Natural Cleaning Recipes with Essential Oils

Use these easy natural cleaning recipes for a home that’s free of germs, grime and toxic chemicals.

| March/April 2012

Naturally Clean Home Book

"The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegele-Maier features 150 easy green cleaning recipes.

Courtesy Storey Publishing

Nearly everyone has heard about the virtues of common items such as baking soda and vinegar for scouring and absorbing grease. Adding herbal essential oils enhances a formula’s cleaning value and leaves behind a soothing, natural scent. It’s not just an advertising gimmick that many commercial products contain citrus oils such as lemon or lime—they are natural degreasers and have antimicrobial properties. Using natural products instead of chemical-laden commercial ones makes household tasks almost a pleasure to tackle. I know it’s hard to get excited about cleaning a bathroom, but when you realize that the surfaces are germ- and toxin-free, and the soothing aroma of cedar or lavender lingers, you won’t be able to suppress a smile of satisfaction. And that enthusiasm is contagious—even the kids will want to pitch in!

Cleaning with Natural Ingredients Saves Time, Space and Money

Making your own natural cleaning recipes is not time-consuming or expensive. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It only takes a minute or two to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water and add a few drops of essential oil. Bingo—instant glass and appliance cleaner! Having done that, there’s one less aisle to visit in the supermarket. The majority of commercial cleaners are quite expensive. A typical spray or foam cleanser for the bathroom, for instance, can cost $4 or more. A natural alternative, on the other hand, will cost pennies to make. You can buy essential oils for an average of $3 to $5 per half fluid ounce. Because you only use 5 to 30 drops of the oil (depending on the formula), that half-ounce goes a long way. Other all-natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, water and castile soap are also inexpensive.

You will marvel at the amount of uncluttered space that becomes available in the area where you store cleaning supplies. According to Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Toxic Free, the average kitchen is home to 30 or more commercial products, the laundry room six! Many of the herbal formulas you will be making are multipurpose, so the number of cleaning products you store will be greatly reduced—an immense help to those of us with only a little bit of space under the sink or in a closet.

Ingredients for Natural Cleaning Recipes:

Baking soda: Otherwise known as bicarbonate of soda, you can find this ingredient in any supermarket, usually in the baking supplies aisle.

Citrus seed extract: Usually made from grapefruit seed, this natural preservative is a powerful antimicrobial agent. Often sold as grapefruit seed extract, it is available at health-food stores or by mail order.

Essential oils: Read about selecting essential oils in “Essential Oils 101” at the end of this article. These natural cleaning recipes include lime; sweet orange; rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree; thyme; lemon or lemongrass; and peppermint or citronella; all are available via health-food stores or mail order.

10/3/2015 4:06:45 PM

Thanks so much for the great post and for supporting green living! If anyone's looking for more suggestions and solutions for living greener, I highly recommend checking out a fantastic comprehensive resource called Everyday Roots. It's filled with over 200 all-natural homemade products, treatments and remedies for home, health and beauty that's updated on a regular basis. This is an essential resource to your Go Green library and is definitely a must-see for anyone looking for natural alternatives to living a greener lifestyle. You can see more info here:

4/14/2015 9:23:39 AM

Ceiling fan blades, cobwebs in your ceiling corners, and dusty baseboards can often be ignored in the course of regular cleaning. Play the part of a detective as you scour your home for hidden dust-bunny nests. Kids are great helpers with the lower areas, too. Give each kid a white cleaning cloth and see who can get theirs the dustiest in 15 minutes of swiping baseboards! Greets!

7/2/2014 10:44:14 AM

I've been wanting to switch to natural cleaning solutions for some time now, I just didn't know enough about them to actually do it. It seems there is a recipe for almost everything that needs cleaning, I'll rely on these recipes and some good to keep my home spotless!

7/11/2013 1:17:01 PM

I would love to find out the different oils and natural things to clean my home.  Like receipes for cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, etc.  Dixie

mark eastwood
11/30/2012 5:35:44 PM

If you would like to know more about essential oils and how they can benefit you and your child you can visit my site at Here you can see how essential oils work other important information that you should know when using essential oils. There are also some oils that pregnant women should not use when they are pregnant or are nursing. If you have any questions on essential oils, there uses, or need help navigating the site, you can email me or my wife. You can do this by clicking Mark and Rebecca Eastwood at the top of the webpage. My wife or I will give you call and answer any questions you may have. Mark Eastwood (Wife is Rebecca)

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