Happy Easy Eco-Friendly Swap Sunday! Last time we shared with you our favourite eco-friendly swaps when it comes to laundry products, this week we are sharing with you our favourite eco-friendly essential oils for cleaning.
Not only do they smell great, but essential oils have lots of different properties – making them perfect for cleaning your home. Many essential oils are naturally antibacterial or antiviral – not only do they kill germs and bacteria, but leave your home smelling beautiful without all the nasty chemicals in regular cleaning products. All essential oils are different, with some being better at combating certain things. We’ve created a list of some of our favourites below, their properties, their best uses and more!
– Antiviral and antibacterial
Lemon is a favourite due to its bright, fresh scent – so is great for using on anything that may have picked up a bad smell. It’s great for use on any surfaces, and can also be mixed with olive oil to create a natural wood or leather polish. Lemon is great at cutting through grease, so will get rid of any tough stains you’ve been struggling with. Orange oil is also good for this, but doesn’t disinfect. Why not try putting a drop or 2 of lemon oil down your kitchen sink drain before going to bed for lovely clean smell when you wake up in the morning! It’s also great for use in toilets.
– Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral
Teatree oil is a great allrounder – there isn’t much this handy essential oil can’t do. It is a great all-purpose cleaner, as it can fight off lots of germs, viruses and bacteria that may be left on surfaces and could threaten the health of your family. It works especially well for removing any musty or mildew doors in bathrooms, attics or kitchens. It’s also a great deterrent against bugs – just dilute with water and spray in any areas that may be infested! Teatree is great for homemade hand sanitisers and hand soaps, and is another EO that is great for cleaning toilets.
Lavender is one of the best smelling essential oils, and is often associated with sleep and calm. It can be used to overpower the scent of vinegar in cleaning mixtures, whilst also being antibacterial! This makes it another great EO for use in cleaning toilets. It mixes well with other essential oils, and is great at preventing mould or mildew. Add some drops to your laundry or use in your bedroom for a great nights sleep. Mix with distilled water and a small amount of vodka, then spritz your mattress to keep it fresh.
– Antibacterial and antifungal
Peppermint oil is a cool, refreshing scent – whilst also being quite invigorating. It’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties means it’s great for cleaning around the home – especially on glass and mirrors that require a streak-free shine. It is also a natural rodent and pest repellant – so cleaning using peppermint oil will prevent any unwanted visitors in your home!
– Antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory
Eucalyptus oil is a natural germicide and great for fighting off dust mites- use it on your mattress or when cleaning stuffed animals. It’s anti-inflammatory properties mean that when used around the home, it can help to improve seasonal allergies and fight against nasty bacteria that causes illnesses. It’s also powerful against mould and mildew, whilst also repelling rats!
– Antibacterial and antiseptic
Rosemary has natural antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, whilst having a beautiful scent. It’s a great oil for using in laundry or homemade air freshener sprays, as it mixes well with other EOs – try the combinations of rosemary, lemon and vanilla or rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus!
– Antiseptic and antibacterial
Thyme is great for use in the kitchen, as it is effective against food borne pathogens like salmonella. It is also known for its calming qualities, and has been used in aromatherapy for years due to its cleansing properties. It can clear up fungal and bacterial infections amongst other skin conditions too. If you’re having any skin irritations this could be due to a cleaning product you’re using in your home – so why not replace it with something homemade including thyme oil? This will not only clean your house but help your skin to heal.
– Disinfectant / mildly antiseptic
Pine oil is great for killing household germs, including E. Coli, spores, salmonella, mould, mildew and more. It’s famously used in cleaners due to its smell – with many cleaning products and air freshers using pine as an alternative to lemon. It helps to kill doors and purify the air, so is great or use on surfaces such as walls and floors to clean and purify. We also love using it to clean toilets!
– Antibacterial, antiseptic, natural deodoriser
Cinnamon is considered the spice of protection and prosperity for centuries. This is due to its cleaning qualities – it can help to kill off serious viruses and bacteria whilst smelling incredible! Use it to fight mould of fungi, or against insects. It will not only clean the area but freshen the air and deodorise the room.
Essential Oil Uses
We’ve mentioned some uses of each individual oil, but depending on which scent is your favourite, you can use any of the above in the following…
When using a scent free product (like Delphis or Bio D), you can add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to give your great work the extra dimension that it needs!
Make your own window cleaner (1:1 vinegar & water, small amount of isopropyl alcohol & your fave essential oils)
Make your own air fresheners – you may wish to use steam diffusers, or simply mix some vodka & essential oils of your choice in a spray bottle and use as a room deodoriser!
We hope you’ve found this list of essential oils and information helpful – next time you’re in need of a cleaning product, why not research what essential oil would be best to use and make your own! It’s a great way of keeping your home chemical and toxin free, whilst getting the results you want for a sparkling clean home.