Perusing the Environmental Working Group’s website “Hall of Shame” for household cleaners can be a frightening experience. An authority on common harmful chemicals, the Hall of Shame database includes titles like “Banned abroad,” “Drain cleaners that can burn and blind,” and “Fatal if inhaled.” We should avoid these products if we wish to keep ourselves and our families safe. Fortunately, the natural world offers a plethora of alternatives that effectively clean our homes without toxic, dangerous chemicals. These mixtures are simple, fun to make, inexpensive and will leave your home with a pleasant and clean aroma.
1. Scrub, disinfect, and shine with tea tree oil
A paste of vinegar and baking soda forms an effective scrub for dingy sinks, tubs and toilets. Add 10-15 drops of tea tree essential oil to about 1 cup of this paste to make it a powerful cleaning agent. Tea Tree essential oil-one of nature’s true powerhouses-is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Before scrubbing the toilet with this mixture, add an additional ten drops of tea tree to the bowl for extra disinfectant power. Consider using straight white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol to wipe down bathroom surfaces including toilet seats and handles.
2. Remove grease and stains with lemon
Essential oil of lemon, and lemons themselves are a must for cleaning house. Lemon is anti-septic and anti-bacterial, and will help cut grease. Add 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil to 2 cups of unscented castile soap. Use this invigorating soap as a base for various cleaning endeavors. Make an all-purpose cleaning solution by filling a sink with steaming hot water, adding one cup of the lemon soap and one cup of white vinegar. Use the solution to clean floors and remove dust and grime from surfaces. Lemons themselves are natural bleaching agents. After juicing the lemons, throw the rinds and some of the juice into your dishwashing water to take care of stubborn stains.
3. Carpet cleaning aromatherapy with essential oils
Essential oils not only clean and disinfect, they also leave their soothing and invigorating scents to linger after the cleaning is complete. You can achieve this effect by making carpet cleaning powder. Use 2 cups baking soda or Borax as your base. Next choose an essential oil or two. Add 25 drops of the oil to the base, mix it all up, and spread the mixture on your carpet, leaving it for at least 20 minutes before vacuuming. The results will be a clean carpet and a wonderfully scented room. The following essential oils work well for this mixture, and will impart various qualities with their aromas:
- Peppermint essential oil is stimulant and uplifting. It is anti-septic, refreshing and invigorating.
- Tea Tree we know already is a powerful cleaning agent. It is also antiviral, and an excellent insect deterrent.
- Rose Geranium is a strong smell, use it carefully! It’s antiseptic, an effective sedative and antidepressant.
- Rosemary, a mental stimulant, helps with poor memory. It is also antiseptic.
So go ahead, ditch your chemical laden cleaning products. Embrace the alternatives that nature provides. You will find your home is clean, and your soul is uplifted and calmed by delicious, pure scents of essential oils.