Avoid toxic cleaners by making DIY cleaning products and homemade disinfectants using the best essential oils for cleaning and disinfecting.
Today I'd like to introduce to you a guest writer, Patricia Cornwell. Patricia is a small cleaning business owner, writer and self-proclaimed home improvement DIY expert, and she has been kind enough to share here her expertise in the area of cleaning using essential oils.
Most of us here like to avoid toxic products whenever possible, Right? And many of you also prefer making your own DIY products, so I know you're going to LOVE her post:
What is essential to know about essential oils:
Perhaps you have already heard that essential oils are very powerful and suitable for a variety of jobs throughout the home. What is so great about them is that they make wonderful home disinfectants and, due to their chemical components, some essential oils are perfect for sanitizing. We will talk about some of the best essential oils for cleaning and disinfecting. and will show you how to incorporate essential oils into a DIY disinfectant.
Before we talk about the best essential oils for cleaning and disinfection, let us point out that the majority of them have antimicrobial and antifungal properties and all of them are antiseptic. This means that almost any essential oil is great for disinfecting. The basic component that makes them so effective against fungi and bacteria is called phenol. It is a weak acid, which dissolves in water and has a tarry and sweet aroma.
Another reason why most essential oils are suitable for disinfection is that they contain alcohol, which gives them bactericidal and antiseptic properties.
Additionally, some of the oils are high in aldehydes, which is another “culprit” for their antifungal properties.
Tea tree essential oil
High in antifungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree is an ideal essential oil for your handmade disinfectants. The main source of this oil is the Australian Melaleuca tree.
It is most effective against mold and mildew, and also works well to get rid of musty smells around the home. Tea tree oil also has antibacterial properties. If you usually prepare natural homemade cleaners, tea tree can enhance their properties and add a lovely aroma.
Uses of tea tree in the household:
- Mix two cups of water and a couple of teaspoons of tea tree oil in a clean spray bottle and you will get the perfect mold and mildew cleaner to use on your moldy areas (e.g. shower head, faucets).
- Enhance the properties of your DIY laundry detergent by adding a few drops of tea tree. Your clothes will come out fresh and sweet-scented.
- Make a solution of water and mild soap and add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to it. Use the mixture to mop your floor.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil is a great complement to handmade disinfectants due to its antibacterial properties, not to mention it has a lovely and refreshing scent. It mixes well with other essential oils, for example rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus and lavender. Many professionals like TenancyCleaners SE3 use these oils in their cleaning routine.
Uses of peppermint essential oil in the household:
- Create blends with other essential oils to prepare a powerful mixture against dirt and bacteria.
- Use peppermint oil to disinfect kitchens and bathrooms. Add a teaspoon or so to your DIY cleaners.
Lemon essential oil
Love the scent of lemons? Lemon essential oil is made with fresh lemons through cold pressing. It possesses antibacterial properties and is suitable for a number of cleaning jobs around the house:
- Brighten your white clothes using a little bit of lemon essential oil, added to your DIY laundry detergent
- Apart from disinfecting, use lemon essential oil to remove stains on your favorite surfaces.
Natural Homemade Disinfectant with Essential Oils
Things you will need:
- 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 15-20 drops of essential oils (lavender, tea tree and lemon)
- Clean spray bottle
Mix together all the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and give it a good shake. Use this natural homemade disinfectant around the home. It's recommended that you use it solely on hard surfaces. Once you spray, wipe down the surface with a cloth and allow it to dry. You can add a variety of essential oils in this recipe; choose whatever makes your heart sing.
Never blend essential oils in metal or plastic containers because it can create a chemical reaction. When it comes to blending or storing essential oils, it's best to use glass.
The best way to ensure that your handmade disinfectants and sanitizers are effective is to mix a few essential oils together in order to enhance their disinfecting properties. Many of the best recipes also include aloe vera gel and witch hazel.
When mixing essential oils, be careful. Not all essential oils can blend together due to their chemical makeup. Hence, it can be dangerous to mix oils unless you have the know-how. Always consult with a specialist if you are unsure how to proceed.
A little warning for cat owners: Many online sources claim that some essential oils, such as cinnamon, pine, clove, oregano, peppermint, tea tree, thyme and others, are nothing but toxic to cats. Please, be sure to familiarize yourself with the products that shouldn't go near your cat before you make those well-meaning cleaning recipes that may turn into dangerous mixes for your pets.
I hope you have enjoyed Patricia's post about the best essential oils for cleaning and disinfecting. If you want to read more, you may enjoy her post about DIY kitchen cleaning sprays and a homemade laundry detergent. Incorporating essential oils into your cleaning routine ensures that not only are you avoiding toxic products, but that your home will smell fresh and clean.
If you enjoy making your own cleaning products, why not also try your hand at making your own soap?
Or find all of the DIY cleaning products that you could ever need over at Live Simply!
This post is also available in Español.