I want you to take a deep breath. Imagine inhaling the sweet, invigorating smell of citrus or refreshing smell of peppermint. It makes you smile, doesn’t it? While you're sitting in front of the screen, relaxed and remembering your favorite scents, let’s talk about essential oils.
First, let’s define what we’re talking about. Essential oils are plant oils that contain the essence or smell of the plant. You may think of soaps and perfumes when someone says “essential oil,” but did you know that these nose-delighting oils have a place in your home, too? Here are three of the applications for essential oils in your home.
To paraphrase an old camp song, the “ants go marching…” away from peppermint oil. So will spiders and rodents. Add 10-15 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle full of water. Spray your concoction into the cracks and crevices that pests may use as an entry point into your home. You can also add a few drops of the oil to a cotton ball and leave that near exterior doors and windows. The peppermint may help deter flies and other winged insects, as will drops of citronella oil.
Clean and freshen up the bathroom
Are you running out of elbow grease trying to get soap scum off your shower curtain and walls? Fill a spray bottle with warm water, then add four drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 4 drops of tea tree oil. Apply the spray to the surfaces you wish to clean. Leave it there to help fight mold, too!
You can also add a few drops of your favorite scent to the inside of a toilet paper roll or on a cotton ball placed behind the toilet to freshen the room. Grapefruit, lavender and citrus are fantastic picks for this task. If you’re looking for something to help clean (in and out of the bathroom!) add 20 drops each of eucalyptus, lemon, and pine along with 1 ounce of white vinegar to a 2 ounce spray bottle. Add water to the bottle to fill it. Shake well before each use. This fantastic, natural cleaner will do wonders for your counters, sinks, windows, mirrors, and more!
Grab the lemon essential oil and tackle burnt pans and hard-to-remove, stuck-on food! Just fill your tough-to-clean pots and pans with water, bring the water to a boil and add a few drops of lemon oil. When the pot/pan is cool enough to handle, clean as you would normally. You can also add this oil to the soap compartment of your dishwasher for spot-free dishes! Don’t put that lemon oil away just yet. Add 2-5 drops directly to a damp sponge to combat bacteria and germs on countertops and cutting boards.
Essential oils have more work to do in your kitchen. Combine 5 drops of bergamot and 5 drops of lime oil with ½ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of peroxide. You can use this mixture to clean your sink! Just scrub gently and then rinse with warm water.
Have tough odors haunting your kitchen? Pick your favorite essential oil and add a few drops to a cotton ball. Drop the cotton directly in your garbage can before placing the garbage bag. If the odoriferous offender is lingering in your fridge, there’s a cure for that, too. Try combining 5-10 drops of a citrusy scented oil to a small bowl of water. Wipe down the shelves and compartments of your fridge with the scented water.
These simple uses for essential oils in the home are just the beginning! What’s your favorite way to use essential oils? I’d love to hear your ideas!