Greening My Housecleaning

Essential Oils for Cleaning

Keeping the house clean is the BANE of my life.  Housecleaning is NOT one of my favorite things to do.  However it’s gotta be done… And now I’ve become pretty excited about it!

Why?  Because I’m learning that I can use simple, everyday household ingredients AND ESSENTIAL OILS to create my own cleaning products!  Yay!!!  Another reason to buy MORE fabulous essential oils!

You see, essential oils don’t just SMELL great in soaps and cosmetics.  They have fantastic properties that actually help with cleaning surfaces and even the air.  We’re talking beauty with a purpose here: Tea Tree, Lavender and Orange essential oils, for instance, have disinfecting properties.

So I’m experimenting with making my own carpet cleaner, and my own floor cleaner.  I’m loving the carpet cleaner.  Gonna tweak the floor cleaner.  I’ll keep you posted… but here’s the recipe for the carpet cleaner.  I took a great recipe from this journal, merged it with a great recipe from that book, then used the EOs I had on hand and decided on my own EO percentage (about 15 drops of EO per ounce of baking soda).

Carpet Cleaner Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Baking soda – 2 oz
  • 40 drops total of essential oils:
  • Tea Tree EO – 10 drops
  • Lavender EO – 10 drops
  • Blood Orange EO – 15 drops (citrus EOs get easily lost in a blend… I wanted to make sure that some of that great orange scent would come through!)
  • Geranium EO – 5 drops (I didn’t really need to add this, and it’s one of my more expensive EOs, but it smells HEAVENLY.  I only used a little of this… this EO can easily overpower a blend)

Note: You can start out with just Lavender and Tea Tree, or Tea Tree and Blood Orange or Sweet Orange EO.  In that case, use 20 drops of each and adjust the ratio for your preferred scent when you make your next batch.

Other materials:

  • 1 glass bowl
  • 1 heavy-duty sandwich bag (like ziploc, but we’re not advertising brands here lol)
  • 1 metal spoon or wooden chopstick or other stirring implement.
    • Please note: If you use a metal spoon, don’t use it again for food.  Dedicate it to your home-made essential oil-based products.  That way you’ll be sure NOT to contaminate your essential oils, or worse, accidentally ingest essential oil that may not have been properly washed off.  EOs are very concentrated my friend, and just because it’s natural doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t respect it!
  • Disposable gloves – to protect your hands from EOs.
    • Again, while we use EOs in skin and hair products, they are ALWAYS diluted in other products or bases, eg coconut oil, jojoba oil, lotion, etc., BEFORE applying to skin.  It is not safe to apply EOs directly onto skin.  They are powerful and concentrated and you may find yourself developing a sensitivity to that essential oil… even the very gentle ones like Lavender or Tea Tree.
  • OPTIONAL: disposable pipettes for measuring out the essential oils.  I like them and keep lots on hand but that’s because of my business handcrafting soaps and other products.  When you buy your essential oils in the health store, the bottles will come with orifice reducers that will allow you to dispense the EO drop by drop.

Stirring EOs into Baking Soda

Method:

  • Measure 2 oz baking soda into a glass bowl (don’t use it for food after this!)
  • Put on your gloves if you haven’t already done so!
  • Measure the essential oils by the drops into the baking soda. If you are using pipettes, use a separate one for each essential oil – no mixing of oils in their bottles!
  • Use your spoon and stir the mixture thoroughly.
  • Optional: after stirring with the spoon, use your GLOVED hands and ‘knead’ the now absolutely fragrant baking soda mixture.  You want to make sure to break up any clumps.  You also want to make sure that the EOs are thoroughly distributed into the baking soda.
  • Pour the mix into your sandwich bag, seal and put it away preferably in a dark cupboard.  Let it sit for a couple of hours or maybe even overnight before you use it.  This will allow the EOs to settle in the mix and for the scent to develop and mature just a bit.

(CONFESSION:  I waited for all of 5 minutes before using mine.  Couldn’t wait.  Was wayyyy too excited.)

Finished carpet cleaner

How To Use:

  1. (first, test on a hidden area of your carpet/rug first to make sure it won’t affect the fabric or color)
  2. Sprinkle on carpet/rug
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes
  4. Vacuum.
  5. Inhale.  Sigh.  Exhale.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until carpet/rug has been cleaned.

Try it and let me know how it works for you!  I’m loving mine!