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Cleaning Essentials: Essential Oils That are Mean on Dirt and Grime

Last week, I offered up some tips for cleaning with natural products you can find in your kitchen cupboards. I listed safe but effective cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, lemons, salt and if you can believe it cinnamon – yep great for cleaning ovens – all of which are as effective for household spills and messes as anything you will find in the store aisle. This week, I thought I’d continue with a similar theme.

A while back I interviewed Victoria cleaners Green Wheel Cleaning about keeping your cleaning cupboards green. Helen, the owner talked about how effective essential oils can be as cleaners. Not only do they smell terrific, but many of them have anti-fungal, antiseptic and antibiotic capacities. Essential oils are plant based, so are natural, but be careful, they can still be irritants if you don’t dilute and use properly.

Here’s a list of essential oils and what you can use them for!

  • Orange Essential Oil – Orange oil smells fantastic and is excellent at lifting tough stains and grime. Add 3 – 4 drops of oil to a spray bottle filled with water and a squirt of dish soap.
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Claims to ward off dust mites. Add several drops to your laundry.
  • Lemon Essential Oil – Great on fabric stains. Add a couple of drops to the stain, let stand and then rinse or throw in the laundry. Because it is so good on stains, add it to your wash and use it in a big bucket of water to clean floors. For an effective window cleaner, add 10 drops to a spray bottle of one cup white vinegar and half a cup water.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – This oil has antibacterial properties and is a natural pest deterrent, so is a particularly effective household cleaner. Use in a spray bottle mixed with water and vinegar for your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil – Tea Tree is the king of essentials oils and has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Use in a spray bottle of water to attack any mouldy or mildewy areas in your bathroom, just spritz and leave and let it do its good work! This and peppermint oil are good toilet cleaners.
  • Lavender Essential Oil – This is my absolute favourite and I like to add a few drops to a water bottle and just spritz it here and there. Very relaxing. For cleaning though, lavender is fantastic. Not only does it smell incredible, it’s also a major pest deterrent and is particularly good at keeping away moths. With its antibacterial properties, lavender is great for cleaning as well as adding to your garbage bags to cut through bad smells.
Essential oils can be pricey, so build up your collection slowly. My advice is to choose one oil that you like and is a good all round cleaner, such as tea tree or peppermint and go from there.


Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

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