There’s no need to risk your health with dangerous chemicals when all that you want is a clean home. Some of the best possible cleaning solutions are simple mixtures containing water, vinegar, and essential oils. Exactly which essential oils are best to use depends on where and what you are cleaning. You can often combine a few different oils to create a powerful blend that will eliminate the majority of bacteria that plague a specific room. Below are four essential oil cleaning alternatives that you can use around the home.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is once again in the spotlight as one of the most impressive essential oils on the market. Not only is it used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also be used as a natural cleaning solution. The real power of lavender essential oil when cleaning comes from its antibacterial properties. These properties are so great that it can be used to kill E.coli or combined with an antibiotic to increase its effectiveness.1
Its strong antibacterial properties make it a great choice for cleaning bacterial breeding grounds, such as around toilets or under the sink. It can work on hard surfaces as well as carpets, rugs, clothes, and other upholstery. And the fact that it smells incredible is an excellent bonus. You are probably already very familiar with the scent because it is a common ingredient in a number of commercial cleaning supplies and air fresheners.
An added benefit of using lavender to clean is its ability to ward off moths.2 Lavender is a potent bioinsecticide and can be used to keep away moths and mosquitoes. If you want to keep moths out of your closet and out of your clothes, then you simply need to place a few drops onto cotton balls and place them in the closet. You can also place the cotton balls anywhere else you don’t want the moths to visit.
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As for cleaning with lavender essential oil, you shouldn’t scrub the house down with those same cotton balls. It needs to be combined with additional ingredients to create a cleaning spray. Most people use a combination of white vinegar and water. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the mix, shake the bottle, and then spray the surface you want to clean.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
What if you really hate the smell of lavender? Luckily, there are still several other essential oils that can be used as household cleaners. Some of them have antibacterial properties similar to lavender oil, but with a few additional benefits. Eucalyptus essential oil is one of those oils. Its unique smell, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties 3 make it excellent bathroom and kitchen cleaner.
Eucalyptus oil has carved out a niche with homeowners who have hardwood floors. It has become one of the most popular natural cleaning solutions for hardwood floors because of its disinfecting properties, its aroma, and its ability to clean without leaving behind residue.
When used for cleaning floors, it is best to use a mixture containing roughly 2 gallons of hot water, ¼ cup of white wine vinegar, and 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. You then mix the cleaning solution carefully with a wooden spoon. A natural fiber mop is a great tool to use with this natural cleaner.
Similar to Lavender, eucalyptus oil has the ability to keep away some unwanted pests in the house. Its strength isn’t in keeping away mosquitoes, but rather keeping away the rats. Studies have shown that a spray containing 5 percent eucalyptus oil can repel black rats when sprayed around the home daily.4
Thyme Essential Oil
You may already have some thyme in your kitchen. It’s a popular herb used when making a number of soups and sauces. It’s also a good idea to keep thyme essential oil in the kitchen because it makes an excellent cleaning agent. It has a combination of antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which make a great combination for cleaning kitchen counters and sinks.
Salmonella is a very nasty bacteria that often comes from chicken, eggs, peanuts, and some vegetables. It is also one of the most common causes of food poisoning around the world with more than 1 million cases of food poisoning and 450 deaths linked to the bacteria each year.5
As you might imagine, a kitchen can be a breeding ground for Salmonella. Studies have shown that thyme essential oil is one of the few natural compounds capable of inhibiting the growth and spreading of the Salmonella bacteria.6 That alone makes it a great choice for cleaning the kitchen.
It’s particularly effective in the sink where raw chicken and other foods possibly containing Salmonella are often washed and handled. It can also be used to clean dishes or cutting boards that have come into contact with raw meat. The oil can be mixed with water and vinegar or added to dishwashing liquid. One of the best ways to utilize the oil is by combining it with lavender essential oil, water, and white wine vinegar. The combination of lavender and thyme creates an antibacterial powerhouse.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Another essential oil that would make a great blend with lavender is peppermint. However, the difference is that this mixture would be best used in the bathroom, while the lavender and thyme blend would work best in the kitchen. Peppermint has been shown to have potent antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties.7
While Salmonella is a bacteria that wreaks havoc in the kitchen, Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) is a bacteria that lingers in the bathroom. It can lead to a bacterial infection that causes nausea, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. The menthol in peppermint essential oil can kill the bacteria on the surfaces in your bathroom and can even be used to treat patients suffering from a C. diff infection.8
Making The Right Blend
There’s no need to limit yourself to only a single oil when cleaning. For example, lavender and peppermint make a great blend for the bathroom while lavender and thyme are perfect for the kitchen. Eucalyptus and cinnamon essential oil are an excellent blend when cleaning floors and tables. Research a few different oils, experiment with different mixtures, and you’ll eventually find the perfect essential oil cleaning alternatives for every room.
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