Ever enter a “freshly cleaned” restroom and felt your nose turn up a bit to the smell of bleach? It’s not an uncommon occurrence. Many harsh chemicals are used in commonly used cleaners, and many of them are harmful to your health and the environment.
When you clean with essential oils, you are choosing a less-toxic and more environmentally friendly alternative to brand-name cleaners. You can clean any surface or room in your home simply by mixing essential oils with other green ingredients from your pantry.
What Is Green and Already in Your Pantry?
These green ingredients may be what you usually use to cook with or include in your food. They also make strong, natural non-toxic cleaning agents. Baking soda creates a scrub for surfaces to lighten and remove stains, to deodorize and soften water. Washing soda is like baking soda, but it’s not edible and is thought to be more powerful.
White vinegar removes grease, odors, mildew, wax and stubborn stains. Unscented cooking oil makes for a great wood cleaner. Castile soap is a biodegradable option you may use to clean nearly anything. These ingredients are waiting to become your favorite cleaner.
What Are Essential Oils and Are They Safe?
Essential oils are the natural oils taken from a plant through distillation or other extraction processes. The fragrance and properties of the plant are maintained, without artificial additives.
You may have heard essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil, which is true because of their high concentrations of plant constituents. They are powerful and often mixed with other ingredients to heal or soothe the body and even clean your home. When combined with essential oils, powerful green cleaners that smell amazing are the result.
Green Cleaning: Where Pantry Ingredients and Essential Oils Combine
It seems like a lot of work to mix ingredients together just to make a spray or scrub, instead of buying a bottle. However, the following recipes are a start to green cleaning that could save you money and better support your health.
1. Cleaning Wood and Stainless Steel Surfaces
Wood grain is so beautiful and important to protect over time. Use this olive oil and lemon homemade wood polish to moisturize, clean and enhance the grain of the wood surface. You’ll need:
- 1 ½ cups organic olive oil
- several drops of lemon essential oil
- 2 clean cloths
- 1 spray bottle (preferably glass)
Pour olive oil and lemon essential oil into the spray bottle and mix by shaking it. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to a clean cloth and wipe down the wood surface. After five minutes, go over and smooth out the wood with a soft cloth.
What do you do for non-wood surfaces, like metal? Use this stainless steel surface cleaner to get the job done. You’ll need:
- 2 cups of medium chain triglyceride oil, also known as liquid coconut oil
- 70 drops of lemon essential oil, or half of a 15-ml bottle
- 16-oz. spray bottle
Combine MCT oil and lemon essential oil in the spray bottle. Shake, spray lightly and buff for a streak-free stainless steel surface.
2. Cleaning the Carpet
How do you use essential oils to clean tough carpet stains? Try this green carpet cleaner and deodorizer. You’ll need:
- 2 cups baking soda
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Cap the jar and shake it. Replace the inner lid with punctured construction paper, so that the cleaner will spread evenly when applying. Shake liberally over the carpet. Wait one to two hours before vacuuming.
3. Cleaning the Drains
There’s no way essential oils and pantry ingredients could clean out your drains, right? Reconsider that by using this natural drain cleaner, un-clogger and deodorizer. You’ll need:
- Wire coat hanger
- 1 cup baking soda
- Several drops of lemon essential oil
- 1 ½ cups vinegar
With some elbow grease, attempt to poke the wire coat hanger down the drain to unclog it. Pour the baking soda down the drain. Add several drops of lemon essential oil, which will also help neutralize the odor. Finally, add the vinegar. It will fizz. Cover the reaction with a small plate or bowl to focus it downward. Wait for thirty minutes before flushing the solution with warm water.
4. Cleaning the Oven
Use this DIY oven cleaner to get rid of tarred, greasy oven stains. You’ll need:
- 1 ½ cups baking soda
- ½ cup sea salt
- ½ cup washing soda, with filtered water to form a paste
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops melaleuca essential oil
Turn your oven to the lowest setting, and once it has preheated, turn it off. You’ll be leaving this paste inside of the oven overnight.
First, combine baking soda, washing soda and sea salt in a small bowl, mixing thoroughly. Insert drops of lemon and melaleuca essential oils. Then add the white vinegar, which will fizz. Finally, mix in the filtered water until a paste forms. Don’t make it too thick.
Apply the past to the sides of the oven. Leave the paste overnight, and scrub it off in the morning with warm water. No more gross oven!
Combining pantry ingredients with essential oils is a healthy and cost-saving way to clean your house. It provides a lower impact on the environment.
Hopefully, these green cleaning recipes will be a great start for your essential oils cleaning journey. Do you have other recipes or green cleaning hacks to recommend?