Essential oils, which are highly concentrated extracts from the leaves, bark, roots or other aromatic parts of plants, have been used throughout history for health and cosmetic purposes. Widely available today, they’re inexpensive, easy to use and offer pleasing, therapeutic aromas without exposing you or your family to synthetic chemicals. Here are some creative uses for them:
1. Add a teaspoon of EO to a water-filled spray bottle and use as air freshener.
2. For an antiseptic spray, mix 10 drops of tea tree EO with 1 cup of water. Keep in bathroom.
3. Simmer water with a few drops of EO on the stove (clove oil is good for removing cooking odors).
4. To scent a candle, add a few drops of EO to the wax as it melts.
5. Add a drop or two of EO to a light bulb before turning on the lamp; the scent will diffuse as the bulb heats.
6. To freshen clothes, place a few drops of EO on a piece of terrycloth; add to dryer.
7. Add a few drops of EO to a water-filled spray bottle and spritz clothes before ironing (do not spray on silk or velvet).
8. Place a few drops of EO on cotton balls and place in drawers, cabinets or closets.
9. For massage oil, add 10-20 drops of EO to 1 oz. of carrier oil (such as almond or jojoba). Use half the amount of EO for children.
10. To make a hot compress to relieve sore muscles, add 5-10 drops of EO to hot water. Dip washcloth in water and apply to affected area.
11. For a relaxing bath, add 5-10 drops of EO to your bathwater.
12. Add a few drops of EO to shampoo (eucalyptus may help with dandruff).
13. Use 3-4 drops of rosemary EO and 1 tablespoon olive oil for a deep hair conditioning treatment.
14. Apply a few drops of EO to washcloth and vigorously rub down your body after a shower.
15. Add a few drops of lemon EO to dish washing water to cut grease.
16. Add 10-20 drops of EO to a box of baking soda and shake well. Let sit for a day or two, then sprinkle on carpets and vacuum.
17. Add a few drops of EO to a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag.
18. To make window/glass cleaner, mix 1 cup of vinegar and 10-15 drops of lemon EO. Pour into spray bottle and fill the rest with water.
19. To freshen shoes, rub a few drops of geranium EO directly inside or place a cotton ball with lemon EO inside and let sit overnight.
20. Dab EO on stationery, cards or bookmarks.