Learn how to use essential oils to clean and invigorate your home without the use of harsh chemicals.
You’ve probably heard of highly concentrated oils being used in aromatherapy to boost mood or to give natural beauty products a fresh scent. Learning how to use essential oils in the home can also yield wonderful benefits, as well.
It’s been said that the air inside our homes can be up to 2 to 5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times! – more polluted than outdoor air. In most cases, this decreased air quality comes from the use of chemical products like cleaners, fragrances, and adhesives that get trapped inside.
Once you know how to use essential oils inside the home, you’ll find that many of these chemical toxins can be eliminated, along with their negative health effects like headaches and allergy flare ups. Use this handy guide to get started.
How to Use Essential Oils to Create a Fresher, Healthier Home
Things to know before getting started:
- Not all essential oils are created equal. To be considered an essential oil, it needs to be a pure plant extract with no dilution or additives. That being said, paying more doesn’t always guarantee higher quality. To test your essential oil’s purity, Crunch Betty recommends putting a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes).
- Never use essential oils in an undiluted state. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and can be irritating to the body if used straight out of the bottle. In most cases, it’s necessary to cut them with true oils (fats), waxes, butters, alcohols, vinegar, or other diluting measures.
- Most essential oils have a very long shelf life. If you’re startled by the high price of some of these essential oils, realize that most recipes call for a single drop, maybe two. If stored properly (in a dark glass bottle in a cool dark place) most essential oils will retain their potency for years.
- Choose the scent you love the most. Common essential oils (in order of potency) are thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, orange blossom, maize, poplar, pine, Indian hemp, tobacco, belladonna, hop, and poppy.
1. Antiseptic Bathroom Spray
Trying to kill germs in the bathroom? Combine 10 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, or orange blossom oil to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray on area of concern, but don’t rinse.
2. Air Freshener
This is a great first time project for those just learning how to use essential oils in the home. You can create a natural air freshener in two ways: a) Combine 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil like to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, and spray into the air or b) fill a glass bowl with boiling water and add 1-9 drops of the essential oil of your choice. It will soon fill the room with a lovely scent!
3. Carpet Freshener
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to two or three cotton balls and drop them in your vacuum bag. They’ll fill your home with a pleasant, non-toxic scent while vacuuming.
4. Rodent Repellent
It’s been said that mice and rats hate the smell of peppermint oil. If you’ve been looking for a natural way to deter pests, add four or five drops of pure peppermint oil to water in a spray bottle. Spray any areas where droppings have been found. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton balls, and stash the balls in the corners of cabinets, drawers, and other dark spaces where mice like to hide.
5. Natural Dryer Sheets
Scented dryer sheets make clean laundry smell great–until you learn that they’re doused in chemical which are now on your clothes. Replace those conventional dryer sheets with a damp washcloth that’s been infused with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
6. Spot/Mark Remover
When first learning how to use essential oils, you might think they all come from herbs or flowers. Not so! Citrus is also a source of essential oils, although they tend to lose potency faster. Use 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots or crayon from textiles or walls.
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Sources: Care2, Aromatherapy Naturals, Crunchy Betty, Young Living