I’ve recently been getting into essential oils along with the rest of the world, and I keep finding new uses for them every day. I use them anywhere from home cleaning to health and wellness recipes, especially with two little’s who are always coming home with something “germy”. However, for the sake of this post, I’ll just be sharing a few of my favorite uses for essential oils around the home.
If you are new to essential oils I have a few recommendations for getting started. First, you should be using quality, pure-grade essential oils. I personally use Plant Therapy as their oils are 100% pure, affordable, and they have an amazing line that are kids safe, which the little’s and I love. I started with an inexpensive set, and have been going back for more ever since. Plus, they are truly an amazing company doing amazing things in the world by giving back.
Next to that, I recommend using glass spray bottles as essential oils can etch plastic over time.
Lastly, even though most oils are safe, if used incorrectly they can be toxic to children and pets. So, remember to keep them out of reach, and do your own amount of research on how to best use them in your home.
In the kitchen
~I tend to be a little paranoid about clean cutting boards in the kitchen. Even though I thoroughly wash them after cutting chicken, I still feel like salmonella is creeping all over them. I never feel satisfied just using warm soapy water. So, adding a few drops of lemon and/or lavender oil to my washcloth should be enough to stop the spread of food-borne illness and put my mind at ease.
~I love me some bacon, however I CANNOT stand the way it makes my house smell over the next two days. Or, you decide stuffed cabbage is exactly what you want for dinner, but your daughter has a date picking her up tonight (true story). Combat cooking odors by adding about 10-20 drops of essential oil to a cup of water and turn on to a slow boil. A combination of clove or cinnamon is perfect for the fall or cooler months. In the summer go with peppermint or any citrus oil such as lemon or sweet orange as it will also pick up your mood. Plus, your daughter will thank you.
In the bathroom
~For most of us, myself included, cleaning the bathroom doesn’t rank at the top of my chore list as most favorite. While I love the result of a clean and sparkling shower, getting myself to actually do it is the struggle. So, to minimize the mildew build-up and keep your bathroom smelling fresh, use a natural shower spray in between showers and regular cleanings. Just add 10 drops of tea tree oil, plus three to five drops of lemon oil to one cup of water plus one cup of white distilled vinegar.
~Another homemade mix for the bathroom is an elixir for use in the toilet. You spray it in the toilet before you go, and the odor is stopped there. The rubbing alcohol in the recipe creates a barrier on top of the water so that odors can’t escape. You can also use castile soap or another mild detergent. I’ll be honest, we don’t use this every time in our household; we are family, right? However, it has great use in a guest bath or even a travel spray to carry in your purse. There’s a plethora of internet recipes, but here are my two favorites.
Place 10-20 drops of each essential oil plus 1-2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into your spray bottle. Fill it up with water and that’s it! Just remember to spray into the toilet before you go.
~We have a pretty awesome pug named Fiji. However, she doesn’t necessarily contribute to our home as far as smell goes. You can neutralize pet odors with geranium, lavender, or lemon oil. Just mix 10-20 drops of your favorite oil and fill your spray bottle with apple cider vinegar. Shake well before spraying on their favorite lounging spot. If that happens to be expensive furniture, just make sure you spot test first.
~Lastly, I like to have an oil blend for the laundry. I personally do not use any scented detergent. Both of my little’s battle eczema and so I stopped using any detergents or softeners containing additives or scents. Just add about ten drops of your favorite smelling oil to a dampened washcloth and throw it in the dryer with the rest of your laundry. I personally like lavender or eucalyptus oil.
*Another tip* If you’ve left laundry in the washing machine overnight (happens quite frequently in our home), run another rinse cycle with a few drops of lemon oil. Mix with about half a cup of vinegar to cut the “forgot to switch the laundry smell”.
I hope these ideas will get you started with using essential oils around your home. I love using them because they are quite inexpensive. They have so many uses and a little (a few drops) goes a long way. It’s an affordable way to start making cuts to the toxins we use in our homes, especially when using some commercial products.
Are you already using oils in your home? I’d love to hear your favorites!