Cleaning with Essential Oils

Cleaning with Essential Oils
boosts the power of your natural cleaning formulas!

Fragrances are very personal choices and trigger strong and specific memory connections. Certain scents may stir vivid memories and emotions; there may be comfort in the aroma of baking bread; a whiff of a certain perfume may instantly remind you of someone you know. A particular scent can immediately bring you back to a single moment in your life.

natural cleaning tools

When it comes to cleaning products, we’ve been programmed by manufacturers to connect strong fragrances with effective cleaning. That makes it hard to switch to natural and unscented formulas. The problem is that commercial cleaning products contain synthetic fragrances that can cause strong allergic reactions and sensitivities.

But there is a way to have the best of both worlds!

When you create your own home cleaning formulas, you can choose to add natural essential oils to make them smell “clean” and familiar. Use them alone or create a signature blend of all the scents you enjoy. Cleaning with Essential Oils can add a completely new dimension to your natural cleaning.

Natural essential oils are derived from herbs, flowers and trees, and unlike synthetic fragrances, they possess important properties that can help boost the effectiveness of your cleaning formulas. This is a short list of some of the most popular scents and their special properties. The oils listed here are antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic, and will make your natural cleaning formulas smell great! You can buy small single bottles of each of these at health food stores and online. Some are a bit expensive, but a few drops will definitely go a long way. Please see the precautions below for safety information.

Basic Room Freshening Spray

Use this essential oil recipe with your favorite scents!

In a small, clean spray bottle, add 1 cup of water (preferably distilled), 1 oz of inexpensive vodka and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. You can adjust the amount of scent to your preference. (The high-proof alcohol content in the vodka will help emulsify the oil and water together, and will help with rapid evaporation. Rubbing alcohol is not a good choice because the alcohol content is not high enough for this purpose). Shake well and spray. Safe, effective, clean!

Lemon and Orange

lemons and oranges for natural cleaning formulas

Citrus fragrances are the most universally familiar and definitely remind us of “clean!” They are excellent grease-cutters, and both are anti-bacterial. Add them to your baking soda cleaning formulas, and when used with vinegar formulas, they will mask the strong smell.


Many commercial household products now contain lavender. This lovely floral scent evokes calm and soothing memories, and has both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that will complement any natural cleaning formula. A few drops on a damp washcloth can be used in place of dryer sheets.

use pine essential oil for natural cleaning

The scent of pine is universally associated with clean! Pine is a very effective deodorizer, and has traditionally been used in floor cleaners. It has both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Careful handling of this strong essential oil is necessary, because it could cause skin irritation.


Instantly familiar, the woody and medicinal smell of eucalyptus can be a great addition to your cleaning. Teamed up with lavender, this fresh-smelling oil will boost your cleaning with anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic agents. When added to laundry detergent, it may kill dust mites in bedding.

There are many more to choose from such as Rose, Frankincense, and Patchouli which would be perfect for your cleaning formulas. Experiment with combinations, and you’ll find you have unlimited possibilities for making your home smell clean and fresh.

The Usual Precautions for Cleaning with Essential Oils
  • Extreme caution must be used when handling
    concentrated natural essential oils.

  • Do not apply directly to your skin without investigating the use of carrier oils.

  • Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

  • As with any room spray, be careful around candle flames and open beverages.

  • Do not take essential oils internally.

  • Many internet sites and aromatherapy specialists can provide detailed information on usage and safety.

  • Many essential oils, such as chamomile, clary sage, wintergreen, camphor, rose and pennyroyal, are dangerous for pregnant women. This is not the complete list, so please be sure you carefully investigate before purchasing and using essential oils during pregnancy.

  • Label and store these mixtures as carefully as you would any other cleaning mixture. Although they are made from safe ingredients, they should be treated with caution.

  • Always test your mixture on small, hidden areas of all surfaces and carpets to be certain there won’t be any damage or discoloration.

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