Orange essential oil, harvested by pressing the rinds of the fruit, can be a workhorse product. Sometimes called sweet orange oil, it’s derived from the peels of Citrus × sinensis (as opposed to bergamot essential oil, made from the species C. × aurantium). It’s an effective addition to homemade cleaners, thanks to limonene, a compound found in the essential oil that is also a natural ingredient in many commercial cleaning products. In addition, orange essential oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic.
When shopping for essential oil, be sure to purchase 100 percent pure essential oil. “Fragrance oil,” “nature-identical oil” or “perfume oil” aren’t the same. Ensure no ingredients are added to the essential oil, and look for products sold in small (4-ounce-or-less) colored bottles—colored glass prevents sunlight from damaging the essential oil. Avoid oils sold in plastic bottles, as the plastic can degrade and contaminate the oil. Also, check the label for the botanical name.
1. Winter Refresher: To keep indoor air smelling fresh, mix 8 drops orange essential oil with 2-1⁄2 cups warm water in a spray bottle. Spritz as necessary, avoiding eyes, and shake well before use.
2. Lift the Mood: Orange essential oil can enhance your mindset thanks to its energizing and pleasant scent. Mix a few drops of the essential oil with 1⁄4 cup sweet almond oil in a small, airtight jar. Dab it on your temples to help with headaches (thanks to orange essential oil’s antispasmodic properties) or supercharge your spirits on a cloudy afternoon.
3. Flavor Almond Milk: Put a delicious zing in your almond milk by adding a few drops of orange oil. Soak 2⁄3 cup raw almonds and 4 soft dates (pitted) in 2 cups water overnight. Blend with 2 more cups water until smooth. Add 1 drop cinnamon essential oil and 4 drops orange essential oil, then pour through a mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Serve warm or chilled.
4. Double Duty: Whip up a natural, insect-repellent glass cleaner by combining 2 cups white vinegar with 10 drops sweet orange essential oil in a labeled spray bottle. Use it to clean windows and mirrors, shaking well before each use.
5. Clean Floors: Combine 1⁄4 cup white vinegar with 14 drops orange essential oil. Add to a bucket of water. For extra cleaning power, add several drops of castile soap, but follow with a clean-water mop to ensure floors aren’t slippery.
6. Pamper Furniture: Moisturize leather furniture with a mixture of 1⁄4 cup flax seed oil, 1⁄2 cup white vinegar and 1 to 2 drops orange essential oil. Place the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and shake before using. Apply with a soft, clean cloth. Rub the mixture on one small area at a time and buff until the surface dries.
7. Nix Fleas: Mix 2 cups baking soda with 10 to 15 drops orange essential oil. Sprinkle on carpets, then wait a few minutes or up to an hour before vacuuming. Make sure pets and children are kept away and can’t ingest the baking soda.
8. Lip Service: Make an easy DIY Orange-Mint Lip Balm. Combine 4 tablespoons almond oil and 1 tablespoon grated beeswax in a small pot on the stove. Warm the mixture gently over very low heat until the beeswax melts. Remove from heat, add 1 teaspoon honey and stir thoroughly. Add 5 drops sweet orange essential oil and 5 drops peppermint essential oil, then stir again. Pour into small wide-mouth glass jars and allow to cool, stirring occasionally (if necessary) to keep mixture from separating.