Picture this… after a hard day at work and a stressful ride home, you are finally home. You open the front door to a pleasant smell of cinnamon. You enter your kitchen and smell a refreshing clean scent of pine, cedar wood, and sage. As you walk down the hallway, you smell an inviting scent of peppermint. You finally reach your destination, your relaxing bedroom, filled with a healthy calming lavender smell.
Air fresheners? Guess again. They are all healthy organic essential oils.
When I clean my home, I use as many natural ingredients as I can, because I know first-hand the harmful effects traditional cleaning products can have on my health. As consumers we’ve been trained through years of TV and magazine ads that a cleaning smelling home is actually a clean home. But you can’t smell clean! The synthetic fragrances in traditional cleaning products actually do nothing to improve the product’s performance. Meanwhile they can cause all sorts of health problems, ranging from a mild headache to behavioral disorders to organ damage! But unlike synthetic chemicals, essential oils actually do clean and provide a pleasing, safe scent to signal “clean”. Truly clean J
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural distilled liquids found in certain plants. These concentrated liquids, or essential oils, are extracted by steaming or cold pressing raw plant material. Essential oils not only make your home and your cleaning products smell wonderful, they are packed with a variety of antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help you keep your home and your family toxic-free. There are a variety of plants and herbs that come in aromatic essential oil form. Look for the pure, undiluted oils free from extra additives or dilutants.
Why are essential oils great cleaning products?
- Certain essential oils have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties that help remove bacteria and virus germs.
- Essential oils can get rid of mold and mildew.
- Dust mites are a thing of the past thanks to the properties these oils possess.
- Essential oils help remove unpleasant, stale odors from your home, leaving the air refreshingly clean.
- Essential oils provide the pleasing scent you expect from a clean home, without hidden health risks.
So, essential oils are essential green cleaning products! You can pick and choose which fragrances you want to clean with and never have to worry about them giving off harmful fumes.
To clean as effectively as possible in the least amount of time, learn the properties of each essential oil you use. I’ll share the special properties of my favorites, below.
Top 5 Essential Oils for Green Cleaning Products:
Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial. It can also boost your mood! This particular oil cuts through grease and grime and helps remove stains and brightens clothes. The lemony smell pairs nicely with thyme and basil.
Peppermint essential oil is a powerful revitalizing, stimulating antiseptic. Peppermint essential oil kills dust mites in the bedroom and sanitizes in the bathroom and kitchen. This oil helps increase mental performance and alertness that it can actually help give you the energy you need to clean! Combine this great smelling oil with rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus or lemon for an even fresher smelling home.
Tea tree essential oil – an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic – is great to use in the bathroom because it helps remove mold and mildew. The smell of tea tree oil also deters insects. Combine this strong smelling essential oil with lavender and orange for a powerful non-toxic green cleaning product.
Eucalyptus essential oil is the perfect oil to help kill those unwanted dust mites from your mattress. Try cleaning your mattress with baking powder and a few drops of this pure smelling eucalyptus essential oil.
Sweet Orange, another great smelling antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal, has amazing degreasing properties. This citrus smelling oil is perfect for cleaning cutting boards and countertops that were exposed to raw meats. Another citrus smelling favorite of mine is grapefruit essential oil, which also contains antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Lavender essential oil is very popular, probably because it has an extremely powerful relaxation effect on our nervous system. As a green cleaning product lavender offers a variety of benefits, such as antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties that are perfect for cleaning your home and keeping it smelling pleasant.
Keep in mind that essential oils are NOT the same as synthetic oils, which contain fragrance or perfumes. An easy test to find out if your essential oil is pure is to add a drop of the essential oil on a piece of construction paper. If the oil evaporates, it is pure. Always remember to store your oils in a dark bottle, away from light and heat for optimal performance in your green cleaning products.