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Aroma Queen Chemical Free Cleaning
featuring Natural Essential Oils
Copyright Aroma Queen 2019

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IMPORTANT: All information contained below is general, based on commonly used ingredients and methods. Do be aware that even though these ingredients are natural, many are still toxic when ingested so ALWAYS keep your cleaning products and oils out of reach of children or pets. Some ingredients can also be damaging to certain surfaces, so always do a patch test in an inconspicuous area before proceeding with a larger space, and if concerned about your specific surfaces do additional research over whether these methods are suitable for you.
 

Aroma Queen Chemical Free Cleaning"Because we know less and less about cleaning, advertisers can play on our fears of not being quite clean or hygienic enough. We will buy an overpriced product that promises instant cleaning because we think it could rescue us from becoming a social pariah."
"Spotless", Shannon Lush & Jennifer Fleming, ABC Books 2005

 

Have you ever wanted to get into natural cleaning, but been too daunted to try? Have a read of this blog for easy to understand information on the types of oils and natural ingredients that feature in DIY cleaning products, and a range of simple to follow suggestions and recipes for the kitchen, bathroom, deodorising your home and more. This page is far from comprehensive but covers enough handy info to cover the basics so you can grab a few ingredients and get started.
 

TOPICS COVERED IN THIS BLOG - Scroll Down To View Each Section:

1. WHAT IS CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING?
2. ESSENTIAL OILS (EO'S) FOR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING: Tea Tree, Lavender, Citrus oils and more.
3. NATURAL INGREDIENTS FOR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING: Vinegar, Bicarb Soda and more.
4. MATERIALS, PACKAGING & BOTTLING, and MEASUREMENT CONVERSIONS
5. CLEANING YOUR HOUSE CHEMICAL FREE:

    * OVEN, COOKTOP, SPLASHBACK and more
    * MICROWAVE
    * POTS AND PANS
    * DISHWASHER or SINK DEODORISE
    * REFRIGERATOR
    * BENCHTOPS (Kitchen, Bathroom)
    * BATH, SHOWER, BATHROOM
    * TOILET
    * FLOORS
    * OIL BLEND IDEAS for the Floor etc
    * MOULD & MILDEW
    * WINDOWS & GLASS
    * THE BED
    * DRYER SHEETS & LINEN SPRAYS
6. DEODORISING: Recipes and ideas for the whole house.
7. BUGS & INSECTS

 

1. WHAT IS CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING?

Chemical-free cleaning aims to utilise readily-available natural ingredients and tried-and-true traditional methods, instead of mass-produced (and often costly) commercial cleaning products that can contain harsh ingredients, toxic chemicals, preservatives, bleaches, synthetic fragrances and surfactants designed to give the extra foam that marketing has conditioned us to believe will make your household 'cleaner and healthier'.

Instead, using just a handful of ingredients, you can replace most of your cleaning products with simple and effective natural solutions, and you'll know exactly what goes into them when you use them throughout your house and around your family.

Many of us already have a collection of essential oils that we use as personal remedies or to scent a room. But they can also be the perfect addition to your natural cleaning kit: adding essential oils to DIY cleaning products can boost their cleaning power, add antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial benefits - and as a perfect bonus - will also make your home smell fantastic.

As you'll quickly see, most recipes and suggestions use the same few base ingredients - this means you don't need to invest in a huge array of goodies to get going. You'll also notice that many recipes or suggestions vary only slightly from one to the next: if you've already made one recipe and the next one is similar, give it a try and it may already do the trick for you. And if you don't like the scent of a certain essential oil in a recipe, interchange it with one that you do like - if you add an oil you're not fond of, chances are you won't use it - so choose one you enjoy instead.

IMPORTANT: Do be aware that just because a recipe is based on natural ingredients, it's not necessarily non-toxic. Essential oils and other ingredients can be toxic if ingested or swallowed, and can cause skin damage if applied undiluted etc, so you do need to take care and keep your natural cleaning products out of reach of children or pets, just as you would with any commercial cleaning product. And check the notes below about using essential oils in your cleaning products for additional safety (and commonsense) information.

While you'll see quite a few 'don'ts' throughout the page, don't panic! The important thing is to look at what you want to clean, and consider whether the suggested methods are appropriate for it. While most recipes are incredibly safe, there are a few exceptions depending on the materials you're treating, so taking a little time to think things through before launching into it means that there shouldn't be any unintended mishaps.

Tips & Instructions Card
CLICK HERE to view our CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING range
incuding suitable essential oils and ingredients and other products

2. ESSENTIAL OILS (EO'S) FOR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING

Essential Oils for Cleaning Many essential oils have qualities that are beneficial in keeping the house clean - from oils that kill germs, bacteria and mould, to those that help cut through grime and grease or deodorise against unpleasant scents. You can of course also use your favourite oils just because you enjoy them.

But before using any essential oil, just consider whether it might stain or effect the surface you're using it on. Lemon oil may bleach darker finishes; Eucalyptus oil may damage painted surfaces; any dark coloured oil may stain textiles. Essential oils are very strong liquids which need to be diluted for application to the skin or onto any surface, so if undiluted oils come into contact with a finish they may cause damage. Always vigorously shake oil/water blends before use to ensure you're not spraying neat oils (or use SOLUBILISER to help oils and water blend together), and if concerned try a patch test somewhere inconspicuous and out of sight before using on a larger area.

Here's a list of some of the essential oils commonly used for household cleaning - though there are plenty of others that can be used.

TEA TREE OIL

Tea Tree oil, also known as Melaleuca, is one of the most powerful and commonly used essential oils, and is excellent when used in cleaning products as it has a range of benefits and a fresh, outdoorsy scent. Mix with other oils if you find it too medicinal - LEMON MYRTLE is an excellent choice. Tea Tree is known to be antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral - meaning that it can be active against bacteria, virus and fungi - making it perfect for cleaning and purifying your kitchen, bathroom and living areas.

Lavender FlowersLAVENDER OIL

An excellent antiseptic oil. Lavender also helps prevent mould and mildew from building up (see also CLOVE), and makes a beautiful calming scent to help freshen the air in a room spray, linen spray, in with the drying or in your cleaning products. Try LAVANDIN for a less expensive alternative.

CITRUS OILS

If you're looking for a fresh, clean scent that's perfect for household cleaning, citrus oils are an excellent choice - plus they can also help balance the sour scent of vinegar, which is used in a lot of cleaning recipes. As citrus oils typically have an invigorating effect, they'll make you feel better about your cleaning* and leave the rest of your household feeling haopy too. As well as having a gorgeous scent, oils like Lemon and Orange can also help cut through grease and grime for added cleaning benefits.
* Enthusiasm not guaranteed.

Citrus Oils for CleaningLEMON OIL: An anti-viral oil excellent for disinfecting, Lemon is one of the most commonly used oils in natural cleaning, with a beautiful 'clean', fresh scent. Lemon is also a stain remover, great for breaking up grease or sticky residue when added to your cleaning products (try using a few drops on a tissue or cloth to remove stickers or glue from glass; take care using on plastic etc as Lemon can be a solvent). Lemon is also known as a spider & insect repellent.

ORANGE OIL: A joyful uplifting scent that leaves a lovely citrus freshness to your cleaning. Orange is also an excellent de-greaser, so your cleaning products can benefit from having orange oil added to them.

LIME OIL: A disinfectant oil with a sweet, Summery scent. Add to rinse water, in with mop water and other cleaning preparations.

GRAPEFRUIT and BERGAMOT OILS:
Grapefruit and Bergamot are both potent antiseptic, anti-bacterial oils, with fresh, uplifting - and motivating! - scents that are perfect for cleaning.

OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CLEANING

CLOVE BUD OIL: Inhibits and helps kill mould, and also has insecticide qualities. As well as using clove when cleaning in mildewy areas, add a drop to your final rinse water to help stop mould from reappearing.

CAMPHOR OIL: A known moth repellent - try a few drops in a wooden ball popped into your wardrobe and top up when the scent fades. BAY oil or leaves can also be useful against moths.

Eucalyptus OilsEUCALYPTUS OIL: An anti-germ oil that's great for fresh-scented cleaning in the kitchen or bathroom. NOTE: Eucalyptus is also a known adhesive solvent and paint stripper so avoid use in room sprays or where it might come into contact with paint etc, and do patch tests in an inconspicuous area before using it on a new surface.

LEMONGRASS OIL: Lemongrass is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The scent is invigorating and energising - lemonlike but deeper and richer - and can be an excellent oil for deodorising and freshening your rooms.

LEMON MYRTLE OIL: Though the properties of native Australian Lemon Myrtle have not yet been formally documented, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the oil has more potent antimicrobial activities than the more familiar Tea Tree Oil, and with a much more pleasant fresh lemony aroma, making it a great choice for use in cleaning products or air fresheners.

PENNYROYAL OIL: Moth and flea repellent. IMPORTANT: Avoid using near pregnant women or pets, or anyone trying to get pregnant. Never put Pennyroyal directly onto animals or skin - add the oil to a piece of cloth or your pet's bedding (if they can be trusted not to chew or ingest it) as Pennyroyal is a toxic oil.

PEPPERMINT OIL: A light and fresh scented natural deodorant and anti-bacterial oil - the scent helps clear the head and refresh the spirits. Also good for deterring ants and spiders.

PINE OIL: A cleansing, anti-bacterial oil with an invigorating scent that is perfect for cleaning and in floor products throughout the home.

ROSEMARY OIL: An anti-bacterial and antiseptic oil with a fresh, clean invigorating scent - try adding some to your laundry detergent. Rosemary is often used in room fresheners and can have a deodorising effect.

CLICK HERE to view our CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING range
incuding suitable essential oils & ingredients and other products

 

3. NATURAL INGREDIENTS FOR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING

VINEGAR

Vinegar is one of the most useful ingredients in chemical-free cleaning - whether Distilled / White Vinegar or cider based vinegars such as Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). The two types have similar benefits, but white vinegar is usually made of laboratory-produced acetic acid combined with water and is the more acidic. Vinegar and Other IngredientsACV is typically milder, and with a more pleasant scent. With either type there will be a strong vinegar scent during use, dependant on how diluted it is, but this will fade as it dries. You can mask the scent with a few drops of essential oil, which will also add their own benefits or cleaning power. Citrus oils are an excellent counter to the acidic smell of vinegar.

Vinegars contain acetic acid and, being an acid, they can cut through grime and kill bacteria - but if you use it too strongly (ie at full dilution) this can damage surfaces like natural stone, granite or marble, timber or delicate fabrics. This is why most recipes recommend diluting vinegar where it will be more gentle on the surfaces, but still help counteract sticky buildups, soap scum or hard water stains. Even diluted, it is best to check whether your surface is suitable for vinegar as some stone surface manufacturers recommend against it.

Many people use vinegar as a disinfectant, but it's worth noting that there are few actual studies to confirm how efficient it is for this purpose. If you're looking for disinfectant qualities we recommend adding essential oils like Tea Tree to your product.

Use CIDER VINEGAR on HARD surfaces and WHITE VINEGAR on FABRICS.
 

Avoid using vinegar in preparations with castille soap as the two don't mix well, and the mixture can separate and curdle.


BICARB SODA

Sodium Bicarbonate, known in the US as Baking Soda, is the other main ingredient used in natural cleaning. Because bicarb is a natural product that is also used as a cooking ingredient, it is safe and non-toxic - unlike many of the ingredients found in commercial household cleaning products. This means it is safe to use around children or pets, and in food preparation areas such as the kitchen.

Bicarb Soda and other ingredientsBicarb is a mild alkali (an acid neutraliser). It can penetrate stains, causing dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. If used as a powder bicarb soda is mildly abrasive and can be used as a gentle scouring powder to help lift stubborn dirt and grime, without damaging most surfaces - though be careful with surfaces that are lightly sealed or that have a finish that can be worn away.

As a deodoriser, Bicarb doesn't just mask odours: it neutralises them by bringing both acidic and basic (not acidic) odour molecules into a neutral, more odour-free state. Whether sprinkled onto carpets or upholstery (and vacuumed up after sitting for 15mins or longer), added in with the rubbish, or left in a bowl in the fridge (or even in preparations where it's dissolved in water), using Bicarb Soda is an excellent way to cleanse and deodorise many aspects of your household. Add essential oils (see above) for extra deodorising capabilities, or to add a fresh clean scent to your cleaning.

As a pH neutraliser, Bicarb can also be good for your drains or septic system. When added to your septic on a regular basis it helps keep the pH of the water in your system at a near neutral pH level, which is ideal for the beneficial bacteria that breaks down and digests the organic wastes in your septic tank - compared to some household cleaners, bleaches and drain openers that may alter the pH of your septic system significantly. Try adding up to a cup of Bicarb weekly to a toilet, or a sink or garbage disposal running with warm water - the bicarb will also neutralise odours for a fresh drain (scroll down for more ideas).

Take care using bicarb to clean aluminum cookware as allowing a baking soda mixture to sit on the surface for too long can cause it to oxidize (change colour). And stone manufacturers don’t recommend using bicarb on marble as the abrasive action can damage the sealant.


VINEGAR AND BICARB: MAGIC BUBBLES?

So many recipes call for the use of vinegar (an acid) and bicarb soda (a base) mixed together, which create a fizzing reaction when blended. There is a lot of discussion over whether this is actually of any benefit: the fizzing is a reaction of the acetic acid in the vinegar with the sodium bicarbonate, which forms carbonic acid ... which then decomposes via bubbling (carbonating) into carbon dioxide and water. The solution that is left is mostly just slightly salty water: as bicarb is an acid neutraliser, for the most part the two ingredients cancel each other out.

The question of whether this fizzing reaction has any actual cleaning benefit is up for debate. Some say that cleaning with 'salty water' wastes the value of the separate ingredients, while others swear that the carbonating action is the thing that makes their kitchen or bathroom so clean and shiny.

Ultimately, regardless of the value of the fizz, even cleaning with salty water isn't entirely worthless. Water is an excellent solvent in itself so when you use the Vinegar and Bicarb Method described below you'll still get the gentle abrasive action of the bicarb as you begin to scrub, followed by the cleansing power of water. And if the balance of Vinegar to Bicarb isn't evenly matched you can still benefit from the acid in the vinegar if it hasn't been completely neutralised. It is up to you if you'd like to try the two ingredients together as we describe in many of the recipes below; alternately you can try replacing the Vinegar in any of the following recipes with water, or a water/castille soap solution, and you may (or may not!) experience improved results.

 

THE BICARB-VINEGAR METHOD

Any of the recipes below that call for the "Bicarb-Vinegar Method" just mean blending these two ingredients together during the process of cleaning. They will begin to fizz as they come into contact with each other.
* For FLAT surfaces sprinkle the surface with bicarb, then splash with vinegar. Scrub with a sponge or non-abrasive brush as it fizzes. Repeat if necessary and rinse with water.
* For VERTICAL surfaces use two sponges: one dipped in bicarb, and a second dipped in vinegar. Place the bicarb sponge against the surface, then hold the vinegar sponge over the bicarb sponge as you work over the sides.

 

MORE CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING INGREDIENTS

Natural Soap CASTILLE SOAP: Castille soap dates back to Spain in the 1600s, but is experiencing a comeback for those keen on using natural plant ingredients. Usually made based on traditional recipes and free from strong chemical compounds, the soap generally doesn't contain any harsh foaming ingredients. Being detergent-free, Castille Soap will not produce a lot of sudsy lather but will still effectively and gently clean almost anything you can think of. It's a great alternative to synthetic petroleum based soap products, and makes an excellent spot remover on soiled clothing. Castille soap can be found in many health food shops etc.

Many chemical-free cleaning recipes call on liquid castille soap: if you haven't any liquid soap on hand, try grating some solid castille or natural soap into water and blend until it forms a paste or thick liquid. See our NATURAL SOAP section for cold-process soaps with no artificial ingredients or additives.

CORNFLOUR: A fine, absorbent abrasive that can be used in scrubbing products.

GLYCERINE: Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the soap making process - many natural soaps contain an amount of glycerine, while it's usually skimmed from commercial soaps to use in moisturising products. Vegetable glycerine is a gentle natural solvent, which makes it good for use in cleaning where it is often used to help loosen stains.

SOLUBILISER: When blending essential oils with any water-based ingredient, the oils will sit as a slick on top as they are generally not water-soluble. This is why simple recipes advise that your oil and water mix needs to be shaken before every use to ensure you're not spraying neat oils into the air or onto a surface. Alternately, you can add some SOLUBILISER to the recipe. Solubilisers can include ingredients like alcohol / vodka / ethanol which can also act as a preservative in water-based recipes; or the AQ Solubiliser that we stock which is a castor-oil based liquid - castor oil is an odd carrier oil that is partially dissolvable in water. This type of inexpensive solubiliser can be used in equal parts with essential oil to help your oils and water blend together for use in sprays and other mixtures.

TO ADD SOLUBILISER TO A RECIPE: blend your essential oils with equal parts (or a little less) solubiliser BEFORE adding the mix to water/vinegar etc, and shaking well. The recipe will become cloudy as the oils, solubiliser and water permanently combine. If you don't have any solubiliser make sure you always shake your essential oil / water mixes vigorously before every use - this will temporarily disperse the oil into the water, but the oil and water will separate again over time.

To learn more about solubilisers and using alcohol as a solubiliser / preservative take a look at THIS ARTICLE from the Tisserand Institute.

Natural Oils and Other IngredientsSWEET ALMOND OIL: Cold pressed Sweet Almond oil is usually used for skincare or massage, but can also be useful for cleaning bone or ivory.

WITCH HAZEL: an alcoholic extract from the leaves, flowers and bark of the hamamelis shrub, which can be used in natural skincare as a toner etc. In cleaning Witch Hazel can be used as a multipurpose surface cleaning spray; as a base for deodorising room sprays; or as in ingredient or replacement for 'rubbing alcohol' in various surface / glass cleaning recipes. Witch Hazel can also be a useful emulsifier to help mix essential oils into a water-based ingredient or carrier oil to form an emulsion (2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon / 5ml of witch hazel).

CLICK HERE to view our CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING range
incuding suitable essential oils & ingredients and other products.

 

4. MATERIALS, PACKAGING & BOTTLING

Chemical Free CleaningIf you're just getting into trying out chemical-free cleaning at home, you can re-use any bottles you have on hand - just clean them thoroughly, or sterilise in boiled water, to remove any old chemicals. Or grab fresh mason jars, atomiser / trigger spray bottles and containers, ready to make up whatever you need.

While pure essential oils need to be stored in glass as they can eat through plastic, once they are diluted in water, soap or vinegar they are fine in plastic or PET - and plastic bottles are much safer to use in slippery hands than glass, which can easily break on tiles or stone benchtops.

If your project contains essential oils, you are best using opaque or coloured (cobalt, amber, green) packaging as essential oils are suceptible to UV light and can lose their effectiveness if exposed to it. If you want to use clear bottles or jars, store them in a cool dark place as soon as you've finished using them. Vinegar and bicarb are food grade ingredients so don't need special mixing tools, but if you often blend pure essential oils together it might be worth getting a few amber glass oil blending bottles that you can use just for that purpose - you can also make up extra quantities of your blend and store them in these bottles to quickly add them to other products later on.

Keep a selection of brushes and sponges on hand: old toothbrushes are great for getting into grout or corners; bristle brushes are excellent for gentle scrubbing. One of the 'greenest' solutions for rags and cloths is to recycle old cotton shirts or t-shirts: cotton production isn't great for the environment which makes it hard to justify purchasing fresh cotton cloths, but giving your old clothes a new purpose is very enviro-friendly!

TO MICROFIBRE OR NOT MICROFIBRE?
There is currently a lot of discussion regarding MICROFIBRE cloths, with some companies calling them 'eco friendly'. The truth is, they are actually made of micro-plastics that are likely to eventually end up in the water or landfill, and just as plastic 'microbeads' in cosmetics have been phased out of domestic use, it's likely that microfibre textiles may also end up similarly. If you want to use microfibre cloths, or sponges that feature micro-abrasives that can clean with just water, use them sensibly as quickly wearing them out does send microplastics back into the environment. We recommend using them only for specialised cleaning such as wall scuffs etc, rather than general purpose cleaning - this way they'll last a long time before they break down and need replacing. You could also try replacing microfibre with more durable or sustainable alternatives like bamboo fibre cloths or silicone sponges.

CLICK HERE to view our CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING range
incuding suitable essential oils & ingredients and other products.
See our PACKAGING OPTIONS AND BOTTLES HERE.

MEASUREMENTS:
1 Cup = approx 240ml (or just under)
1 Tablespoon / Tbspn = approx 15ml
1 Teaspoon / Tsp = approx 5ml
1ml = approx 20 drops

1% = approx 1ml (20 drops) per 100ml
3% = approx 3ml (60 drops) per 100ml
 

5. CLEANING YOUR HOUSE, CHEMICAL FREE

OVEN, COOKTOP, SPLASHBACK and more

Chemical Free Cleaning Try to get into the habit of wiping after each use to avoid excessive buildup, rather than leaving it all for a deep clean.

* For a deep oven clean remove the oven racks or gas jets and use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method: sprinkle with bicarb, then splash with vinegar. Scrub with a sponge or non-abrasive brush as it fizzes. Repeat if necessary and rinse with water.

* To clean vertical sides use two sponges: one dipped in bicarb, and a second dipped in vinegar. Press and hold the vinegar sponge over the bicarb sponge as you work over the sides. This method also works for oven glass.

Don't use an abrasive scrubbing brush or steel wool etc as they can scratch the enamel or finish or your appliances. Bicarb soda has natural gentle abrasive qualities so let that do the work rather than the scrubbing brush itself.

* Bicarb and vinegar can also be used on: stainless rangehood filters, the inside of your microwave, stainless sinks, cupboard interiors, tiled splashbacks (wipe or clean these often as grout is absorbent) and taps (except for powder coated).

* For heavy duty cleaning create a paste with 3/4 cup bicarb and a couple of tablespoons of water (add more if needed). If you want to add EO's mix up to 40 drops with the dry bicarb before adding the water (try orange, pine, tea tree or lemon). Apply the paste to a cool oven and allow to it sit for 5 mins. Use a damp sponge to gently rub the paste over the surface, rinsing your sponge out from time to time - for troublesome areas add more paste rather than scrub harder. Wipe residue away with a clean damp sponge - make sure you don't leave any bicarb in the corners or crevices as it will smell burnt when you next use your oven or cooktop.

 

Chemical Free CleaningMICROWAVE

* Add 1 cup of water and a few drops of Lemon essential oil (EO) to a deep microwave-safe container and cook on high for 2 minutes. Allow to sit inside the closed microwave for 5 minutes while the steam loosens the grime, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

 

POTS AND PANS

* To remove stains use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method (sprinkle with bicarb, then sprinkle vinegar over the top. As it fizzes scrub with a non-abrasive brush) - repeat a couple of times for tough stains. See the note above under bicarb re aluminium pots and pans.

* Stains may come off easier if you add some water and a drop of vinegar into the pan immediately after use.

* Egg Stains: add half an eggshell, a strip of aluminium foil and a cup of vinegar into the base. Leave for 1/2 hour and the stain should wipe off.

* Rust: Dip the cut side of half a cut potato in some bicarb soda. Rub on the rust, then rinse with water.

 

Chemical Free Cleaning DISHWASHER or SINK DEODORISE

* Run an empty dishwasher cycle with vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment, and bicarb in the detergent powder compartment.

* Put a tablespoon of bicarb down a sink drain, and follow with half a cup of vinegar then leave for half an hour. Repeat if needed. Copper or brass pipes may smell a bit during the process but this will pass after you flush with water.

 

REFRIGERATOR

* Wipe the interior and rubber seals with the Bicarb-Vinegar Method.
OR
Wipe the interior of your fridge with a solution made from 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water and a few drops of Lemon EO.

* Deodorise your fridge by leaving a small open container or bowl of bicarb on a shelf, which will absorb and neutralise odours. Add a few drops of Lemon or Orange EO for a clean, fresh scent - and replace monthly or as needed.
OR
If you'd prefer not to leave loose bicarb in your fridge, create a 'deodorising disc' by combining 2 cups bicarb, 1/2 cup water and up to 15 drops of lemon or orange EO into a paste and dividing it into silicone ice-cube trays. Allow to set (this may take a couple of days if the weather is humid), and pop one into the fridge. Replace as needed and store unused discs in a sealed bag or container.

 

BENCHTOPS (Kitchen, Bathroom)

Chemical Free Cleaning * Wipe laminate, stainless steel or synthetic stone using the Bicarb-Vinegar Method. For marble or granite, which is porous, dilute the vinegar 1:4 and take extra care - or avoid using vinegar and bicarb altogether as the bicarb's abrasive action can damage the sealant. Also take care with any surface that has a polyurethane sealant as this may react or bubble - for any benchtop follow manufacturer's instructions if unsure.

* RUST MARKS: Sprinkle with bicarb, splash with vinegar and rub with a sponge. Use a toothbrush for small areas or grout.

* STUBBORN STAINS on laminate: Apply some glycerine to the stain and allow to sit for five minutes. Then wipe with Bicarb-Vinegar Method.

* Never use abrasive sponges or brushes as this can damage the surface. Also take care using essential oils as they may bleach or damage the surface. Use less oil than a recipe prescribes if you're concerned.

 

GENERAL MULTIPURPOSE WIPE SPRAY:

* Blend 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar and up to 40 drops essential oil together in a spray bottle and shake vigorously before each use (or optional: 1-2ml solubiliser blended together with the EO's before adding the mixture to the other liquids, which will help the EOs and water blend together instead of the oils sitting as a slick on top).

Try using cleansing / anti-germ EO's like Lemon, Orange or Lime, Pine or Tea Tree oil which will also leave a stunning fresh scent as well as purifying the area. See below for more oil ideas.

 

SURFACE SCRUB for Cooktops, Sinks

* Mix 1 cup bicarb and 1/4 cup liquid castille soap, along with up to 30 drops of EO (try lime, lemon and orange for a fresh citrus scent, lemon and rosemary for a crisp scent - or more ideas below), to form a paste - add more castille soap if needed. Apply the scrub with a rag or sponge and scrub gently, then rinse with clean water.

IMPORTANT: As with any of these recipes, see the note above (under Essential Oils) regarding using Lemon and other EO's which can bleach if too strong - especially on dark surfaces.


BATH, SHOWER, BATHROOM

Chemical Free Cleaning * GENERAL BATHROOM CLEANING: Use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method (as above). For stained areas apply glycerine for a couple of minutes first. Rinse with water - to add scent add a couple of drops of essential oil (lemon, lavender, tea tree etc) to the rinse water and splash through before use.

* SHOWER SCREEN: to avoid streaks mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar and 1 part methylated spirits. Rub over the screen with a cloth. Add a few drops of cleansing lemon, orange or peppermint oil for added cleaning power and a gorgeous scent.

* MIRROR FOG: To avoid fogging on your bathroom mirror rub the mirror with a few stripes from a bar of soap, then polish with a slightly damp paper towel.

* FOAMING DRAIN CLEANER: Combine 1 cup bicarb with up to 10 drops of cleansing Lemon or Orange EO, and a couple of drops of Clove oil to help reduce mould growth. Pour down a mildewy drain and chase with 1 cup of vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes before flushing thoroughly with hot or warm water.

* HARD WATER STAINS: Combine 1 cup vinegar and 1ml (20 drops) Tea Tree EO into a spray bottle and shake vigorously before each use (OPTIONAL: 10-15 drops SOLUBILISER mixed with the Tea Tree before adding the mix to the vinegar, to help the oil and vinegar blend together). Spray on, allow to sit for several minutes, scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse clean. Repeat if needed. Avoid using undiluted vinegar on natural stone, marble or timber.

* SHOWER HEAD CLEANER: In a large ziplock bag, mix 1 cup vinegar with 10 drops Lemon or Orange EO. Place the bag over the shower head ensuring the mix covers the head, and secure with an elastic band. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse / flush with warm water.

 

TOILET

Chemical Free Cleaning * CLEANING: Flush to wet the inside of the bowl, sprinkle with bicarb and allow to sit for a moment. Splash with vinegar and scrub with toilet brush. Flush to clean. Wipe exterior surfaces with bicarb/vinegar sponges using the vertical Bicarb-Vinegar Method. Wipe over with rinsed sponge. Add a couple of drops of Eucalyptus or Tea Tree EO to the bicarb for added germ-killing freshness - avoid getting eucalyptus on painted surfaces.

* DEODORISE A TOILET: add a few drops of lemon oil (or some fresh lemon juice) to a couple of litres of water and splash together well. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe toilet and pipe surfaces.

* DEODORISING ROOM SPRAY: add some deodorising essential oils to a spray bottle (See below for ideas: lavender is a great choice - avoid using too many coloured oils in a room spray, and dont use too much eucalyptus oil as it can damage paint). Use 1-3% ratio - 1ml (20 drops) to 3ml (60drops) per 100ml water - and either shake well before every use or add a similar amount of solubiliser to the oils before adding the water, to help the oils and water blend together. See our ROOM SPRAY KIT HERE.

* AIR FRESHENER BOWL: add a few drops of essential oil to an open bowl of bicarb soda - the bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent. See below for some ideas or just use your favourite EO's.

 

FLOORS

Floors can be made of all types of material, from polished concrete to vinyl, timber (solid or veneer), tiles and carpet. Consider what type of floor you have before using any recipe and always follow the manufacturer's instructions first.

Chemical Free Cleaning* SEALED FLOORS: mop sealed floors with half a cup of vinegar in a bucket of water. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender, pine, tea tree, Aussie Fresh blend etc), or a 'clean' scented oil like lemon, orange or Citrus Queen blend, and splash through well - lemon or orange oil also work to help dissolve grease as you clean. Add some rubbing alcohol or witch hazel to help the floor dry faster.

Spray lightly onto floating / veneer floors etc rather than pouring the solution as excess water can damage the timber and cause it to swell.

* SEALED TILES: sprinkle with bicarb, splash with vinegar and mop. Rinse with hot water.

* CARPET DEODORISER: Add up to 30 drops of essential oil** to 2 cups of bicarb and mix well. Sprinkle over your carpet. Allow to rest for a couple of hours (or overnight) then vacuum thoroughly. The bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent and extra anti-bacterial, anti-microbial benefits etc - try lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, fir or even citrus oils like lemon**. Use less oil to start with until you're happy with the amount of scent left - you'll be surprised how little you need to use.
**Be careful using citrus or other coloured oils on light coloured carpets as they may stain - if you're concerned do a patch test in an inconspicuous area, or try rubbing into light coloured paper towel to see if it leaves a mark, before using it on your carpet.

Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb. This method also works for upholstery in the home or in the car - but avoid using on delicate fabrics.

 

OIL BLEND IDEAS for the Floor etc

The floor is usually the largest area that you clean so is a great place to introduce a scent that will flow through your home, whether you use oils with cleaning or antiseptic qualities, or just a fresh fragrance for your family. You can also use these blends in other areas - or use your imagination.

* Lavender & Lemon
* Tea Tree & Eucalyptus
* Lemon & Rosemary
* AQ AUSSIE FRESH Blend - Eucalyptus, Rosemary & Lemon Myrtle
* AQ CITRUS QUEEN Blend - Mandarin, Orange, Lemon & Lime
* AQ PROTECT & DISINFECT Blend - Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Sage, Oregano, Eucalyptus & Rosemary

 

MOULD & MILDEW

Chemical Free Cleaning * GROUT: as grout is porous, regularly wipe with bicarb/vinegar, and every now and then do a proper clean using a bicarb & water paste with a couple of drops of clove bud oil added to the mixture. Apply with an old toothbrush, allow to sit for a few minutes, scrub again and rinse - splash an extra drop of clove oil through the rinse water to help inhibit future mould growth.

* SILICONE: To treat light mould make a bicarb & water paste (add a drop or two of clove bud oil to help kill and inhibit mould growth) and scrub it over the area with a toothbrush. Repeat a few times if necessary.

* SHOWER CURTAINS: To avoid mould, regularly wash on a cool cycle in your washing machine and add a drop of clove bud oil to the rinse water to help prevent mould occurring.

* WASHING MACHINE MILDEW SMELL: Run an empty load with one cup of bicarb and two cups of vinegar added to the rinse cycle.

* WALLS - MOULD PREVENTION: To help prevent mould on painted bathroom walls add a couple of drops of clove bud oil to the rinse water every time you clean, and wipe over the surfaces.

* WALLS - MOULD REMOVAL: To remove mould from painted walls splash 5 drops of clove bud oil through half a bucket of water. Wipe over with a sponge and allow to dry - the clove will continue to kill the mould which you should be able to dust off after it has dried.

To avoid brushing mould spores through the air, use a damp cloth to dust off after the clove mixture has dried.


WINDOWS & GLASS

* GENERAL CLEANING: Combine 1 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 10 drops EO (+ optional 8-10 drops Solubiliser mixed with EO's beforeChemical Free Cleaning adding to other liquids) in a spray bottle. Spray onto windows and wipe clean.
OR
* Methylated spirits and water in a spray bottle; polish with paper towel.

* SCENT YOUR SPRAYS with cleansing essential oils such as lemon or citrus, which will help cut through grime; Peppermint will leave a fresh scent that also deters spiders. Blend your EO's with a similar amount of Solubiliser before adding to water or vinegar, to help the oils and water blend - or remember to vigorously shake your spray before ever use.

* WINDOW RUNNERS: Rub a cake of soap along windows and sashes to help them run smoothly.

The inks now used in some newspaper printing can smear so do a spot check before wiping your windows dry with newsprint.

 

THE BED

Chemical Free Cleaning * MATTRESS FRESHNESS: To keep a mattress fresh and free from odours as well as help absorb moisture, sprinkle it with bicarb, let sit for a couple of hours then vacuum off. Add a few drops of EO to the bicarb before applying if you'd like to add a fresh scent to the mattress.

Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb.
 

* DUST MITES: Add a tea bag to a spray bottle filled with water and allow to sit for a few minutes, then lightly spray over the mattress (the tannins will kill the mites). For added mite-killing properties you can also add some eucalyptus oil to the spray bottle, and shake well before use. Avoid getting eucalyptus oil on painted or varnished surfaces.

* BED BUGS: Rub a little tea tree oil around the edges of the mattress.

 

DRYER SHEETS & LINEN SPRAYS

Chemical Free Cleaning* DIY DRYER SHEETS: To add a fresh scent to your dried clothes cut several 10cm squares from dryer-friendly fabric (cotton etc), and add to a jar containing 1 cup of vinegar and up to 10 drops EO (try clear oils such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary etc - avoid lemon which may bleach, or darker coloured oils which could stain). Upend the jar and allow the squares to soak up the liquid mix, and store closed until needed. To use, remove a square from the jar and squeeze most of the liquid out before adding it to your dryer load - the heat will bring out the scent of the oils during the drying process and gently infuse it into your clothes. Squares can be reused multiple times after returning them to your jar - add extra vinegar or EO's as needed.

During periods of illness try Tea Tree or Lemon Myrtle EO to help rid the load of germs and microbes.

* LINEN SPRAY: Keep cupboards smelling fresh and clean by spraying occasionally with a water-based spray scented with your favourite colourless EO (eg Lavender - avoid dark coloured oils which may stain. Try a spot test on some light fabric or paper towel to check it doesn't mark before using on your linen). Make up a spray by adding 1-3% EOs to water in a spray or trigger bottle (plus optional SOLUBILISER to help the oil and water blend - if not using solubiliser shake vigorously before every use to avoid spraying neat oil).

* SCENTED LINEN SHEETS: Cut a few thick paper towel sheets into quarters. Add a drop of EO to each quarter and allow to dry before placing one between your towels or sheets. Use colourless oils like lavender as darker oils could stain your linen.

* SCENTED DRAWER BAGS: Add a few drops of your favourite EOs to absorbent botanicals like Lavender flowers or Rosemary needles and place in a small muslin bag. Place in drawers for their fresh scent, and top up with additional oils as needed.


FRESH LINEN SPRAY

100ml water
3 tbsp (45ml) witch hazel OR 20 - 30 drops of solubiliser, to help the water and EO's mix
20 drops lavender EO
15 drops frankincense EO
Add EO's and solubiliser (or witch hazel) to a small spray bottle and mix together before adding the water and shaking well. Spray on sheets, pillowcases, and linens for a clean and fresh scent.

 

6. DEODORISING

Deodorising Ideas* ROOMS: You can use oil diffusers or vaporisers in your room or space, using some of the deodorising oils listed below.
OR
Make your own natural POT POURRI from absorbent botanicals like lavender flowers, eucalyptus leaves, flower petals, rosemary needles, banksia pods or pine cones in an open bowl. The botanicals contain their own natural essential oils which you can top up by sprinkling with your favourite essential oil - add oils weekly or whenever the scent needs a boost.

* CARPET: Add up to 30 drops of essential oil** to 2 cups of bicarb and mix well. Sprinkle over your carpet. Allow to rest for a couple of hours (or overnight) then vacuum thoroughly. The bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent and extra anti-bacterial, anti-microbial benefits etc - try lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, fir or even citrus oils like lemon**. Use less oil to start with until you're happy with the amount of scent left - you'll be surprised how little you need to use.
**Be careful using citrus or other coloured oils on light coloured carpets as they may stain - if you're concerned do a patch test in an inconspicuous area, or try rubbing into light coloured paper towel to see if it leaves a mark, before using it on your carpet.

Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb. This method also works for upholstery in the home or in the car - but avoid using on delicate fabrics.

* BED: To keep fresh and free from odours as well as help absorb moisture, sprinkle the mattress with bicarb, let sit for a couple of hours then vacuum off. Add a few drops of EO to the bicarb before applying if you'd like to add a fresh scent to the mattress (avoid coloured oils that may stain, and don't get eucalyptus oil on painted or varnished surfaces). Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb.

Deodorising Ideas* TOILET / BATHROOM: Add a few drops of lemon oil (or some fresh lemon juice) to a couple of litres of water and splash together well. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe toilet and pipe surfaces.

* BATHROOM SPRAY: add some deodorising essential oils to a spray bottle (try colourless oils like lavender - avoid using too many coloured oils in a room spray, and dont use too much eucalyptus oil as it can damage paint). Use 1-3% ratio - 1ml (20 drops) to 3ml (60drops) per 100ml water - and either shake well before every use or add a similar amount of solubiliser to the oils before adding the water, to help the oils and water blend together.

* AIR FRESHENER BOWL: add a few drops of essential oil to an open bowl of bicarb soda - the bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent. Top up with additional oils or replace the bicarb as needed.

* SIMPLE TOILET ROLL DEODORISER: Add a couple of drops of EO to the cardboard on the inside of a toilet roll - allow the oil to dry before placing it on the holder as some oils can damage surface finishes. Try Lavender, Lemon or Orange EO.

* REFRIGERATOR: Leave a small open container or bowl of bicarb on a shelf, which will absorb and neutralise odours. Add a few drops of Lemon or Orange EO for a clean, fresh scent - and replace monthly or as needed.
OR
Deodorising IdeasIf you'd prefer not to leave loose bicarb in your fridge, create a 'deodorising disc' by combining 2 cups bicarb, 1/2 cup water and up to 15 drops of lemon or orange EO into a paste and dividing it into silicone ice-cube trays. Allow to set (may take a couple of days if the weather is humid), and store unused discs in a sealed bag - pop one into the back of the fridge and replace as needed.

* RUBBISH BINS: Try the Deodorising Disc recipe above (under refrigerator) and replace the citrus oils with Pine or Tea Tree EO - or Peppermint to keep ants away.

DEODORISING ESSENTIAL OIL IDEAS: Lavender, Cedar and Citronella all have insect repellent properties; oils like Lemon, Orange, Lime or Lemongrass give a nice fresh citrusy scent to your space; Pine, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Frankincense, Peppermint or Eucalyptus are excellent fresheners - but avoid getting Eucalyptus on surfaces.
 

7. BUGS & INSECTS

* PANTRY MOTHS: Add a drop of Pennyroyal (avoid if pregnant) or Bay oil into a bucket of water, and wipe over the shelves with a cloth (use rubber gloves if using Pennyroyal as it's a toxic oil). Reapply every few days if needed - oils naturally dissipate over time.

Chemical Free Cleaning* CLOTHES MOTHS: Make up muslin bags filled with dried lavender flowers sprinkled with lavender and cedar oil, and tuck them into your wardrobe - top up with additional oils when the scent begins to fade. You can also use wooden bead diffusers, by applying a few drops of oil to the inside of the bead and allowing the oil to dry before adding to your wardrobe.

* MILLIPEDES: A couple of drops of Pennyroyal oil (avoid if pregnant) wiped over areas they congregate.

* DUST MITES: Add a tea bag to a spray bottle filled with water and allow to sit for a few minutes, then lightly spray over the mattress (the tannins will kill the mites). For added mite-killing properties you can also add some eucalyptus oil to the spray bottle, and shake well before use. Avoid getting eucalyptus oil on painted or varnished surfaces.

* BED BUGS: Rub a little tea tree oil around the edges of the mattress.

* SPIDERS & ANTS: Peppermint oil is an excellent deterrent for spiders and ants - make up a spray bottle with 1-3% peppermint oil in water (add the same amount of solubiliser to help the oil and water mix together, or shake well before every use), and spray along cracks, crevices and entrances. Re-apply as needed (oils naturally dissipate) and avoid using on delicate surfaces. You can also use lemon, orange or tea tree oils for ants.

 

Now that you've read our introductory blog, if you're ready to start having a go yourself Aroma Queen stocks a large range of oils and oil blends suitable for natural cleaning, as well as ingredients like glycerine or witch hazel, natural soaps, cleaning packs, room spray kits & bottles, and cleaning equipment: CLICK HERE.

 

TO VIEW OUR AROMATHERAPY SECTION, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to view our CHEMICAL FREE CLEANING range
incuding suitable essential oils & ingredients and other products

As well as products suitable for chemical-free cleaning, AQ also stocks a full range of pure Essential Oils, Oil Blends, Carrier Oils, Aroma Jewellery and Accessories (burners, inhalers, roll-ons, cases), Bottles and Packaging solutions and much more.

 

DISCLAIMER
The advice within this page is general and not specific to individuals or particular circumstances. Before using herbs, essential oils or other natural ingredients or methods in your home or household, check all cautions and restrictions and always try a diluted patch test in an inconspicuous area before trying on a larger space: this general information does NOT cover every available surface, textile or material so it is your responsibility to be aware of your own details and whether or not these suggestions may be useful for you. Aroma Queen cannot be held responsible for any injury, damage or otherwise resulting from the use of any treatments or products within this website. Always keep aromatherapy and cleaning products out of reach of children and pets and remember that even though these ingredients are natural, they may still be toxic or damaging to your goods.