The Easy Way to Use Essential Oils in Spring Cleaning

I love spring! After a long winter, it feels so good to see the world wake up again! But, as we know well, Utah’s weather is unpredictable, especially as spring approaches. It’s a little bit like a guessing game as far as whether car windshield will need scraping early each morning at Legacy Court Apartments in Midvale. As the parking lot fills with folks heading off to work, there is either a feeling of frustration with needing to pull out the ice scraper or jubilation that it’s not needed.

I get the itch to start spring cleaning as soon as I see signs of spring. This year, I wanted to try using more environmentally-sound products so that my home could be free of harsh chemical cleaners and their residue. Little did I know that this quest for a simple solution would open up loads of contradictory advice and that I’d be doing a fair amount of research to distinguish fact from fiction.

What is the best all-around essential oil to start with?

Certainly, you’ve noticed that many cleaning products are citrus-scented. Why is that, in particular? Is it simply that these ingredients are pleasantly scented or did citrus fruits offer more? I began to remember my great grandmother squeezing lemon juice on stains and that lemon is a natural rust remover.

As I pondered natural home remedies, waves of long-forgotten memories flooded to mind – lemon on stains, in homemade cough and cold remedies, and using vinegar to wipe down countertops. There was something to this after all.

Citrus essential oils are great additions to natural cleaning products because of their antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Sounds good, right?

What do I do next?

After studying the different claims made about essential oils, I hit the store and picked up a few – lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and tea tree oil. When I got home, I kept staring at these small, brown bottles, wondering what I was supposed to do. I found a few simple recipes online and started my adventure.

You can make a simple disinfectant spray for your home by mixing 1 cup of water, 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, and 10-15 drops of lemon and/or sweet orange essential oil and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into a stray bottle. Shake well before using. This spray works to cut grease, grime, remove simple stains, and disinfect household surfaces.

How to store your homemade cleaner

Essential oils, especially citrus ones, are prone to oxidation. They are best stored in a cool, dark place in amber or blue bottles. Some suggest that refrigerating essential oils is the way to go. Should the mixture become cloudy or form a layer of sediment, discard the mixture.

Aren’t essential oils expensive?

High-quality oils can be a bit pricey. If you are unsure of how you will like using them, you can go to one of your like-minded neighbors at Legacy Court Apartments in Midvale and split the price, further saving money. It is important to remember that there are roughly 250-300 drops in a 15mL bottle, so these will last you for a while.

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