Natural Cleaning with Essential Oils

Natural cleaning recipes for a home that’s free of germs, grime, toxic chemicals, and smells amazing.

Make sure to buy  pure, undiluted essential oil. There are grade differences among pure essential oils, these differences pertain to the quality of the fragrance—for the purpose of household cleaning, they are insignificant. Essential oils should come in either blue or brown glass bottles. If stored away from heat and direct light, some essential oils retain their potency indefinitely. Citrus oils  usually last for about one year.

• For very greasy dishes, add 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice to dishwater.

• To loosen baked-on food from pots and pans, immediately add some baking soda to the dirty dish and wait 15 minutes before cleaning. If the pot or pan has cooled before you’ve had a chance to add baking soda, boil a solution of 1 cup water, 5 drops cedar or other essential oil, and 3 tablespoons baking soda directly in the pot or pan. Allow mixture to stand until food can be scraped off easily.

Herbal Disinfectant

A super disinfectant formula that’s incredibly easy to make

2 cups hot water
10 drops thyme essential oil
1/4 cup washing soda

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.

Citrus Dishwashing Blend

Dishwashing liquids have been designed to lure the consumer with their stimulating lemony scent. Their aromatic choice is more than an advertising gimmick; citrus oils are natural degreasers. It’s the rest of the ingredients in these harsh detergents that we are better off without.

Liquid Castile soap
20 drops lime essential oil
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops citrus seed extract

Fill a clean 22-ounce squirt bottle with castile soap (diluted according to directions if using concentrate). Add the essential oils and extract. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.

Super-Easy Automatic Dishwasher Powder

This formula is effortless to make, and because it stores well it can be doubled or made in bulk.

3 cups washing soda
1 cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and store in a sealed container. To use, add about 2 tablespoons to the soap compartment of your dishwasher. If you find your glasses are getting a residue of buildup, then reduce to 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Sink Scrubber for Stains

For stubborn stains, allow this formula to rest on the stain for several minutes, then scrub and rinse with vinegar and hot water.

1/4 cup washing soda
1/4 cup baking soda
8 drops rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil
3/4 cup vinegar for rinsing

Combine washing soda, baking soda and essential oil in an airtight container and shake well to blend. Sprinkle a small amount into the sink and scrub with a damp sponge. Rinse the sink with vinegar, then with hot water.

Serious Oven-Cleaning Formula

This formula is great for ovens that have been neglected for a while. If you have a lot of baked-on grease or food splatters, you may want to use fine steel wool to scrub those areas. Use a bit more salt if necessary.

1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup washing soda

16 ounces baking soda
Scant 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white vinegar
10 drops thyme essential oil
10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oil

Combine salt, washing soda and baking soda in a glass bowl. Add just enough water to make a paste. Remove oven racks and preheat oven to 250 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door open. Carefully spread the paste on oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to set for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine the vinegar and essential oils in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well.

Germs-Be-Gone Toilet Cleaner

This antibacterial spray cleaner is specially formulated for cleaning the general surface area of the toilet, and under and behind the seat.

2 cups water
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1 tablespoon tea tree essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus or peppermint  essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on toilet surfaces and wipe clean with damp cloth or sponge.

Peppermint Foam Carpet Shampoo

This formula is great for heavy-traffic areas.

3 cups water
3/4 cup liquid castile soap
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a blender. Rub foam into soiled areas with a damp sponge. Let dry thoroughly, then vacuum.

Ready-When-You-Need-’Em Kitchen Wipes

Instead of using paper towels to wipe spills or clean countertops, store multiple squares of cotton cloth in a container filled with a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 ounce liquid castile soap and 6 to 8 drops of your favorite essential oil. The cloths, made from old T-shirts or pajamas, can be washed and returned to the jar for reuse. Cap jar between uses.

Controlling Kitchen Pests

Even the cleanest of kitchens can get unwanted visitors.

Ants: Wipe cabinets with a damp sponge and 6 to 8 drops peppermint or citronella essential oil. Then place 3 to 5 drops of the same oil on windowsills, doorway cracks and in the corners of cabinets under the kitchen sink.

Centipedes, earwigs, silverfish: Place several drops of peppermint, eucalyptus or citronella essential oil in areas that collect moisture such as basements, garages and cabinets that house plumbing fixtures.

Cockroaches: Sprinkle a mixture of washing soda and sugar in dark areas where roaches like to hide, but avoid this method if you have children or pets.

Mice: Place sprigs of fresh peppermint between pantry items in your cabinets, or make a solution of 2 cups water and 3 teaspoons of peppermint essential oil and spray it wherever you find mouse droppings.

Mites and weevils: Place a few whole nutmegs in flour containers.

Other insects: Place loose bay leaves in kitchen cabinets.

These recipes were found inside  “The Naturally Clean Home” by Karyn Siegele-Maier

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