One of the first ways I began using essential oils was to create my own cleaning products. After years of battling chronic migraines and completely changing my diet to help balance out my hormones and heal my gut, I began researching other things that might be endocrine disruptors (which can cause hormone imbalance). One of the things I kept seeing over and over again was that many of our typical household cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. I desperately wanted to find an affordable way to clean my house without those products when a friend introduced me to essential oils.
Making your own cleaning products is super simple. You just need a few base ingredients (many of which you may already have) and some essential oils to get started.
Natural Cleaning Shopping List
- Baking Soda: Instead of your typical cleaning spray, use baking soda. This is a well-known deodorizer, but it will also whiten surfaces and cut grease.
- Liquid Castile Soap: Combine with baking soda for an amazing tub scrub or add a few tablespoons to your mop water with a citrus essential oil. You can find this in your local health-food store and online. Unscented is usually best for most purposes.
- Vinegar: cuts grease, deodorizes, and dissolves mineral deposits. To cut the smell, add in a few drops of Lemon essential oil.
- Borax*: disinfects, whitens, cuts grease, and deodorizes.
*Although it is natural, borax is toxic when ingested, and can cause skin irritation. Keep away from children, pets, and food preparation areas. I use this one sparingly.
Essential Oils for Cleaning
You can use a variety of essential oils to cleanse, deodorize, and protect your home. Here is a list to get you started!*
- Bergamot: antibacterial, antifungal
- Cinnamon Bark: antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral
- Clove: antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic
- Cypress: antibacterial
- Eucalyptus: antiviral, antibacterial, insecticidal, disinfectant
- Lavender: antibacterial
- Lemon: antiseptic, antibacterial, disinfectant, degreaser
- Lime: antiseptic, antibacterial, disinfectant
- Marjoram: antibacterial, antifungal
- Melaleuca: antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral
- Oregano: antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, immunostimulant
- Patchouli: antifungal, insecticide
- Thyme: antiviral
- Wild Orange: antiseptic
Note: Want to know how to get your hands on high-quality essential oils? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll share my favorite essential oils and how you can get them at wholesale price!
All Purpose Spray: This basic spray is a great way to start and will clean just about every surface in your home!
- 16 oz. glass spray bottle
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1¾ cups distilled water
- 30 drops essential oils
Recommended essential oil combinations:
- 15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
- 10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
- 15 drops each of Cypress and Lemon
- 15 drops each of Grapefruit and Marjoram
- 15 drops each of Thyme and Lemon
- Add all ingredients to spray bottle.
- Shake thoroughly
Natural Cleaning in the Kitchen
Note: Use the All Purpose Spray above for countertops and surfaces.
- Trash Can Deodorizer: Add 3-5 drops of a deodorizing essential oil (peppermint, clary sage, melaleuca, lavender, geranium, eucalyptus) to 1 TBS baking soda. Sprinkle into trash can.
- Dishes: Add a few drops lemon and 5 drops white fir for sparkling dishes and a great smelling kitchen. You can add the essential oils to your dishwasher tabs as well.
- Fruit & Veggie Wash: Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 drops lemon, and 3 drops Immune Blend (i.e. On Guard or Thieves) in a glass bowl. Add fruit and top with water until the fruit is covered. Let set for 5-10 minutes and then rinse.
- Drain Cleaner: ¼ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, 3 drops wild orange essential oil. Pour essential oil directly down drain followed by baking soda, and then vinegar. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Pour hot water down the drain, followed by cold water to unclog drains.
- Sticker & Goo Remover: 1 Tablespoon baking soda, 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 drops lemon essential oil. Mix into a small glass bowl. Apply a small amount to the sticker or label and let sit for one to two minutes. Use a cloth or paper towel to remove. Apply again as needed.
Natural Cleaning in the Bathroom
- Soap Scum Remover: 2 cups hot water, ¼-½ cup borax (or baking soda), 10 drops lemon essential oil. Add ingredients to spray bottle and shake well. Spray on affected areas and wipe dry.
- Window & Mirror Cleaner: 2 cups distilled water, 2 Tablespoons white vinegar, 2 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol, 5 drops peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake well. Spray windows or mirrors and wipe dry. Store in a cool place for one to two months.
- Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes: 12 thick and durable paper towels, 1 cup boiled and slightly cooled water, ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 5 drops lemon essential oil. Cut paper towels in half and stack in a neat pile. Roll up and stuff into a quart sized wide mouth mason jar or a large ziplock bag. Mix ingredients and pour over paper towels. Put the lid on or zip and shake to moisten towels.
- Mold & Mildew Preventer: 2 cups water, 30 drops melaleuca essential oil, 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on mold or mildew. Do not rinse. Repeat daily or as needed.
- Disinfecting Toilet Bowl Cleaner: ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, 10 drops melaleuca essential oil. Mix ingredients to dissolve baking soda. Add to toilet. Let set for 5-15 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
Natural Cleaning in the Living Room/Bedroom
- Natural Scratch Remover: 1 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, 3 drops lime essential oil. Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Dip cloth into solution and rub onto wood surface. Rub on scratches until they disappear or on deeper scratches until they are managed. Buff away any residue with a dry cloth.
- Leather Cleaner: ¼ cup olive oil, ½ cup regular vinegar, 3 drops eucalyptus. Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Spray the leather down and wipe it clean with a cotton cloth. Note: This recipe is for regular leather, not suede.
- Upholstered Fabric Cleaner: ¼ cup warm water, 2 teaspoons castile soap, 3 drops lime essential oil. Mix ingredients together in a container. Dip cloth in the mixture and dab onto the stain for quick spot treatments on any fabric.
- Carpet Freshener: 2 cups baking soda, 10 drops lemon essential oil, 10 drops orange or grapefruit essential oil. Combine all ingredients in container. Sprinkle on carpet or rug and let sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.
- Carpet Stain Remover: 4 cups warm water (divided), ½ teaspoon clear castile soap, 10 drops lemon essential oil. Mix 2 cups warm water, soap, and essential oil. Soak a rag in the mixture, wring out, and gently blot the stain. Use a clean rag soaked in the remaining two cups water to remove the residue. Alternate the soap solution with the fresh water until the stain is gone. Remember to blot, not rub, to remove carpet stains.
- Hardwood Floor Cleaner: 1 gallon warm water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, 3 drops lemon or orange essential oil. Mix water, vinegar, and oil in a large bucket or container. You can mop as normal or spray solution onto floor and mop up with a microfiber cloth.
Note/Credits: Many of these recipes are from The Essential Life book. I highly recommend adding it to your collection!