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!

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.

Citrus Mint Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are often useful when traveling or in public places like school or work where you would like to keep your hands clean and free of germs—especially when soap and water aren’t conveniently available. This Citrus Mint Hand Sanitizer smells yummy and does a great job at sanitizing your hands! Don’t forget to put a cute label on your bottle when you’re finished. We created these labels for you to print at home with this blank label sheet. Another option is to purchase these cute vinyl labels that are really durable.

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Citrus Mint Hand Sanitizer

  • Servings: 50 (Yield=2 oz./60 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) vodka (80 proof) or witch hazel
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) aloe vera gel
  • 2 oz. Plastic Bottle with Treatment Pump

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients in order to the bottle. Screw lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. To use, pump 1–2 times into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together until the liquid evaporates.

If you need a great label for your hand sanitizer, these vinyl labels are cute and durable! Another option is to print your own labels with this blank label sheet.

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Cleaning the Dishwasher with Lemon Essential Oil

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We often forget to clean the appliances that clean other things. Such is often the case with a dishwasher. But one of the best things about cleaning a dishwasher is that with a little help, it can clean itself! Give your dishwasher some love with this Dishwasher Cleaner!

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Dishwasher Cleaner

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • A washcloth
  • A bowl of warm, soapy water
  • An old toothbrush
  • A dishwasher-safe dish or container
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 7–10 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Remove the lower rack from your dishwasher.
  2. Use a washcloth to wipe out any loose food or scum from the bottom of the dishwasher.
  3. Use an old toothbrush and warm, soapy water to clean around the seal and the edges of the dishwasher and the dishwasher door (anywhere the door covers when it is closed). Give the bottom of the dishwasher a quick scrub as well to loosen the scum up a bit.
  4. Use the washcloth to wipe out any additional dirt you loosened up.
  5. Pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar into the dishwasher-safe container.
  6. Add 7–10 drops of lemon essential oil to the vinegar.
  7. Place the container in the top rack of your dishwasher.
  8. Close the dishwasher door, and select the hottest dishwasher cycle. Run the dishwasher for a full cycle with only the container inside.
  9. Open your dishwasher, and be amazed at how much cleaner it looks and how wonderful it smells!

Toothbrush Cleaner with Essential Oils

Toothbrushes often get neglected when it comes to cleaning. Since we put them in our mouths everyday, we may want to make sure they get cleaned regularly. Here is an easy and all-natural way to clean your toothbrush with just a few simple ingredients.
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Toothbrush Cleaner

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • Shot Glass or small glass bowl
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 drop antibacterial essential oil (some good oils to use include Protective Blend, melaleuca, or lemon)

Instructions:

  1. Fill the shot glass 3/4 full with hydrogen peroxide (enough to cover the toothbrush head). Add 1 drop of essential oil or blend.
  2. Stir the mixture with your toothbrush, and allow to sit for 8 hours (overnight works great!).
  3. After 8 hours, rinse your toothbrush off with running water, and enjoy the feeling of a clean toothbrush!

EO Life Hack: Vacuum Diffuser

Did you know you can turn your vacuum into an essential oil diffuser? To do this, just place a few drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend on a diffuser pad or cotton ball and place in the vacuum bag. Because the vacuum gets warm as it runs, you can enjoy the scent of your favorite essential oil as you vacuum your home!

Moisturizing Citrus Hand and Body Wash

This moisturizing hand and body wash smells delightful and will leave you feeling refreshed each time you use it!

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Moisturizing Citrus Hand and Body Wash

  • Servings: Yield=3/4 cup of soap concentrate
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a glass bowl, and whisk gently to combine.
  2. Pour roughly 1/4 cup of soap solution in the 8 oz. foamer bottle; fill the rest of the bottle with water.
  3. To use, shake to combine as needed and pump a little out to wash your hands or body as you normally would.

Notes:

  1. Because foamer bottles need water added, this recipe will fill three 8 oz. foamer bottles. If you only have one bottle to fill, you can store the solution in a glass container until you need to refill your soap bottle.
  2. We liked the foaming action of the 8 oz. foamer bottle, but if you would rather use the soap solution undiluted, you can also use an 8 oz. plastic bottle with pump top, an 8 oz. glass bottle with a pump top, or two 4 oz. glass bottles with pump tops.

EO Life Hack: Label Residue Remover

Have you ever been frustrated while trying to remove label residue from something? Well, lemon essential oil is coming to the rescue! Easily remove unwanted label residue from glass (including your old EO bottles!) by placing a couple drops of lemon oil on the residue and rubbing it off with a finger. Wash with warm soapy water when finished. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is!

Note: Don’t try this on a plastic product; lemon oil can actually eat away at the plastic.

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Homemade Natural Dishwashing Soap

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Are you looking for a more natural soap to clean your handwashed dishes? This dish soap is thick like commercial brands and produces a good lather as you clean. We really liked this oil scent, but you are welcome to try something new—just add 15–20 drops total of your desired essential oils to the mixture before whisking.

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All-Natural Dish Soap

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a glass bowl; gently whisk until the mixture thickens.
  2. Pour into the 8 oz. bottle.
  3. Place a small amount on a sponge and use to handwash your dishes, or add some to your dish water as the water is filling the sink.

Essential Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Your Diffuser

The cleaning aspect of using an essential oil diffuser is often overlooked. This is likely because the task can seem a little daunting. But if the task were simple, would you do it more often? To extend the life of your diffuser and keep it looking nice, we recommend cleaning it after every cycle (or at least every week or month, depending on your usage).

We would like to address a few ways we have found that work well for cleaning our most popular diffusers. Though we will explain how to clean specific diffusers, this information can be used for other diffusers that are similar.

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Advanced Essential Oil DiffuserAdvanced Essential Oil Vial Diffuser:
This diffuser is nice because there really isn’t a lot to clean, and it doesn’t need to be cleaned as often. However, sometimes the essential oils can clog the atomizer tube and will need to be cleaned out.

To Clean The Advanced Essential Oil Diffuser:

  1. Pull off the atomizer and detach the bottle.
  2. Place the atomizer in a bowl of warm, soapy water (or rubbing alcohol) and allow to soak for 30–60 minutes.
  3. Once done soaking, rinse with warm water and wipe down as much as possible. Let dry completely.
  4. Place a little vinegar and a couple drops of lemon essential oil in an empty oil bottle and diffuse until the vinegar is gone.
  5. Spray a little diffuser cleaner (recipe below) on the rest of the diffuser and wipe clean.
Whisper Silent Misting DiffuserWhisper Premium Silent Misting Diffuser:
This diffuser is pretty easy to clean, especially if done often. Because the oils don’t have contact with the ultrasonic disc, it isn’t as vital to clean this diffuser after every cycle like other humidifying diffusers. However, cleaning it at least once a week or so, depending on usage, will help extend the life of the diffuser.

To Clean The Whisper Diffuser:

  1. Spray all the parts of the diffuser with diffuser cleaner (recipe below) and wipe with a cloth or paper towel. Continue spraying and wiping until all parts have been cleaned.
  2. Once the diffuser has been cleaned with the diffuser cleaner, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the ultrasonic disc.
  3. Replace the flexible liner cup as needed.
Basic Ultrasonic Diffuser:
As with many ultrasonic diffusers, the oil and water are placed in the base of this diffuser with the ultrasonic disc. Because the oils are near the ultrasonic disc, they may create a build-up on the disc that can prohibit it from working properly. Therefore, it is necessary to clean this diffuser often in order to maximize its life. We recommend cleaning this diffuser after every cycle.

To Clean Basic Ultrasonic Diffusers:

  1. Spray the diffuser inside and out with the diffuser cleaner (recipe below) and wipe with a cloth or paper towel.
  2. If you have really stubborn hard-water deposits on the inside of the diffuser, you may want to soak some paper towels in vinegar and lay them down inside the diffuser; leave alone for 20–30 minutes.
  3. Once finished, you can also add a little vinegar to water and a few drops of lemon essential oil to the diffuser and let it run through a cycle.
  4. After cleaning with the diffuser cleaner, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the ultrasonic disc.

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Use this diffuser cleaner to make your job easy! Just spray and wipe down after every diffuser cycle or as needed.

Diffuser Cleaner

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Fill the 2 oz. bottle with vinegar and add essential oil. Screw the spray top on the bottle and shake to combine.
  2. To use, spray your diffuser inside and out and wipe with a cloth or paper towel.

Note: If your diffuser has an ultrasonic disc, use alcohol and a cotton swab to clean the disc after cleaning with the vinegar.

Extra Idea:

Print off these cute labels that work with these label sheets for your diffuser cleaner sprays.


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