For An All-Purpose CleanerI use a spray bottle filled with water to which I add 20 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 20 drops of lavender essential oil. (If you use a small spray bottle, 10 drops of each is sufficient.) This simple mixture smells fabulous, but don’t let its great smell fool you – it’s amazingly strong! In clinical studies, this mix was found not only to kill germs, and even in particular MRSA strains, on surfaces as well as their standard chemical hospital sanitizers, but it lasts longer! Because the active agent is the essential oil, which does not evaporate as quickly as the alcohol and bleach based cleaners, they found that surfaces remained germ-free longer when washed with this mixture! No chemicals, AND it works better – why use bleach?
I use this cleaner on kitchen counters, the dinner table, the bathroom counters, and for dusting. Not only that, but this same mix is better than Lysol – any time someone in the house is sick, spray it throughout the house several times a day to reduce the chance that germs will spread. And you can use it in place of air fresheners too! Air fresheners may cover odors, but they do so at a great cost – the fragrance is toxic, particularly to the brain and the nasal membranes. Many people are very allergic to air fresheners, but the simple rosemary-lavender spray bottle has yet to bother even the most chemically sensitive nose, in my experience. So go ahead – keep a small spray bottle in the bathroom or anywhere in the house!
By Katja Swift. Katja is a clinical herbalist currently serving as the director of the Commonwealth School of Herbal Medicine. She has guest lectured at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Vermont Medical School.