When growing up, my children would tease me about my cleaning habits… ‘wearing out the vacuum cleaner’, being a ‘clean freak’ – titles which I secretly wore with pride! A clean safe home is important to me.
Being an aromatherapist and reflexologist, I don’t use chemicals when cleaning and prefer to make the most of essential oils that are available to clean and protect my home. Here are my top tips for using essential oils to keep your house clean and safe, whilst doing your bit for the planet too.
What would a Sydney Summer be without at least a couple of ant invasions! A quick method of getting the ants to relocate, is to pop a few drops of peppermint essential oil on an eye make-up remover pad and placing it at the entry point or in areas like the pantry or in the kitchen – in cupboards or on bench tops.
Not only will the ants move on but the peppermint leaves the home smelling fresh and it has the added benefit of making the occupants feel invigorated. Fortunately, this method does not harm the ants – they just don’t like the smell of the peppermint essential oil.
Natural Fabric Softener
I always add a small cap of eucalyptus essential oil together with a few scoops of baking soda to the washing machine – fresh smelling clothes without the build-up caused by many fabric softeners. It’s really cost effective too.
Anti-Bac your Floor
Adding a few drops of lemon myrtle essential oil to the water when washing the floors leaves the home not only smelling fresh and clean but lemon myrtle is one of the strongest anti-viral/anti-bacterial essential oils available. If you have a steam cleaner, a few drops of essential oil added to the water tank will have the same effect.
Cleaning you mattress
A job that is often neglected around the home is the vacuuming of the mattress. Sounds like hard work so we put it off for another day. On a good sunny day, get out the vacuum cleaner once the bed has been stripped, wash all the linen, including the mattress protector, give the mattress a really good vacuum and if possible – without causing a back injury – turn the mattress and vacuum the other side too.
Sprinkle some lavender essential oil onto the mattress. This oil will not stain the mattress but will make the mattress smell fresh and any of those nasty little creatures that look like monsters when magnified – will also disappear. The lavender has the added benefit of making sure that you have a good nights sleep as it helps ease insomnia and anxiety.
Mix lemon juice or white vinegar with bicarbonate of soda for a non-toxic cleaner and a few drops of eucalyptus oil. This can be used in the kitchen or bathroom. It is non-abrasive and very effective for many jobs around the home. The eucalyptus oil will help with those stubborn, sticky marks too.
Although none of these essential oils I have suggested are being used topically, I still recommend buying good quality oils from a health shop. The therapeutic benefits are far greater than buying cheap oils which are often not pure but blended oils.
Have fun and mix your own – you will be surprised at how much money you save, how much space you have in your cupboard and how gorgeous your home will smell and have the health benefit of a relatively chemical free environment!!