Come with us as we learn how to use aromatherapy around the home. Ditch those chemical-laden products and switch to creating your laundry liquids, all-purpose cleaners, and air fresheners. Use essential oils like Lavender, Tea Tree, and Thyme to tackle everything from pesky bugs to nasty niffs. Use Cedarwood essential oil in your wardrobe to help combat moth infestations and pop Lemon and Thyme in your fridge to deodorize it.
Find out how my homemade Bug Busting Spray works on a greenfly infestation and how to turn a wooden peg into a car vent air freshener. Whatever your skill level, there is something for everyone.
Many of us are used to using essential oils in our skincare or our essential oil diffusers, but have you considered adding essential oils to your homemade kitchen spray or making your bug-busting spray? Many of these projects are super simple and can be whipped up in no time at all.
In this current cost of living crisis, we are all looking to save money and make our pennies go further. This article contains money-saving recipes, hints, and tips on using more natural ingredients and essential oils.
Occasionally, we need ingenuity, creativity, and willingness to step out of the norm to find new and exciting ways to use essential oils around the home.
As I write, pesky greenflies are infesting my beloved chili seedlings, and I have just made up a spray to target them in less than a couple of minutes. I'll include the recipe, and an update, below.
Are you ready for some quickfire hints and tips?
Scenting The Home With Essential Oils
We all like our home to smell nice, and moving from synthetic fragrances to essential oils is much easier than you think. You may need to retrain your nose to more subtle scents of essential oils for a while, but it is well worth the effort to make that switch.
Make Your Air Fresheners
Many of us use essential oil diffusers and candles in our homes already. But do you know how easy it is to make air fresheners and room sprays? They are super simple, especially when you can click on our links for comprehensive tutorials.
Many of you probably already use your essential oils in diffusers and scented candles, But have you shifted from using synthetic room sprays and bed linen sprays yet? Often they are as simple as mixing distilled water with alcohol to disperse your chosen essential oil blend. You can get effective results and sublime natural fragrances in a jiffy and always for a fraction of the cost.
I have seen many ideas for making your air fresheners, from using bowls of dried rice, wood chips, and baking soda as an absorbent material to hold the essential oils. Then all those beautiful fragrances can permeate and waft around your room.
You can make solid gel-type air fresheners easily for yourself, using gelatin and essential oils. You can make a variety of options to use around the home. I occasionally use a cedarwood one in my wardrobe and a floral one in my bathroom. This gel freshener video from the Township of Washington Public Library is straightforward and cheap!
Make Your Moth Deterrents
Bare wood makes a beautiful medium for absorbing essential oils. To deter the blasted moths that like to eat my cashmere, I use many cedarwood rings on my wardrobe hangers and top them up yearly with drops of cedarwood essential oil. If I am running low, I will pin clothes pegs to pockets or buttonholes of precious items or pop cotton pads with a few drops of cedarwood oil in the pockets.
Many of Asia's old wooden blanket chests were made from Camphor Wood, as it was a natural deterrent to moths. Think about using Camphor essential oil to deter them too.
Make Your Car Fresheners
Wooden pegs make the perfect clip-on vent air freshener for your car. Drop a few drops of essential oils onto the bare wood and allow it to absorb; clip it to an air vent in your car, and that's it! You can also use these on your furnace vents around the home.
Think how much you save on expensive, synthetic, store-bought air fresheners. Here you have natural scents with all the excellent aromatherapy benefits for an absolute steal.
Make A Felt Mobile or Hanger
One last tip came from using felt pads in aroma pendants; why not just cut out decorative shapes from felt and use those? They can be decorated and embroidered to be as fancy as you like. They can even be turned into a mobile designed to move in the breeze and diffuse those beautiful essential oils around the room.
Make sure to hang them in an appropriate place as they can stain, and do not hang them against your favorite wallpaper or wooden surface. It is another super simple idea that costs pennies to make.
Using Essential Oils in The Kitchen and Bathroom
This is one area in which I have been making a significant shift recently and reducing my use of chemicals as radically as possible.
Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner
If you use a lot of citrus fruit as I do, all those peels can be steeped in white vinegar, left to 'stew' for a month in a large jar, and you have an incredible all-purpose cleaner that cuts through grease like no one's business.
You can add essential oils to suit. Tea Tree, Thyme, and Oregano all have properties that make for significant antimicrobial actions. Red Thyme has extreme bacterial activities; check out what Liz says about Red Thyme Essential Oil.
Here is My Favorite All Purpose Cleaner Recipe with Essential Oils
This is what I have made the shift to and am using in my kitchen and bathroom now.
Use citrus juice and fruit; you only need the peels. It gives you the perfect excuse to have a G&T now.
- Pop all the peels into a large jar, top up with the distilled vinegar, and leave on a sunny window sill for a month or so to infuse.
- After a month, drain all the peels, reserving the liquid.
- Decant the citrus-infused liquid into a bottle of your choice; I recommend a spray bottle.
- Add your essential oils, and shake thoroughly to mix
- Label all ingredients clearly with a permanent marker on the bottle.
- Use liberally as an all-purpose cleaner around the home. It is an excellent degreaser.
Safety: Not for topical use. If it gets on your skin, rinse it off well, as the vinegar's citrus oils can be harsh.
Banish Fruit Flies
We all get those tiny pesky fruit flies at some point or another. I get them in my compost caddy at the height of summer, even if I am emptying it daily. I discovered that fruit flies dislike the smell of many essential oils, so I decided to try it and see if I could eliminate them.
I have tried Peppermint, Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus essential oils, and they were all pretty good at deterring them, but the best one seemed to be Lavender essential oil, so I wiped it around the lid of the bin, and voila!
You can also place a few drops of one of these essential oils on a cotton ball and place where you have seen them congregate, like in compost caddies, bins, fruit bowls, and vegetable boxes. Make sure the essential oil has room to permeate, to be effective.
Tea bags are absorbent and can be effectively dipped in essential oils and hung in your kitchen. It will do two things, keep the fruit flies away and make your kitchen smell wonderful.
Make Your Fridge Deodorizer
Many of you will know about leaving a lemon in your fridge to help eliminate fishy odors. Have you considered that you can get the same effect with a pot of bicarbonate, soda, and a couple of drops of lemon essential oil? You could even add a few drops of Thyme essential oil too.
8 tbsp of bicarbonate of soda, mix it with 10 drops of Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon L (Burm.) F. ) and 10 drops of Thyme essential oil (Thymus vulgaris). Mix thoroughly, seal into an airtight container, and leave for a few hours. Then mix again and place into a container with a perforated top. Label and date it, clearly listing all ingredients for safety reasons. Place it into the fridge, where it is unlikely to get knocked over. Replace every 30 days.
Safety: Not for ingestion or topical application. Label your jar clearly, please!
Make Your Odor Neutralizer
You can make your cooking odor-neutralizers very simply. Combat nasty niffs and smells by popping a pan of boiling water on the stove and adding essential oils like Cinnamon, Cardamom, or Clove. They soon counter the lingering whiffs of things like cooked fish and onions.
I prefer essential oils like Orange and Grapefruit to counter that noxious odor of stale cooking fat.
Ensure you thoroughly rinse the pan before cooking food or use a dedicated pan just for your essential oils. If you use a double boiler for your aromatherapy toiletries and products, it's also perfect!
Make Your Scented Tissues
Have you seen the price of scented tissues and toilet rolls? Oh my… How much?
Also, I am not keen on the idea that the fragrances are synthetic and perhaps absorbed into the tissues themselves... .and who wants to wipe with that up there? Not me, that's for sure.
Making your scented tissue products is a doddle and, of course, very cost-effective.
Drip a few drops of essential oil on the inside of the cardboard inner of your loo roll. You can scent your tissues by adding a few drops onto your card-based tissue box or a cotton pad and pop inside the box of tissues.
You can use this to scent your notepaper too. I keep a box of birthday cards with a cotton ball infused with gorgeous essential oils. An incense stick works just as well!
Furnish Your First Aid Kit
I always keep essential oils in my first aid kit. I cannot imagine my kit without it these days. Tea Tree, Lavender, Geranium, and Galbanum are my go-to heroes.
My cat scratched me a couple of days ago, and I had a bottle of Tea Tree essential oil to hand, and it went straight on the scratches. Cats can carry all sorts of nasties under their claws; when they have broken your skin, you can easily be susceptible to those. A bottle of Tea Tree will deal with most of those in one failed swoop, and it is always my first port of call for nicks, cuts, and scratches.
Lavender is perfect for bites and stings and soothing anything sore or inflamed. Along with Chamomile, it makes a wonderful After Sun treatment mixed with pure aloe gel or juice.
The chemical constituents in Geranium essential oil can be hemostatic (Ashley, 2014), which means it can stop bleeding. It can do this in two ways; firstly, as an astringent or, more specifically, a styptic, it causes contraction of blood vessels and helps stop blood flow. Secondly, it has a hemostatic action, so it speeds up the coagulation or the clotting of blood.
I use Geranium essential oil in my first aid kit primarily for this reason. I also keep it in the bathroom cabinet for razor knicks. I also use it in my kit for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to stop bacteria or microbes from developing around the wound and potentially causing infection.
I also learned by trial and error that Galbanum essential oil is the perfect antidote to a cut or prick from a Blackthorn bush, and anyone who has ever had one will tell you how troublesome they are to heal and how painful they can be. So please include it in your kit in your garden, on your homestead, or near your camping grounds.
Last Little Snippets
These are some last little snippets that I found lurking in the corners of the internet. Don't worry; I have tried them out for you where possible.
A few drops of Sweet Orange essential oil can remove gum from the carpet and hair. I was not prepared to put gum in my hair or mat, so I'll let you try this one out. Keep me updated!
However, Sweet Orange essential oil can also eliminate the stubborn sticky residue left over from packaging labels. This one I did try. Since I have a mountain of jars ready for summer canning, most of them are awaiting de-labeling.
I was impressed, as this one does help. However, it needs a little elbow grease to work well. Not to mention, weighing up the cost, it takes a good few drops to do just one jar, so it's not the best choice when you have a line of a hundred jars to do. If you have just a handful to do…. Go for it!
I also came across a tip that Lemon essential oil removes permanent markers.
Since it is planting season and I have been cleaning all my garden labels, it was the perfect challenge to try it out since I always use a permanent marker.
Lemon essential oil removes permanent markers, including those written with a Sharpie.
I have just one label left that my husband wrote, and I am still determining what he used (nuclear fusion perhaps), but it will not budge; even after bleaching, it is still as crisp as the day he wrote it. Until now, Lemon essential oil has taken half of it off, but it is still somewhat stubborn, sadly.
However, thanks to Lemon essential oil and clean jars courtesy of Sweet Orange, I now have many nice clean garden labels to use. They smell pretty good too.
Using Essential Oils in The Laundry Room
You can use essential oils in the laundry room in many ways, and they don't have to be complicated or expensive, either. Let me share a few ideas with you.
Make your Liquid Laundry Soap
This is something that I have been researching recently. Having sensitive skin, I find it increasingly challenging to find laundry detergents that get my clothes clean and suit my skin. It's more complicated than you think!
I found this incredible video from Hopewell Heights on How to Make Your Own Liquid Laundry Soap; she has a large and young family and finds it very cost-effective to make her own.
She uses a lemon balm herbal infusion, but you could easily use essential oils and our VINEVIDA skin-safe fragrance oils. It is certainly on my to-do list!
Make your Own Tumble Dryer Sheets
This is another project that is an absolute doddle, and once you realize just how easy they are to make, you will never rebuy them! Ultra cheap and supremely easy.
I often plump for zingy citrus oils and intense florals, especially when drying the bed linen for that gorgeous moment when you slide between those pretty clean and fragrant sheets.
You mix fine J Cloths or very thin disposable-type dishcloths with white distilled vinegar and essential oils of your choice. Pop them in a jar, whip them out into your pile of washing to be dried, pop them into the tumble dryer, and voila, gorgeous scented linens.
Find the full tutorial here; swap out fragrance oils for essential oils. How to use Fragrance Oils.
Make your Linen Sprays and Iron Water
These are super simple to make and use and for a fraction of the cost of store-bought varieties.
You can make linen spray just as you would make a room spray with essential oils. Choose your favorite blend of essential oils. It is worth adding a proprietary dispersant to ensure you don't end up with tiny flecks of essential oils staining your clothing or linen.
Iron water is a little more complex because you want to avoid adding alcohol as a dispersant for obvious safety reasons. You can use a high proportion of Witch Hazel or mix your essential oils into half a teaspoon of Castile or Liquid Soap to act as a dispersant. The latter is my preferred option. Don't use too much soap, ½ a tsp to one liter of distilled water is more than enough.
Pay attention to your Lingerie drawers; you can use felt pads popped into fabric covers or lavender bags. However, I cheat thoroughly here and store my aromatherapy soaps in my lingerie drawers instead.
Remember to make the most of Cedarwood products and the essential oil to deter those vile moths that munch on your precious cashmere. Pop wooden pegs soaked in the oil on the hanger to keep them at bay.
Dealing with Stinky Stuff
We all have to deal with 'stinky stuff' at some point in our lives, and for those of us that are parents, there seems to be a never-ending stream of it. Essential oils are your friend here.
Diaper bins benefit from a Lavender essential oil wipe; if you are soaking cloth diapers, add a few drops to the sterilized water too.
Give the families gym bags and yoga mats a wipe down with Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils.
We all have someone in the family with stinky shoes - and they can be reasonably easily remedied. You can stuff the shoe with newspaper infused with a few drops of essential oils and wrap them in a zip lock bag overnight.
I use bicarbonate of soda infused with a few drops of essential oil sprinkled into my husband's shoes. Just knock out any excess before wearing.
Sneakers and canvas shoes are the worst for getting stinky, and you must bring the big guns out. Line the shoe with essential oil-infused newspaper or tissue paper thoroughly, pour in a large amount of essential oil-infused bicarbonate of soda, seal in a zip lock bag, and leave for at least 48 hours. Carefully remove the bicarb and paper before wearing them.
If they need a bit longer, top up the essential oils, reseal the bag, and leave for 48 hours.
You will want to discard the paper and bicarb after.
Using Essential Oils With Pets in The House
In a home with four cats, I am all too aware that sometimes you need to refresh the carpets and soft furnishings around the house. However, I am also acutely aware that some essential oils are not significant to use with pets...
Safety First With Pets
Those of you who use an essential oil diffuser in the house with pets probably already know that you need to be careful what essential oils you use around your beloved pets.
Not all essential oils are good for them. Many citrus oils are unsuitable for cats as they don't have the proper enzymes in their liver to process them if they lick the molecules of their fur; hence why we advise not using them in an essential oil diffuser if you have cats in your home.
We have a variety of articles on the VINEVIDA blog about what you can and cannot use around your pets. Type cat or dog in the blog search bar, and it will bring back all the relevant articles. (Scroll down past the oil recommendations to find them).
Make Your Carpet and Soft Furnishing Deodorizers
Once you know what essential oils you can safely use, you can make your own carpet and soft furnishing deodorizers. To refresh carpets and couches from stale odors, add 10 drops of essential oil to about 200 grams of baking soda or cornstarch, mix well and store in an airtight container for about 2 days to let the mixture infuse, and the granules absorb the essential oils.
Before using the mixture, stir it last time, sprinkle it onto your carpets, and leave it to infuse for a few hours. Keep pets away from the area during this time. Then you can hoover the carpets and furnishings, and you will have clean, fresh-smelling carpets and soft furnishings throughout your home.
We also have great articles on ways to use essential oils with your pets, like these:
Using Essential Oils to Target Pests
You can make yourself an essential oil Bug Busting Expert in no time. Liz's brilliant article on Insect Repellent Essential Oils will tell you everything you need to know.
In the meantime… An update on the bug spray I made earlier - there are far fewer green flies on my chili plants than when I sprayed them earlier this afternoon, and they don't seem as active. I gave them another spritz, and I shall see what happens later.
Compared to the tray of seedlings I have not yet sprayed, the bug-busting spray has done something to deter or kill off the greenfly. I might have another positive update by the time I finish writing The Final Word.
Here's my Bug Busting Spray recipe:
I combined it all in a spray water bottle and wrote the ingredients on the bottle in a permanent marker. (I can remove it with lemon essential oil, remember)?
Be cautious where you spray it, preferably outside, and if you get it on your skin, rinse it off well.
Dealing With Bigger Pests Around the Home
You may be dealing with slightly more extensive and furrier pests around your home, and this is the article for you - How To Make Your Home Safe From Rodents Without Pesticides.
You may have a more slippery or scaly customer to see off. If you have an issue with snakes, try this - The Best Snake Repellent You Can Find, Based On The Experts, and if Iguanas are a local pest, this is the one for you - The Ultimate Guide To Iguana Control And How It Works.
The Final Word
I know you are all on tenterhooks to know if the bug spray worked or not - hang on while I go and take a peek and assess the damage.
I am no scientist, but the greenfly seems diminished by at least 60%, which has helped.
There are still a few persistent blighters, but I will persist with the spray for a few days, as I would instead not resort to chemical pesticides.
I better go and spray the other tray of seedlings now too!
This article gives you confidence and enthusiasm to try some of the hints and tips on using aromatherapy around the home and try some recipes to expand your repertoire.
It goes without saying that when you make the swap from synthetic fragrances to essential oils, you are cutting out unnecessary chemicals from your home and introducing all those extra benefits that essential oils bring with their many actions.
Making a felt mobile for a child's room is a great idea, made brilliantly by adding a little Lavender essential oil to infuse the room before bedtime for more restful nights.
Infusing a gelatin air freshener sat on your teen's desk with Peppermint, Lemon, and Rosemary can help with their focus too.
Using Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang in your lingerie drawer might make for a racier experience to spice up your life.
Whatever you are trying out, please don't lose focus on the benefits of all these excellent essential oils amidst all the glorious fragrances they exude. Make both sides work for you to get the best out of using aromatherapy around the home. Enjoy!