You put so much effort into keeping your family’s home space clean, safe and hygienic – but how “clean” are your household cleaning products really? When you think about the loads of harsh chemicals that go into most commercial detergents, we’re sure you’ll agree that the only real “clean way to clean” is with pure natural alternatives! And the best news is, natural cleaning needn’t be expensive or fussy; it can be as simple as opening up your medicine cabinet and choosing your favourite essential oils.
These little beauties aren’t just sweet-smelling – they’re also loaded with highly concentrated antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic powers that would put any commercial cleaner to shame! A few drops of essential oils go a long way, and one oil can do the job of several ordinary cleaners – so not only are they healthy and safe, they’re also highly economical.
There are so many wonderful, delicious-smelling essential oils available to help you clean your space the natural way; we struggled to choose our four favourites, but here they are:
Summery, fresh & floral
- Linen spray
- Room spray
- Kitchen counter cleaner
- Insect repellent
Why it works:
- Lavender is antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral & antifungal
- It repels insects like flies, making it the perfect kitchen surface cleaner
- This oil also repels moths, so it makes a great protective linen & clothing spray
- Lavender has deodorising properties, adding a pleasant fresh smell to your home
Lavender is used in aromatherapy to relieve tension & anxiety – a great choice is household cleaning stresses you out!
2. Sweet Orange
Fruity fresh citrus
- Stain removal
- Wooden furniture polish
- Dishwashing liquid
- Window & glass surface cleaner
Why it works:
- Orange oil has antibacterial & antifungal properties
- Orange oil is a natural solvent, cutting through grease & oil; great for cleaning dishes & glassware
- The zesty, uplifting aroma of sweet orange also freshens & deodorises your home
Orange oil is used in various industrial applications to replace dangerous chemical solvents and heavy-duty degreasers; examples include use by the Boeing Company and the American Princess Cruise Line.
(Pssstt… Lemon essential oil is also a wonderful degreasing citrus oil!)
Fresh, cool & clean mint
- Bathroom & toilet cleaner
- Air freshener (combats pet odour, cigarette smoke)
- Vacuum bag freshener
- Natural pest control
Why it works:
- Peppermint has natural antibacterial & antiseptic properties; just a drop or two can kill germs & banish bad odours
- The oil has a strong but pleasant scent (like minty candy-cane) that will linger in your home after cleaning
- This aroma deters common household pests like ants, flies & cockroaches
The strong peppermint scent also deters mice and rats; dab a few drops of peppermint oil on some cotton balls & keep them in your cupboards to keep rodents away.
4. Tea Tree
Strong medicinal camphor-like/ herbal aroma
- All-purpose natural disinfectant
- Shower cleaner
- Tile cleaner
- Mildew & mould treatment
- Deodorising musty carpets
- Anti-germ spray for “high-traffic” areas in the home
Why it works:
- Tea tree is a really potent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial & antiseptic oil
- The antifungal properties help to combat mildew & mould; ideal for the shower or bathroom
- The scent helps to remove musty & damp odours; great for cleaning carpets & rugs
The commercial use of tea tree oil was first pioneered in the 1920s by an Australian chemist. During World War 2, the Australian military required all their first aid kits to include a supply of tea tree oil because of its many healing benefits – it’s that powerful!
Essential oils can be used in “dry” or “wet” cleaning methods:
Sprays, washes & stain treatments: Dilute your essential oil with pure filtered water, or a mix of filtered water and vinegar. Depending on which oil you add, these solutions can be used to clean tiles, windows or other surfaces in your home.
Dry cleaning carpets & upholstery: Sprinkle a few drops of your essential oil into a cup of bicarb. Mix well and shake over the area you wish to clean or deodorise. Leave for a few minutes before vacuuming up the powder.
Don’t forget: Essential oils are really potent, so remember to always use them in their diluted form, and don’t get the concentrated oils on your skin.
Do you have a “go to” essential oil recipe for natural household cleaning magic? Leave a comment to share it with our green team!