Cleaning can be considered a very meditative act for some people, but for others it can feel like a huge burden. Regardless of how we feel about cleaning it has to get done to protect us from the buildup of bacteria and fungus that can irritate our sinuses or even cause us to be ill. If you haven’t considered using essential oils to clean with, you probably aren't aware that they are incredibly effective due to antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral chemical compounds they possess. Essential oils can be used to make safe cleaning products. Creating safe cleaning products to use around our families and pets is the most attractive reasoning when transitioning to green cleaning. And then we add on the aromatherapeutic advantages of having a plant’s essence envelop our homes.
Among its many other uses and benefits, lavender is a superb essential oil for any natural cleaning regimen. It’s specifically ideal for those of us who prefer a light, floral scent to the more medicinal aroma that accompanies other well-known cleaning essential oils, such as tea tree and eucalyptus. These oils, along with lemon and orange, often steal the spotlight when it comes to green cleaning products. As a matter of fact, lavender essential oil contains very similar properties to these more conventional cleaning essential oils. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and its antiviral possibilities are currently being researched.
Despite its seemingly lack of popularity as a potent cleaning essential oil, lavender and its sanitizing powers have been utilized for many years. The word "lavender" comes from the Latin word "lavare", meaning “to wash" and in medieval France there were women called “Lavenders” who washed clothing in lavender as a service. The ancient Romans used lavender in their baths, on clothes and linens, and even in their hair. In 16th century France, glove makers, who often applied lavender to scent their works, escaped cholera and in 17th century London, lavender was used as a way to protect from the plague. It’s bacteria fighting functions have been employed for centuries because of lavender’s attractive aroma, but we are learning in more recent years that there’s more to lavender than just a pretty smell.
Lavender essential oil is prevalent for it’s relaxing and stress relieving proficiency. The advantageous thing about using lavender essential oil regularly in our cleaning regime are the benefits we reap from its aroma without a thought. We get to eliminate unwanted odors and germs while also letting the aroma of lavender stimulate our mind and body, guiding us into a state of tranquility. If you appreciate unique floral scents, relaxation, and the idea of a sparkling clean home using natural products, you’ll love cleaning with lavender essential oil.
Lavender essential oil can be used alone in cleaning products or in combination with other essential oils to add to their effectiveness and aroma. Other potent essential oils to consider when making DIY cleaning products are Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, Cinnamon, and Clove. Making our own cleaning products eliminates mysterious chemicals, cuts back costs, and is better for the environment and our family’s health.
These are a few common household products that can be combined with essential oils when creating a DIY household cleaner:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Castile Soap
- 190 proof Alcohol (This is a common additive to some DIY cleaning agents. It’s important to know that using this as an ingredient can cause damage to some surfaces in your home, such as finished surfaces and some fabrics. It is also highly flammable and can cause skin irritation. If you choose to use 190 proof alcohol use caution.)
When working with essential oils it's always important to use common safety practices. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation. The dilution of these oils inside cleaning recipes are usually higher than products made to go on the body. Make sure to wear gloves, keep cleaning products and essential oils out of reach from children, and take caution when pregnant.
Below we have a few DIY recipes and tips we just LOVE using in our own homes. Try them out and watch your home transform into a clean, aromatherapy heaven.
Lavender & Tea Tree Surface Cleaner
Try this all purpose lavender and tea tree essential oil surface cleaning spray recipe to keep your house clean and fresh smelling the natural way.
- 16oz Amber Glass Bottle with Spray Top
- 1 cup of White vinegar
- 1 cup of Distilled Water
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
* This is the recommended amount of essential oils to begin with. Add more if you want a stronger spray, but use caution and add them slowly until you reach the desired outcome.
Combine all the ingredients together into a 16oz glass spray bottle and shake very well until thoroughly combined. This spray can be used on floors, wood furniture, countertops, tables, sinks, and all of your bathroom & kitchen surfaces. The initial scent of vinegar will fade, leaving the fresh aroma of tea tree and lavender to linger for much longer. Shake well before each use and store in a cool, dark area out of the reach from children and pets.
Lavender for Carpets and Upholstery
Try these simple hacks for using lavender essential oil to obtain a fresh boost to carpets and upholstery.
Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to ½ cup of baking soda. Sprinkle this mixture onto the carpet or chosen fabric surfaces and wait 10-15 minutes. (For an extra cleaning boost, brush the powder mixture gently into the fabric with a soft bristled brush.) Vacuum the surface and that’s it! It’s that simple…
Baking soda is great for natural cleaning solutions because its abrasive properties help it to effectively lift dirt. It also neutralizes odors which makes it work perfectly alongside lavender essential oil. This simple hack is all you need for clean, germ-free upholstery and carpets with a fresh, floral scent.
Another way to spread the fresh scent and deodorizing properties of lavender essential oil throughout your home is through the vacuum itself. Add 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil to a few cotton balls and place them inside the bag or dust collection cup of your vacuum. A few drops can also be placed on the vacuum filter instead. As you clean your floors, the airflow from the vacuum will disperse the fresh floral scent throughout your carpets and your home.
Lavender for Laundry
Certain smells can cling to our laundry and sometimes be indicative of lingering bacteria in the fabric. Many laundry products tend to mask odors in clothing and linens with overpowering synthetic fragrance rather than eliminating the odor all together. Lavender essential oil has powerful deodorizing capabilities that can work wonders on your laundry. It can eliminate those stubborn odors and leave a fresh, soothing scent behind. Lavender essential oil also has disinfecting properties that add an extra boost of CLEAN to your laundry cycle. The wonderful herbaceous floral scent of lavender drifting throughout your home has its own added bonus. Lavender’s calming and focusing aromatherapy powers can help make laundry day less stressful and more relaxing.
Here are a few ways to incorporate lavender essential oil into your laundry process and reap all of its amazing benefits.
The first thing you can do is as easy as adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite unscented laundry detergent before adding it to your washing machine. This is a simple first step to help you experience the odor-eliminating benefits of lavender.
You can also utilize the deodorizing power of lavender in the dryer by creating your own fresh smelling laundry sheets. This is done by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a clean, dry cloth. Let the oil on the cloth dry completely, then toss it into your dryer with your laundry and enjoy a soothing floral scent on your clothes as well as throughout your laundry room! Likewise, lavender essential oil can be added to wool dryer balls for the same effect.
Put 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil directly into the water reservoir of your iron with the water for a fresh scent while ironing. This is a great way to freshen up an outfit before a formal occasion or to just add that extra boost of calming lavender scent to your everyday clothing.
Lavender for Purifying the Air
Here are a few recipes to get you started.
“Cleanse the Air” diffuser blend
This diffuser recipe will purify the air in any room. The ratio for this recipe is for a 200ml Ultrasonic diffuser.
- 3 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 1 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
“Lavender Dreams” Pillow & Room Spray
- 2oz Amber Glass Bottle with Spray Top
- 3 tablespoons of Witch Hazel
- 15 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of Cedarwood essential oil
- 4 drops of Chamomile essential oil
Mix all ingredients together inside a 2oz glass bottle with a spray or mister top. Shake well to combine thoroughly and again before each use. Spray on your pillow and blankets before bed to relieve stress and induce sleep. This spray can also be used as a room spray.