A Spring Detox for Your Home!

Posted on March 04, 2015 0

Bathscrub

A Spring Detox for Your Home!

By: Maria Tabone

Spring is the time of year that we start eating lighter and detoxing. It’s time for spring cleaning of body, mind and home! While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes... Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important - especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which means that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2).  Other chemicals which are hormone and endocrine disruptors are glycol ethers and phthalates (3) so it’s important to be able to identify every ingredient on a label that you are using in your home. If you can’t identify it, don’t use it. With just a few simple ingredients, including some wonderfully fragrant essential oils, you can disinfect and clean, as well as rid your home of bacteria, mold, viruses, unpleasant odors, and dust mites.

As a caution, when you buy essential oils you should beware of anything that says “fragrance added.” If it does not say “100% (pure) essential oils” then the ingredient is synthetic. Most of the fragrance used in household cleaning products and deodorizers are synthetic. There is nothing natural about them and they are harmful to your health. Essential oils are great for the home since they are non-toxic and they possess many therapeutic properties that will benefit you for a clean healthy home. They are antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal – and of course they smell great.

These are some recipes I created to get you through all your spring cleaning. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in all three recipes so you don’t have to go out and buy too many essential oils; however, I am also giving you a list of essential oils you can substitute.The citrus oils are all antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you can replace orange oil with lemon (Citrus limon), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil.

It's also fun to experiment and mix scents that you like. It might even make you enjoy cleaning!

General All-purpose Cleaner

Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. It is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It is antiseptic, a disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it a great all-purpose household cleaner. It was even used during World War I as a disinfectant in hospitals. Lemon essential oil is calming but it is also refreshing to the mind, as it helps lift negative emotions. It is believed that inhaling lemon essential oil helps to increase concentration and alertness; therefore, it can be a great room freshener in offices.

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

Orange Sweet is a citrus essential oil that is extracted from the rind of the orange. It is antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also very uplifting for your mood, making it a good scent to have in any home. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner due to an ingredient called, d-Limonene. A study conducted by The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University found that Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis var. valencia) essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef(3). It also inhibited Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is a deadly staph infection(4).

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of an herb. It is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and antiseptic. Bugs tend not to like it, so it is a good choice to add into an all-purpose aromatherapy blend around the house.

White Distilled Vinegar
White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best cleaning ingredients for the home since it is a natural disinfectant. It can help to kill mold, bacteria and viruses. In addition, it is very inexpensive.

Directions for Use:
You will need a sixteen ounce size spray bottle.

Essential Oils:
20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
30 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
15 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*
Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water.  I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent, from time to time you can substitute with lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus (Eucaplyptus spp.), clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

You can use this blend as a general cleaner for your kitchen, especially for the counter tops, refrigerator, cabinets and even wood surfaces.

Window Cleaner

I like using an eight ounce size bottle since it’s smaller and easier to handle and it will fit in any cabinet. If you want to make a sixteen ounce bottle, just double-up the recipe.

Essential Oils:

3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*
Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, you can use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent from time to time, you can substitute lemon with lime, grapefruit or orange.

Bath and Sink Scrub

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove essential oil is extracted from the buds of the clove plant. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic and anti-viral, making it a great choice for cleaning tubs and sinks.

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Pure Liquid Castile Soap
Make sure that your soap is pure castile. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because for over 150 years it has been a family-run business and the quality of the product is never comprised for profit. The soap is pure and organic, with no dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic so you are doing something good for the environment. They are available in different scents such as orange, sweet almond (Prunis dulcis), eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon, and the soap blends perfectly with essential oils. You should have this product in your home as it has so many uses and can replace many products. I also use it as a hand and body wash, and shampoo – and you can even wash floors and clothes with it.

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is right up there with vinegar as a cleaning superstar! It is non-toxic, absorbs odor, and it is great for sinks and tubs due to its abrasive texture. It has many uses in the home – from brushing your teeth to shining silver. I never use toxic oven cleaners. Instead I mix baking soda and water to get rid of spills in my oven. You can rub it on with a soft cloth or leave some on the spills overnight and then wash it the next day.

Use a twelve ounce glass jar with an air tight clamp lid or a screw top.

Essential Oils:
5 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
5 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ cup Pure Liquid Castile Soap*
½ cup Baking Soda*

*I mix equal parts of baking soda and castile soap to make a paste. If you want to make a bigger batch just double-up the recipe. Add the baking soda and castile soap to the jar, then add the essential oils. Once you have all of the ingredients in the jar, mix it together with a spoon or spatula. You can apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge to clean.

As the seasons change, or you just want to try a different aroma, you can use ten drops of any of the following essential oils, or just mix two essential oils together. They all have antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
• Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)
• Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis)
• Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
• Lemon (Citrus limon)
• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Wood Cleaner

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)
Olive oil moisturizes dry wood and give it a shine.

White Distilled Vinegar
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

You will need a two ounce flip top bottle.

Essential Oil:
15 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
½ ounce of White Distilled Vinegar
Olive Oil (Olea europaea)*

*Fill the remaining bottle with olive oil. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use. Put about a tablespoon on a soft cloth and wipe down the wood. Apply more as needed.

References:
1. Nakazawa, Donna Jackson, The Autoimmune Epidemic, Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, 2008, 2009
2. Organic Consumers Association website, How Toxic are Your Household Cleaning Supplies? : https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies
3. Environmental Working Group website, Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors: http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors
4. Harrington, Roy, Orange oil potential to deter E.coli growth in chilled beef Study 30-May-2012: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Safety-Regulation/Orange-oil-potential-to-deter-E.coli-growth-in-chilled-beef-study?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
5.  Muthaiyan A, Martin EM, Natesan S, Crandall PG, Wilkinson BJ, Ricke SC. 2012 May,
Antimicrobial effect and mode of action of terpeneless cold-pressed Valencia orange essential oil on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

About Maria Tabone:

Maria Tabone is a Holistic Health Educator, Ayurveda Nutritionist, Registered Yoga Teacher and Author. She has spent over twenty years studying alternative medicine and the mind-body-spirit connection. She has a Master’s Degree in Integrative Health and Healing, a certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and has certifications in various healing practices, such as Clinical Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Herbalism, Reflexology, Reiki and Chakra Balancing. She is also a Healing Foods chef, who has studied at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Natural Gourmet Institute. Maria is currently working on her PhD. in Nutrition.  Maria’s first book, entitled, “The Holistic Root to Managing Anxiety,” is for sale at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. She is currently working on her second book. 

Maria is a member of The American Association of Drugless Practitioners, The American Herbalists Guild, The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and The Health and Wellness Professionals Network. 

You can contact Maria at:
maria@theholisticroot.com or visit her website at: www.theholisticroot.com/

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