What are the benefits of green cleaning? There are many meanings. I like this definition from Wikipedia: “Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve health and environmental quality”.
Essential oils are perfect for this! Your home will be clean and always smell good. Essential oils are very concentrated. Their benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Natural, organic scents from nature are so much better for us than chemical fragrances that are now being reported as toxic to your home, children, and pets.
Indeed, the green cleaning trend is becoming so popular that major big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s carry many natural products that will have less of a negative impact on our environment than do conventional, chemical-filled products.
You can buy green cleaning products in the stores, but they can be expensive. It’s so easy to make your own cleaning products inexpensively. To give you an idea of how to make some basic green cleaning products, here are some great recipes to try.
• 1-2 drops of an antimicrobial essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, clary sage, pine, tea tree, orange or lemon.
Dampen a cloth and place the drops of an essential oil from the list above on the cloth. Wipe down your counters, walls, doorknobs, etc. Not only does it leave behind a wonderful scent, but it’s also disinfecting the surfaces as well as the air!
• 1 cup cornstarch or baking soda
• 10 drops essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, orange or lemon
Mix these ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly. Put the mixed ingredients into a shaker bottle and sprinkle your freshener on the carpet area. Leave on for approximately 15 minutes before vacuuming. You may create your own set of essential oils to mix in place of the ones listed.
• 15 drops orange essential oil
• 8 drops lemon essential oil
• 1 gallon hot water
• 2 tbsp. liquid Castile or vegetable oil soap
• 2 tbsp. jojoba oil
• 6 drops lavender or sandalwood essential oil
Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a large container or pail. Dampen a mop with the mixture and use to clean the floor.
Glass and Mirror Cleaner
- 10 drops essential oil
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 cup of water (distilled is best)
Put the essential oil and vinegar into a 2 cup spray bottle. Add the water to the bottle. Put on the cap. Shake well, and spray onto the surface to be cleaned. Wipe with a clean, absorbent cloth. This mixture cuts grease very effectively.
- 2 tbsp. jojoba oil (this is non-greasy)
- 6 drops lavender or sandalwood essential oil
Mix these ingredients in a glass jar. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and this will store indefinitely.
Mold and Mildew Annihilator
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp. tea tree essential oil
Mix the water and tea tree oil together in a spray container. Put on the cap. Before using, shake this mixture together. Spritz on the problem areas and do not rinse off. Makes 2 cups. Store in the spray bottle. The shelf life is indefinite.
This natural spray successfully kills mildew and mold. Use it on a mildewed shower curtain or a musty rug for example. Tea tree oil can cost a lot, but a little goes a very long way. Tea tree oil does have a very strong smell, but it will disappear in a few days.