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Sandra

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I recently heard that you could make your own house cleaning solution by mixing water and lavender essential oil, except I am not sure of the quantities...Has anybody done this? If so, I would love to know, as well as exactly which surfaces this solution works best on, i.e. hardwood floors, glass, etc. Thanks! Sandra

Lori

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Sandra, For washing down surfaces use one of the following, 1 drop directly on the cloth or 7 drops in the rinse water. Use this when wiping down work surfaces, cupboards, sinks, tiles, or paintwork: For Washing Kitchen Surfaces: Eucalyptus Pine Lavender Cypress Lemon Lemongrass Lime Thyme Grapefruit Palma rosa For washing floor: Use any of the above, approximately 4 drops to each pint of water in the final rinse. I also prefer Lavender throughout my home, I put a few drops on a cotton cloth and toss it into the dryer for scented clothes, also a drop onto your hairbrush is wonderful. These blends came from a wonderful book "The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy" Valerie Ann Worwood Great book, has everything. Happy Cleaning! Lori

Sandra

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Hi Lori! Thank you very much for answering my question about. Just in time for Spring Cleaning! Take good care, Sandra

Carolyn

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Good Morning! Sorry it's taken me a while to catch up - I've been away for about 3 and a half weeks teaching and home feels very comfortable right now. Using essential oils for your everyday cleaning purposes is not only a wonderfully healthful, fragrant and stimulating practice, but also can be very effective if you're discerning in your selection. Not all eo's are created equal as far as antimicrobial actions are concerned - some are much more effective at zapping bacteria and fingi and even viruses than others - and many are quite specific in their action against certain species. There are quite a # of references for this in many references - eg., Kurt Schnaubelt in both Advanced ATx and Medical ATx, and also Shirley Price's ATx for Health Care Professionals, 1st or 2nd Edition and a quick reference to a Medical dictionary will give you an idea of which eo's are particularly suitable for managing the sorts of microbes we live with everyday in our kitchen, bathroom, pet area etc., so you can make the best choice depending on what you want to achieve. Generally those eo's that are high in phenols such as Oreganum vulgaris; Red thymes such as Thymus vulgaris, b.s. thymol or carvacrol; clove bud, Eugenia caryophyllata, Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark (cinnamic aldehyde), Satureja montana which is Mountain Savory are notorious for being significantly antimicrobial - and you can smell their potency quite easily. They are rather aggressive to mucus membranes so are usually labeled with caution for personal care use. There are others that are effective such as those eo's high in monoterpenes - according to P. Mailhebiau these are effective antiinfectious oils especially in air diffusion. These would include the citrus oils and pine needle oils as well as Juniperus communis and Piper nigrum. Citrus and pine needle oils are high in monoterpenes tend to oxidize more quickly than other eo's and so even though they become more hazardous potentially for use on the skin, there's a couple of refs to indicate that they actually become more antibacterial in their oxidized state - apparently due to the peroxides present. Good to know that you can use up those old oils in cleaning preparations or to add to your final rinse for laundry etc., though eh? Eo's high in monoterpenols are the kinder, softer alternative to the phenolic oils, yet still very antimicrobial and better tolerated for long term use where skin contact is likely. They're also less aggressive to the respiratory system when inhaled at higher concentrations and for any length of time. Eo's high in aldehydes are also considered to be reasonably antiinfectious - so Citronella, Lemongrass, Eucalptus citriodora are well priced suggestions. Don't forget the 'panaceas' of Cajuput, Niaouli, Tea Tree - and you can get Lemon-scented Tea Tree reasonably easily now - also Manuka which is Leptospermum petersonii. Although lavender has such a comprehensive reputation, it may not be the most antimicrobial eo around. Certainly though if you love its fragrance you can use it as a base to add other, potentially more agressive oils to do the 'hard work' so to speak. There are plenty of other eo's to select from and don't forget that when you blend synergistically, you end up with a final preparation that id significantly more potent than each of the ingredients used individually. The whole is much greater than the sum of its' component parts. Valnet gives an excellent reference of this in his book (page 73), The Practice of Aromatherapy - as well as a whole chapter on Nature's Antiseptics. Let me know how you go on with your fragrant home cleaning. Best Carolyn

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