Whether you make your own cleaning products from scratch or simply want to incorporate aromatherapy oils into the house-keeping regimen you already follow, it’s helpful to keep a good supply of fragrant essential oils to use in cleaning. These can be added a few drops at a time to homemade cleaning products, or they can simply be diluted with water and used to substitute or supplement your normal routine. Aromatherapy oils can not only fill your home with soothing, pleasant, and possibly even medicinal scents, but they can also help to kill bacteria, mold, viruses, and even bugs. Here are five aromatherapy oils to use in house cleaning.
1. Clove Oil
It not only smells divine, but it’s a potent poison for pests and pathogens! Clove oil ranked highest out of a review of several aromatherapy oils as an insect repellent, and it also seems to defeat staph, strep, and other deadly bacteria. While it’s best use is as a mosquito repellent, clove aromatherapy oil can also help to keep your home free of icky pests like bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, and even those pesky, hard-to-kill fire ants. Wipe down your countertops and baseboards with this pest-repelling, spicy, fragrant oil to keep your home clean and pest-free.
2. Orange Oil
Long hailed as a favorite aromatherapy oil for house cleaning, orange oil is one of the greenest products around because it’s a natural by-product of the orange juice industry, and makes use of a waste product. It’s an excellent furniture polish and can also be used on counter tops and in sinks, and it’s extremely effective for killing Salmonella and E. Coli, which are deadly infections that can hide in your own kitchen. Humans, on the other hand, might benefit just from smelling the stuff: orange oil is often used to help lift mood and beat the blues.
3. Tea Tree Oil
One of the world’s most popular aromatherapy oils, tea tree oil has a crisp, clean fragrance and powerful antiseptic properties. In alternative medicine, it’s used primarily as a topical treatment for acne and fungal infections, but it can do so much more! A few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water or cleaning products appears to be a potent weapon against the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA. In fact, one study suggested that it be recommended in hospitals alongside other treatments to battle MRSA. Of course, it doesn’t end there: tea tree oil can prevent the growth of mold and other fungi and makes an excellent product for cleaning your bathroom and your kitchen sink.
4. Peppermint Oil
When we smell peppermint, we think “clean.” Why else would this herb have been used for so many hundreds of years in products for dental health and fresh breath? Peppermint oil doesn’t just smell clean, though: it actually helps to keep your home free of disease. Peppermint fights the growth of fungi, bacteria, and certain viruses, and its scent is purported to improve mood and make people feel more vibrant and awake. Although it hasn’t been studied much, it may have another benefit for keeping homes clean. Folk wisdom claims that rodents hate the smell of peppermint and won’t enter a home that has been cleaned with it. It certainly can’t hurt to use it to keep mice and rats away!
5. Lavender Oil
Lavender aromatherapy oil for housekeeping is becoming very popular. It’s a primary ingredient in many natural cleaning products sold in stores today. Lavender is known for its soothing and calming properties. Its name, which means “to wash,” accurately reflects its centuries-old reputation as an ingredient in soap. Spray a fine mist of lavender in your shower or use it to freshen up your linens between washes. According to aromatherapy proponents, it will be emotionally soothing, not just cleansing!
Aromatherapy oils can be an excellent component of your own housekeeping plan, whether you use them to make your own cleaning products or simply to supplement the products you’re already using. Unlike a lot of harsh “chemical” cleaners, aromatherapy oils not only make your home cleaner and safer, but they also smell wonderful and may even have health benefits!