The Power of Oils: Scented Freshness

The natural healing power of plants embedded within ‘essential oils’ is becoming an accepted method of various forms of treatment – medical or personal care. Not only that, they can be used as good cleaning agents too.

The growing emphasis on environmental consequences has contributed to a changing product landscape, with a growing awareness of the harmful effects of chemicals.

Essentials oils are derived by the process of steam distillation which allows the oil to be retrieved easily to be used in a concentrated form for therapeutic use, to promote physical and mental wellness.

A bit of care and attention needs to be given while using these products as they can lead to allergies and skin disorders if used in excess amounts.Oils should be used in moderation since they come in concentrated forms. It is better to dilute the oils while applying them to the skin with the help of a carrier such as water, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil or jojoba oil.

Essential oils being naturally aromatic and antibacterial can be used as organic cleaning products.. they can be used in air fresheners, sanitizers, cleaning sprays, etc. However, they should be used in accordance with safety instructions.

Lemon

The light, invigorating scent of lemon makes it an ideal cleansing agent.Cutting boards can be sanitized by applying some of the juice and leaving it overnight and rinsing it afterwards. Leaving a slice of lemon in the refrigerator will help to absorb any unpleasant odors. A concoction of lemon eucalyptus is a repellent for insects and bugs.

In a spray bottle, combine the following ingredients and shake well.

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar or witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 15-20 drops of an essential oil (tea tree, lavender, lemon, and peppermint oil)
  • A few drops of dish soap (optional)

 

Lavender

Lavender essential oil is a natural antiseptic, and is helpful in healing burns and killing bacteria.

A combination of lavender and vinegar can be a natural cleaner. Lavender can be used in conjunction with vinegar in homemade dish soap or linen sprays . Lavender oil is anti-bacterial and has a pleasant scent and works well on its own and with disinfectants as a cleanser.

Using Lavender with vinegar:

Roughly crush about 2 cups of fresh lavender buds and leaves(even dried lavender can be used).

Put them in a 1 L (quart) jar and pour distilled white vinegar on top so as to cover the lavender completely. Cap tightly.

Set aside in a cool, dark location for 2 weeks. Strain lavender-vinegar concoction to remove bits of lavender. Store vinegar in a mason jar, capped tightly.

To use: Fill a spray bottle half full with infused vinegar. Then fill to the top with water and use as a spray cleaner.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is an anti bacterial and is a repellent for mice, cockroaches, dust mites and other insects. It can be used as a cleaning solution – 10-15 drops of peppermint oil mixed with a few cups of warm water in a spray bottle deters insects. Use along cracks and crevices where insects are seen.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. Sprinkling some powdered spices along cracks and corners can help to keep insects away. To get a homemade air freshener, combine water and a few drops of cinnamon oil in a spray bottle and use.

Cinnamon-orange spray cleaner:

Put some orange peels in a mason jar and top up with white vinegar.

Add a few cinnamon sticks and a couple of drops of cinnamon oil as well to get the strong, spicy aroma. Let sit covered in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks then strain into a spray bottle. Use for cleaning.

 

With inputs from internet and print sources

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