Are you trying to reduce the amount of toxins you use around the home? Essential oils are a natural alternative for a range of health remedies and home cleaning scenarios. So, what’s all the fuss about and how can you harness the power of essential oils in your home?
What are Essential Oils and how do I use them?
Healthline explains that essential oils are created through distillation with steam or water, or cold pressing. The aromatic chemicals are extracted and combined with a carrier oil to create a ready-to-use product.
If you want an essential oil scent throughout your home, purchase a diffuser. Diffusers range in pricing from about $30 (Chemist Warehouse or Kmart) to $100+. Models can vary but you generally only need about 5 drops of oil per 100mls water. Turn on and the scent will be released!
Essential Oils can also be included as part of homemade cleaning solutions (see our picks below). This article offers some further great tips.
What are the best essential oils?
It can be tough knowing where to start. After all, there are more than 90 types of essentials oils. That’s not including blends, which essential oil companies create with a purpose in mind – lavender, cedarwood and bergamot for better sleep, for example.
If you’re just starting out using essential oils, begin with versatile scents you’re most likely to use for a variety of tasks.
Here are our four favourites and some of their uses.
Did you know the Peppermint plant is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint plants? Its oil has an invigorating scent, making it ideal for homemade cleaning tasks or general use around the home.
- Check out our recipe for an amazing and effective peppermint shower spray here.
- Peppermint Oil can also ward off bugs naturally around the home - they hate the smell. Just a few drops on a cotton ball or two, placed at entryways or where they may be hiding, is a great repellent.
- Pop 5 drops in a diffuser for an energising effect or to help with sinus congestion, thanks to its menthol properties.
We often associate that signature eucalyptus oil aroma with cough drops or chest rubs. There’s a reason it’s the star ingredient in cold and cough treatments – eucalyptus oil can help relieve stuffiness, sinus congestion and headaches.
Its uses don’t stop there.
- It is a handy cleaner for your bathroom too, as it contains natural antibacterial and disinfectant properties. Add a few drops to warm water to spray down your shower next time you’re cleaning.
- Some research also suggests that inhaling the oil may reduce pain levels and improve relaxation.
- Researchers have found eucalyptol may also improve asthma symptoms.
Lavender has long been known for its calming and sleep-inducing properties. Here’s how to make the most of one of the world’s most popular essential oils.
- Instead of having a diffuser in your bedroom, try adding a few drops of the oil to your pillow or bedding to promote a restful sleep.
- Freshen up a stale room or neutralise musty smells by adding 5 drops and water in a spray bottle and misting your home.
- Add some vinegar to the above spray bottle and use it for cleaning kitchen benches. It does a great job of disinfecting.
- Make your own carpet cleaning solution – here’s a great recipe.
Tea Tree Oil
This Australian oil is a potent natural sanitizer and anti-fungal solution with myriad uses.
- A few drops in a spray bottle filled with equal parts vinegar and water is a potent multi-purpose cleaner.
- Create your own makeup remover by mixing 10 drops of tea tree with 1/4 cup of olive, coconut or canola oil. Store in an airtight container.
- Tea Tree Oil is well known for its skincare abilities, however medical advice should be researched before using it on your skin to treat acne or conditions such as dermatitis.
- Combine with vinegar and water to make an effective bathroom mould fighter.
Store cleaners made using essential oils in glass spray bottles – some oils can wear plastic down.
Oils should not be applied directly onto skin unless diluted with a carrier oil. You can read more about carrier oils here.
Always follow instructions when creating homemade cleaners using essential oils.
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