Spring cleaning isn’t the only seasonal cleaning you can do to prepare your house as the seasons change. Fall is the perfect time to get things in order before the winter sets in and the last thing you feel like doing is dusting your baseboards. Rather than break out all the traditional cleaners, you may be used to tackling your chores with. I thought I would share how you can make your life a little easier by cleaning with essential oils. Not only are they safer to use in your house than chemical-laden cleaners, but they smell amazing and are very diverse – which means you only need a couple combinations to get all of your cleaning done.
To get started, the materials list is very simple:
Water and Distilled White Vinegar (not mixed together!)
Essential oils (we’ll talk about which ones below)
Soft cloths, like microfiber or terry
Plant is optional :)
I’m going to cover a few cleaning recipes, then break things down room by room. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done with the four combinations of essential oils and mixers I’ve listed below. At the end of the post, you’ll find a handy Fall Cleaning Checklist that you can print off and use to get your house all ready to go.
But first, let’s talk about what essential oils you’ll need.
The most important oil to have on hand for cleaning (and for life in general) is Tea Tree (aka Melaleuca.) Tea Tree oil is very powerful. It is antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal. It also smells pretty great, which is a nice bonus! It can remove stains, get rid of mold and mildew, freshen laundry….really, the list goes on. Tea Tree is my favorite essential oil because it has so many uses (don’t even get me started on how it clears up insect bites, tackles dry skin and acne, and helps alleviate rashes!)
Second behind Tea Tree is Peppermint oil, which is another antibacterial oil and is a must-have for cleaning because of its invigorating and refreshing scent. Third, you should grab up a citrus oil such as Lemon or Sweet Orange to cut down on greasy buildups, remove stains and deodorize.
That wasn’t so overwhelming, was it? Just three oils to grab to get started with your essential oil cleaning kit. Once you’re comfortable with these three, you can branch out to other oils.
I’ve purchased blends of oils as well as pure oils (non blended) and I don’t have a preference either way. You can find essential oils at your local health food store, online at places like Amazon.com, or through companies like Young Living or doTerra.
Never clean with undiluted oils – this is where the water and vinegar I mentioned in the supplies list come into play. The following recipes are four cleaning mixtures you’ll need to accomplish your Fall cleaning with essential oils –
Multipurpose Cleaner and Disinfectant –
2 teaspoons of Peppermint Oil (if you ever feel like changing things up, Grapefruit or Basil makes a great substitution for Peppermint, and you don’t lose any of the benefits since both of those oils are antibacterial.)
2 cups (16 oz) of water
Mix in spray bottle
Window/Glass and Floor (tile, vinyl and hardwood) Cleaner –
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
Fill spray bottle to 1″ below top
Add 10 drops of Lemon Oil (or another citrus, such as Sweet Orange.)
Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaner (heavy antibacterial and antiseptic properties) –
2 teaspoons of Tea Tree Oil
2 cups (16 oz) of water
Mix in spray bottle
Cabinets/Wood Furniture Polish
1/4 cup of olive or mineral oil (I know, I know…this wasn’t on the supplies list. But you only need it for this recipe.)
1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
10 drops of Lemon Oil (or other citrus oil)
Shake well before using. To use – apply directly to soft cloth and use cloth on furniture.
That’s it! So you’ve got your cleaners and your cloths – let’s go room by room and see how you can put everything together.
Use the Mutipurpose Solution on your countertops, appliances (unless they are non-fingerprint-resistent stainless, in which case I would test in an inconspicuous area before applying to the entire appliance), knick knacks, baseboards, painted doors, painted window frames – anything that you need cleaned up.
Sticky and greasy spots can be treated with the Window & Floor solution and, of course, you can also use that to clean your windows or other glass surfaces. If you have hardwood in your kitchen, use this solution sparingly on it – only to get up sticky/greasy spots. For general cleaning of hardwood floors, I use a vinegar and water solution and mop only as needed. The less moisture on hardwood, the better. But, if your kitchen has vinyl or tile floors, this mixture is a-okay to use as often as needed.
The Wood Furniture Polish can be used on your cabinets to give them a nice shine, as well as any other wood furniture you may have in your kitchen. Lemon oil is safe to consume (diluted), so this mixture is okay to treat wooden cutting boards as well.
Use the Heavy Disinfectant cleaner to get your sink germ-free. You can also use it to clean the inside of your appliances (Bonus – it gets rid of that nasty smell microwaves sometimes get from all the food they host!).
Sinks, tubs, showers and toilets are a great place to use the Heavy Disinfectant. If you have regular mold or mildew buildup in your shower or bathtub, you can spray this solution on it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off. Better than bleach (and way less stinky!)
The Multipurpose Solution is perfect for countertops, toilet paper holders, towel holders, baseboards, doors, etc. – you get the idea.
Just as in the kitchen, the same rules apply for the Window & Floor Solution. Use it to clean windows and mirrors, as well as your floors. Again, be gentle on your hardwoods if you have any in your bathrooms.
Lastly, use the polish on mirror frames, cabinetry, etc. to breathe some life back into wood surfaces.
Bedrooms & Living Areas
By now, I think you get the gist of where to use the cleaners. It really is very simple! I do have two tips for living and bedroom areas, though –
Use the Multipurpose Solution to freshen linens and blankets by spritzing them with it.
Treat carpet stains with the Heavy Disinfectant. You can deodorize carpets or other upholstered surfaces with the Heavy Disinfectant, too, or with the Window & Floor solution.
I think that just about covers it. Once you’ve gotten all of your Fall cleaning done, you can sit back and enjoy your house (and how great it smells) and feel 100% ready for winter. Oh, and since you were using soft cloths to accomplish all of this cleaning, you can toss them in the laundry (add a drop or two of Tea Tree oil!) and reuse them the next time – no paper waste, no adding garbage to landfills.