It was rough, man.
For the last year our teeny living room was our only living space as we ripped apart our 98 year-old home to make room for the extreme farmhouse remodel. For nearly all of 2015, we ate in that room, did homeschool in that room, played in that room, relaxed (sort of…) in that room, and stored all the boxes there too. It was nearly impossible to keep things and organized in that sort of set-up, and I’ll admit– I had more than couple melt-downs throughout the process. Ahem.
I’ve always heard people lament how hectic it can be to live in the middle of a remodel, but I had NO IDEA until I experienced it myself. Was it worth it? Yes. But hallelujah it’s almost over!
And now that the remodel is mostly done upstairs (full home tour blog post coming soon, promise!) I have this insatiable desire to clean and purge ALL THE THINGS, because everything feels extremely gross and dusty after a year-long remodel.
As compared to the average American cleaning cupboard, mine is rather “unique”. I stopped purchasing conventional cleaning products years ago, due to all the hazardous chemicals they contain, and have been using homemade essential oil cleaning recipes ever since.
Not only does adding essential oils to DIY cleaning mixes totally boost cleaning power, but it will make your home smell amazing— no artificial fragrances required.
I get asked all the time which DIY cleaners are my favorite, so I finally decided to put them all in one place for y’all.
DIY Cleaning Recipe FAQs:
Q: What if I don’t have a certain oil called for in one of the recipes?
A: I listed my favorite essential oils for each recipe, but you can absolutely swap out oils or substitute your favorite. Some of the most powerful essential oils for cleaning are lemon, lime, wild orange, thyme, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, melaleuca (tea tree), rosemary, and cinnamon. Mix and match as you wish.
Q: Do I have to use glass bottles for my mixes?
A: It’s a widely known fact that essential oils can degrade plastic. For this reason, it is generally recommended to only store oils in glass, and I always follow that rule if I plan to use the oil mixture on my skin or in a food recipe. However, I’ve never had a problem mixing/storing my cleaning recipes in regular plastic spray bottles for two reasons: #1: The mixtures are usually quite diluted, and #2: I will not be ingesting the mixture or applying it to my body.
Q: Why can’t I use castile soap in some of these recipes?
A: If the recipe calls for vinegar, you’ll want to avoid adding castile soap to the mix, as the two substances will react and form a gloppy, slimy mess. That’s why I simply use a natural dish detergent like this one for recipes that also contain vinegar. (affiliate link)
Q: Which essential oils do you use?
A: There are new essential oil companies popping up everyday, but I’ve used doTERRA essential oils for four years now, and I’ll never go anywhere else. The oils are third-party tested for purity, ethically sourced around the globe, and I’m proud to be associated with a company that actively works with organizations like Mentors International to help others overcome poverty, viruses, and further health risks. I believe in this company wholeheartedly, and I’ve been sharing doTERRA oils with people non-stop since I started using them. I’m happy to personally help you get these oils in your home, too– click here to see how you can connect with me.
Q: Are there any essential oil blends suited to cleaning?
A: Yes. Two of the doTERRA essential oil blends I use the most for cleaning are On Guard® and Purify®. They both have powerful cleansing properties and I often mix them into my DIY recipes.
Q: What other ways do you use essential oils?
A: Check out the following articles on essential oils for more ideas on how to use them:
- Cooking with Essential Oils
- Homemade Air Freshener Recipes
- My Favorite Essential Oil Recipes for the Diffuser
- Essential Oils for Sleep
- 30 Essential Oil Hacks for Homesteading
Top 10 Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes
1. All-Purpose Cleaner with Lemon
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon natural dish soap (NOT castile soap)
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
- 20 drops melaleuca essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a quart-sized spray bottle. Shake to combine. Spray and wipe on counters, cabinets, sinks, toilets, and anywhere else.
2. Fresh Mint Window & Mirror Cleaner
- 3 cups distilled water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or vodka
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 20 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a quart-sized spray bottle. Shake to combine, then spray on mirrors, windows, or stainless steel. Wipe off with paper towels or old newspaper for streak-free shine.
3. Simple Citrus Soft Scrub
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops lime essential oil
- 10 drops wild orange essential oil
Mix ingredients together to form a paste (add more castile soap if needed). Apply with rag or sponge, then rinse with clean water. I especially like to use this on my stovetop and on grimy sinks.
4. Deep Clean Toilet Scrub
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup liquid dishwashing soap
- 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 3/4 cup water
Mix together in a squeeze-type bottle, then squirt into toilet. Scrub and let stand 20 minutes.
5. Daily Shower Spray
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 teaspoon natural liquid dish soap (not castile soap)
- 15 drops lime essential oil
- 15 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
Combine in a quart-sized spray bottle. Spray daily on shower door and walls after use (this is a preventative spray, designed to help prevent build-up)
6. Lemon Carpet Refresher
- 1 cup baking soda
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
Combine in a small container, and cover tightly with a lid. Shake well and allow to sit for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle on stale or smelly carpet and allow to sit on it overnight. Vacuum up the next morning.
7. Goo & Crayon Remover
- Lemon essential oil
- 1-2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil or almond oil (optional)
Mix together, then apply directly to sticker residue, random goo, gum, crayon marks, etc. (Test in an inconspicuous place first, if needed) Rub in with your fingers, then wipe away with a clean rag. Repeat as needed.
8. Fresh Linen Spray
- 1/4 cup distilled water
- 3 tablespoons witch hazel or vodka
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 15 drops frankincense essential oil
Add all ingredients to a small spritzer, shake well, and spray on sheets, pillowcases, and linens.
9. Sweet Lavender Air Freshener
- 3/4 cup water (I use tap water, but distilled is fine too)
- 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops chamomile essential oil
Combine in a 8 oz spray bottle, shake to combine. Spray throughout the house to eliminate odors or stale smells. (I have a whole bunch of other homemade air freshener combinations in this post, too)
10. Tub and Shower Gel
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup natural dishwashing liquid (not castile soap)
- Squeeze bottle
Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan on the stove until hot (but not boiling). Carefully stir the dishwashing soap in until combined, then pour into the squeeze bottle. Squirt onto shower and tub, and allow to sit for 1-3 hours. Wipe off with a scrubber or sponge. I’ve tried many, many DIY shower cleaning recipes, and this is the ONLY one that will easily remove our farm-scum from the tub without requiring a ton of elbow grease on my part. It uses a lot of soap, but it’s worth it to me!