Natural Cleaning Tips: Lemon Essential Oil DIY Recipe & Guide
Why do we continue to fall into the trap of buying that which we can make for ourselves? More often than not, we can do it ourselves at a fraction of the cost. Unless you have a great deal of stock in companies like Pledge, Windex, and Tide, there is no real reason to succumb to their marketing techniques. Read further to see how you can customize your conventional cleaning methods and save money at the same time while giving respect to the environment.
The truth is that DIY cleaners do a great job of cleaning! They leave a beautiful aroma without the noxious fumes and always a bonus, lemon essential oil has properties that can actually kill germs and fight bacteria. With the addition of tea tree oil, you’ll disinfect and wipe out mold.
Why Use Natural Cleaning Products?
Many years ago, there was an ad for an ice cream brand that asked children to read the list of ingredients on the back of their competitors’ tub. Most were unpronounceable even for adults. This created a great selling point for their ice cream whose ingredients were simple, natural, and recognizable. So in that same theme, why would we bring so many unpronounceable chemicals into our homes for cleaning purposes? Especially when other methods are just as effective without them. We often don’t take into account the real and tangible benefits of the natural cleaners, and there are many.
It is so important in today’s world to be a well-informed consumer. It’s our obligation to educate ourselves in knowing what we put in and on our bodies. We even need to be cautious of those things that we might not touch but expose ourselves to on a daily basis. I’m talking about chemicals and substances that many conventional cleaning products include! Many of us are becoming more aware of products’ ingredients, knowing the fat content, calories, sodium, and more. And yet we’re so lax about the cleaners used in and around our living space.
The term “natural” doesn’t have a definition that is regulated by anyone. It’s easy to confuse natural ingredients with those components that are toxic. Even some “natural” ingredients can be toxic and consumers need to be aware of what is brought into the home.
Top 3 Best Natural Cleaning Products
1. Baking Soda
For shining stainless steel appliances and your sink, try a paste of baking soda. This is a really inexpensive cleaner. It works well on greasy fingerprints as well as an odor absorber in your fridge. And if you haven’t tried using it in your laundry room, you’re really missing out. You can reduce the amount of laundry detergent and add a ¼ cup of baking soda for whiter and brighter clothes. And in the bathroom, you can sprinkle this powder directly onto your toothbrush to brighten your smile. Baking soda just might be your new go-to cleaner -- you’ll find a cleaning use in every room!
Thanks to its higher acidity, white vinegar makes an ideal cleaner. While there is a cleaning vinegar (of 6% acidity) it is recommended to dilute this a little and make sure not to use for cooking. Most people have said that they don’t see a difference in cleanliness using the regular 5% white vinegar. Mix the stronger solution in a small bowl of water and boil in your microwave to loosen the built-up residue and wipe away. For killing mold, spray undiluted white vinegar onto the affected area and allow to sit for an hour before wiping clean. You can also use white vinegar as an antibacterial on your countertops to combat salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful bacteria.
3. Lemon Essential Oil
Not only will it deodorize, freshen, and clean, but using lemon essential oil is also uplifting and motivating. Many think that this oil is best used on wood, but there are plenty of other uses too. You can disinfect and deodorize countertops and sinks with lemon oil. For your windows, add a few drops of lemon oil to vinegar. Just put into a clean spray bottle for clearer and cleaner glass surfaces. To sanitize your sponges, place them in a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon oil and soak overnight to kill germs. It’s antiviral and antibacterial properties make it ideal for a sanitizer in any form. It has protective qualities that shield your body from the cold and flu. You can often find lemon essential oil infused in your conventional cleaning products as well as many hand sanitizers. So why not just harness its powers the all-natural way?
Lemon Essential Oil Diffuser Benefits
Another great cleansing use for lemon essential oil is as an air purifier. Conventional odor-eliminators not only contain harmful chemicals but they often simply mask the smells rather than remove them altogether. Diffusing lemon essential oil eliminates unwanted odors while also removing toxins and germs from the air around you. Studies reveal that if you’re trying to ward off the flu or some other virus, or just generally looking for an all-natural immune-booster, diffusing lemon essential oil might be for you.
You can contract many airborne illnesses simply by breathing in the air around you. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but at the very least you can be proactive about protecting the environment that you’re in. With this in mind, lemon essential oil is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, detoxing, and purifying properties. It leaves your home (or any space you’re in!) smelling fresh and removes harmful toxic elements from the air your breathe. Research also reveals the effectiveness of this oil as a stress-relieving and bug-repelling agent. That’s just two more benefits to add to the long list of why you should be diffusing lemon oil to clean your space.
Are Natural Cleaning Products Effective?
The natural cleaning products are very effective in both cleaning as well as disinfecting. Going back to some of the ways of our grandmothers and theirs before them, the use of regular household products is making a strong comeback. Their recipes are tried and true, but sadly we’ve gotten lazy and bought into the marketing of synthetic cleaners.
Some commercial manufacturers are getting the hint that consumers want to use more products deemed to be natural. So now there are more choices but many of the companies add a few natural ingredients and call their stuff ‘natural’. Although it may seem perfectly fine to mix certain ingredients because of their “natural” status, there are some combinations that should not be made. This is why it’s crucial for conscious consumers to become fluent in ingredients labels and educate themselves on truly nourishing natural ingredients. For example, bleach and vinegar are not a good match. They can lead to breathing issues as the mix produces a chlorine gas. Bleach with ammonia will also produce a toxic gas -- don’t do it.
DIY Natural Cleaning Products Recipe & Guide
There are some basic ingredients that you should have on hand to make your own cleaning products. These include white vinegar, liquid castile soap, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon, tea tree, and lavender essential oils. This list will give you a good foundation with plenty of room to experiment and tweak for yourself.
For a great all-purpose cleaner, start with 2 cups of water in a clean spray bottle. Add to that ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide,½ cup distilled white vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil and 20 drops lavender essential oil. If you aren’t a fan of the lavender scent, (I can’t say I relate), but try lemon or rosemary essential oil instead. For glass surfaces and mopping the floor, try filling a large jar with the peels of several lemons and 1 whole lemon cut in half. Cover with distilled vinegar. Leave for a few days, strain out the vinegar and you have an effective and inexpensive disinfecting cleaner. With the addition of a few drops of tea tree essential oil to a rinse cycle, your clothes will be deodorized and freshened.
Many have been using newspaper or coffee filters for glass surfaces. I personally am obsessed with the microfiber cloths. They too won’t leave lint and will clean well. So many of us love Magic Erasers -- they clean just about everything but can get expensive. Get yourself a few natural sponges, natural and non-toxic! Mix 1 tablespoon Borax, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ cup hot water. First, place the Borax in a shallow bowl. Then pour the hot water on top and mix with a fork until dissolved. Add the baking soda and mix until all powder is dissolved and the water is almost clear. Soak the sponge in the cleaning solution until it puffs up and absorbs some of the liquid. Then gently start scrubbing away.
If you haven’t tried adding lemon and other essential oils to your cleaning you’re missing out on a more economical, disinfecting, and deodorizing cleaning experience. Whether you’re DIYer and make your cleaning products from scratch or take advantage of the many products using all-natural ingredients, there are plenty of choices available.
It would seem that since so many companies are making synthetic products to emulate the benefits of natural products, it is best to stick with the tried and true, natural solutions. So whether you’re cleaning the toilet, stovetop, or floors, there are a variety of ways to do it yourself with products you make or buy that meet your standard of natural.
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