Have you heard a lot about Essential Oils and wondered what they could mean for you (or your home) or even if they are for you?
What are they? How are people using them? And do they really work…for whatever?
My first foray into Essential Oils was about 25 years ago through my sister. She was just starting to make bath and body products and recommended a few essential oils for my scalp. During a stressful time I came down with who knows what on my scalp and it was peeling like crazy! My hair stayed, thank the Good Lord, but my scalp was doing something wonky. Per her instructions I used tea tree oil diluted in jojoba oil and voila! Condition gone. You may wonder why I didn't go to the dermatologist back then but truthfully that didn't even cross my mind. Not sure why but it has never come back.
After that, through the years I would pick up various essential oils now and again. My top purchases were always tea tree oil, rosemary, and lavender. I also picked up perfume oils until I learned there was a difference.
These days I try to use essential oils a little more intentionally. When we come down with colds I put them in the diffuser. I have a little mix I carry with me in my purse for headaches. And I mix a little tea tree oil and a carrier oil to massage into my daughter's scalp when she gets a bit of dandruff (ssssh don't tell her I told you).
But where do Essential Oils fit in with Homemaking?
We want to keep our homes clean. And we want to do it safely for our families. Along with worrying about the environment, more people are turning to essential oils to accomplish these things. But what exactly are essential oils, and how can they be used in our homemaking? To clean and disinfect our homes?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain the essence and aroma from the plants from which they are made. My sister tried to tell me the long involved process to make them which makes them so valuable and why you only get a little bit in those teensy bottles.
Essential oils are used in perfumes, in making incense, for flavorings, and in cleaning products. If you've never used essential oils it's important to know that before using them on the skin they must be diluted. You're not supposed to use them “neat” or straight. They are just too concentrated and must be combined with a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or mixed with another product.
One of the most popular essential oils is Tea Tree Oil. This oil is taken from the Melaleuca tree, native to Australia, but found in other areas as well. Tea Tree oil can be used in a variety of ways. And with my limited knowledge of Essential Oils it's the one bottle I always make sure to keep in stock.
Some things you can do around the house with Tea Tree Essential Oil…
- Add tea tree oil to water to use as a cleaner, disinfectant, and purifier during cold and flu season.
- Add a few drops to the laundry when washing cloth diapers to help clean and disinfect them.
- Dilute with water to clean and disinfect your floors, toilets, and all areas of your kitchen.
Eucalyptus Oil Around the Home for Freshness and Disinfecting
Another Essential Oil I discovered this past winter is Eucalyptus Essential Oil.
Eucalyptus oil also has disinfecting properties. When added with lemon oil and distilled water, it is an effective antibacterial spray that can be used throughout your home. Smells nice too.
Orange Essential Oil for Deodorizing and Wood Polish
Orange essential oils, which are pressed from the peels of ripe oranges, is a very fragrant oil that can be used in a many ways in your home.
- Add to a carrier oil like olive oil a great way to clean your wooden cutting board.
- Use it as a deodorizer. Put a few drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and leave it in your cooler after you've finished using it for the season. When you open it the following season, you'll find a fresh orange scent instead of mustiness.
- You can add Orange oil is often added to furniture polish to clean, polish, enhance, and protect wood with out leaving a wax build-up.
Lavender, the Perfect Accompaniament to a Clean Home
Another essential oil that is so wonderful for scenting and for household cleaning is Lavender. Sigh! Not only does it help clean your house, the scent is relaxing and nice.
Some things you can do with Lavender Essential Oil..
- If you add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your dishwashing liquid, not only will you add the fragrance, but youíll also improve the antiseptic quality of the soap.
- Carpet Deodorizer. I posted this idea a couple of years ago for a naturally fresh carpet.
- Fragrance your home by using Lavender Essential oil in a [easyazon_link identifier=”B005EMUWW0″ locale=”US” tag=”mommybabytool-20″]plug in diffuser[/easyazon_link].