The One Natural Cleaner That I Use On Everything

Photo: Nadine Greeff

Spring is officially here—and with it comes the time-honored tradition of dusting off winter’s cobwebs and giving our homes a good cleaning. This year, mbg is teaming up with trusted experts across all walks of wellness to provide a full week of spring cleaning inspiration. Today, neuroscientist and natural beauty expert Leigh Winters spills about the one natural cleaner she uses on everything.

I’ve always enjoyed cleaning, but it wasn’t until three years ago that I truly realized the majority of our everyday cleaning products are riddled with synthetic toxins linked to asthma, allergies, and even reproductive issues.

When I embarked on my graduate studies in neuroscience to study olfaction and its effects on our psychology and physiology, I also decided to study aromatherapy on the side for some complementary fun. Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever amount to much. But I was mistaken, and before I knew it, I was hooked on anything aromatic—including using essential oils in lieu of traditional (and not-so-healthy) cleaning products.

Essential oils are unique in that you’re able to try your hand at some DIY formulation with two goals in mind: finding a scent you like and blending for therapeutic benefit. Many people don't realize that the most robust clinical research conducted on essential oils aims to uncover their antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.

Using essential oils to clean not only helps you and your family stay healthy, but you’ll also save money, create less waste, and reduce the toxic load on the environment. Plus, going green with your cleaning routine likely involves items that you already have stocked in your home like white distilled vinegar, baking soda, borax, and vegetable glycerin.

Here’s my go-to recipe for a multipurpose cleaning spray that’s safe to use on most any countertop or table. I swear by it for my kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Here's how I use my aromatic lemon and lavender cleanser on everything.

Ingredients:

Makes about 10 ounces

  • 5 ounces distilled water
  • 5 ounces white distilled vinegar
  • 58 drops lemon essential oil
  • 50 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 18 drops lavender essential oil

Method:

Add all the essential oils to a glass spray bottle, then add the water and vinegar. Shake before using.

Lemon, tea tree, and lavender are a powerful cleaning trifecta since they provide a crisp, clean smell and all act as antimicrobials. Lavender and tea tree are both powerful antivirals and antifungals that are great for any beginner wanting to get started with essential oils for household cleaning.

Ready for more DIY cleaner inspo? Check out how to incorporate essential oils into dozens of homemade products, and check out 8 of the top ways to detox your home.

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