DIY Essential Oils in the Home: Make an All-Purpose Cleaner

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Today we’re starting a new miniseries on Remodelista: How to Use Essential Oils in the Home. With all the talk about these multifunctional, aromatic little potions, we asked Dawn De La Fuente, owner of Northern California–based herbal apothecary S/he Studio, for smart, simple ways to use them around the house, from a botanical bug spray to a calming yoga mat cleanser. To start: an everyday, all-natural cleaner.

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Above: An enamel Utility Bucket to carry all your wares: £22 ($28.42) at Garden Trading.
For an all-purpose—and pleasantly aromatic—household disinfectant, add essential oils to a mixture of water, castile soap, and hydrogen peroxide. “It’s a natural way to cleanse and kill bacteria on kitchen and bathroom surfaces,” De La Fuente says. It can also be used to disinfect kitchen sponges: Simply spray both sides of the sponge with the mixture and let it sit. This recipe makes a small, concentrated batch; De La Fuente recommends making a fresh bottle every few weeks to keep on hand.

To make an all-purpose cleaning spray:

1.5 oz water
1 teaspoon castile soap
1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
5 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Add to a small glass spray bottle and shake well.

N.B.: De La Fuente notes that you should take care before using essential oils, and always test in a small, discreet area of skin, clothing, or furniture before applying. “Essential oils are the most potent form of plant medicine and must be respected and handled with care. Some essential oils may have contraindications for use when pregnant or for people with health conditions or skin sensitivities, so consult your physician before using,” she says.

For more cleaning tips and DIYs, see our posts:

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