Essential Oils for the Home

bottles of cleaning products

We all know that essential oils can be used for their beneficial properties in aromatherapy and for their wonderful scents, but did you know you can also use them around your home? They can be used to:

  • Deodorize a room
  • Cleanse and disinfect
  • Repel insects such as moths, spiders and ants
  • Remove and prevent mold and mildew
  • Repel rodents
  • Remove stains
  • And much more!

Essential oils don’t just mask odours but break them down and eliminate them. Choose from citronella, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, litsea cubeba, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood and tea tree. Use your blend in a diffuser or make it into a spray. Essential oils will dissolve in alcohol so you can use vodka. If you’re going to mix them with water, you’ll need to add an emulsifier to the oils first otherwise you’ll need to shake the bottle every time you use it. In a 200ml bottle, add 3-7 drops essential oils and fill with water.

Freshen your carpet by mixing 10-30 drops of your oil blend with 1 cup baking soda and sprinkling it over your carpet. Wait several hours or overnight before vacuuming.

To clean grease, grime, oily stains and sticky residue, use a blend of lemon, peppermint, cypress, black pepper and juniper berry. Dilute 4 – 8 drops in warm soapy water. To cut grease and remove burnt food particles, combine lemon, lavender, cypress and tea tree and add to warm soapy water.

To clean windows and mirrors, mix 1 cup vinegar with 10 drops of lemon essential oil, shake well, add water and shake again. Shake before using. Or try mixing 6 drops lemon oil with 15ml white vinegar and 250ml rubbing alcohol and then add 250ml water. For a disinfecting cleaning spray, mix liquid soap, vinegar, lemon, pine and cinnamon essential oils and then add water (or try tea tree, orange and lemon). Shake before use.

Mix lavender, rosemary and lemon to repel moths, put on cotton balls and put in your drawers or closet (or substitute lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus). Put a drop of lavender where ants are getting into your home, repeat twice daily  (lavender is an irritant to ants). Mix peppermint, tea tree and lavender with rubbing alcohol and then add water. Shake and spray on counters, sinks, garbage cans and windowsills to repel ants. To kill ants, mix blue dish soap with water and peppermint oil. Shake before using. To repel spiders put drops of peppermint on cotton balls and add more drops every couple of days.

Tea tree and eucalyptus inhibit mold and mildew. Combine a half cup rubbing alcohol with 20 drops tea tree and 10 drops eucalyptus. Add 3 ½ cups water. Shake before using after every shower. To remove mold, combine equal amounts of tea tree and water in a spray bottle or a bottle with a dropper. Apply one drop to each spot of mold or spray the entire moldy area. Allow to dry and repeat as needed.

To repel mice, put 6 drops of peppermint on a cotton ball. Use as many as you need and put them in places of mouse activity. Every evening add 6 more drops to each cotton ball for 3-4 days. For outdoor use, mix 2 cups diatomaceous earth with 16 drops of peppermint. Stir well and apply to outdoor areas where mice may be entering your home. If it rains, repeat.

For pet accident stains, blot any liquid with paper towels and then apply a layer of baking soda. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. In a spray bottle combine 20 drops lavender with 7 ounces of white vinegar and 1 ounce of water. Shake well and before using. Use paper towels to scoop up the baking soda. Apply 1-3 sprays to the remaining baking soda. When the bubbling action stops, wipe up and allow to dry. Use a brush to loosen remaining baking powder and then vacuum.

For grease stains, apply lemon essential oil directly to the stain and allow to sit for 20 minutes. For clothing, wash and dry as usual after stain treatment. For other surfaces, use a brush and natural dish soap to help break up the stain after treatment. Rinse with hot water when finished. For grass, blood and red wine stains, combine 2 drops lemon oil with 2 drops hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop liquid soap. Mix well and apply to stain, working it in with your fingers or a brush. Let sit for 3 minutes. With a scrub brush and cold water, scrub the stain working from the outside in and then rinse. Repeat as needed.

There’s no right or wrong way to decide on a blend - experiment and find something you like. But be sure to make notes of what you did and what you thought of it. Trust me! It doesn’t take long to forget!

Want more? I recommend any of these three books:

  • Aromatherapy for Natural Living by Anne Kennedy
  • The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Purchon & Cantele
  • The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide by KG Stiles

Or follow us on Facebook and Instagram this month as we reveal more uses and recipes for essential oils around the home.

What other ways have you used essential oils?

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