As people experience the simple joys and excellent results they get by using common household items, such as baking soda and vinegar, it is natural to want to freshen up your cleaning solution recipes. The addition of essential oils is the next logical step in this process.
Far More Than Just a Fragrance
Essential oils, as used in aromatherapy, can be revitalizing and stimulating (peppermint) or relaxing and soothing (lavender). However, you may not realize that it also offers other valuable health benefits. In fact, many essential oils have antimicrobial properties that make them particularly effective at killing fungus and other harmful bacteria, as well as sanitizing surfaces and clearing the air of unwanted odors.
The most commonly used, all-natural and biodegradable essential oils in green cleaning products are also easy to find and affordable, which makes incorporating them into your cleaning regimen stress free.
Five of the Best
- Lavender: also known by the scientific name of Lavandula angustifolia, lavender oil is popularly used for its powerful antimicrobial action, floral scent and relaxing properties. A few drops of lavender essential oil can be added to white vinegar and water to clean floors and hard surfaces, as well as added to homemade laundry soaps for a luscious scent.
- Lemon: scientifically named Citrous limon, lemon juice and lemon essential oil can be used in many ways to naturally freshen your cleaning routine. It is excellent at killing germs, cutting through grease and zapping soap scum. Its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties make this a great green solution for sanitizing surfaces, especially in kitchen and bathrooms. The low pH and high acid content also easily removes hard water stains and mineral deposits.
- Peppermint: also called Mentha piperita, peppermint oil is an excellent insect and pest deterrent, as well as a strong antibacterial agent for surfaces that leaves behind a refreshing, minty scent.
- Orange: like lemon oil, orange oil, or Citrus sinensis, adds antimicrobial action to cleaners for all types of surfaces. Additionally, it is an excellent grease-cutting agent.
- Tea Tree: otherwise known as Melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is an essential oil that every home should stock for both its disinfecting properties when used in cleaning, and its important healing and antiseptic properties when used for skin care. Tea tree oil is one of nature’s finest antibiotics.