Chemicals are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe, food we consume, the water we drink, and the products we clean our homes with.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 84,000 different chemical substances listed which include organic and inorganic substances, as well as polymers.Of the 84,000 chemicals listed, according to testimony given by the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxins and Environmental Health, only approximately 1-percent of these items have been evaluated for safety. One way the federal government is working to reduce daily chemical exposure is by promoting “green” cleaning products termed “environmentally preferable products,” or EPPs.
Traditional cleaning products have been recognized to cause many health problems, including disruption of the endocrine (hormone) regulating system, chronic asthma and dermatitis.Using essential oils to clean commercially or within the home has proven equally as effective as using name brand cleaning products. It is another way to be Eco-friendly and clean “green.”
Tea Tree Oil is wonderful for removing mold or mildew. Its natural antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it an optimal household cleaner and general disinfectant. In addition, it’s great for cleaning counter tops. Some suggest adding approximately 20 drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle for a germ-free, shiny surface. Because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, tea tree oil is said to be able to kill e-coli, salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria, as well as some others.
Lemon essential oil can be added to mop water or with laundry soaps to bring vivid color back to white clothing. It is recognized for its ability to lift stains and remove spots while exuding a pleasantly clean citrus smell. Lemon essential oil is also a great component for homemade dusting sprays for wooden surfaces. Some variations of the recipe include: water, olive oil, white vinegar, orange and clove essential oils, as well as emulsifying wax and xanthan gum.
Peppermint is another essential oil frequently employed for cleaning purposes. It has a refreshing scent with added antibacterial properties to fully clean and disinfect. Peppermint is a wonderful component to add with other oils including lavender, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus. Peppermint also acts as a natural bug repellent.
Lavender essential oil has been said to act as an effective ironing spray. It is suggested to use distilled water and vodka with a few fresh sprigs of lavender. Spray on clothes before ironing for a clean, refreshing scent, or use on pillowcases and bed sheets for a calm, relaxing sleep. Since this spray is made with non-toxic materials, it can be used as a body spray, or to enliven the fragrance of any room.
Rosemary essential oil has been hailed for its versatile abilities. In aromatherapy, it can be used to reduce anxiety, tension, lethargy, headaches and symptoms of depression. It’s also great to use for cleaning floors. Rosemary essential oil has a welcoming, uplifting fragrance that infuses any room with that fresh, ‘just cleaned’ aroma comparable to potent commercial cleaners containing abrasive chemicals. With essential oils, nothing is lost from your cleaning experience but the extra chemicals.