By Jackie Edwards:
The EPA warns that the air in many American homes is between two to five times more polluted than the air outside – a dire statistic indeed that many a green mom is probably already working to turn around. There are many ways to reduce the amount of toxins into your home, including the adoption of more natural cleaning methods. Herbs, too, can help to improve air quality. In this post, we preview three that may make the perfect additions to your home in terms of either their natural fragrance or their ability to clean the air.
Tea Tree Oil against Mold
Besides being unsightly and smelly, indoor mold can cause a variety of respiratory problems, especially in children. For this reason, it is paramount that indoor mold infestation is detected as soon as it appears. One of the most potent natural products that you can treat mold with is Tea tree oil. Just blend 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of water, shake, and spray on areas affected by mold. You don’t even need to rinse it off. Tea tree oil is powerful and will soon weave its magic. If you happen to run out of tea tree oil, try vinegar or a blend of baking soda and borax. Any stains that are left behind by mold can be addressed with a blend of hydrogen peroxide and water. If you do decide on tea tree oil as part of your regular plan of attack, clean damp areas assiduously. This way, mold will never have time to grow.
Clove Oil as a Surface Cleaner
Thieves is a popular clove-based essential oil that boasts antibacterial properties. It also makes an ideal all-purpose cleaner for wiping down benches, tabletops, shelves, etc. Mix 15 drops of pure Thieves oil with a few drops of lemon oil and two ounces of distilled water. Place in a dark glass spray bottle and use it to clean everything from toys to cutting boards, upholstery, gym bags, etc. Needless to say, with this all-natural cleaner, not only will your furniture smell good, but your indoor air will be free of toxins.
The Unbeatable Scent of Jasmine
If natural fragrance is your thing, then spread the love around with the help of an essential oil diffuser. Jasmine bears a beautiful fragrance that tends to be loved by children and adults alike. To boost its uplifting effects, always opt for high-quality oils. These should be therapeutic grade and housed in a dark bottle, to prevent oxidation. In addition to using it to create a pleasant ambience, know that it can also be used on the skin. One study published in Natural Product Communications found that when used for eight weeks, it can help improve mood and boost energy! Other studies have shown that it can help with immunity and sleep. Blend it with a little lavender or frankincense oil for a beautifully rich scent.
Candles Made with Essential Oil Blends
Everyone loves stepping into a fresh-smelling home. However, items commonly used to improve fragrance – including paraffin candles and reed diffusers – can emit perfumes that mutate then they come into contact with air. If you love the flicker of candles, opt instead for soy or beeswax candles containing therapeutic-grade essential oils. Each essential oil is said to have different frequencies that can affect mood and wellbeing. Citric oils like orange and bergamot, for instance, are often used to lift mood and energize. Lavender, meanwhile, has been found in studies to have a powerful calming effect.
Have a variety of essential oils at home, using those that appeal at any given moment. From creating your own all-purpose spray to simply popping a calming oil like lavender in your oil diffuser, you can have a cleaner, more fragrant home. Essential oils can even be used to tackle problematic issues like mold, showing that natural really is better – and more powerful – than chemical.