People usually know essential oils for their potent aromatic compounds, which make them useful in aromatherapy. They can be applied on the skin or inhaled after being diluted by a carrier oil to relieve pain, refresh the air, induce sleep, and reduce inflammation.
They are also known for their exceptional antimicrobial and disinfecting nature. But did you know you can use essential oils to clean and disinfect?
Essential oils are excellent for cleaning or disinfecting surfaces and other house areas to inhibit or kill bacteria and other harmful microbes. Besides, they will not only clean your home but will also uplift your mood.
Many research types have shown that essential oils can be better substitutes for chemical-based disinfectants and cleaners as they are organic and pose no harm or side effects.
Why should you clean and disinfect with essential oils? Are they safe?
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting household items or areas, most people choose to use commercial cleaners and disinfectants containing toxic and harmful chemicals to their health.
Some of these cleaners can produce dangerous odors and fumes that can easily pollute the air, cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, or severe allergic reactions. All of these unhealthy and adverse effects of chemicals render them dangerous for household usage.
Most essential oils are natural and pose no harm if used in the right way. They are safe to use around people and pets. Most oils come from natural plants, and they contain antioxidants and vital medicinal properties that can enhance your health.
Commercial cleaners and disinfectants are relatively expensive compared to handmade ones. Did you know that you can save some money by making your homemade cleaners using essential oils and other natural products at home?
Replacing your chemical-based cleaner might seem a bit daunting and expensive initially. Still, as soon as you start making your disinfectants, you will appreciate the benefits of using essential oils. It proves to be a low cost and effective way of cleaning your household items.
You can use essential oils on various household surfaces and items such as kitchen countertops, bathrooms, toilet, and floor surfaces. You can also use them to clean wall hangings, glass windows, kitchen cabinets, doors, sofa sets, desks, and tables.
How do you use Essential Oils for cleaning?
Make sure you dilute your essential oil with water or carrier oil before using it to clean or disinfect any surface. Add a few drops of the oil you have chosen to use in a bottle of water, shake well before use.
There are two ways to clean with essential oil:
- Spray the mixture or cleaning solution on the surface or household item you want to clean. Let sit for a few minutes before dusting or scrubbing the surface.
- Apply the cleaning solution or mixture through a cloth material such as a washcloth or mop, which you will use to clean your soiled surface.
You will need to mix a few drops of essential oils with either water, the cleaning or disinfecting agents such as soup, alcohol, Aloe Vera, or vinegar for different purposes.
Can you add vinegar or baking soda when cleaning and disinfecting with essential oils?
You can make a very economical and effective cleaning agent for daily use by mixing essential oils with vinegar or baking soda.
However, it is crucial to dilute vinegar or baking soda with water before adding the essential oil. For instance, mix equal parts of water and vinegar, add few drops of your favorite essential oil, and shake well before use.
Never mix baking soda and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide with vinegar when making your homemade cleaners. These mixtures can produce some chemical reactions which can become a health hazard.
Are essential oils suitable for cleaning?
Essential oils do not have the same potency and efficacy; some are more potent than others. These oils have different uses and benefits. Therefore it is necessary to understand their properties, usage, and how they work.
Here are the six best essential oils that I use to clean and disinfect my house.
- Lemon essential oil
- Tea tree
- Wild Orange
1.) Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is extracted from the peels or skin of the lemon. It has a sweet citrus aroma and is considered one of the most powerful naturally occurring cleansing and purifying agent.
It is the most widely used essential oil for cleaning around the world. Lemon oil contains anti-viral and antibacterial properties, which help inhibit any bacterial infestation.
The strong pleasant fragrance makes it an excellent deodorizer for your home. It is an all-purpose cleaner which you can use to clean floors, surfaces, wood furniture, bathrooms, etc. Many detergents and dishwashing soaps contain lemon due to its potent antibacterial properties.
Lemon essential oil helps cleanse, disinfect, purify, and preserve surfaces, making them shiny and refreshing.
Use lemon essential oil as an all-purpose cleaner for your wooden furniture, floors, kitchen surfaces, bathroom, and toilet.
How to make an all-purpose lemon cleaner
- In a spray bottle, add ;
- ¼ Cup Castile soap or aloe Vera liquid soap
- 10-15 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- Shake well before spraying on the surface you want to clean.
2.) Tea Tree/ melaleuca Essential Oil
This oil gets obtained from the Australian paperback tree. Tea tree essential oil has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-viral properties.
It is excellent for killing bacteria, viruses, and germs responsible for causing diseases. This is why some manufacturers add tea tree oil to their cleaning agents, body wash, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants.
Some studies show that Tea tree essential oil can kill and inhibit the transmission of multi-resistant organisms such as MRSA, E.coli, and S.pneumoniae that cause infections.
Tea tree essential oil is also beneficial for killing mold and mildew on bathroom or basement surfaces due to its anti-fungal properties.
- How to make Tea tree cleaner
- In a clean spray bottle, add.
- 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 15 drops of lemon essential oil (optional)
- 2 cups of warm water
- Shake well and spray on the areas affected.
- Leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour before scribing with a brush.
3.) Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil has natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and deodorizing properties, making it excellent for cleaning. It has a pleasant fragrance that helps to freshen your home.
How to use.
For floor cleaners,
- Add 1 tablespoon of the eucalyptus essential oil to a ½ bucket full of warm water. Mix well and use the solution to mop your floors.
- Add 15-120 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to 1 cup of water. Shake well and spray on the surface. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping it off.
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4.) Wild Orange Essential Oil
Wild orange oil is known for its versatile applications and a peculiar smell. It is one of the well known essential oils used for cleaning purposes. It has a refreshing and rejuvenating ability, which makes it an excellent substitute for commercial air fresheners.
Wild orange oil contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which makes it vital for cleaning. It can remove stubborn stains and grease from surfaces.
It contains excellent cleansing and purifying properties. You can use it to polish and disinfect wooden furniture and surfaces.
You can use it as an air freshener due to its sweet, refreshing fragrance. It can help uplift your mood and remove unpleasant odors from the house.
How to use.
- Place 10-15 drops of orange essential oil in 1 cup of water.
- Add 2 ½ Tablespoon of vodka or alcohol.
- Add 10 drops of vanilla essential oil.
- Shake well and store in a clean glass spray bottle.
- Remember to shake before spraying.
- Mix ½ cup dish soap /castile soap
- 1 cup baking soda
- Add 10-15 drops of wild orange essential oil.
- Mix well and store in a clean jar.
- Apply on the surface to be cleaned; let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the surface with a brush or mop.
5.) Peppermint Essential Oil
This oil is one of my favorite essential oils. It has a pleasant scent and a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.
Peppermint has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties; therefore, you can add it to your homemade cleaners. You use peppermint essential oil to make a good disinfectant. Add tea tree or lemon essential oil to make it more potent.
How to use it.
- Add one cup of white vinegar or ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide and one cup of water to a dark spray bottle.
- Please do not mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Add 10-15 drops of peppermint and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil. Shake your bottle and store it in a cool, dry place.
Spray on the surface to clean and disinfect.
- Put 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil to ½ cup dish soap or pure castile soap. Use to clean floors and wooden surfaces in your house.
6.) Pine Essential Oil
Pine essential oil is extracted from pine needles. It is one of the best oil you can use for scrubbing and removing stubborn stains on surfaces.
Many people use pine as a multi-purpose cleaner for their floors, bathroom, countertop surfaces, and any areas exposed to foreign microbes. It helps to purify the air, or for deodorizing your garbage can reduce the unpleasant smell.
How to use
1) All-purpose cleaner
- Add 15 drops of pine, 10 drops of tea tree, 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 2 cups of distilled water or vinegar to a large spray bottle. Shake well before spraying on the surface you want to clean.
- You can as well add 20-30 drops of pine oil to 1 cup of baking soda. Add some water and mix to make a paste. Use this paste to scrub your cooking pots or oven using a washrag or sponge.
What factors should you consider when buying essential oils?
Try to buy pure organic brands whenever you can. These are much safer since they come in their purest form.
Make sure you read the list of ingredients to ensure no additional additives, other oils, or fragrance in them.
Buy from a reputable seller. Read reviews and dig for information to know if the seller sells genuine brands or not.
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How should you use essential oils safely when cleaning and disinfecting.
Make sure you dilute the essential oil with water before using it. Essential oils are very potent hence can cause damage or a reaction when used without being diluted.
Store your essential oil mixtures in clean dark glass bottles or jars.
Shake the mixture to combine well before use.
I hope you will start making your homemade cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Using essential oils at home can improve your health and can help you save some money.