Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's a Slippery Slope to Tree Hugger

I have a new fixation. - And I blame Clorox Greenworks.  I've used Greenworks products before, but I started using their toilet bowl cleaner on a regular basis not too long ago, which eventually led me to where I am now.  Wow, I'm opening with toilet cleaner?  I'm slippin'.  My point is that I've become slightly fixated on the seemingly endless ways to use essential oils.  So of course that begs the question, how did I get from toilet bowl cleaner to essential oils?  Good question.

I've been leaning towards finding other options for cleaning products for a while, since the bulk of the traditional cleaners most of us use to clean are chock full of harsh, and sometimes toxic chemicals.  I know I've had my share of times where I was cleaning in a tiny bathroom space and had to open a window to get some air from the fumes. Once I started using Greenworks products regularly, it planted a little seed in my mind about getting more serious about finding alternatives to harsh cleaning chemicals.

I had already started using white vinegar in the washing machine as a brightener & fabric softener, so it didn't take much to go a step further and start cleaning with vinegar, too.  It's my new go-to all purpose cleaner and I use it all the time.  It's completely replaced the 409s and Windexes that used to clutter under my sink.  It's funny, the smell of vinegar used to remind me of decorating Easter eggs when I was little, but now I have a totally new scent association - it means clean!

I was researching different "recipes" for using white vinegar to clean, and that's when I inadvertently discovered all the ways essential oils can be used.
The gist of the vinegar cleaner recipe I use is here, but I kind of wing it with the amounts, and I use a 32 oz bottle that I re-purposed after finishing the cleaner that used to be in it. I go with essential lemon oil because it smells great and is antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral.

It smells so bright, and it's not nearly as harsh and full of chemicals as the standard spray cleaner.  I use it for about everything.  Wiping down the counters and stove, cleaning the sink and faucet, basically everything I would use 409 or Lysol spray for before.  I even clean the bathtub with it and a Magic Eraser.  I love that it's all natural, and I've never used a better window and glass cleaner than this simple little concoction.

That's basically all it took for me to dive head first into researching what else I could do with essential oils.  Turns out...a lot!  Did you know peppermint oil wiped around the outside of window and door frames will keep spiders away?  Me neither.  Handy knowledge considering the size of some of the spiders I've seen crawling across the floor!  If I can discourage them from even coming inside...well, YES.  Jury's still out on that one. - We'll see if it works.

How about that oregano oil is both antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory, so you can use it for cold sores, muscle aches, and a ton of other things?  Also news to me.  Another good one - if you put several drops of essential lemon oil on a cotton ball and vacuum it up, that dusty vacuum smell will be replaced by the lovely scent of lemons.  (at least for a few vacuuming sessions, eventually it fades and needs to be replaced)  How's that for channeling household tips a la the Ladies Home Journal?

After reading all about how to use essential oils, I've got a few projects I'm experimenting with. - Pillow/linen spray, homemade room diffusers, and I'm sure I'll find other DIY schemes to try out with my fancy new oils.  It's a slippery slope to full on tree hugger.

Ta-ta for now.

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