The average modern household uses around 25 or more different cleaning, disinfecting and fragrancing. Commercial cleaning products often use synthetic aromas in their product which can not only smell unnatural but can also trigger allergic reactions including asthma. There is also a huge environmental impact that is to be considered, creating higher plastic consumption, though they can be recycled you must always make sure they are completely empty otherwise they cannot be recycled. You must always check on how to dispose of cleaning products too, though most are water-soluble many can have potentially a very harmful impact on the environment if not disposed of correctly.
There are ways to be able to reduce plastic waste and potentially harmful impacts on the environment by using a more natural approach to cleaning, Essential oils can be a fantastic tool when creating natural cleaning solutions around for around the home, I want to share with you the top essential oils to use, why and some great recipes to share at the end.
Firstly what does what?
An antiseptic will kill a certain amount of germs
An antibacterial will kill certain bacteria
An antiviral will kill certain types of virus
Essential Oils rich in phenols and terpenes are great for cleaning because oils high in these can have the following properties:
Some oils can be irritating to the skin so please always check the safety data when using essential oils
Bitter Orange - Citrus aurantium var amara
Has a strong orange aroma, good for fragrancing and very uplifting and fresh
Contains limonene which is increasingly being used as a solvent for cleaning purposes.
Already found in many cleaning products
Blends well with, Lavender, other citrus oils, Geranium, Sandalwood and Cypress
Lemon - Citrus Limon
Found in a huge variety of cleaning products in the market
Lemon can take away stains and sanitize without harmful chemicals.
Lemon personalities sparkle … is like a breath of fresh air - great for fragrancing
Anti infectious properties
Blends well with Lavender, Sandalwood, Orange, Lime and Tea Tree
Cypress - Cupressus Sempivirens
Cypress has a remarkable astringent action, far superior to Witch Hazel.
Its main chemical constituents are Monoterpenes <70%, esters 5%.
A refreshing odour that is similar to that of Pine which can calm and de-stress
Blends well with Lemon, Orange, Lavender, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Mandarin
Red Thyme - Thymus vulgaris Thujanoliferum
High phenol content
Blends well with Lemon and Lavender
To be used with care because of the high phenol content
When used as a room freshener will purify the air because of the combined antimicrobial components of the oils Thyme thymol,Litsea, Pine, Lavender and Anise star.The blend is also uplifting and invigorating. Very helpful in the public arena to keep the air fresher and to purify the air leaving your home clean and fresh.
The oil is often used when recovering from an illness or medical treatment, it prevents infection and treats respiratory infections (Battaglia, 2003). Red thyme essential oil is extracted from a medicinal herb which makes the oil acts as an antiseptic, antifungal and bactericidal (Essoil, 2016). The ancient Greeks and Romans have used thyme as a medicinal herb, a sprig of thyme was often carried into early courtrooms to protect against disease, Egyptians have also used it as an antiseptic (100% pure Red Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct Thymol) Essential Oil, 2020).
Pine Scotch – Pinus Sylvestris
Antimicrobial, Masking, Fragrance
Pine essential oil known to support immune function, clear the respiratory tract and also address the symptoms of flu such as cough, sinusitis, and asthma (Pine Essential Oil – Benefits & Uses of Uplifting and Invigorating Oil, 2018). Some researchers have also claimed that pine essential oil can also be applied on the skin as an antimicrobial, however, more research needs to be done on this claim (Cherney and Rose Wilson, 2019).
Litsea – Litsea Cubeba
Litsea essential oil comes from an evergreen shrub, native to Southern Asia. The oil is produced through steam distillation of the shrub’s white flowers. By incorporating Litsea into your daily life, it gives the cells in your body antioxidant support to maintain health. Reports suggest that Litsea oil also promotes the health of the cardiovascular, immune, nervous and respiratory symptoms (The Benefits of Manuka and Litsea Essential Oils | dōTERRA Essential Oils, n.d.). One of the main components of Litsea oil is Citral, which makes up approximately 70% of the oil. This, along with other ingredients such as aldehydes and alcohol give the oil its strong antibacterial and antiseptic qualities (Backe, 2017). Research was carried out on the effect the oil had on E. coli cells, results showed that once the oil was applied on the cells, the cell growth was lagged and majority of the cells died within the first 2 hours or were heavily damaged, they concluded from this that this oil has a lot of properties to be a natural agent not only to be used in aromatherapy but also as micro bacterial agent (Li et al., 2014).
Lavender true – Lavandula Angustifolia
Lavandula angustifolia has got many components and the primary component are: linalool (51%) and linalyl acetate (35%), α-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, cis- and trans-ocimene, 3-octanone, camphor, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol and lavendulyl acetate, cineole, and flavonoids (Vakili et al., 2014). However, its composition can vary depending on its environmental factors, geographical origin, climate and season variations, etc. Lavandula angustifolia essential oil have different pharmacological effects which include antifungal activities, antimicrobial, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, etc. Lavender oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, is ultra-soothing for the skin and is naturally antibacterial which means it kills acne-causing bacteria that can get into your pores (6 Reasons to Use Lavender Oil for Skin | 100% PURE, 2019).
Star anise – Illicium Verum
Two of the most important components of this oil are its flavonoids and polyphenols, they are primarily responsible for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties (Aly, Sabry, Shaheen and Hathout, 2016). The oil is also known to have antiseptic properties and provides the skin with an effective protective layer against any infections and sepsis (Nagdeve, 2019).
Tips and Recipes
Tea tree is antisepticantibacterial, and antifungal. It works well to get rid of mildewand mold around the house.
Use oxiderichoils to lift chewing gumand tarsuch as Ravensara, Myrtle, Eucalyptus Smithii & Eucalyptus globulus.
Recent research has shown that eucalyptusessential oil killsdust mites that live in bedding.
Peppermintacts as a natural pestdeterrent
Lemonis also very handy for removing sticky labels
Shake & Vac
Bicarbonate of Soda with Bitter Orange and Lemon
250ml Bicarbonate Soda
10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
5 Drops Bitter Orange Essential Oil
Mix ingredients together, be sure to break up the bicarbonate soda and shake well. Use like normal shake and Vac. You can add you preferred Essential Oils to give the mix to give a wonderful smell throughout the house. Tea Tree and Lavender, Lemon and Lime and Lavender and Geranium are some fantastic blends to use.
Hydrolat Surface Cleaner
Lemon, Lavender & Thyme in Lavender Hydrolat
150ml Lavender Hydrolat
15 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
5 Drops Thyme
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Mix the Essential Oils into the 5ml alcohol and then into the Hydrolat and shake very well.
Other Hydrolats to use are, Tea Tree, Lemon and Peppermint with Essential Oils blends of lemon, Lime, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus Pine and Geranium
Juniper, Lemon & Cypress
Fill your mop bucket up - Add in 150 ml of cypress hydrolat
10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
5 Drops Juniper Essential Oil
5 Drops Cypress Essential Oil
Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange, Silver Fir in Bicarbonate Soda & Cypress Hydrolat paste.
250ml ml Bicarbonate Soda
150ml Cypress Hydrolat
5 Bitter Orange Essential Oil
5 Sweet Orange Essential Oil
5 Silver Fir Essential Oil
Stir all ingredients together until they form a paste. Leave it on for 10 minutes or longer for harder to remove stains. With your sponge scrub the mixture into the grime, to finish remove excess cleaner and wipe the surface clean.
150ml Tea Tree Hydrolat
5 drops Pine
5 Drops Tea Tree
5 Drops Eucalyptus
Mix all the Essential Oils into the hydrolat and shake well. Spray and then leave for 10 minutes then return to clean down.