Use as a natural fragrance
With all the talk about the dangers of phthalates, which are found in many commercial air fresheners and have been shown to decrease thyroid function over time, it’s nice to know that essential oils can be used as an all-natural scent booster. And you don’t even need to own a diffuser. Place sweet orange, lavender, or lime essential oil on a cotton ball and tape it to the back of a flower pot or the bottom of a chair, advises Erin Stewart, certified aromatherapist, herbalist, and founder of AromaCulture. “It will release the aroma of the essential oil into the air and leave your house smelling fresh,” she says. She also recommends placing a drop or two of essential oil into a bowl of clay diffuser beads or pebbles in the bathroom. “The clay will act as a diffuser, slowly releasing the aroma of the essential oil into the room and acting as a natural air freshener.”
Disinfect your benchtops
Since many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, they are well-suited for use in simple homemade cleaning products. Plus, think of all the cash you’ll save on overpriced (and overly processed) commercial varieties. Stewart recommends adding 2 to 3 drops of lemon, lavender, sweet orange, or tea tree essential oil to some diluted liquid castile soap in a small spray bottle. “You can use this combination to wipe down your kitchen and bathroom counters and other non-porous surfaces,” she says.
Clean your toilet
You can even use the same essential oils as for countertop cleaners – lemon, lavender, sweet orange, or tea tree – to keep your toilet spick and span. Stewart recommends DIYing your own “toilet tabs” by stirring a couple of drops of one of these essential oils into a bowl of baking soda, spraying the mixture lightly with water and then pressing the baking soda mixture into a silicon mould (like for ice cubes or brownies). “Let it sit overnight to dry and, the next morning, remove the tabs from the mould and store them in an airtight jar,” she says. “Toss one into the toilet before you shower each day and flush when you get out of the shower to keep your toilet fresh between deep cleanings.”
Don’t miss the ways you’re probably cleaning your bathroom wrong.