One of the best-smelling, naturally antibacterial options for homemade cleaning is essential oils. Make your laundry green, sanitize the kitchen and nix mold in the bathroom while your house smells fresh - no scary fumes needed! I tend to add lemon, tea tree, and lavender to most cleaning recipes, but there are many more you may want on hand.
Are you ready to go green this spring? These 10 essential oils will help you.
Known for its light, fresh scent, this essential oil is also a powerful addition to homemade cleaning recipes. Lemons are naturally antibacterial and antiviral, and are commonly used to degrease stubborn stains and to freshen air. You can use it to deodorize your fridge, clean your floors, or combine 10 drops with 1/2 cup olive oil to make a natural polish for wood or leather.
2. Tea Tree
Does tea tree oil have any limitations? In everything from homemade wipes to hand soap to shower spray, it fights germs, bacteria, and viruses. Tea tree oil also works well against bugs. To deter lice and other insects, mix tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and spray inside and outside.
As a natural antibacterial and antiseptic, Rosemary is an excellent ingredient for homemade dish soap and laundry detergent. Essential oils make great homemade air freshener sprays, and peppermint and rosemary work well when you're trying to stay focused.
4. Sweet Orange
As with lemon oil, orange oil has a happy scent and is very effective against grease. Use 1-2 drops to remove grease or glue from surfaces, or mix 12 drops with 1/4 cup castile soap and water to clean stovetops and counters. Orange essential oil has a lot of uses from homemade fabric softener crystals to natural floor cleaner to energizing kitchen spray.
One of the best-smelling naturally antibacterial essential oils is lavender. It pairs well with vinegar, another common natural cleaner. Add 4-5 drops of lavender to your vinegar cleaning mixture for its natural antibacterial properties - and to make the smell more bearable. Lavender's soothing scent will elevate your dishwashing and laundry routine with homemade dish soap and linen spray.
This natural germicide is a powerful dust mite buster. For deep cleaning your mattress, use it with baking soda, in a dry wash for stuffed animals, or just put a few drops in your next wash cycle. Eucalyptus is great for cleaning up stinky messes in kitchens and bathrooms, too, thanks to its clean scent. Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil are excellent for keeping pests out of cupboards.
There are countless ways to use peppermint oil around the house. Its fresh, invigorating scent and antibacterial properties make it a wonderful addition to spray cleaners and natural deodorant sprays. Add 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle for an air freshener that also deters ants and spiders. Shake well and spray along cracks and crevices or wherever ants are present.
Cinnamon essential oil is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial. When used as part of a homemade mold spray, it is powerful against mold. Ground cinnamon and its essential oil are also effective against pests. Sprinkle cinnamon powder anywhere pests are visible or apply pure undiluted cinnamon essential oil to the areas with a cotton swab.
Since pine oil is already a common ingredient in many cleaners, it is effective at destroying yeast spores, E. coli, and other household germs. Keeping the bathroom clean and sanitizing the hardwood floors with pine oil leaves a fresh, natural scent after cleaning the bathroom.
Essential oils like thyme are powerful weapons against germs. Thyme is effective against salmonella, so it can be added to homemade dish soap and used to clean cutting boards that have been exposed to raw meat.
Having given up traditional cleaners for essential oils, I will never look back. In addition to being better for our health and the environment, they smell great too! For me, green cleaning is the only way to clean, and I hope more people realize this as well. We have to take care of the environment in order to take care of ourselves.