While most people have at least a few essential oils they love, a lot of people just don’t know how to use them in everyday life. And these days there are really wonderful quality essential oils which are both therapeutic and food grade, so you can do more with them and safely use them in your home, on your body and you can eat some of them too!
I’m a pretty crunchy mama and I like to keep my house and body as free of toxic chemicals as possible. I also very much admire the zero waste lifestyle and I try to apply these principles where I can by making my own home cleaning and personal hygiene products. But they can be…well, a bit bland….and by adding some high quality essential oils they become so much more pleasant. Remember – they’re not just smells, essential oils are chemicals in their own rights and have various properties to make your homemade products so much more effective. In many cases, more effective than their toxic commercial counterparts.
So I thought I’d share my top 5 practical uses for essential oils in everyday living.
I know, I know, who makes their own toothpaste? I’ve spent a lot of money on a lot of cruddy toothpastes with ‘green’ credentials. First of all, they’re expensive. They don’t have that great mouth feel of foam that we get from Colgate and Crest, they don’t taste of candy canes and they don’t make your teeth any whiter or cleaner feeling. And quite frankly this one shares two of those qualities. It doesn’t taste of candy because there’s no sugar (or fake sugar) in it and it doesn’t foam up. But what it does do is make my teeth feel and look the cleanest they have ever felt and its pretty inexpensive to make. So, I’m sharing the YouTube video that I followed for my recipe. (You can add in activated charcoal for even more whitening properties!) When making this toothpaste I recommend only using a food grade peppermint essential oil, such as Young Living or DoTerra. Please don’t just go out to your local health food store and buy what’s on their shelf. Its really not the same thing.
2. Face Moisturiser
I believe in growing old gracefully…but not for a few more years, please. In the meanwhile I use the anti-aging power combo of Frankincense essential oil and rosehip oil. Frankincense promotes healthy cell regeneration and keeps existing cells and tissues healthy and rosehip oil is full of anti-oxidants (lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin C) which prevent free radical damage as well as essential fatty acids omegas 3,6 and 9 which repair and regenerate damaged skin tissue. I dispense my rosehip oil into a dropper bottle and place 4-5 drops on my hand each morning. Into that I drop 1-2 drops of Frankincense essential oil. I rub my hands together and spread it over my face and neck. It makes me smell gorgeous too!
Why not coconut oil, you say? I thought coconut oil was the answer to everything? Well this is one time when I don’t think coconut oil is the answer. Coconut oil scores a 3 on the comedogenic scale, whereas rosehip oil only scores a 1. That means coconut oil is going to clog your pores a lot more. Which doesn’t really help with the whole anti-aging thing.
3. Floor Cleaner
There are fantastic natural all purpose household cleaners which already contain the essential oils in them, such as Thieves cleaner and probably Melaleuca make one too. However, I live in the UK where Thieves cleaner can often run out of stock (literally there’s none available at the moment) and its also a bit pricy. So I make my own floor cleaner using heavily watered down organic Alma Household Cleaning concentrate (I’m not sponsored by them or anything…I just really like this cleaner!) combined with 5-8 drops of Thieves essential oil to it and store it in a heavy duty spray bottle. I have a three storey house filled with all antique wooden floor boards, and I spray ahead of me as I follow behind with the microfibre mop and my floor boards shine and smell like Christmas from the Thieves oil. (You can recreate this oil by blending clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils…but its easier to buy it already made up!)
*Update: Since writing this article I have now got my hands on a bottle of the Thieves Household Cleaner. It is amazing!
4. Fabric Softener
This is a really easy one! Pour 6 Tbs white vinegar into a measuring jug, add 3-4 drops of essential oil and 1 Tbs of baking soda. Let the fizz settle down then pour into the fabric softener tray of your washing machine. I change the essential oil I use depending on the season and I use lavender for the baby’s clothing and bedding. (Remember to add the essential oil to the vinegar before the baking soda. After you add the baking soda, the oil won’t sit on top of the vinegar anymore and you won’t get oil spots on your stuff!)
5. Vacuum Scent
This is another easy one! Just take a cotton ball and drop 4-5 drops of your favourite essential oil on it. I like fresh citrus smells like orange and grapefruit. Just vacuum the cotton ball straight into your vacuum cylinder and as it goes ’round and ’round and heats up, it fills your home with scent while you’re vacuuming!
By now you’ve probably realised that there’s very little that baking soda, vinegar and coconut oil can’t do! I hope you enjoy de-toxifying your life a little bit by trying even just one of these ideas!
Disclaimer: The contents found on OurLittleOrganicLife.com not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. If you have concerns, please contact a doctor before altering your health care routine.