Used in aromatherapy, essential oils are a great addition to non-scented, green cleaning products and homemade, natural cleaning recipes, such as this one for an aromatherapy cleanser. They are all natural and biodegradable because they come directly from plants. And with their powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, they get cleaning jobs done!
Not only do essential oils get things clean, studies show they can help you in other ways – from lifting your mood to boosting your immune system. Below are some of the most common essential oils found in green cleaning products and often the most economical and easy to find, so they are great ones to start with in stocking your green cleaning kit.
1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
2. Lemon (Citrus limon)
3. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
4. Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
5. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Caution! Don’t store your tea tree oil in clear bottles, high heat, or direct sunlight as it can cause the chemical constituents of the essential oil to change, resulting in sensitivity in some individuals.
Caution! It is important that you use essential oils safely. If you get essential oils in your eyes, flush with water for 10-15 minutes. Consult a doctor if irritation persists. If you get essential oils on your skin, wash with soapy warm water. One exception: Lavender doesn't harm the skin; in fact, it is often used directly on the skin to treat burns, insect bites, etc.
Battaglia, S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. (2003). 2nd ed. Brisbane, Australia: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.
Keville, K. (1995). Aromatherapy for Dummies. New York: Wiley Publishing.