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.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • 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!

Make & Take Class Idea: Natural Cleaning Sprays

With the weather turning warmer, you may be getting anxious to start your spring cleaning…or you may be dreading it. Either way, making all-natural cleaners can help you get started on the right foot! But rather than simply making the cleaners on your own, why not turn it into a Make & Take Essential Oil Class?

Prepare a Short Lesson on Essential Oils

Start the class with a little lesson about the basics of essential oils and how they can help boost the effectiveness of your cleaning products. You can find information about these topics in Modern Essentials. Check out the “Introduction to Essential Oils” (p. 6–10) and “Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning and Disinfecting” (p. 60) sections of the Science & Application section of Modern Essentials as well as the “Housecleaning” section (p. 260) in the Personal Usage Guide section for help in planning your lesson.

“Many essential oils have demonstrated the ability to inhibit or kill various types of bacteria, mold spores, and even viruses. These disinfectant properties of essential oils make them a natural substitute for the harsh chemicals used in many commercial cleaners. Essential oils can also work as natural deodorizers, without the artificial fragrances used in some products” (Modern Essentials, p. 60).

After presenting your short lesson about essential oils to your class, allow your students time to make their own cleaning spray, ask you questions, or look up conditions in a Modern Essentials book.

Figure Out How You Will Do the Make & Take Workshop

There are a few different ways you can approach the workshop portion of the class. First, figure out which recipes you want to use, and then gather the necessary items. You can use any of the following recipes, the recipes found in the “Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning and Disinfecting” section found in Modern Essentials, or any recipes of your own. If using the recipes below, the only items you will need are 8 oz. glass spray bottles, essential oils, and a few household ingredients such as water, white vinegar, Castile Soap, rubbing alcohol, cornstarch, and measuring cups/spoons.

We have also designed some labels and recipe cards for the cleaning sprays in this post. Feel free to print these out and use them for your class:
Click here to download the labels. These labels will fit on this label sheet.
Click here to download the recipes.

The following are some ideas for doing this Make & Take Class:

  • Give away a cleaning spray to those who are new to essential oils or to those who sign up with you at your class.
  • Charge per cleaning spray your attendees create. Just figure out the cost for all the items needed to make each spray, and let them make as many as they want and be charged accordingly. Make sure to include tax and shipping costs that you may have paid when figuring the cost. Do these calculations beforehand, and create a price sheet so you can easily reference it during the class.
  • Offer a kit price. If you are offering a few different recipes for sprays, you may want to come up with a kit price that allows them to make one of all the different cleaning sprays.
  • Figure out costs without oils. If you are doing this class as something fun for people who already use essential oils, you can have them bring their own oils or make the spray without the oils and have them add the oils later. This would reduce the cost for each spray, so you may want to calculate those costs beforehand.
  • Charge only for the bottle. Since all of the ingredients are pretty inexpensive and can be used for a variety of purposes (or may even be items you already own), you may want to consider only charging for the glass spray bottle. When calculating the price, make sure to include any tax or shipping costs. If you do this, you can offer a flat price and let your students choose which cleaner they want to make or how many they want to make without the hassle of explaining the various prices.

Recipes for Cleaning Sprays

When making these recipes, you can adjust the oils to your preferences or to the preferences of your class attendees. Modern Essentials recommends the following disinfecting oils: Protective Blend, lemon, Cleansing Blend, melaleuca, lime, cinnamon, thyme, and peppermint (p. 60).

All-Purpose Cleaner (with Castile Soap)

  • Servings: Yield = 8 oz.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

Pour Castile Soap and essential oils into the glass bottle. Swish mixture to combine. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Screw on the spray top, and shake to combine. Shake before using. Use to clean; then spray on a vinegar-water solution after to clean away any soap scum.

Alternate All-Purpose Cleaner (with Vinegar)

  • Servings: Yield = 8 oz.
  • Time: 2 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

Drop essential oils into the glass bottle. Add vinegar, and then fill the rest of the bottle with water. Screw on the spray top, and shake to combine. Shake before using.

Streak-Free Mirror/Glass Cleaner

  • Servings: Yield = 8 oz.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch (this is what makes it streak-free!)
  • 8–10 drops citrus essential oil (lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 oz. glass spray bottle

Instructions:

Mix together all ingredients except water in a spray bottle. Screw on the spray top, and shake to combine. Unscrew the spray top, and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Screw on the spray top, and shake to combine.

Dusting Spray/Wood Furniture Cleaner

  • Servings: Yield = 8 oz.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 5–10 drops essential oil (lemon or white fir are commonly used)
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 oz. glass spray bottle

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together except water in a spray bottle. Swish mixture to combine. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Screw on the spray top, and shake to combine. Shake before using.

Source: Modern Essentials, Sixth Edition