Along my journey of becoming more healthy, sustainable, non-toxic, and happier, it’s only natural that I would bump into essential oils. I used to think they were only for hippies to rub on themselves in lieu of deodorant or for chemists to putter with.
Oh man, was I wrong…
I think my very first essential oil I ever got was tea tree. For acne. That was a looooooong time ago in my adolescent years when I would have tried anything to cure my woes! Can you relate?
Fast forward 17 or so years, I’m dating myself here, I know; and I find myself on a very different path, but thankfully one that has still included essential oils.
Of the 5 senses, the one that is most heightened for me has always been scent, so I am an easy target for an essential oil obsession, and the more I learn about them collectively and individually, the more I love them. They are useful in so many different applications, and with endless varieties and combinations available, it’s hard not to buy a new one every week! How very un-frugal of me, you might say, but I can justify my purchases by the number of ways each oil is used. 🙂
Be forewarned though, essential oils can be powerful and potent little potions, so don’t fumble blindly into the world of EO like I did… do some research. Luckily, I did some for you, and found a great resource for beginners. Today, because Sweet Baby really wants to play, the dog really needs a bath, and, I should probably shower before DH gets home, I am going to let Lea over at Nourishing Treasures give you Essential Oil 101. Not only does she provide an excellent resource for learning about EO, but she also made a pdf file so her research can easily be printed as a quick reference! She is embarking on some great work right now of 3rd-party purity testing (in a lab with a chemist and a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectroscope) of various oils, and I can’t wait to see what is found! They will test some of my favorite brands, so I hope the results are favorable. (That’s the thing about EO, they are often adulterated and it extremely hard to know what you’re getting–even from your most trusted sources).
Even if you are well-versed in oils, or are just starting out, here are a few tips I have collected over the years of EASY things I love to do with essential oils:
- As part of your facial cleansing ritual, wet a wash cloth with the hottest water you can stand, and apply 1 drop of your favorite oil to the cloth. I usually use lavender to soothe, but also enjoy lemon balm for extra tense days, or peppermint for a pick-me-up. Rose geranium is also a favorite of mine. I love anything rose, and if I was rich I would buy pure rose essential oil… but I’m not rich, so… bummer.
- Drop a few drops of your favorite oil onto the cardboard tube of your toilet paper. I love this, and the scent is diffused every time you use the roll, but in my experience, the scent wears off quickly. The tissue as the end of the roll has a lovely scent though, and I recommend doing this before your significant other uses the bathroom, especially if you are one of those fortunate household like ours that only has one bathroom. (I’m not complaining though. Our various trips in other parts of the world have given me a deep respect for my bathroom, and I am happy to have it!)
- Alternatively, a few drops of EO on a cotton ball hidden in inconspicuous places around the bathroom will scent it as well. This method may also be used for cupboards, drawers, and any place else you might need/want a refreshing scent.
- Drop a few drops of essential oil onto the filter of your vacuum. My vacuum has a removable hepa filter, and I before I vacuum I drop a few drops onto it and lovely aroma fills my house. Not the aroma of dog. (If you have a dog and own a vacuum, you know what I’m talking about)! If you don’t have a filter, but have a bag or canister on your vacuum, drop a few drops onto a cotton ball and toss it in. Do this at your own risk. I’m sure it is not recommended by the manufacturer, and for me personally, I don’t care. I would just like to be clear that I am in no way advocating that you break your own vacuum. 🙂
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove and include a few drops of EO for an easy diffuser. I do this a lot in the winter because the added humidity in the air inside the house makes us all feel better.
- Place a few drops onto your dog’s collar. Particularly flea repelling oils such as tea tree or cedar.
- Place a few drops of EO onto a small piece of cloth and toss in your dryer as dryer sheet instead of those nasty, chemical-laden pieces of garbage.
- A few drops of EO added to the hot wax of a tea light makes an easy scented candle.
- A few drops of EO added to your bath water makes for a soothing respite from the day. Just be sure to lock the door.
- Using EO is as simple as adding it to a cotton ball and keeping it near by to sniff. Therapeutic uses often help with stress, anxiety, nausea, energy levels, even labor pains. I personally relied heavily on the the scent of lemon balm, (or melissa), to help me through the anxious early days, (OK, who am I kidding– weeks), of new-Motherhood.
What are some of your favorite oils? Let’s chat in the comments below!
**This post was shared with: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Sunny Simple Sundays, Wildcrafting Wednesdays, Creative Home Acre Hop, LHITS DIY Linky, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, Frugal Crafty Home
Cinnamon essential oil can cause burns and should not be touched directly until diluted, no?
I love the vacuum and dryer sheet ideas! Thanks! 🙂
That is absolutely true! And, if you were to come in contact with an oil like that that burned the skin, do not wash with water. Cover it with a large dose of any heavy oil you have on hand like olive or canola. A large majority of essential oils should be used with a carrier oil when applied topically.
You can use EO of Orange for clearing your thoughts for better learning. A lot of my teachers use Orange in their classrooms to help their students learn plus the kids LOVE it. EO of Mandarin is often used for restfully sleeping (just like Lavender). I use to keep a rag under each sink (kitchen and bath) with Lemon oil for the glass in the shower and stainless in kitchen~works like RainX and repels water for no spots. Just a few I have learned along the way. Love your site!
Great tips, LJ! Thanks!
Love this list! Thanks!
Jeni, I’m so glad you like it!
I love essential oils! And you are so right in that there are so many uses for them!! Nice post!
Thanks for reading, I’m glad you liked it! And those are just the easy applications! 🙂
Just make sure you – and any housemates – LIKE the EO scent before you either diffuse it or put it in the vacuum, etc. My mom didn’t think to ask before she did these the first time, and about ran everyone out. 😉
Ha ha, no kidding!!! Thanks for bringing that up 🙂
I love to read your blog, thank you for posting it. I have fallen under the spell of eo`s and to my credit card`s new balance have purchased so many that I am having trouble keeping track of all of them and the reason I bought them, hehe. I want to know more about carrot seed eo supposed to have a medical benefit to the sinus. Anyway keep up the information is of much help 🙂
Georgia, I am so glad you are enjoying it and thanks for letting me know. I really appreciate it. It is such a reward to hear from a reader, after putting in all of the hard work I often wonder if I am making a difference? Carrot seed EO does seem very intriguing. I’ll have to look that one up. Let me know what you find out as well. I can definitely relate to wanted to break the budget on EO. And, why do I always REALLY want the expensive ones!? Be well, Jerica
Thank you so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! I hope to see you again tomorrow! Here’s the link:
Have a wonderful weekend!
I read somewhere that mice don’t like the smell of cloves. We had a problem with mice squeezing past the pipes under our sinks to get in the house. So, I put a cotton ball next to these favorite spots under the sinks and every few weeks I add a drop of clove EO. Well, either the mice mysteriously lost interest in the house, or it works. Haven’t had mouse problems in months (knock on wood).
That’s awesome!!!! What a great tip 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Rae!
I found you on/in ‘The Wonderful World of Pinterest’…..I’m lovin your blog lil girl 😉 KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
I own 43 single EO’s and LOVE making our own; deodorant, face scrub, face moisturizer, salves, rubs, blends, cleaners, laundry soap, dish washer soap, etc. We are originally from NE Idaho, have lived in WA, vacation for a month at a time on the OR coast every other year, and now live in TX. Our dream/goal is to move back to the North West Coast area in 4 yrs, after our ‘baby’ graduates from high school, and be homesteaders. WE LOVE THE SIMPLE LIFE!
Thank you for your very lovely comment! You’ve made my day 🙂 I hope you do follow your dream all the way back to the PNW! It’s such a wonderful place to live and homestead. My dream is to be an urban farmer, and we are working hard at it. We just got some baby chicks! Where did you live in WA?
Kennewick next to some huge apple orchards! We were there for just 15-16 mos. We hope to move to the burbs of Portland OR this next and final move 😉
Ah, the Tri-Cities…I am not a fan. 😉 Apple orchards; yes! I was born in Walla Walla and have a deep appreciation for that region, though. I would also love to move to PDX, but since we have had our first child and my Husband’s family is here, we are in this for a while. Thankfully, Olympia is quite lovely! When you get back here, be sure to check out our farmer’s market. It is not to be missed 🙂 Nice meeting you, RHC 😉
Yeah, we weren’t fans either. We had moved there, into a VERY small apartment with 4 small kids, from a good sized house we rented out in the country. I grew up on a farm and we had a CrAzY HUGE garden and the hubster was a city boy, but they had a good sized garden. Here in TX we live on 1.22 acres, but the soil is really heavy clay. The very few people that have a garden had to have top soil trucked in. We go to the farmers market here, but it’s just not the same as the ones out West :-(.
The hubster put in for a job in Olympia yrs ago. We really wanted to live in that area at the time! AND Walla Walla is awesome! We were there for 2 wks while hubby did some business for work when the kids were very young. We loved the college area with all the cool looking houses! The hubster and I both grew up in the same area in ID….Him in town and me out in the country. We were in between Jackson Hole and West Yellowstone…..both were just 1.5 hrs away. ALL SIX OF US MISS THE MOUNTAINS SO MUCH.
It was great to meet you and I wish you the best!
PS….JEALOUS OF YOU GETTING CHICKENS! IT WILL BE MY TURN ONE DAY 😉
Hellooooo 🙂 I liked your ideas. There are mice in my house, and no cat, so continue to try to come up with ways to use peppermint to shoo them away. The cotton ball has been used before, but it does run out quickly…
My favorite oil – well when I think of scent – is lemongrass. I accidentally spilled a little, okay, a lot, in my “lab” area last summer, and wiped it up with toilet paper. That toilet paper stayed scented with lovely lemongrass for weeks. I even gave a stretch of it to my friend who kept it in her backpack, which she takes everywhere and probably really benefitted from the fresh aroma!
Looks like you’ll have to put the peppermint oil on tp for the mice. What a great accidental discovery 🙂 I wonder why it works better than the cotton ball? Thanks for sharing your tip!
Stumbled upon your blog tonight. I love putting a few drops of Lemon essential oil on our vacuum filter. I do it all the time! Makes the house smell so nice.