Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it's through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use all over your home.
"How we care for the everyday spaces we live in impacts our well being," said Charlynn Avery, an aromatherapist and educator for Aura Cacia, a company that sources and sells essential oils. "It's all about the power of positive change. Clean, synthetic-free living is good for everyone, and using essential oils in your home is one way to do that."
Even better news? It's easy to use essential oils to refresh and revive your living space. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Freshen up your fridge. Most everyone has a box of baking soda tucked on a shelf in their fridge to absorb odors from last week's leftovers or that questionable carton of milk. Why not make the box do double duty by adding essential oils? Grapefruit, lime, bergamot or lemongrass will give your fridge a fresh scent. Hint: Sprinkle a little of the baking soda mixed with essential oils into your garbage can to freshen it, too.
Brighten your DIY cleaning products. Ditch the chemicals lurking in store-bought cleaning supplies and make your own, infused with intoxicating scents! Once you try it, you'll never go back to commercial cleaners. And it's easier than you might think.
Here's just one recipe: For window cleaner, combine 1 1/2 cups distilled water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of Aura Cacia Main Squeeze Essential Oil Blend in a 16-ounce spray bottle. Shake well, and voila! You're ready to tackle your windows. You'll find more easy recipes for making your own, natural cleaning products at www.auracacia.com.
Banish food odors. Is the smell of the bacon you fried for breakfast still lingering in the kitchen at dinner? Pop a pan of warm water on the stove and add essential oils like cinnamon or citrus and simmer. It's a quick, low-cost way to diffuse oils for instant aromatherapy while getting rid of lingering cooking odors.
Make the most of your open house. Realtors will tell you that bad smells make a bad impression, and good smells make a positive impression. It's important to clean your home from top to bottom to neutralize pet odors, your teen's room full of gym clothes and other sources of bad smells.
Essential oils don't just cover up odors, they can enhance your mood. Try citrus oils like lime in a room spray, grapefruit in a diffuser or sweet orange simmering on the stove to promote positive feelings in potential buyers.
Becalm your bathrooms. Set a diffuser on the counter and add lemon, grapefruit or orange for a fresh scent, or try lavender, eucalyptus or tea tree to create a garden-like oasis.
Revitalize your carpets. Pets, kids and general foot traffic can do a number on the way your carpets smell, and that odor can permeate the whole room. Add the essential oil of your choice, like bergamot, to a box of new baking soda. Sprinkle it on your carpet, let it sit for 15 minutes or so and vacuum it up. Hint: Pop a cotton ball doused with essential oil into your vacuum bag or filter to spread fresh scent every time you vacuum.
For more information about essential oils, including recipes for DIY products and more ways to use them, visit Aura Cacia.