When was the last time that you read the labels on your cleaning products? Most people, either look for what brand they like or grab what’s on special and throw it in the trolley. Did you know that some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet lurk in our everyday cleaning products? Go on, grab your bottle…I bet there are names on there that you can’t even begin to pronounce. I’d like you to type them into google and see what it says… I watched A Current Affair a few weeks ago do an assessment of the best cleaning products and how they rank for price, effectiveness and toxicity. Did you know that good old bi-carb and vinegar rated in the top 3 products (for effectiveness and germ killing ability), and it costs less than 10 cents and is perfectly safe?
I did not grow up in a toxin free home and I distinctly remember the day my younger sister climbed up onto the toilet, then the sistern to grab a bottle of “Banodor” Toilet Cleaner (this stuff was so toxic, I think it has been taken off the shelves now), and squeeze some into her mouth. Well… she did survive (albeit with a few quirky side effects 😉 ) but she was lucky my mother acted so quickly. Now as a Mum myself, I have a completely toxin free home and know that if my 2.5 year old takes a swig from something all she’s going to get some vinegar, water, essential oils and some castile soap at worst! Might not taste the best, but she isn’t going to die drinking it!
There are loads of things I love about chemical free cleaning.
- It’s super cheap (in most cases my bottle of spray or cleaning paste costs no more than 50 cent to $1)
- It’s healthier for all of us (including our 2 fur babies)
- It’s really effective (yes REALLY! more so than most of the stuff you pay $5 a bottle for!)
- It’s kind to our environment (it makes me feel good that I am reducing our environmental footprint)
- It’s super easy to make (grab a bottle, pour in your vinegar and water, few drops of oil and VIOLA! No ‘damn it’ I’ve run out of cleaner, I’ll have to put that on the grocery list! – you have everything you need right at your fingertips
- It smells nice – the aroma of pure essential oils wafting through the house is often noted by even our postman!
They are all natural and biodegradable because they come directly from plants. And with their powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, they get cleaning jobs done!
There are many advantages to cleaning with essential oils. For one, they are natural, which is more than can be said for their toxic counterparts. Many of the cleaners you buy at the supermarket have tried to replicate mother natures natural ability to clean by taking chemical constituents in things like lemon oil and trying to replicate them. But then add a heap of other nasty chemicals in there! Lemon oil is fantastic for cleaning and also kills germs. The beauty of using a pure essential oil for cleaning is a little bit goes a long way. You only need a few drops with so soapy water to clean your dirty stove, or sticky residue or get that permanent marker off the wall! For example there is approximately 200 drops per 15ml bottle, which means that doTERRA’s CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) Lemon Oil is only 5 cents a drop! My cleaner I use everyday contains vinegar, lemon oil and distilled water and cost me around 50 cents for 500mls! (or $1.15 if I add castile soap).
Best Essential Oils for Chemical Free Cleaning
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil comes from the rind of the fruit, and it’s quite potent! You can use lemon oil for just about anything, deodorising bins, cleaning floors and benches, placed in with your eco laundry detergent to make your clothes smell beautiful (and even helps remove greasy stains!).
My Basic Cleaning Recipe –
1 Cup of Vinegar
10 – 20 Drops of Lemon Oil (depending on how concentrated you would like the spray. General everyday cleaning 10 drops is all that is needed)
Optional: 1/4 Cup Unscented Castile Soap (I use Dr Bronners)
Add to a 500ml Glass Bottle and top up with filtered water and shake well (and always remember to shake before every use!)
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is one of my favourite oils to clean with. It has antibacterial properties which makes it great for killing germs around the home (think bathrooms, kitchens, doorknobs, bins). You can just add a couple of drops of Peppermint to the above recipe to assist with your cleaning and to also ward of ants and bugs (the little critters hate the smell so I always add to my mop water particularly in summer when they are rife in my house). Us it to also wipe around doorways and window sills where ants are a problem. It is great to use to wipe out your pantry with to ward of things like weevils! It mixes well with things like grapefruit, cinnamon, lavender & lemon.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea Tree comes from the Australian Melaleuca tree, which is why some call it Melaleuca rather than Tea Tree. Tea Tree oil is not only antibacterial, but also antiseptic and anti-fungal. This oil along with Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon oil every household should have. It is great for disinfecting surfaces where there are germs around (especially in cold and flu season), and blends really well with oils such as Eucalyptus to prevent mould. I combine Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil with vinegar and spray my shower to help prevent mould and scum build up. It also makes for a refreshing aroma when you step in for your next shower! It blends really well with Lemon, Wild Orange and Grapefruit.
Other useful recipes –
General Floor Cleaner
2 Litres Water
1 Cup of Vinegar
add 5 drops of each of Lemon & Peppermint or Eucalyptus.
Stain Removal –
Use a 1 – 2 drops of lemon essential oil on stains.
Let stand and rub off with a clean cloth and/or throw into laundry to be washed.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner –
1/2 cup Bi-Carb Soda
1/4 cup Vinegar
5 drops of Tea Tree Oil
5 drops of Lemon
doTERRA also make an On Guard Concentrate cleaner which is fantastic to have on hand for antibacterial cleaning, quick surface wiping and cleaning in and around your child’s play area and toys.
There are literally hundreds of uses for essential oils in cleaning and every other aspect of your life. You can also use essential oils to make your own hand sanitiser, house deodoriser, body and hand scrub, baby creams and lotions, face serums, soaps, spritzers & cocktails, enhance your cooking, and much much more! To learn more about using essential oils to live healthier see our Facebook Page for online webinars and classes.
Need some Essential Oils?
If you would like to purchase any of these amazing oils, visit the Spoilt by Nature doTERRA Store or we have a small range of doTERRA stock in our Essential Oils at retail prices. You can also register for a wholesale account which costs $35 for set up and gives you 25% off the full doTERRA range for 12 months (yearly renewal thereafter is $25 and you get a free bottle of peppermint oil!). There are no lock in contracts or commitment to buy each month (unless you want to join their awesome Loyalty Rewards Program – which gives you further discounts up to 30% and you can earn reward points to put towards purchases in the future – sort of like frequent buyer points!). I run essential oil classes every month (Brisbane and surrounding areas), so look out for these on my Facebook page, or feel free to write to me or call 0488 00 65 22 to organise one specifically for you.
Also check out our Eco-Lover Cleaning Box for a great start up kit to clean your home!