HER – Cleaning with essential oils


Julie Haufe PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your home and bring the outdoors inside with the aromas that you enjoy and love.

The aroma of first cut grass, and the soft scent of magnolia trees blooming has a positive effect on our emotions. How can we bottle these amazing scents of the great outdoors and enjoy them indoors, all year long?

Well, it is easy. Have you tried essential oils?

They are natural aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, roots, stems, flowers and other parts of the plant. They have been used throughout history in many cultures for their healing properties. What was used centuries ago was a much more rudimentary raw form resin of the plant.

Advancements in technology have allowed for easier methods of extracting the oils and can provide a therapeutic oil when done correctly.

Many oils have a multitude of uses. Some essential oil companies have researched to make sure their oils are safe for aromatic diffusion, internally and topical use. Be sure to check the oil you purchase and use according to its label.

When seeking the best essential oil for your housecleaning needs, verify that the company’s product does not contain fillers, artificial ingredients or dilutions. They should be free of contaminants or other chemical residues.

When oils are impure, contaminated or altered — like many oils on the market — they are weakened and are less likely to have a strong effect for specific needs.

To ensure safety and efficacy, this involves a preferred third party to test the products for purity and composition potency. It should be done with each batch. Look for companies that provide this valuable information on their websites to give you the added assurance you can to use it in your home.

Adding a few drops of essential oils that you like helps to freshen the environment and only costs pennies per drop. Essential oils are very potent. Many items already in your household are inexpensive and make good cleaners, such as vinegar and water, and baking soda.

Add essential oils to reduce the vinegar smell and boosts the cleaning power.

So what oils might be good for cleaning?

1 Lemon oil is great for removing sticky adhesives, gum and greasy residues in fabric. Use lemon and water to clean your kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances. Also try a little lemon oil, baking soda and white vinegar on the stove top and use a sponge to remove charred food.

2 Wild Orange is a powerful cleaning and purifying agent. Cold pressed from the peel, Wild Orange releases a citrus aroma that is likely to energize your senses. Need to run a cleaning cycle on the dishwasher? Try Wild Orange in the rinse cycle. While you have the oil handy, try a little in the garbage disposal drain, too.

3 Toilets need some extra attention and are never fun to clean. But with a ½ cup of baking soda, 10 drops of Melaleuca, ¼ to ½ cup white vinegar and a good toilet brush, it will be clean and refreshed.

4 If dusting the house isn’t your favorite chore, (and it certainly isn’t mine) maybe some essential oils that you love will make the job seem easier. If you are polishing wood, try a woodsy oil like 15 drops of Arborvitae, Siberian Fir or Cedarwood to one cup olive or coconut oil and one cup distilled white vinegar. Add to a spray bottle, shake and polish away.

5 For a room freshener, try a diffuser with a blend of two drops Lime, two drops Tangerine and two drops Ylang Ylang. A diffuser might have different settings anywhere from one hour run time to intermittent spritzing to keep the scent around. I like to have a diffuser in the main areas of the house that give an intermittent spritzing now and then and last most of the day.

More recipes can be found at The Massage Room Dubuque, on Facebook.

Julie Haufe is a massage therapist with Statera Integrated Health and Wellness Solutions.

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