Monday, March 08, 2010

Scented Recipes for Cleaning House

I'm helping my son and daughter-in-law with their move... here are some excellent natural cleaning, room-freshening recipes using essential oils and other non-toxic, inexpensive ingredients:

Hardwood or Ceramic Floors
To clean hardwood or ceramic floors, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a bucket of water.  Then add 5-10 drops of lemon, pine, spruce, If the floor is especially dirty, add several drops of dishwashing soap.  This will clean even the dirtiest floor.
1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water
5-10 drops lemon, pine, or spruce essential oils
Liquid castile soap if needed

Floor Cleaner
 Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water.  Add 10 drops of lemon oil and 4 drops of oregano essential oil. Oregano oil has powerful antiseptic properties!
1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water
10 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops oregano essential oil
Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony company. Since 1987
Carpet Freshener
To make a carpet freshener, add 16-20 drops of essential oils to a cup of baking soda. Mix well and place in a covered container overnight so that the oil can be absorbed. Sprinkle over your carpet the next day and then vacuum the powder up.
1 cup baking soda
16-20 drops essential essential oils
Vacuum Cleaner
You may also saturate a disposable cloth or tissue with several drops of essential oil and place it into the collecting bag of your vacuum. This will diffuse a pleasant odor as you clean.

If your vacuum collects dirt into water, simply add a few drops into the water reservoir before cleaning. This refreshes both, the carpet and the room.

Homemade Soft Scrubber
1/2 cup baking soda
Liquid Castile Soap
5 drops Lavender essential oil and/or 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Place the baking soda in a bowl. Slowly pour in liquid soap stirring constantly, add liquid soap until the consistency resembles cake icing or frosting. Add the essential oil/oils if desired. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, scrub the surface, and then rinse.
If you add a little pure vegetable glycerin to the baking soda, the mixture will stay moist for a long time in a jar with a tight lid. (this is why glycerin is added to toothpaste... always use a toothpaste without glycerin-- and other unnecessary/noxious ingredients-- like ToothSoap)

Basic Wood Cleaning Formula

This formula is for well-used furniture. The vinegar works to pull dirt out of the wood. It doesn't leave an oily residue because the little bit of oil keeps the wood from drying out. It will store almost indefinitely in a lidded jar.

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon liquid castile soap
5 drops jojoba or olive oil
few drops of favourite essential oil (lemon, other citrus oils)

Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Saturate a sponge and squeeze out the excess. Wash surfaces of tired and dirty wood. The vinegar smell will dissipate soon. Dry with a soft cloth.

*adapted from an article at

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