Just Add Oils to Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer, many people move into spring cleaning mode. Winter clothing gets stored away, windows are opened to air out the house, and lots of deep cleaning takes place as sunshine energizes the soul. A couple weeks ago, we held a contest and gathered many great cleaning recipes from you, our readers. The winner of our contest was Heather Crabill’s Counter and Appliance Spray. Heather says, “I spray my counters and appliances with the solution, and then I wipe with a warm, wet cloth. Friends and family always comment on how lovely the kitchen smells!”

Counter and Appliance Spray

  • Servings: 8 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Carefully pour the vinegar and essential oils in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, and then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  2. Spray on counters and appliances; wipe with a warm, wet cloth.

A lot of great cleaning ideas and recipes were submitted to us. Here are just a few:


NON-CITRUS PRODUCE SPRAY

“I’m allergic to citrus oils. So for cleaning produce, I put tea tree [melaleuca] oil (8–10 drops) and cider vinegar (1/2 cup) in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle with distilled water and spray on produce to clean!” — Brenda Rupp


CLEAN SHOWER SPRAY

15 drops Protective Blend
5 drops lavender
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. water
“Combine everything in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Spray down the shower and squeegee the glass doors when finished. Looks and smells great!” — Barbara Dittrich


TUB AND SINK CLEANER

“In a glass measuring cup, pour 6 oz. of white vinegar. Microwave to a slight boil. Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar into an 8 oz. spray bottle, and then add 1 Tbsp. of Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well, and spray all around tub. Wait 2 minutes or so and rinse off. If you have stubborn stains, scrub with a brush. Also, I put baking soda into the drain first, so that when I’m finished cleaning, the drain also gets cleared out. This treatment is nice and easy to do, and if you do it weekly, all you need to do is spray and rinse.” — Nancy Jaykka


ANY ESSENTIAL OIL CLEANER

“I save all the dribbles left in my essential oil vials and use them in my cleaning spray bottle. I purchased a cheap bottle of vodka, and I add 1 oz. of that to the 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I put in my leftover EOs and top off the spray bottle with filtered water. This solution works great on counter tops and appliances. It will even kill gnats that get into the kitchen.” — Mickie


Here are some other great recipes to help you spring clean:

Click here for more essential oil cleaning tips!

Falafel Hummus Dip

Are you ready for a new flavor of hummus? Try out our falafel hummus dip! We accidentally discovered this dip when we were coming up with our recipe for baked falafel. If you love hummus, you need to give this recipe a try!

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Hasselback Herb Potatoes with Essential Oils

Have you tried hasselback potatoes yet? They are a lot like baked potatoes, but rather than piercing the potatoes with a fork, you cut slices in them with a knife, then fill the slices with yummy ingredients either before or after baking them. When making hasselback potatoes with essential oils, it’s best to add the oils after baking the potatoes so you don’t lose the health benefits of the oils.

Start by slicing the potatoes, drizzling them with olive oil, and sprinkling salt and pepper on top before baking them. While they bake, mix up the herb butter by melting butter and stirring in the essential oils. If you happen to taste the herb butter, you may find the essential oils to be a bit strong. Just trust us, though—the final product tastes delicious!

When the potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, pull them out of the oven. Then, while they are still hot, drizzle on the herb butter. Make sure to get it in between the slices.
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Baked Falafel with Essential Oils

This Middle Eastern dish tastes fantastic with the addition of essential oils! Falafel is normally deep fried, but you can also pan fry it or even bake it as a healthier alternative. Falafel can be eaten plain, with Lemon Tahini Sauce (see recipe below), on a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.

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Essential Oil Breath Mints

Making your own breath mints is pretty easy; plus, you get to add the wonderful benefits of essential oils to them! Also, if you are looking for something to give away for Valentine’s Day, these make cute (and practical!) gifts for anyone.
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Lemon Coconut Crisps

These little cookies are super cute and delicious! They are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them! The recipe is also really easy and fun to make with kids.

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Lemon Coconut Crisps

  • Servings: 2–3 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla
  • 5–8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 cup (120 g) flour
  • 2/3 cup (57 g) shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. (165° C.).
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon essential oil.
  3. Gradually add the flour.
  4. Mix in the shredded coconut.
  5. Roll out little balls about the size of a walnut, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour (a fork also works, but will leave a mark).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Healthy Nails Serum

Keep your cuticles soft and your nails healthy and strong with this serum! This recipe is designed for easy application with a roll-on bottle.

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Healthy Nails Serum

  • Servings: 1 tsp. (5 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Drop the essential oils, in the order listed, into the roll-on bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil (about 1 tsp).
  2. To use, roll mixture on nails and cuticles as needed.

Note: You can double the recipe and fill a 1/3 oz. (10 ml) Roll-on Bottle instead.

Raw Lemon Berry Cheesecake (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

If you are looking for a relatively healthy dessert, then you should try this recipe! It is vegan and gluten-free, but it still tastes quite good. Of course, it doesn’t taste like a normal cheesecake, but even our pickiest tasters asked for more. There is something so satisfying about the lemon, coconut, nutty, and berry flavor combination tasted in every bite.

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Raw Lemon Berry Cheesecake

  • Servings: 9–12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) almonds
  • 1 cup medjool dates (about 10 dates) (pre-soaked if needed)
  • 1/2 cup (47 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tbsp./30 ml)
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (274 g) cashews
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 g) sea salt

Berry Topping Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (~110–15 g) frozen or fresh berries
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Pre-soak the cashews (and dates if needed) for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Rub an 8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) glass baking dish with coconut oil.
  3. Place all crust ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until the mixture looks and feels like dough. Dump it into your baking dish, and press it down evenly to cover the bottom of the dish. Once done, place the pan in the fridge while you make the other layers.
  4. Repeat with the cheesecake ingredients—blend, and then layer on top of crust.
  5. If using frozen berries, place all berry topping ingredients in a pan on the stove top, and heat just until the berries have thawed a little and coconut oil is melted.
  6. Place berry topping ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until mixed. Pour on top of the cheesecake layer.
  7. Place in the fridge or freezer until set up (about 4 hours in the freezer or 6 hours in the fridge).
  8. Top with fresh berries before serving, if desired.

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Tasty Chicken Foil Dinner

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Try this delicious chicken recipe at home or on your Labor Day campout! If you need to serve more than 4 people, simply adjust the recipe as needed.

Tasty Chicken Foil Dinner

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Heavy-duty foil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 Tbsp. (56 g) butter, softened
  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen)
  • 4 cups (450 g) diced potatoes
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped onion
  • Minced rosemary to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut out or tear off 4 plate-sized squares of heavy-duty foil.
  2. Mix together the butter and essential oils. Set aside.
  3. In each square, place a frozen chicken breast, 1 cup diced potatoes, and 1/4 cup chopped onion.
  4. Sprinkle each serving with salt, pepper, and minced rosemary; top with a pat of rosemary-lemon butter.
  5. Seal foil, and place on the coals of a campfire or on a grill. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, and eat straight from the foil if you’re camping!

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Homemade Carpet Freshening Powder

Your carpets will smell so fresh after sprinkling this on them before vacuuming!

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Homemade Carpet Freshening Powder

  • Servings: 1–2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix baking soda and essential oil in a shaker bottle such as this Plastic Spice Jar with Sifting Lid.
  2. Close jar, shake together, and let stand overnight.
  3. Sprinkle lightly over carpets, and let sit for 25 minutes before vacuuming.

This recipe is from Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, p. 85.