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Cleaning House with Essential Oils: The Basics

Cleaning House with Essential Oils: The Basics

Realtors, and those educated in essential oils, know the atmosphere of a home is determined by aroma. Certain scents, like freshly baked bread and cinnamon buns, will sell a house quicker than the smell of commercial cleaners and bleach, even though the second is a “clean” smell. In ages past, people put aromatic rushes and other sweet smelling herbs under the rugs in their homes so the scent would permeate the room whenever they were walked upon.

There are other, subtle fragrances associated with homes that identify them with people living there. Certain scents can also relieve depression, anger and insomnia. They can uplift, strengthen and give peace. They can also clean, deodorize and disinfect.

Today’s cleaners are full of chemicals with lasting effects on our environment and on our selves. These effects have not yet been fully measured, though. It will take another couple of decades to really understand what damage they may be causing. What has been noted, however, is the antibacterial agents added to soaps today are not filtered out by the sewage system and are now present in our rivers and other water sources. These antibacterial agents kill all bacteria. They are unable to distinguish between good and bad bacteria, and while they are busy killing off everything, our immune system is weakened. In our own homes, the effect can be devastating as our bodies lose the natural bacteria balance that fights off infections with good bacteria.

Fortunately, essential oils clean the air and the environment. While they too kill off all bacteria, they also boost our immune systems by promoting the production of white blood cells. So they help our bodies quickly reproduce the good bacterias needed to function properly.

Set up

When I researched this article, I found so many recipes for different cleaners for different rooms that I decided to separate this into several articles. So this one will contain basic cleaners good to use for any room and recipes for walls,  and window and mirror cleaners. There are other articles specifically aimed at the kitchen, bathroom, floors, wood furniture, office, laundry, and garage and basement cleaning. There are also a couple of side articles on cleaning your car and taking care of stinky shoes, that you might find helpful and fun.

Supplies to have on hand:

(This list will be the same on each of the cleaning house articles)

Cleaning supplies: Equipment:
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Castile Soap, liquid and solid
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda Crystals (L-ascorbic acid powder/crystals)
  • Oil based soap (Murphy’s is good)
  • Concentrated Oil Soap Paste
  • Citrus seed extract (different from the essential oil)
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Washing soda, generic name sodium carbonate
  • Powdered Milk
  • Alum
  • Vitamin C Tablets
  • Salt
  • Linseed oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Turpentine
  • Lemon Juice
  • Aloe Vera Gel and Juice
  • Natural Cat Litter
  • Plastic squirt bottles
  • Plastic spray bottles
  • Plastic containers with shaker tops
  • Coffee cans with lids
  • Glass jars with lids
  • Cotton cloths
  • Rags
  • Cellulose sponge cloth
  • Gallon size buckets
  • Mops
  • Paper towels

 

 

 

What oils to use

Lemon, Lime, Orange, Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Pine, Spruce, Cypress, Thyme, Palmarosa, Citronella, Wintergreen, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Spearmint, Oregano, Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Sage, Petitgrain bigarade, Vetiver, Coriander, Juniper Berry

(This list contains all oils used in all the cleaning articles.)

A few points of interest

  • When cleaning walls from ceiling to floor, make it easier to avoid clean streaks from the cleaning solution by cleaning from floor to ceiling, instead of vice versa. (8)
  • The best, basic wall cleaning solution is to use equal parts vinegar and water, with several drops of essential oil of your choice. (8)
  • For grease stains on walls: Tear or cut a paper towel into 4 squares, To one square, apply 1 – 2 drops Eucalyptus oil and allow it to dry. Using an iron on low setting, press the oil stain for a few seconds. Then immediately press a clean paper towel square against the stain. Repeat process with remaining squares. If the stain remains, wait a few hours and apply a thick paste of Baking Soda, Cream of Tartar, and enough water to hold everything together. Brush paste away when it has dried to a powder. If both methods fail, time to either repaint or get new wallpaper. (8)
  • To remove crayon scribblings, use the above grease formulas. If the mark endures and it’s on a painted surface, scrub it with liquid Castile Soap and 1 – 2 drops Orange oil. Probably best to not try it on wallpaper, unless you think yours can handle it. (8)

Recipes

All Purpose Room Cleaners

As stated, these can be used on walls in any room. Good, basic cleaning recipes anyone should have on hand.

Spring/Summer Cleaning
  • 10 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Geranium
  • 3 drops Petitgrain
  • 2 drops Sandalwood

Mix together. You can add a few drops to water and use to wipe down walls in a hallway. Can also add to a cup of water in a spray mister. Use to freshen air in room. (4)

Autumn/Winter Cleaning
  • 8 drops Orange
  • 3 drops Frankincense
  • 3 drops Benzoin
  • 4 drops Geranium

Mix together. You can add a few drops to water and use to wipe down walls in a hallway. Can also add to a cup of water in a spray mister. Use to freshen air in room. (4)

Vamoosh Mist Spray
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus Globulus
  • 16 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Lemongrass
  • 4 ounces pure water

Add all ingredients to a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Spray the room several times over a couple of hours. Good to clear out stale cooking odors as well as cigarette smoke. (3)

Common Cold Antiseptic Spray
  • 24 drops Eucalyptus
  • 32 drops Lavender
  • 56 drops Lemon
  • 16 drops Rosemary
  • 16 drops Tea Tree
  • 8 ounces water

Mix all ingredients together in an 8 ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Use to clean floors and surfaces, disinfect germy areas, such as toys, and cleanse every nook and cranny, calming and cleaning as it goes. It cleans your home and helps you fight a cold all in one spritz. (1)

Room Disinfectant Mist Spray
  • 70 drops Lavender
  • 40 drops Allspice
  • 40 drops Cinnamon
  • 4 fluid ounce pure water

Combine all ingredients in a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Liberally spritz room to clean the air. Can also use it to wipe down counters. (5)

Breathe Easily Mist Spray
  • 40 drops Eucalyptus Globulus
  • 40 drops Lemon
  • 25 drops Cypress
  • 25 drops Lavender
  • 20 drops Grapefruit
  • 4 fluid ounces pure water

Combine all ingredients in a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Liberally spritz room to clean the air. Can also use it to wipe down counters. (5)

 All-Purpose Citrus Wall Cleaner
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar
  • 6 drops Lemon, Grapefruit, or Orange oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Shake vigorously before each use. Lightly spray the affected areas of your wall and wipe with a clean, damp sponge. This works really well for tomato stains on walls. If you’re working on a stain and it’s still visible after the area has completely air-dried, clean the stain with Minty Wall Cleaning Paste.  (8)

Minty Wall Cleaning Paste
  • 1/4 cup Concentrated Oil Soap Paste (Available in health food and hardware stores)
  • 2 drops Peppermint oil
  • 2 drops Spearmint oil
  • 2 drops Tea Tree oil

Put the soap paste in a short, widemouthed glass jar, such as a clean baby food jar. Add the essential oils and blend well. It will have the consistency of jelly. Dip a damp cloth into the soap paste and squish the cloth between your fingers to make suds. Apply to wall. Rinse with another clean, damp cloth or sponge. Follow up with a dry cloth or towel. Can be used on wallpaper and semigloss painted walls. (8)

Disinfectant Thyme Formula
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 5 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 3 drops Thyme oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Shake vigorously before each use. Lightly spray the affected areas of your wall and wipe with a clean, damp sponge. Give a final wipe of surfaces with a sponge or cloth moistened in plain water. (8)

Window and Mirror Cleaners

These can be used in any room. Inside and outside windows.

Citrus Glass Cleaner
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 10 drops Lemon or Lime oil

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before every use. Spray on surface to be cleaned and wipe until dry with a soft cloth or crumpled newspaper. (7)

Just Like A Pro’s Window Cleaner
  • 2 cups Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile Soap
  • 15 drops citrus oil of choice
  • Water

In a large bucket, combine alcohol and vinegar. Add enough water to make 1 gallon. Add Castile soap and essential oils and stir gently to combine. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well before every use. Spray on windows and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth. Good to use on outside windows as well as inside. (7)

And Finally,

We all want to keep our homes safer for ourselves, our families, and for our environment. What do you like to use when you clean your home? What green cleaning recipes do you like to use? Let us know in the comment section down below. We’d all love to hear from you!

References

  1. Seasons of Aromatherapy by Judith Fitzsimmons and Paula M. Bousquet
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
  4. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  5. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller and David Schiller
  6. Do It Gorgeously: How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products, by Sophie Uliano
  7. DIY Natural Household Cleaners: How To Make Your Own Cleaners Naturally, by Matt & Betsy Jabs
  8. The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning, by Karyn Siegel-Maier

 

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About JC Shannon

I am a writer. I was first introduced to this world of natural health in 2005 when I was asked to write an article about using essential oils. Since I like to know what I'm writing about before I do it, I immersed myself in the essential oil and aromatherapy world and found I prefer it. I never left it. In a quest to educate myself and others in more alternative and safer ways to make our world a better place, I am always looking for good information to share.
3 comments
maximizedmom77
maximizedmom77

These are some great recipes! I created a post the other day on my blog for some great homemade cleaning recipes, and I will add your link in a few hours. I have been doing lots of research, and the one thing that I am going to advise my readers is to use a glass bottle, such as reusing a vinegar bottle and adding a sprayer. Plus, it is a good idea to let the essential oil drops land on Epsom salt.

By the way, thanks for the quick response on fb months ago when I ingested oregano essential oil.

office cleaning services in Maryland
office cleaning services in Maryland

Thanks for this stunning share regarding cleaning house. House cleaning is a very difficult task. It require shard work. Your above posted tips are very helpful and makes my task much more easy.  The tips you give in your article of using oil as a cleaner have really worked.......Thanks again for this share....NICE!!!!!!!

         Excellent Cleaning in Cedar Park Texas
Excellent Cleaning in Cedar Park Texas

I really didn't know that oils also play a great role in the cleanness of your home, thanks for sharing this post. Now i  know about all the oils that are essential in house cleaning. I'm also going to use one of them in my home or share this  magazine with all my friends .

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