Essential oils (EOs) are naturally derived aromatic plant extracts, traditionally used worldwide for its disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, relaxant and stimulating qualities. Pure essential oils’ mighty ability to annihilate certain microbes, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus makes them incredibly potent.
In the home, with their purifying and disinfectant activities EOs applications in the home extends to not just home remedies, but also to applications in cleaning. As such, EOs are ideal for creating a non-toxic environment in which to exist.
Sandalwood isn’t just great for skincare, its natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties lend itself seamlessly as a natural cleaning alternative. If you’re a true lover of sandalwood and enjoys fragrance, why not make your own homemade linen spray? After all, sandalwood’s impressive capacity to repel insects such as aphids and weevils is well-known, which also makes them a good addition in the garden!
Many of the established cleaners sold in the shops feature at least one citrus oil such as Lemon, Lime or Orange, because of how well they work. Used for their anti-viral and powerful ability to cut through grease, these oils really are powerhouses when it comes to disinfecting and removing sticky or heavy grime. Their beautiful fresh fragrance brings an added dimension of brightness, one that can be commonly described as a gloriously ‘clean’ scent.
Tea Tree oil, with its fresh camphoraceous odour and germ-fighting properties, makes it an all-round natural sanitizer. Interestingly, a test-tube study found that tea tree oil was even more powerful in repelling mosquitoes than DEET, which is the most common active ingredient found in insect repellents on the market.
Lavender on the other hand, one of the safest essential oils most popular for enhancing quality of sleep and relaxation is also great in the home. It has unique abilities in preventing mould and mildew build-up, so it’s especially beneficial for adding to a DIY linen spray. Additionally, adding a few drops to your laundry as a functional fragrance, will assist in preventing strange smells from building up in your washer.
Tips to keep in mind
Prior to trying out the recipes below, you will need to get your hands on a glass bottle with a good spray action. Avoid plastic bottles as EOs can degrade plastic, this is also the reason why EOs are almost always stored in glass bottles. Furthermore, keeping in mind that oils and water don’t mix easily, do give the mix a decent shake to amalgamate the ingredients as the last step. It's also a good idea to always add the EOs last when making your mixes, this is to mitigate possible degradation of oil quality. The recipes below calls for distilled water due to its relatively 'pure' nature as a large proportion of impurities has been removed, which makes it a good cleaning agent. Often, tap water contains minerals or other impurities which can have an undesirable effect when used for cleaning by causing soap scum or unsightly mineral buildup, contributing to streak marks on windows or similar surfaces. Lastly, as sunlight and extreme temperatures are known to degrade quality of oils, do keep the mixtures out of sunlight in a cool dry place.
General Purpose Cleaner
½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Cups of Water or preferably Distilled Water where possible
30 drops Essential Oil (of your choice)
- Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix thoroughly. Use it as you would a spray and wipe cleaner within the home.
DIY Linen Spray
1 ½ Cups of Water or preferably Distilled Water
¼ Cup Witch Hazel
15 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil
6 drops of your favourite Essential Oil for scent
- Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix thoroughly. Apply sparingly or as needed in your wardrobe and home.
Though the essential oils within the recipes act as a natural preservative, it is advisable to use the mixtures promptly within a six month period for optimum efficacy.
So do have a go at making your own home care products with EOs- you can be rest assured that it’ll contribute to a positive mood mindset, which will almost be as good as how divine your home will smell!
Adams TF, Wongchai C, Chaidee A, Pfeiffer W. "Singing in the Tube"--audiovisual assay of plant oil repellent activity against mosquitoes (Culex pipiens). Parasitol Res. 2016 Jan;115(1):225-39. doi: 10.1007/s00436-015-4739-x. Epub 2015 Sep 28. PMID: 26412058.