Spring Cleaning Recipes with Essential Oils
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Clean your house naturally with these spring cleaning recipes with essential oils and all-natural ingredients. Eliminate toxins and create a fresh, clean, healthy home this spring!
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When we think of spring, a few obvious things come to mind: seedlings, flowers, warmer weather and, of course, spring cleaning tops the list. But what about ammonia, phthalates, chlorine and VOCs? Not so much?
Well, I’m sorry to say that if you’re still using traditional store-bought cleaning products, then these are just a few of the toxic ingredients that you might be unknowingly spraying and coating your home with this spring cleaning season, which means you might actually be doing more harm than good.
Luckily, there is another way! And it doesn’t involve buying expensive natural cleaners from the store or through a subscription service. Nope nope nope!
You can clean your house the natural way this spring with a few bottles of essential oils and some basic ingredients you probably already have on hand. I started doing just that a few years ago and now I can’t imagine cleaning my house with anything else! But it certainly wasn’t always this way…
Why spring clean with essential oils
A few years ago when I really started getting into homesteading, I began hearing more about essential oils. Truth be told, I didn’t really give them much thought at the time. I was more focused on learning how to grow and preserve food and on learning to make things from scratch in order to save money and become more self-sufficient.
But in all honesty, creating a healthier, more natural home was not high on my list of priorities at the time. But as I started to learn more about how harmful and dangerous the ingredients in our home and personal care products were, I began looking to essential oils as a healthier, more natural alternative.
I took my time getting familiar with essential oils, mostly because they’re potent and some level of knowledge is required in order to use them safely and effectively. (After all, just because something is natural doesn’t make it safe, right?)
Plus, I was looking for a good, reputable company to purchase my oils from, and I didn’t love the price or the business model of some of the bigger oil companies out there. But once I found Plant Therapy oils and became more comfortable and knowledgeable about safe essential oil use, I fell in love with them and began using them regularly around our home.
Soon enough, I began making all sorts of home and personal care products from scratch, including my own home cleaning products. But by this point, I wasn’t just making things at home to save money (although this was a nice side effect)… Now my focus had shifted to eliminating toxins from our home and to actively creating a healthier, more natural home by adding essential oils to my products.
As it turned out, homemade cleaning products are pretty much the easiest of all homemade products to make. Most of them require just one or two simple ingredients (that you probably already have in your pantry), and a few drops of essential oils to be just as effective as their store-bought counterparts, but much healthier for you and your family.
Today I make all of our cleaning products from scratch and add essential oils to most of them. And I can honestly say that I can’t believe I ever thought I needed the store-bought cleaners that I used to use! My hope is that I can convince you to ditch the chemical cleaners too and start making your own all-natural home cleaning products with essential oils, for a fraction of the price to boot.
So before you reach for the chemicals this spring, give some of these easy homemade cleaners and essential oils a try instead. I’m willing to bet you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff!
* Please note that the essential oils in the following recipes are completely optional! While they do add natural fragrance and cleaning power to your homemade cleaners, you can safely omit them if you’d prefer.
Which essential oils are best for cleaning?
Now, technically you could omit the essential oils in most of the following recipes and still have a decent product, but adding essential oils to your cleaning products helps boost cleaning power as well as health and wellness by providing added benefits.
The following are a few of my favourite essential oils for cleaning:
- Lavender – Always a stand-by, lavender is a great choice for spring cleaning. It cleans and refreshes while also calming and soothing. It’s also antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiallergenic. Plus it smells like spring blooms!
- Lemon – Lemon essential oil is the quintessential oil for cleaning even the toughest, nastiest messes. Lemon oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal. It also cuts grease like no other oil and leaves your house smelling lemony fresh, without any harsh, synthetic fragrances.
- Orange – Like lemon oil, orange oil also does a great job at degreasing and deep cleaning. It also acts as an excellent wood polish and antiseptic and antibacterial. It also helps to stimulate the immune system so it’s great for freshening up your house as well as keeping you healthy!
- Peppermint – Peppermint is cool and refreshing, making it great for spraying and diffusing. It’s antibacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic, as well as antiallergenic and anti-asthmatic.
- Tea Tree – Tea Tree oil (aka. “Melaleuca”) is a powerhouse of a cleaning and disinfecting oil. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antimicrobial and as such it’s a fantastic oil to reach for when you’re faced with cleaning the grimiest of nooks and crannies, like showers and toilets!
Easy spring cleaning recipes with essential oils
If you’re ready to start making your own home cleaning products, then here’s your shopping list: (Note: You probably already have most of this on hand already!) You’ll need some or all of the following:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Distilled water
- Vodka or witch hazel
- Dish soap
- Olive oil
- Essential oils
Some important things to consider before using homemade cleaners…
- It’s best to store homemade cleaners in glass as essential oils can degrade plastic over time. It’s also best for the bottle to be tinted a dark colour and stored in a dark space so that the sunlight doesn’t degrade the oils. While I use Mason jars for most of my products and keep them stored in a cool, dark cupboard, I love to use these amber glass bottles for my homemade cleaning sprays.
- While you can use regular tap water in homemade cleaners, distilled water is less likely to go moldy. Vinegar and alcohol do act as natural preservatives, but if you want to be on the safe side and store your homemade products for any amount of time, I recommend using distilled water. I purchase distilled water in 4-gallon jugs from the store.
- Since essential oils don’t mix well with water (or vinegar), be sure to shake spray bottles well every time before using.
- DO NOT use vinegar cleaners on marble as they can stain.
- Avoid using lemon or orange essential oils on carpets or fabric as they can stain.
All-Purpose Homemade Citrus Cleaner
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups water (regular tap water or distilled)
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
To make this quick all-purpose cleaner, mix one cup white vinegar with two cups water in a spray bottle. Add about 30 drops of lemon essential oil and shake the bottle to combine the ingredients. Spray on countertops, tabletops, floors, cupboards and glass.
CAUTION: Do NOT spray on Marble. Vinegar can stain and ruin marble:(
* I actually infuse my vinegar with lemon peels and then use that lemon vinegar to create my cleaning spray. Personally I will actually use this lemon-infused vinegar straight up on just about every surface (glass, wood, laminate, porcelain, etc.) without diluting it with water and without adding extra lemon essential oil (because the vinegar actually extracts essential oils from the lemon peels themselves).
But the above recipe is a good alternative if you don’t have the time (or the lemon peels) to infuse your vinegar. And the water is simply meant to dilute the solution so it’s not so concentrated, although I’ve never personally had any issues with the concentration.
Homemade Window & Glass Cleaner
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup vodka or witch hazel
- ½ white vinegar
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle (remember, glass is best), and shake well before using. Spray on windows, mirrors and all manners of glass. * Tip: For a streak-free shine, use newspaper or a microfibre cloth to wipe windows clean.
Antibacterial Homemade Bathroom Cleaner
- 2 cups baking soda
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 15 drops tea tree (melaleuca) oil
- White vinegar
Mix together the baking soda and essential oils and store in a Mason jar. When ready to use, sprinkle some in your sink, bathtub or toilet and spray with white vinegar (you could also spray the baking soda mixture with your homemade all-purpose cleaner). Allow the baking soda to foam up for about a minute and then wipe or scrub clean with a wet cloth or a toilet scrubber. Rinse any remaining residue down the toilet or drain.
Lavender Carpet Cleaner & Refresher
- 1 cup baking soda
- 20-30 drops lavender essential oil
- White vinegar (for scrubbing stains)
For a simple carpet refresher, mix the baking soda and lavender essential oil together and store in a Mason jar. To use, sprinkle on carpet and let it sit overnight. Vacuum it up the next morning.
To spot clean stains on the carpet, sprinkle the baking soda mixture on the stain and spray with vinegar until it foams. Let it sit for a couple minutes and then scrub well with a rag or scrub brush. Vacuum up any remaining residue.
DIY Orange Oil Wood Polish
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 20 drops orange essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well right before using as the oil and vinegar will separate. Use a rag to rub the oil onto wood surfaces, including floors, tabletops, cupboards, furniture and wooden cutting boards. The vinegar helps to clean and the oils help make your word shine and smell great!
Homemade Kitchen Degreaser
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup dish soap
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on kitchen countertops, stovetops, ovens or anywhere else you need to cut through grease.
*Note: I originally tried this recipe with castile soap but soon learned that castile soap and vinegar do not mix well together, so you’re best to just use regular dish soap. Of course, I like to keep it as natural and plant-based as possible, so I use Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Dish Soap, which is at least 97% plant-based.
DIY Spring Flowers Room Spray
- 2 ounces witch hazel (or vodka)
- 2 ounces distilled water
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops bergamot essential oil
- 10 drops geranium essential oil
- 10 drops ylang ylang essential oil
Add essential oils to a 4oz spray bottle and top with equal parts distilled water and witch hazel. Shake before spraying into the air, or on pillows and linens as a refresher spray. The added benefit of this particular combination of essential oils is that they are all great for alleviating spring allergies too! Great for spraying on laundry you’ve got drying on the line this spring too!
Spring Scented Essential Oil Diffuser Blends
My favourite way to refresh my house and add natural fragrance to the air is to use an essential oil diffuser. Here are some of my favourite spring diffuser blends…
- 5 drops clary sage
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops cedarwood
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops bergamot
- 5 drops geranium
Fresh Herb Garden
- 5 drops rosemary
- 5 drops thyme
- 5 drops lavender
Spring Allergy Relief
- 5 drops peppermint
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops lemon
Before you go… Don’t forget to label your homemade cleaning products! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten or neglected to put a label on something I made, and trust me when I say you will forget what is what! But no worries because obviously I’ve got you covered:)
I’ve got some free printable labels for my top three homemade cleaning products under the “Labels” section in my free resource library, so make sure to head on over there and print some out! They’re perfectly formatted to fit these Avery-brand sticker labels, which is what I use on all my homemade products.
Otherwise you can print them out on regular printer paper and use a glue stick to stick them on jars and bottles. But the sticker labels make for a much nicer finished product. Labels for Homemade Citrus Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner and Orange Oil Wood Polish are available for download in colour or black and white.
Download your labels here >> Access my Free Resource Library
Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂
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What do you wash your hair with?
I use Oneka brand products for my shampoo and conditioner. They’re natural and made with organic herbs grown on site on their farm, and I’m able to take the bottles to our local refillery and have them refilled so I don’t have to throw plastic bottles away. I’ve been using this bran for at least a year or so now and really like it. You can check them out here: http://www.onekaelements.com
I didn’t see any cleaners for kitchen cabinets is there one?
I honestly just use a little dish soap and water to clean our cabinets. If they’re really greasy I use vinegar (I use the citrus infused vinegar), but you can even just use plain white vinegar to cut grease if dish soap doesn’t work well enough. And then if they’re real wood you can use the wood polish too if you like.
I have tried the furniture polish and love it! I even wipe down my wicker baskets with this and they look great. I have converted this to a spray bottle to use on my antique furniture and a desk that was in need of refinishing looks 100% better than before.
So glad you like it!
Hi Anna, thank you so much always for the wonderful tips.
Quick one, I have started a home-based business selling different home made products and was wondering if it’s alright with you that I name my products with the ones you’ve used e.g. for the reed diffusers.
Can I use these recipes without the essential oils as I am very sensitive to many fragrances.
Yes, you can omit the essential oils if you like:)
Hello Anna ,
Most of your recipes require lavender essential oil. That is one oil smell that I cannot handle , is there another good substitute for it ? Like for carpet cleaner example .
I love all the recipes and tips , thank you so much
Lemon and tea tree oils are both good for cleaning products, or you may want to experiment with other scents that you like. Please beware that lemon oil can stain if applied directly to things like carpets/upholstery, etc. But a few drops of lemon oil in mixed with some baking soda, for example, shouldn’t be a problem.
It sounds funny but i am 37 years old and in this pandemic i saw your articles and used this tips it went well more power to you keep up the good work.
I love your diffuser blends. I am so curious to try them and see if they smell like you describe them. I am fascinated at how we all smell things differently. Thanks for the ideas to try