Spring is a beautiful time – bright colours, freshly growing flowers and the smell of dew in the morning all make it a time of year when it feels good to be active. Throughout the world, the time of year when doors and windows can be opened but we aren’t beset by overwhelming heat has been known as “spring cleaning time”, which traditionally would have meant just a thorough clean of the house from top to bottom. Nowadays of course, cleaning options seem endless, and you could spend weeks trying them all out in your home.
Although chemical cleaning substances are effective and affordable, their negative effects on the environment shouldn’t be ignored, and that is why there has been a push of late to go back to more natural cleaning supplies, once which won’t fill the home with toxic chemicals. Probably the most popularly used of these are essential oils, which can be used for a surprising amount of diverse applications when mixed with other kitchen staples.
Cleaning Spray #1 – one cup of white vinegar, ten drops of lavender and seven drops of citrus essential oil are all that is needed to create an effective clean and shine. If you don’t have enough vinegar, you can substitute half of the cup for water.
Cleaning Spray #2 – seven drops of lemon, give drops of clary sage and ten drops of eucalyptus essential oils mixed with a cup of equal parts white vinegar and water makes a powerful antiseptic spray, perfect for kitchens.
Spring Cleaning Scrub – mix half a cup of baking soda with ten or fifteen drops of tea tree oil, and then add just enough water to create a paste. This scrub is fantastic in bathrooms, and citrus oil can be added if the smell of tea tree is too much.
Floor Cleaner – a quarter of a cup of white vinegar goes into two pints of water and is mixed with up to ten drops of an essential oil for a tough floor cleaner that doesn’t leave the house smelling of vinegar – choose from nice smells like pine or lemon.
Essential oils can be used for many more purposes – adding eucalyptus oil to your laundry when washing bedding can kill dust mites, lemon oil on a stain can help the machine to remove it, and a small tissue wetted slightly with lemon oil and sucked up through a vacuum can help it to smell less like dust.
There are some important things to consider when using essential oils:
Don’t allow them near children, pets or naked flames. Pregnant women should also be cautious.
lemon can bleach, other oils remove varnish, so do your research before you start.
Minor allergic reactions aren’t uncommon, so do a skin test before getting up to your elbows in it!
Everyone should think carefully about the kind of chemicals that are being spread about their home, and whether you go for a toxic or natural fix, do plenty of research ahead of time to ensure you aren’t endangering yourself and loved ones.