If you enjoy making your own cleaning products as much as I do, than you must like it a whole lot (cause I’m basically obsessed). Not only is it more cost effective to make your own, the products work incredibly well and of course, you can make them smell however you want – which is probably the best part. I want to walk you through how to use essential oils in your DIY cleaning products so that you can get not only the benefits from the essential oils but also find a great scent that you love, so that you can make cleaning a little bit more enjoyable. Read on to find out 7 of my current favorite recipes and learn some essential oil basics.
Essential Oil Basics
There are a few important things to know about essential oils before you start using them. The first one is that to make sure you’re using 100% pure essential oils. That way, you know that you’re getting all of the beneficial properties and the wonderful scents that are associated with the essential oils. I have tried cheap versions of essential oils. They just do not smell the same. It doesn’t matter to me what brand you get, all that matters is that it says 100% pure.
When you’re using essential oils to create a cleaning product your average use of liquid is likely 2 cups and for 2 cups of liquid you can add 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oils for a subtle, pleasant scent while you’re cleaning. If you want the scent to be much stronger, so that when you finish cleaning you can still smell it and you also want the beneficial properties from the essential oils, I recommend using 20 drops of the essential oils.
Scents and The Benefits
I own a variety of oils that can be sorted into different categories, each offering their own beneficial qualities. Here are just a few of the many oils out there that I love.
I love lemon, grapefruit and orange. But this category includes any citrus-based oil. They are wonderful for degreasing, as well as anti-bacterial products. Also, they smell incredible and cut right through the scent of harsher cleaning products. If you want a little bit of an anti-bacterial punch and a good degreasing powerful punch, go for something like a citrus scent.
My favorites are tea-tree, peppermint, and lavender. Though there are tons that you can pick from, these are three that smell especially great to me. The first, tea-tree, is a smell that you have to get used to. But it’s worth it, not only is it anti-bacterial, it’s very purifying and cleansing. It is anti-microbial and it fights germs. This is a great one to have if you’re in an area where you have a lot of germs like a kitchen or bathroom.
Next up is peppermint. It’s such a fabulous scent, and it’s also known as an anti-bacterial product. This means if you add some drops to your cleaner it will help fight bacteria. (Honestly it’s such a refreshing scent, who cares what it does? I love it for the scent alone!)
Moving on to lavender. Lavender essential oil is an incredibly calming scent. Beyond that it is also anti-microbial, which is why I love putting it in my washing machine. We’ve talked about this several times before as a way to help prevent any musty odors or mildew from building up, but it also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Of all the different mixes of oils my favorite is The Thieves Blend. This is an essential mix that I’ve come across recently and I’m just obsessed with it. It’s got a really spicy, rich smell. It’s named after the story of 4 famous thieves in the 15th century that would make little combinations of different herbs and spices to help ward off disease when they were robbing the dead or dying (not the classiest thing to do). However, at least it lead to this nice blend of essential oil. It has clove and cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary. Once again, it is a great oil for fighting off bacteria and germs (which is probably why those thieves were so successful).
Whenever I do a post talking about essential oils, you guys are always asking where you can find them.
First up is my all-purpose cleaner that I use in my kitchen. It’s perfect for cleaning my quartz countertops, and if you have stone countertops or laminate countertops in your kitchen, this is perfectly fine to use. You make it by adding 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Doesn’t matter if it’s scented soap or not because the oil is just going to knock that scent out anyway. I put 20 drops of essential oil into the solution. Add it all to a spray bottle, give it a good shake and just go nuts in the kitchen. It works like a charm.
Soap Scum Buster
Next up is a soap scum buster and listen guys, I don’t love cleaning the shower either but it needs to be done and if you have a good powerful product, you’re going to power through the work. To make it just mix up equal parts plain white vinegar and dish soap. If I’m using half a cup of each I’ll add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil. I love tea tree for this application because it helps break down mold and mildew, which is something that’s really common in the shower. By adding this oil in, not only are you getting rid of that smelly soap scum, you’re also going to power through some of that nasty mold and mildew.
Glass & Mirror Cleaner
Cleaning glass and mirrors definitely requires a product that is designed specifically for that task. If you want to use a product that not only works well but smells great, try this recipe. Grab a spray bottle and add one and a half cups of plain water to it, then add a quarter cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol. To that mixture you can add 15 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. You’ll end up with a minty-fresh window and glass cleaner! Now, I’ve been asked about using oil on glass before, specifically whether it will leave streaks, and the answer is no. Both vinegar and rubbing alcohol cut grease and they will counteract the small amount of oil you have added. Of course, if you notice any streaking just dial back the peppermint a bit.
Linen spray is definitely a thing and it’s not just the fancy-schmancy stuff that you see at 5-star hotels. There are benefits to it. Having freshly scented linens help you sleep better, especially if you’re using an essential oil that’s designed to calm you down. You can make your own by adding 2 parts water and 1 part vodka to a small spray bottle. I typically use a ½ cup of water and ¼ cup of vodka. You’re going to want to use unscented vodka. If you want to avoid using vodka for whatever reason, you can sub that out with rubbing alcohol. Finally, add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. It’s quite powerful but trust me, it will make your linens smell great and you will definitely sleep better.
Who doesn’t want to know the best product to clean your fridge with? I sure do! Well here is your recipe. Use 1 cup of plain hot water, a ½ cup of white vinegar, and a little tiny squirt of dish soap – I’m talking half a teaspoon to teaspoon – with 10 drops of lemon essential oil. That’s not only going to help you remove any of the grimy build you have got going on in your fridge, it’s also really going to freshen it up with nice lemony zing. Make sure that when you use this cleaner you wear gloves because you are dealing with hot water. Additionally, rather than a spray bottle, I would recommend using a sponge. Apply the cleaner to your fridge with a sponge and scrub, and when you are done cleaning rinse the sponge out. Then just wipe your fridge dry and you are good to go.
Cleaning with vinegar is super effective but it does have a strong scents –and that is one of the most common comments I get when I use vinegar in a tutorial. Well, you can help diffuse that scent thanks to some essential oils. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to a mason jar, and then add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil. If 10 drops doesn’t cover the vinegar smell enough for you, ramp it up to 20 (it’ll be our secret). You can use this anywhere you would use regular vinegar to do your cleaning.
This is a great recipe for mopping your floors, whether they are tiles or laminate or even hardwood. The most important thing with any floor is to make sure that you’re wringing your mop out really well so that you’re not leaving any residual water behind.
For this recipe I take 1 gallon of water or 4 liters of hot water. I put that in my mop bucket and add a ½ cup of rubbing alcohol, which is going to help the liquid dry faster which means less streaks, and then add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil. Honestly, the amount depends on how much of a mood boost I need that day, and I’ll add grapefruit essential oil because it is super uplifting (plus citrus helps with cutting grease and we do have greasy feet). Then, just dip your mop in, mop as usual, dump out your mop water, and you’ll get that nice scent coming off your floor for at least 10 or 15 minutes.
Those are my 7 favorite DIY cleaning products of the moment. What is your favorite DIY cleaning recipe? Is it something that’s been passed down from several generations or something that you kind of experimented with and have had great success with? Definitely let me know in the comments because not only do I love reading them and I certainly learn a lot from you guys, but I know that other people in Clean My Space nation learn a lot from comments as well. Share the wealth!