Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils
Updated: Apr 12, 2022
Spring is the time to open the windows, clean out the closets and clean your home environment. Using essential oils in household cleaning is the safest and healthiest way to enhance your health and environment. Commercial cleaning products contain toxic ingredients and can pose many health hazards.
Some commercial cleaning products can cause acute or immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns. In contrast, others are associated with chronic or long-term effects such as cancer. When consumers buy commercial cleaning products, we expect them to do one thing: clean! We use a wide array of scents, soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, softeners, scourers, polishes, and specialized cleaners for bathrooms, glass, drains, and ovens to keep our homes sparkling and sweet-smelling. But while the chemicals in cleaners foam, bleach, and disinfect make our dishes, bathtubs, and countertops gleaming and germ-free, many also contribute to indoor air pollution poisonous if ingested. They can be harmful if inhaled or touched.
Fragrances added to many cleaners, notably laundry detergents and fabric softeners, may cause acute effects such as respiratory irritation, headache, sneezing, and watery eyes in sensitive individuals or allergy and asthma sufferers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the fragrance industry substances are toxic. Because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren't required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing "fragrance." * Please note that fragrances are NOT true essential oils.
Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects like cancer or hormone disruption. Many commercial all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When these substances come into contact with nitrites, often present as undisclosed preservatives or contaminants, they react to form nitrosamines - carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin. 1,4-dioxane, another suspected carcinogen, may be present in cleaners made with ethoxylated alcohols. Butyl cellosolve (also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether), which may be neurotoxic (or cause damage to the brain and nervous system), is also present in some cleaners.
A few safe, simple ingredients that essential oils can be added to are soap, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and dryer sheets; this can take care of most household cleaning needs.
Tips for adding essential oils to your spring cleaning:
Kitchen Counter Spray 2oz.
1) Start with a 2oz. Amber glass or PET plastic spray top bottle.
2) Mix the essential oils into the jojoba oil or Solubol, then shake.
3) Top off the bottle with the 190 proof alcohol and white vinegar; shake well.
· 1 TBSP. organic jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis) or Solubol
· 1 TBSP. 190 proof alcohol
· 1 TBSP. white vinegar
Suggested Essential Oil Blend- 3% dilution
· 10 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
· 10 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
· 8 drops Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
· 8 drops Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
These specific essential oils were chosen for their anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Please note the particular chemotype of Thyme.
Precaution: Do not use this formulation on your face or body. Keep away from babies, children, and pets.
Damp Mop- add 2-3 drops of a favorite essential oil to a wet mop. Lemon (Citrus limon) is a potent anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-viral, and immune stimulant. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulous)-anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, deodorant, and insecticidal.
Carpets- add 2-4 drops of essential oil to ½ cup of baking soda and sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)- anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, and respiratory support. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)-anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, deodorant, and insecticidal.
Furniture dusting- add 2-4 drops of essential oil to a soft, damp cloth. Lemon (Citrus limon)- is a powerful anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-viral, and immune stimulant.
Closets- packing away your winter clothes? Instead of using mothballs, use 1-3 drops of cedarwood essential oil on a cotton ball.
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)-anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, and insect repellent.
Diffusing- After a good house cleaning, diffusing any of the essential oils above will enhance and cleanse the environment.
May you enjoy a Happy and Healthy Springtime!