With the desire to keep our homes clean and safe for our families, along with wanting to protect the environment, more people are turning to essential oils to accomplish both tasks.
But what exactly are essential oils, and how can they be used to clean and disinfect our homes?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain the essence and aroma from the plants from which they are made. Essential oils are used in perfumes, making incense, flavorings, and in cleaning products.
However, it must be noted that one should never use essential oils directly on the skin. They are too concentrated and must be combined with a carrier oil such as olive oil, or mixed with another product.
Essential Oil Use Chart – Common Essential Oils Used In Homemade Cleaning Products
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>> Chamomile Essential Oil – Chamomile essential oil has a scent of fruits and herbs, and is known for its calming, soothing and comforting scent. It blends well with florals, and some citruses, such as lemon.
>> Cinnamon Essential Oil – Cinnamon essential oil, also known as cinnamon leaf essential oil, has a spicy and sweet scent, like cinnamon. It blends well with orange or tangerine, and can also make a room feel like it’s Christmas time.
Generally, cinnamon should not be used alone in a homemade cleaner, but just added for an additional warming touch in small quantities. Of all the oils listed in this essential oil use chart it is definitely the most optional one to use.
>> Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Eucalyptus essential oil has a sharp, fresh smell with a bit of camphor and woody smell mixed in as well. People either love or hate its scent, generally. Eucalyptus is another essential oil that has disinfecting properties. When added with lemon oil and distilled water, it is an effective antibacterial spray that can be used throughout your home.
>> Geranium Essential Oil – Geranium essential oil is a floral scent, which smells a bit like roses. In fact, it is often blended with rose essential oils to make a romantic floral scent for your cleaning products and laundry supplies. Besides blending well with rose, geranium oil also blends well with lavender, rosemary, lemon, and orange.
>> Grapefruit Essential Oil – Pink grapefruit essential oil is a citrus oil that smells clean, light and a bit sharp, but still fruity. Grapefruit oil blends well with other citrus oils, and also with rosemary and lavender oil.
Many people enjoy the scent of grapefruit in their cleaner because it is also reviving, refreshing and helps to reduce tension, especially in the winter.
>> Lavender Essential Oil – Another essential oil that is good for household cleaning is lavender. Not only does it help clean your house, the aroma is very pleasant and relaxing.
You can make a laundry softener that will rival anything you can purchase at your local store. Carefully combine 32 ounces of white vinegar with 32 ounces of baking soda over a sink (the mixture will bubble). Stir in 64 ounces of distilled or purified water and a half ounce of lavender essential oil. Use one-fourth cup in each per laundry load. Rinse as usual.
If you add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your dishwashing liquid, not only will you add the fragrance, but you’ll also improve the antiseptic quality of the soap. Lavender essential oil has a clean, floral, fresh scent which soothes, calms and relaxes.
Lavender is the most popular floral scent for cleaning supplies, and it is probably also one of the most popular oils on this essential oil use chart for aromatherapy uses too. One of the reasons for this, besides its nice scent, is that lavender blends well with many other essential oils, including citruses and other florals.
>> Lemon Essential Oil – Lemon essential oil has a clean, fresh scent that is often associated with house cleaning. It is perhaps the most common scent of household cleaners, because its scent is often associated with a feeling of freshness and cleanness. It blends well with other citrus and floral essential oils, and also with many other essential oils.
Lemongrass oil blends well with most floral and citrus essential oils, and also with rosemary. It should be used in moderation, most usually blended with another oil. It also has some antiseptic and deodorizing properties, which are helpful in homemade cleaners.
>> Lime Essential Oil – Lime essential oil has a clean, fresh scent with a citrusy and fruity smell. Lime oil blends well with other citrus essential oils, and also with lavender, geranium, and rosemary.
>> Orange Essential Oil – Orange essential oil, pressed from the peels of ripe oranges, can be used in a variety of ways in your home. When added to a carrier oil like olive oil, orange essential oil is great for cleaning your wooden cutting board. It has a sweet, fresh fruity scent, which has a refreshing and cheerful fragrance.
Use it as a deodorizer. Put a few drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and leave it in your cooler after you’ve finished using it for the season. When you open it the following season, you’ll find a fresh orange scent instead of a musty odor.
Orange oil is often added to furniture polish to clean, polish, enhance, and protect wood with out leaving a wax build-up. It blends well with other citrus essential oils, and also with geranium. Orange oil is also a powerful cleaner, so it can be useful in cleaners needed to remove tough stains and grime.
>> Peppermint Essential Oil - Peppermint essential oil is a favorite for many people that make their own cleaning products, because of its refreshing, bright minty smell. It blends well with several other popular essential oils for cleaning, including lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. An added use of peppermint oil is as a natural pest deterrent.
>> Pine Essential Oil – Pine essential oil is another very common scent for homemade cleaning products, and has a distinctively pine needle scent. Pine oil has antimicrobial properties, and can also act as a deodorizer. It blends well with eucalyptus, lemon and lavender.
>> Rose Essential Oil – Rose essential oil smells, obviously, like roses and gives any cleaning supply or laundry supply, such as fabric softeners and laundry detergents, a romantic touch. Rose blends well with other floral scents, but be careful because if you add too much it can become overpowering like a very strong perfume.
>> Spearmint Essential Oil - Spearmint essential oil has a minty, fresh scent. It is used similarly to peppermint oil, and is an alternative minty scent that can be used in your homemade cleaners. It tends not to blend as well with other scents as peppermint though, and therefore I least recommend it among all the oils on this essential oil use chart.
>> Tangerine Essential Oil - Tangerine essential oil (also sometimes known as madarin essential oil) has a delicate sweet, fruity smell, and promotes restfulness, but is also cheering and bright. It blends well with other citrus essential oils, and also lavender and geranium.
>> Tea Tree Essential Oil - Tea tree essential oil is a very useful essential oil for cleaning because of its antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. This oil is taken from the Melaleuca tree, native to Australia, but found in other areas as well.
Tea Tree oil can be used in a variety of ways:
- Add tea tree oil to water to use as a cleaner, disinfectant, and purifier during cold and flu season.
- Add a few drops to the laundry when washing cloth diapers to help clean and disinfect them.
- Dilute with water to clean and disinfect your floors, toilets, and all areas of your kitchen
- It has a scent that is warm and spicy, but also has a camphor, medicinal undertone. Therefore, I suggest that it be blended with another essential oil for fragrance. Tea tree oil blends well with the other common essential oils for cleaning, such as lavender, pine and eucalyptus.
Of all the oils on this essential oil use chart it is the only one I recommend as one of your three in the starter kit, without any other choices, because it is so important for cleaning recipes.
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It is also the only oil on this essential oil use chart which is not a pure essential oil, but instead is mixed with a carrier oil, in this case jojoba. Since it is used only for its scent, that is alright in this situation.
When cleaning your home, there are many products on the market. However, if you add an essential oil to things you already have, such as vinegar, water, or economically friendly dish soap, you will increase their effectiveness, help protect the environment and leave a nice smell throughout your home.
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