The Best DIY Household Cleaners Include This Ingredient
We’re on the scent.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:52 AM
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The magic of essential oils has not been a secret for some time now. At this point, you probably know that aromatherapy can improve your mood and certain kinds can give you an immunity boost. But it’s quite possible that you weren’t aware of their most versatile use of all: cleaning your home.
We’re talking scrub-away-shower-grime clean—even get-rid-of-that-awful-trash-smell clean. In Essential Well Being, a new book about how to use botanicals in virtually every part of your life (out today!) by Vitruvi founder Sara Panton, there are plenty of recipes for all-natural cleaners, and all of them have one ingredient in common. You guessed it, essential oils. Here, in an excerpt from its pages, she shares three ideas that will make your home look (and most important, smell) fresh in no time.
Makes 8.45 ounces
This is an easy multipurpose spray for dusting and cleaning wood, granite, tile, and cement surfaces in the living room. It leaves them looking sophisticated and clean, without using the chemicals found in traditional dusting sprays. The blend I use for this spray is a mix of citrus and woodsy essential oils, which leaves surfaces, especially wood, looking new.
1 cup filtered water 2 tsp vegetable glycerin 10 drops spruce essential oil 10 drops frankincense essential oil 4 drops lemon essential oil 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
- Add all components to a spray bottle.
- Shake before each use.
- Spray the surface and wipe immediately afterward with a soft cloth.
Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to two months.
Trash Can Deodorizer
Makes 8.45 ounces
An incredibly simple way to make taking out the garbage just slightly more bearable is by adding this essential oil mixture to the base of your trash can. This is a little secret I started a few years ago, and it means that when I pull the bag out of the can, it’s much more pleasant. While you’re cooking, your trash can is usually opening and closing a lot—this is a super-simple way to not let that odor take over your kitchen. Plus, guests will be greeted by a nice smell if they’re helping you prep.
1 cup baking soda 10 drops tea tree essential oil 10 drops spruce tree essential oil 5 drops lemon essential oil 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
- Add the baking soda to a small bowl.
- Add all the essential oils, then mix with a spoon, trying to break up clumps of essential oil as best as possible.
- Line the bottom of the trash can with a paper towel or newspaper.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of deodorizer over the paper towel or newspaper, about ¼ cup.
- Top up essential oils by adding 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops spruce, 1 drop lemon, and 1 drop lemongrass to the deodorizer whenever you need it to be fresher between garbage bag changes.
Keep at the bottom of your trash can. Replace every one to two weeks, depending on freshness.
Makes 8.45 ounces
This scrub can be used in your bathtub (or toilet) and makes it easy to remove residue, stains, and grime leftover from showers and baths. Compared to the more toxic bathtub and shower cleaners, this one is a natural, refreshing alternative. You don’t even need gloves to apply it.
1 cup baking soda 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil 15 drops peppermint essential oil 10 drops geranium essential oil
- Mix together all components in a bowl or jar, using a spoon to break up clumps of essential oils as best as possible.
- Sprinkle ¼ to ½ cup at a time over the bottom of the bathtub, then add a thin layer of warm water to the tub.
- Using a scrub brush or cloth, scrub the tub.
- Add more warm water and continue scrubbing.
- When the bathtub looks clean, rinse with very warm water.
Keep leftover scrub in an airtight container for up to one month. Use it between showers to keep the tub fresh.
When it comes to keeping a tidy home, Panton’s recipes are, well, essential.
See more natural cleaning ideas: Goodbye, Windex: There’s a New $2 Chic (Nontoxic!) Cleaner in Town The Oldest Cleaning Secret in the Book Just Got an Upgrade Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning Products That Actually Work