Cleaning the home with essential oils is a superb way to protect against germs and viruses. Oils such as orange oil cut through grease helping to clean deep, deep down. Ridding your home of harmful chemicals not only protects sensitive respiratory tracts, but also conserves the environment. Plus…it is a great way to use up left over essential oils nearing their expiry date.
Since essential oils do not have artificial fixatives, fragrances of top note citruses in particular dissipate quickly, leaving a clear “empty” aroma to the house without the lingering smells of cooking and pets. That said, avoid sensory overload caused by using too many different fragrances together. Just as layering perfumes is an art so is scenting the home. Aim to create a suite of fragrances that merge together delicately as you move from room to room.
Use citruses and spices for everyday use. Oils like lemon and orange, that are expressed from peels oxidise very quickly and when they do, can lead to skin sensitisation and the monoterpenes decay. This makes them useless for the skin, but they will still work for cleaning and diffusion for a few months to come.
Orange oil is spectacular for breaking down grease, so use on the final wipe over of the hob, the oven and particularly, the filters of the extractor fan.
Kitchen surfaces, fridge and microwave
Lemon oil, again breaks down grease but also kills infections and bacteria. Wipe down surfaces and light switches. Rinse down the fridge with a couple of drops on a sponge. Put three drops of oil into a bowl of water and turn on the microwave for two minutes, to make wiping down and disinfecting a cinch.
Wipe down bins, inside and out with lemon, lime or tea tree. Place a piece of paper with a few drops in the bottom to let the fumes keep protecting the bin. In particular, use lemon to clean the composting bin!
Traditionally one can use pine oils, and that also applies for surfaces too. But lemon and tea tree are probably the most effective mix.
Use a bucket of hot water, then add ten drops of each for the final floor rinse to protect against germs and to fragrance the room
Wash the bowl well and wipe over with lemon oil. Wash fruit well before placing into the bowl and wipe dry with a cloth with a drop of lemon on. Place a paper towel with three drops of lemon into the bottom of the bowl. The lemon oil prolongs the life of the fruit and guards against flies.
Remove smells of curries and fish by adding orange, cinnamon, and clove oils to a pot of boiling water on the hob. Far be it from me to suggest this might also be the perfect way to help prospective buyers imagine a cosy new life in your home! Manipulative…but proven to work time after time after time.
Squeeze a couple of drops onto the sponge, or better still, boil them once a week with three drops of lemon oil.
Perfect if you have a septic tank and cannot use synthetic cleaners for fear of upsetting the chemistry of the tank. Make a scouring powder with 30g bicarbonate of soda, 10ml vinegar and a blend of orange, lemon, and lime.
Make your life simpler by keeping a bag of bicarb readily diffused with oils, then just add the vinegar to make a paste each time you need to use. It cuts through the grease and, when rinsed and buffed, leaves a sparkling clean sink.
Throw shower curtains into the washing machine with tea tree and eucalyptus oils to guard against mould. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts to the middle slot of the soap dispenser and add five of each.
Wipe down with lemon and tea tree to disinfect. Always pay the most attention to the flush, especially after illnesses.
Soak toothbrushes and toilet brushes in hot water with a few drops of tea tree (preferably in separate containers!) to kill any germs and purify them.
Mix 50ml vinegar and 10 drops of orange oil to clean away limescale residue. Soak the shower head in the remaining fluid for twenty minutes to unblock the holes.
Scent the room
There are several inconspicuous hiding places for oils in the bathroom. Drop oils into the cardboard inner of the loo roll.
Place a papertowel with a few drops of oil into the bottom of the bin to fragrance the room.
Create a homemade reed air freshener by adding 30 ml cooking oil and 5 ml essential oil into a old, pretty bottle. Place the reeds into the oil for three hours, then turn them round to release the fragrance.
Lay paper towels with oils added between your towels to gorgeously scent them for after your bath.
Every house has them! Those tiny nooks that spiders love to use in September to hide in the bath and keep warm. Rodents and spiders both hate peppermint oil, so add a couple of drops to the hole, or pour a drop or two down the plug hole each morning. Incey won’t want to climb up that spout.
Wipe a couple of drops of citronella or lemongrass down the window and door frames in summer to keep out unwanted wasps and flies. Ensure you don’t confuse with lemon balm, Melissa oil that beekeepers use to attract swarms to their new hives!
Make a vacuum powder to fragrance the carpet by using 100g bicarbonate of soda and 20 drops of essential oil. Make it in a bag and shake well for optimum distribution of the oils. Scatter it over the carpet and leave it to sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming up. The added advantage of this is every time you do it, you scent your hoover bag a little more, which further adds to the fragrance the next time you clean.
Use the powder to cleanse pet beds and sofas too.
Add a couple of drops to the logs in the fireplace. Leave them to soak in for a couple of days before burning.
Refill old empty plug in air freshener bottles by using one part essential oil to three parts water.
Add soothing oils to the final rinse of the washing. Add one tablespoon of Epsom salts to the middle slot of the dispenser with either seven drops of lavender to soothe or ylang ylang for a more seductive note.
It’s probably obvious but also don’t forget to use your diffuser to effortlessly project fragrance tranquillity and harmony into your home.