Sunday, February 8, 2009

House Cleaning with Essential Oils,warning,long,probably way too long post

I think that we would all agree that even the most humble home looks nicer clean. I know that most of us who have connected here in blog land and also at the decorating sites share the same passion in decorating our homes and seeing what others have done,exchanging ideas and so on. I'm sure we've all seen the seriously bad rooms on rms too,you know the ones where you just don't even know what to say,so you shake your head and move on.Many of those rooms would look a lot better if they would only clean the place up a little.Cleaning is a necessary task and I try to make the experience as pleasurable as possible.I do this by adding essential oils,smells so good and I am constantly experimenting with them to keep it interesting. I have also been trying hard to use more natural products for cleaning.It's safer,healthier and cheaper.I mentioned this to my friend Kathysue at Micasa and she was curious so I thought I would share a little of what goes on before the picture taking part happens here.ha ha
I have been using essential oils for years for cleaning,relaxing and for physical health.I am going to start with how I use them in cleaning and one of these days will move on to the other areas.I am not an expert and there are many sites online with loads of information on the oils.Also,I recommend anyone who hasn't used them before to do a little research first.I buy my oils,all 100% pure,at a local health food store called old fashion food.I have noticed that the same brand I buy which is called NOW is available online in the US for less than half price of what I pay.They vary in price from just a few dollars to over 20.I started out just buying a few and slowly adding to my collection as I read various recipes that I wanted to try.Shelf life varies,grapefruit has the shortest life and some improve with age like fine wine.Store in a dark,cool place to help them keep longer.If they get cloudy or start to smell rancid,toss them out.You may store in fridge but they must be at room temp. for at least an hour before use.

The most important oil in this room is eucalyptus oil,it kills dust mites.I add about 20 drops to the hottest water possible when washing my bedding.Apparently,this oil is the only thing that kills them from the study I saw.

For general laundry I take a washcloth and shake on a few drops of lavender and throw it in the dryer.(essential oils are very concentrated, a little goes a Long way)

I add a couple of drops to the inside of the bag and it scents the whole place.If you own the type that uses water,just add the drops to the water.For any of you with the bagless types,you are on your own,I have never used one so I don't know if you could try this one out. You can use any oil you want,my favorite is jasmine so I use it often.
For freshening carpets mix a few drops of oil in baking soda,sprinkle on,leave for awhile then vacuum

Room Sprays
These are fun,the possibilities are endless too.These can be simple,one oil or complicated,usually 3,sometimes more .
room spray recipe
1 cup distilled water
2 tsp. rubbing alcohol(some use vodka but I prefer to drink mine rather than spray it in my room he he)
I add between 10 to 20 drops of essential oil to this depending on the oils I'm using.Start with less(maybe your nose works better than mine and half might be what you want)
let sit for a few hours and shake well before using.Since this is about cleaning,here is a deodorizing blend I use frequently.
10 drops orange or lemon
5 drops lavender
5 drops tea tree oil
5 spearmint
7 drops eucalyptus
Spray about 5 squirts for average sized room,I spray it on my furnace filter as well and it carries the clean scent throughout the house for me.Good for your garbage can too.
A blend of lavender and either neroli,jasmine or ylang ylang is a favorite of mine to spritz on the sheets,like I said before,use your nose for guidance and your intuition.

I just use a plastic bottle that has fine mist setting on it.It would be better to use glass because the oils will sometimes absorb into the plastic.If you are planning on using the same recipe again than it isn't an issue.I like to have a few different ones around for different reasons.Some blends I make are for deodorizing,others are purely for enjoyment.

I am trying to go green in my cleaning.I no longer buy bleach..ever or many of the tons of products I used to have under my sink.I either am buying green products or I'm making my own using mostly vinegar,baking soda,lemons,borax,washing soda,water and my oils.When you buy products,buy unscented ones and add your own with pure oils.Some days I add lavender in my dish soap,some days lemon,whatever I feel like smelling.In the spray cleaners the oils I use are the same ones I listed in my room spray recipe as well as cinnamon,clove and the powerhouse oil...oregeno.Wild oregano oil has the following properties anti-viral,fungal,parasitic,bacterial and! I use a spray cleaner on the counter and then I take a clean,wet cloth and just put a couple drops of oregano on it and wipe the counters down.I really like the citrus oils in the kitchen and use lemon and orange often.*****VERY IMPORTANT I have laminate counter tops and if you have granite,don't take my advice,I don't know what you should use.I do have granite in the bathroom and find that the diluted tea tree I use in there does not hurt my granite.If anyone has info on oils and granite,I would love to hear it.After looking around at all the great recipes that are already online for natural cleaners I feel that it is pointless for me to share these.

I just said I wouldn't bother you with my recipes but I have to say that I didn't think that a homemade cleaner would work so well in the toilet but it really works. 1 cup vinegar to 1/4 cup baking soda(really bubbles,so mix in about a 4 cup container at least)Leave on for about 15 minutes and scrub away.The baking soda and water clean tile too.I use this vinegar and baking soda mix to clean the sink and tub too,gets the rings off from my essential oils I use in there just great,I mix in a few drops of tea tree oil too.
I have travertine,slate,ceramic tile,laminate and linoleum and I clean them all with my H2O steam mop.I add about 5 drops of lemon oil to the water and the floors all look great,couldn't be easier.I feel good about not using all the crap I used to clean them with especially for my pets paws and my little grand daughter who will soon be crawling on them.

The one book on oils I have is called AROMATHERAPY FOR EVERYONE by PJ Pierson and Mary Shipley. This book is a good general guideline for a variety of oils,the most popular ones.It lists the warnings,uses,benefits of the oils and also suggests oils that blend well. If you are knew to oils it does help to have a reference book but the Internet is good but there is some crazy advice on some sites so,be careful who you listen too.

This was probably too long of a post,yes that's me, nothing or way too much.If you have questions,just ask and if you have great recipes,please share.


marty39 said...

Oh my goodness Cyndi, such great information and everything must smell so wonderful. I will have to give this all a try because I hate the smell of all the commercial cleaners but I live with them because I really do like my house clean. You are such a doll and such great information. Love ya and thanks. Hugs, Marty

Melissa Miller said...

Thank you for sharing Cyndi!
I cleaned our hardwoods today with apple cider vinegar and water today. Needles to say it doesn't smell very good.
This sounds amazing.
~Melissa :)

tam said...

Great tips Cyndi! Thanks for sharing so much useful information! I too have a couple of oils but haven't used them much-now will!Have a wonderful week~Smiles~Tam!

mbkatc230 said...

Thanks for all the information Cyndi. I'm like Marty, I hate the smell of commercial cleaners. I've tried some of the green ones from the grocery store, they work great but are REALLY expensive. Hugs, Kathy

Kristen said...

Good job on going green.
Maybe I can try some of these

xinex said...

Oh Cyndi! Thank you so much for this very imformative post. I'll try that on our slate floor...Christie

DesignTies said...

I think you're a wonder woman, Cyndi! I'm so impressed!! Thanks for all this information - I'm definitely going to look more closely at a few of your suggestions.
Hope all is well!

prof en retraite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prof en retraite said...

OOPS! Trying to pet the cat and type at the same time!
Great post! You have some really great ideas! Please email me at
I have a question for you...Debbie

Kathysue said...

Hi Cyndi, Thank you ,thank you, thankyou.I finally made it over here. I am going to try some of your recipes.I am so excited.I can only imagine how wonderful your home smells.You are really a wealth of information.I bet your home smells like a spa.I want that fragrance in my home.I just read about a perfume company in Carmel that uses all the natural oils and such but my goodness are they expensive to mix up your own custom perfume,too pricey for me but very interesting. thank you again you are a dear. Hugs Kathysue

DesignTies said...

I've never used essential oils for cleaning (or anything else). But after reading your post, I think I'm going to buy a few different scents and see how they work. For sure I'm going to try eucalyptus oil in the laundry -- bye bye dust mites!!!

Here's a green tip for you -- to clean your drains, pour 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a few cups of boiling water down the drain. Let it sit for a bit, then run the tap to clear the drain.

Judi said...

Hi Cyndy
...a fellow Canadian. I live in Ontario.
I really enjoyed reading your post on the essential oils and blends. I use essential oils also. I use them in the handmade and handcrafted soaps and bath products I make...and sell as well.

Lavender is a very popular fragrance with my customers. It is beautiful with sage as well.

Thank you for the recipes. Doesn't everything smell wonderful after cleaning with the place smells sooo nice when I'm making the products.

Come by and visit when you have some time. Its so nice to meet new friends around here.

have a nice evening.

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Mukesh kumar said...

The health benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating properties. The oil is used for treating a variety of health disorders including toothaches, indigestion, cough, asthma, headache, stress and blood impurities.
This is powerful essential oil was employed for lots of various purposes, including lifting the mood and treating aches and pains. Cloves themselves had been widely-used in cooking, and to help preserve food.
Where Can I Buy Clove Oil

Anonymous said...

The essential oils extracted from some plants can help relieve back pain naturally oils are quite useful in aromatherapy. In addition to its usage for aromatherapy, they are also beneficial in several health related problems. Essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants, such as fruits, stems, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, twigs and nuts.

Pure essential oils should be bought only from reputed retailers and/or manufacturers. Given that the reputed dealers of essential oils are more concerned about the quality of their product, it's advisable to buy the oil from them even if their pure essential oils are slightly more expensive than a retailer with no credentials.
Where Can I Buy Essential Oils