Monday, January 26, 2015

Essential Oils: Lemon

I fully admit I'm absolutely fascinated with my new selection of oils right now.  So excited in fact, I have to post about it.  Because a) that's what people do and b) it kinda comes down to this:  you bought the what?

Find ways to USE them!

Speaking for myself, I'm finding the cleaning route to be the easiest avenue to incorporating or integrating the use of oils into my life.  And, having been bit by the spring cleaning bug, it's a great place to start.

Let's discuss your kitchen (or bathroom, or mud room) floor.  All are (usually) high traffic areas, maybe pets or kids leaving kibble or crumbs, outside dust and dirt being tracked in - unavoidable even if you leave your shoes in a singular location.  Kitchen has the added disadvantage of cooking oils, grease, and steam venting around the room.  Even with a stove hood, it's unavoidable.  Food prep - it's not just meat that can be contaminated! Things miss the garbage can and might not get found.

Bathrooms are, well, bathrooms.   Shared sinks and showers.  I use lavender and tea tree in the bathroom which I'll chat about later, but lemon would also work well, especially if you don't care for the smell of tea tree.   A couple drops of lemon added to the washer when washing your shower curtain can help purify and deodorize. I have a high calcium content in my well water so I use 1/4 cup detergent, 1/2 cup vinegar and 5ish drops of lemon oil.   

Today is about LEMON!   I love lemon and I don't know why I didn't seek out this delightful oil earlier.  OMGosh, talk about spring cleaning in January!  Yes, actually, LET'S talk about spring cleaning in January.

It started with my kitchen floor:
  • 1 gal of HOT water
  • 1 cup white vinegar (okay, so I might have used a bit more) 
  • small squirt of dishsoap (I use Seventh Generation, free and clear)  No more than 1-2 teaspoons!
  • 10-20 drops of Lemon essential oil

Then I pulled out my stove and fridge to clean underneath, something I do at least 2x a year, and I found this gigantic dust bunny:


What I had been neglecting to do was pull the grate off the front of my refrigerator and vacuum underneath.  Folks, pull out the fridge and stove if possible and run a vacuum and mop around.   Especially if you have pets.  You will be shocked and appalled at what makes its way under appliances, things that hold dust, mildew, and mold.   Fortunately, nothing like that crawled out from under the stove.

Moving on to the counters, stainless steel stove front, front of fridge (not stainless):
1 regular sized squirt bottle
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar (I admit, I use more)
10 drops  Lemon essential oil

Squirt, let stand a couple minutes, come back and wipe down. Have stubborn grease spots?  Use lemon oil directly on spots and rub in, then come back and wipe down with squirt bottle mix.  

Now the big question - when was the last time you wiped down the TOP of your fridge?  Uh huh, I thought so.  Up you go!  Scrub! Scrub! 

A NOTE OF CAUTION - in case of skin sensitivities, whether you know you have them or not, I strongly urge you to please invest in a couple pairs of dish washing gloves and protect your hands!  Even though vinegar and essential oils are "natural",  you could still have a reaction. Combined with hot water, bare hands could take a beating.

Wooden cutting boards - drop oil directly on and rub in.  Let stand upright in the sink to absorb the oil - you don't want to inadvertently leave an oil stain somewhere unwanted.  Let stand 12-24 hours or however long is possible.  Right before a trip is a great time to do cutting boards.

Pet towels - same with shower curtain liner.  Add several drops to the wash cycle to help deodorize and cleanse those pet towels.   1/4 cup detergent, 1/2 cup vinegar and 3-5ish drops of lemon oil.   

And then there is my favorite way to take Lemon - in a glass of water.  I love, love, love lemon water - hot or cold.  I don't always have a fresh lemon on hand, like when traveling, so having a small bottle along is wonderful.  Just a couple drops can make a world of difference.  I find a cold glass refreshing, a hot cuppa soothing.  I can perk up a glass of fresh brewed ice tea because sometimes, fresh brewed doesn't mean the same thing across the county.   

I know there are many more ways to use Lemon, but this is how I've started.  If you feel so inclined, please take a moment and leave a note on how you are using lemon essential oil in your life.


**And, I'll stick in the disclaimer - These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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