Ditch The Toxic Household Cleaners! Try These 5 Essential Oils Instead

Spring is in full bloom, but if you're a little behind on your seasonal cleaning, now is as good a time as ever to throw open those windows and give your house a good scrubbing. If you're looking for greener cleaning methods, here are five essential oils you can use.

1. Lemon essential oil

Citrus scents are my go-to oils for cleaning because of their fresh scent, and lemon essential oil is one of my favorite because it has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It's great for brightening dingy floors, cleaning windows and freshening up laundry that's been in the washing machine too long.

For your floors, mix 15 drops of lemon essential oil with one bucket of water, one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of castille soap, then mop! If you want to clean windows or countertops, mix a few drops with white vinegar for squeaky clean surfaces. And if you find your wet clothes smell a little musty, just run the wash again, this time with a few drops of oil.

2. Sweet orange essential Oil

Another citrus scent with an uplifting aroma that's an ideal option for spring cleaning is sweet orange essential oil. Mix a few drops of the oil with baking soda on a damp sponge to tackle greasy stove tops. You can also use this mixture to wipe down the shelves and walls of your refrigerator.

3. Tea tree oil

Tea tree essential oil is another great addition to your green arsenal if you're looking for strong antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal cleaning agent. Tea tree oil works well for ridding your home of that musty smell it might have acquired during the winter months. It's also great for cleansing mold- or mildew-prone areas like your shower. Just add a couple drops to two cups of water and spritz around your home, shower doors, sinks and bathtub. No need to wipe it up afterward!

4. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil is another favorite of mine for its invigorating smell. Not only is it a great pest deterrent, peppermint oil also has strong antibacterial properties — it's the perfect addition to vinegar for disinfecting your bathroom and kitchen. Just add a few drops to water, spritz and wipe off.

5. Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil is strong addition to any house cleaning routine: it's antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Freshen up your laundry by adding a few drops to a wash cloth and tossing it in your dryer, or add a few drops to a solution of one part vinegar, three parts water to clean your floor.

How do you incorporate essential oils into your cleaning routine?

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