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Many people are interested in using essential oils, especially when it comes to knowing how to clean with essential oils. Some are just starting to explore what they are about and how they can be used. While others have just purchased their first bottle or set and are not sure what to do next.
When I got my first set I was excited to have different types of essential oils and figured I could diffuse them when I wanted but was not sure of how to use them practically in my everyday life. It can be overwhelming trying to figure it all out, so I wanted to share a few tips on how to begin using essential oils in your everyday routines. Even if you are a seasoned essential oils user, there might be some new ideas that can help you.
There are many examples listed below that can be used with multiple essential oils, however, I am focusing on the 3 most common essential oils that are also affordable: Lemon (citrus limon), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Peppermint (mentha x piperita) essential oils with these methods of cleaning with essential oils.
Ways to Clean with Essential Oils
1. Diffuse the Essential Oils
Diffuse lemon, lavender, or peppermint essential oil separately in any space. Or try combining 2 or 3 of the essential oils to experience a new scent and combined benefits.
Try lemon and peppermint when getting ready in the morning or around mid-afternoon for a quick pick me up. Diffuse lavender essential oil when getting ready for bed as a way to calm down and relax for a good night’s rest. Combine lemon and lavender essential oils or all 3 when feeling sick to help with respiratory support.
Diffusing intermittently provides the most benefit, usually 30-60 minutes on and then 30-60 minutes off is sufficient. Check the directions of the company you purchase essential oils from for their recommended diffusing time or contact them directly to find out.
2. Room or Linen Spray
Make a room or linen spray with lemon essential oil to freshen linens, rooms, or closets. Or use lavender essential oil to spray in bedrooms or on sheets to help with relaxation and encourage sleep. To make: in a glass spray bottle add 15-30 drops of essential oil of choice, 2 TBSP witch hazel or vodka, and 1/4 cup distilled water. Shake to mix and shake before each use.
3. Carpet Deodorizer
Make a carpet deodorizer with any essential oil to help eliminate odors and freshen a space. Just use 1 cup baking soda and 15 drops of essential oil, spread on the carpet, and let sit at least 1-2 hours (overnight is best) and then vacuum up. Can also use in stinky shoes, just sprinkle in and let sit overnight and dump or vacuum out. This is another, simple way to clean with essential oils in your home.
4. All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
Make a natural all-purpose cleaning spray. Add and shake to mix 10-20 drops of lemon essential oil with equal parts white or apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a glass spray bottle for all-purpose cleaning and disinfecting. Shake to mix before each use when cleaning with essential oils in your DIY recipe. Use for sinks, countertops, floors, and anywhere else you would use a multi-purpose disinfecting cleaner. Be careful if using on natural stone surfaces, such as granite, as the lemon essential oil can cause etching.
5. Fruit and Vegetable Spray
Make a fruit and vegetable spray to clean and disinfect using lemon essential oil. Add to a glass spray bottle 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup distilled water, and around 10 drops of lemon essential oil. This simple DIY recipe makes it easy to clean with essential oils.
You could also create your own blend using different types of citrus essential oils, such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit. It is best to store in a glass bottle since some plastic material can be disintegrated by the lemon essential oil.
6. Easy DIY Lotion
Besides cleaning with essential oils in your bathroom and diffusing, you can try adding to the products you already use or making your own. To make an easy DIY lotion with essential oil, just melt 1/2 cup coconut oil and add 36 drops of essential oil. Lavender essential oil would be soothing and healing for the skin. Or you can use your choice of essential oil diluted in any type of carrier oil to moisturize.
7. Add to Shampoo or Conditioner
Adding a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner is an easy way to use essential oils to make your bathroom feel like a spa. I love using a few drops of lemon essential oil in my shampoo. It makes the shower smell like a burst of sunshine that is invigorating and makes my hair shiny and so soft!
8. Add to Shower Gel
Another easy way to use essential oils in the shower is to add a few drops of essential oil to the shower gel. You can add 10-40 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (or 2 TBSP) of shower gel for a 1-4% dilution.
9. Add to a Bath
You can also add essential oils to a bath, although it is recommended to dilute in a dispersing agent such as fractionated coconut oil, Castile soap, shower gel, or even shampoo. This helps the essential oil mix in with the bathwater and not just float on the top. Use the same recipe above for shower gel to get the essential oil to dispersing agent ratio.
10. Add to Laundry Detergent
When doing laundry, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the laundry soap dispenser after you add your laundry detergent to the washing machine. The lemon essential oil will lightly scent and freshen your laundry as well as help to keep the washing machine drum clean. Also, if you run a load in the washing machine and forget to remove it right away, the lemon essential oil helps to prevent it from getting stinky. This is a great way to clean with essential oils.
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11. Use with Wool Dryer Balls
Or you can add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, to wool dryer balls to use when using the dryer. This will naturally lightly scent your laundry and reduce your exposure to any chemicals that might be found in dryer sheets or fabric softeners. If you do not have dryer balls, try a few drops on a damp cloth that is put in the dryer with the wet laundry.
12. Car Air Freshener
Put a drop or two of essential oil on a wooden clothespin that can be clipped to the air vent or seat belt or placed in a console in your vehicle. You can also use car-specific diffusers or put a few drops on a tissue or cloth. This is an easy way to freshen the air in the vehicle. Use lemon essential oil for a burst of energy or to feel uplifted. Or try peppermint essential oil if you tend to experience motion sickness in the car.
Other Tips for Using and Cleaning with Essential Oils
There are often times when you might come across an essential oil recipe that calls for essential oils you do not own yet and are not ready to purchase. You can try making the recipe with essential oils that you have to see how that works for your needs. If you find the recipe is not helping like you hoped it would, you can always add in the additional essential oil later when you purchase it.
An easy way to expand the essential oils you have access to is to share them with family and friends. Sometimes I might need a few drops of a specific essential oil and one of my friends lets me have it so I don’t have to order my own bottle, and vice versa. Find out who you know who uses essential oils and who would be willing to do this. Or offer a few dollars to help cover the amount you need.
Diluting essential oils ahead of time is a great way to have them ready to go when you have a need. Using a roller bottle is a great option because it is easy to apply right away when you need it without trying to figure out the right dilution rate. Some of my favorite roller bottles are one with lavender to use before bed to help me relax and sleep better or on skin issues like bug bites or sunburn, one with peppermint to use with colds and sinus congestion, or one with lemon to use on blemishes to quickly resolve.
Using the aromatic waters that are a by-product of the essential oil distillation process, called a hydrosol, instead of distilled water in your DYI recipes is another great option to include the benefits or scent of a different plant, without using the essential oil directly. This is another variation that you can experiment with as you grow in your experience with essential oil products.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean with Essential Oils
There are many ways to use essential oils in your daily life to reduce harmful chemicals and to experience the benefits that essential oils offer. This list of suggestions just skims the surface of how to clean with essential oils. Enjoy the process of trying a new essential oil or a new way to use a favorite essential oil every day or once a week and soon you will find you are becoming more confident and knowledgeable about using and cleaning with essential oils.
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