What does a clean home smell like? We've come to associate a fresh lemon or pine scent with clean but in the case of commercial cleaning products that scent is most likely anything but fresh. Typically the fragrance
of these products is a cocktail of chemicals that are best avoided in our homes. The best way to avoid the chemicals in commercial cleaners is of course to make our own at home so we've been highlighting the staples you should have on hand to create your own cleaning products in our green cleaning pantry series
So, how do you get the fresh clean scent for your homemade cleaners?
Essential oils like lavender and jasmine are perfect for adding aroma or if your preference tends to the sweeter side, rose or vanilla will do the trick. If you like your clean smell with the zest of citrus then lemon, orange of grapefruit might be what you need. You can also combine various oils for their aromatic and beneficial properties.
We've written in the past about the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil
and why is should be part of your green cleaning pantry but are there are essential oils you should include and what are their benefits?
Like tea tree oil, lavender is antibacterial and antiviral and can be effective against fungus. In addition to this it has a woody and somewhat sweet aroma which can help to leave the cleaned areas of your home smelling clean.
A great oil for killing mold and/or mildew and also an effective whitener.
Great for areas where grease cutting power is required and also around bathtubs, mirrors and counters. In the bathroom it is also good for cleaning soap scum. Because it is a solvent it can be used to remove glue residue from price tags and stickers.
Can be an effective stand in for bleach.
Some other oils that are useful for their anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties are: Camphor, chamomile, citronella, cypress, ginger, verbena, lime, sandalwood, thyme and wintergreen.
There are many, many different oils to try so if you have used some of the basics below and want to explore some of the more exotic ones do a little research on their properties and applications and then let your nose lead you. Only use oils that appeal to your sense of smell.
Care must be taken when using essential oils. Do not allow essential oils to get in your eyes and be sure to keep them away from children. For maximum effectiveness protect them from direct sunlight by storing them in amber glass bottles. Keep your oils in a dark, cool place where they will not be subject to high temperatures or extreme temperature fluctuations.
Visit our eco-friendly cleaning
section on Bidmycleaning.com for more ideas on green cleaning in your home or to find a local cleaner who offers a green service.