The flu season is still in full swing and you may have already been sick or still trying your best to avoid getting sick. If you, someone – or everyone – in your household has been sick with the flu or a bad cold, disinfecting with essential oils to after illness makes a big difference in your home, office AND with your health.
Cleaning and disinfecting your house may not be at the top of your list of things to do when you’ve been sick. BUT, cleaning and disinfecting goes a long way toward preventing a relapse or even keeping you from getting sick at all. There is so much information out there that could be right and could be wrong. So how do you know what to do?
I’m all for using the KISS method – keep it super simple. Once I learned about the power of essential oils, I stopped using commercial cleaners. If you read the labels (and you should) there is a long list of chemicals that not only can you not pronounce, they are toxic to your lungs.
Seriously, it’s best to stay away from any chemical that has more than 6 syllables. Just sayin…
Essential Oils For Cleaning
Since essential oils are plant-based, they are so much safer to use than the commercial disinfectants that you get at the grocery store. Many oils have properties that are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. That pretty much covers a whole lot of nasty germs floating around in the air and on hard surfaces such as countertops and door knobs.
The most common oils used for cleaning purposes are Lavender, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Oregano. Each one of these oils packs a powerful punch to your cleaning routine.
If all you have is Lavender, Lemon and Tea Tree essential oils, you still have a powerful cleaner on hand. Both Lemon and Douglas Fir are great disinfectants and boost your immune system while you’re cleaning. Here is an excellent multi-purpose cleaning solution:
Essential Oil All-Purpose Cleaner:
- 22 ounce Spray Bottle (you can get one at any dollar store)
- 10 ounces White Distilled Vinegar
- 10 ounces Filtered Water (don’t use tap water)
- 10 drops Lavender
- 10 drops Lemon
- 10 drops Douglas Fir
- 10 drops Tea Tree
- 10 drops Oregano
Pour vinegar into the spray bottle, add all the essential oils then add the filtered water. Shake well before each use. You can use this on hard surfaces such as windows, faucets, tile, bathtub, countertops (NOT on marble or granite), mirrors, doorknobs and sinks.
The reason I said not to use tap water is that it contains too much bacteria and it will mold after a couple of weeks if you don’t use all the cleaner at once.
This recipe makes a lot of cleaner so if you need to make less, you can cut it in half to keep it fresh and use it quicker. This is also an ideal cleaner around your house if you are prone to migraines and headaches. Another caveat – don’t use a lot of essential oils around cats. Their liver doesn’t metabolize essential oils so use this cleaner sparingly around your cat!
If you want a simpler version, the good folks at Aromatherapy Press have a really good article on DIY cleaners using pure essential oils as well – both blends are awesome for disinfecting after an illness!
- Dark colored glass spray bottle
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Wash Your Hands!
A while back, I wrote a post on the flu explaining what it is, how you spread it and how you can avoid it.
Touching your face is not something you think about on a normal basis. But when you have been exposed to a cold or the flu, it’s really important to keep your hands away from your face. Washing your hands with plain soap and water on a regular basis is huge in keeping the germs at bay.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) writes about how you transmit flu germs, but this is also good information for how to avoid spreading germs of all kinds:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the flu is primarily transmitted from person to person via virus-laden droplets that are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Another way is touching a contaminated object such as a door knob or grocery cart handle and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
That’s why it’s important to clean and disinfect your space after the flu and even a cold. Surfaces such as countertops, door knobs, glasses, cups, dishes and grocery cart handles can remain contaminated for up to three days after exposure.
If you’ve just recovered from the flu, then you are still at risk for infecting those you come in contact with for up to 5 days after your initial exposure. Children can infect those around them for up to 10 days. That’s why the flu is so dangerous in nursing homes, hospitals and day care centers.
Clearing The Air In Your Home
The other way to clean your home or office space after illness is to diffuse essential oils into the air. Here are some really good oils that clear the air:
- Douglas Fir
- Siberian Fir
- Juniper Berry
Combine 20 drops of each in a clean 5 mL glass dropper bottle and blend well. Add 5 to 6 drops of the blend to your cold mist diffuser and let it run for at least two hours to clear the air of germs. It has a very refreshing scent and will help boost your immune system while you’re at it. You can also add in some Lavender and Grapefruit as well for a really lovely and clean scent.
You ought to smell my studio – I diffuse the Fresh Start blend almost every day. The scent is clean and fresh and makes a difference with your sinus issues. Everyone who smells Fresh Start loves it.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your medial professional for any and all health concerns.