavender oil. Shake well and mist lightly onto sheets before bed.
Use sparingly. And while the diluted light colored oils likely won’t stain your sheets you might want to test it on an inconspicuous spot first if you’re using your good sheets.
10. Mattress freshener:
Tackle the stale smell and gross dust mites in your mattress with this powerful mix.
Add four drops of eucalyptus oil, four drops of clove oil and four drop of either tea tree oil or pennyroyal oil to a half a cup of baking soda. Sprinkle over your mattress and let sit for several hours. (The longer the better.) Then vacuum for a clean, fresh-smelling bed.
In a study on 14 different essential oils, clove and eucalyptus oils effectively killed off dust mites. And in another study, tea tree oil and pennyroyal both tackled the bugs too. In fact, the penny royal slayed 98 percent of the dust mites within just five minutes.
11. Mold and mildew:
Get rid of mold and mildew for good with two cups of white vinegar, one teaspoon tea tree oil, and 10 drops of orange oil. Shake well then spray liberally. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.
The vinegar is doing a lot of the work here. But the tea tree adds an antimicrobial boost and pleasant scent and the orange oil helps cut through any gross residue making it easy to wipe away.
12. Stain remover:
Don’t panic over stubborn laundry stains. Apply undiluted lemon oil to the stain, rub, and wash right away.
You don’t want to pre-treat a stain this way, though, because it can cause the clothing to yellow. Wait until you can wash it immediately.
13. Toilet cleaner:
Since tea tree oil helps fight germs, bacteria and viruses, it’s a good choice for toilet cleaning.
Mix two tablespoons tea tree oil with two cups of water. Spray, paying close attention to the area under the rim. Let sit for 30 minutes, then scrub.
14. Wood polish:
There’s a reason traditional wood sprays use lemon. It’s gentle on finished wood and leaves behind a beautiful shine. And although I still recommend you test this homemade polish on an inconspicuous spot the first time you use it, lemon oil has stood the test of time.
Add 10 drops of lemon oil to one half cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of white vinegar. Apply to a clean soft cloth and wipe to polish and protect your favorite wood pieces. A little of this stuff goes a long way, so use a bit less than you think you will need.
Commercial cleaning products are a toxic soup of chemicals. Homemade essential-oil cleaners are far safer, easy to make and do a great job cleaning your castle.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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