5 Surprising Ways Essential Oils Can Make Your Home Life Easier + a Giveaway

By Angela Baker

Are you using essential oils? It seems that everyone and their neighbor has started hoarding these tiny bottles. I started learning about essential oils a year ago, and the natural approach to wellness and housekeeping immediately appealed to me. The more I learn, the more it seems that keeping a stash of essential oils in the home is a smart move when you consider the many practical uses.

Practical and smart ways to use essential oils in the home. Easy recipes (directions) for making homemade, natural pest control spray, all-purpose cleaner, shoe deodorizer, and hand sanitizer using essential oils.

Pest control

You suspect you have a pest problem, but you’re not ready to call the exterminator and spray your house full of who-knows-what. Try a homemade pest control spray with essential oils instead. Peppermint oil naturally repels many of the most common pests, including mice, ants, spiders, house flies, and some other things you don’t even want to think about.

To make a natural, indoor-friendly bug spray that’s safe around kids: Fill a small spray bottle with water and 10-15 drops of peppermint oil. Spray around the affect area. For greater coverage, spray the entire interior and exterior perimeter of the house.

Even better, many essential oils have properties that naturally repel mosquitos and other outdoor pests. Essential oils are derived from the part of the plant that produces the aromatic compounds that protects it from natural predators and other environmental threats. Using the oils as an insect repellent means you are harnessing the natural defense system of several different plants, and using them to boost your own defenses. TerraShield Repellent Blend is safe for the whole family and naturally repels mosquitos when diffused, blended with water to make homemade bug spray, or applied directly to the skin.

Less mess = Less stress

Lemon oil has a multitude of household cleaning uses, all of which will save you from purchasing separate products for specific messes. Among the cleaning problems solved by lemon oil: scud marks, tarnished silver, grease marks on the range hood, and hard water build-up, along with your everyday, dirty kitchen counters and bathroom fixtures. Lemon is safe on practically any surface, including stainless steel appliances and granite/natural stone counters.

To make a homemade, all-purpose cleaner: Add ½ cup white vinegar, 1 ½ cups water, and 5-10 drops of lemon oil to a glass spray bottle. Use to safely clean surfaces throughout your home.

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Deodorize summer shoes

Sometimes parenthood stinks in the most literal sense. Potty training? Aggressive diaper pail odor? Stinky shoes? Essential oils don’t just mask odors — they neutralize and replace some of your home’s most offensive smells. And tiny, sweaty feet can produce some of the most impressive shoe odor in the summer. Rather than trashing the offensive shoes, deodorize naturally with essential oils.

To remove the stench from a favorite pair of shoes: Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 5 drops of DoTERRA’s Purify blend (or your favorite citrus oil). Dump one tablespoon of the mixture in to the heel of each shoe, and shake it down to the toe area. After sitting for up to 24 hours, shake out the excess powder, and voila, de-stinked shoes.

Immunity boost

As a parent, I would do anything I could to avoid my children getting sick. And yet, I don’t want to keep them locked in the house to avoid contact with potential runny noses.

Essential oils can support your effort to keep your family healthy by boosting the body’s natural defenses and curb the spreading germs through the house. Just like essential oils are the natural defense system of the plant, they are also the immune system. The aromatic oils of a plant keep it healthy and protect it from environmental threats. By applying appropriate oils, you can harness the power of plants to support your own immune system.

To make homemade hand sanitizer: Mix 5 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 4 tablespoons water, ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil, and 8-10 drops OnGuard protective blend. Pour in to a small squeeze container.

Shaken, not stirred

Parenting goes down easier with a chilled beverage. Enhance your bedtime celebration with an infused cocktail. No need to keep a fully-stocked bar. Essential oils make it easy to get creative when mixing up drinks. A drop of lime oil pairs nicely with a gin and tonic. Or ,give your mojito an extra punch with a drop of lime and a drop of peppermint.

When using essential oils in your drink, make sure you are using the highest quality oil available. Not all brands of essential oils are safe for consumption, and the bottle will let you know if yours is safe. DoTERRA oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means that many of them are safe for consumption. Look for the nutrition facts on the label if you’re not sure. Other, less pure and concentrated brands have a warning label instead: Not for consumption.

Of course, essential oils offer many, many more possibilities for home use. These are just a few of my favorites. What’s your favorite way to use essential oils?

Angela Baker is a mother of two daughters, natural living ATBenthusiast, and DoTERRA wellness advocate. Her blueberry sourdough pancakes are better than you can imagine. Follow her on Facebook at Naturally Easy Living to hear more about essential oils and ways to keep things simple at home.

DIY EssentialOil Shower Bombs Try these five strategies to help you feel more balanced throughout the day. Perfect for overwhelmed moms who feel like they don't have time to center themselves. All of these take less than an hour a day (and some save you time). My Natural Skincare Routine | Oil Cleansing | Homemade Skincare Products

My Natural Skincare Routine

I’ve been writing about habits lately — and how my self-care routines have suffered quite a bit in the last few months (let’s be real, they weren’t super great before that). My skincare routine is an area where I regularly fall short, but now that I’m well into my 35th year, I have been eager to find products that are effective and appropriate for my skin now, which especially after pregnancy, is much different than my skin five years ago.

My Natural Skincare Routine | Oil Cleansing | Homemade Skincare Products

My skin tends to be on the oily side — though less so than it used to be. In early high school, I had terrible acne and went through the gamut of dermatologist-prescribed cleansers, creams, and medications. Nothing really worked until my mom ordered me Proactive, and just like the commercials promised, my skin did a 180, and I became a happy, well-adjusted teen.

Not really about that second part. But I’d prefer to be an angsty teen with clear skin over an angsty teen with acne.

And so, for the better part of 20 years, I’ve been using Proactive. From time to time, I’d switch things up, usually with Cetaphil, but I’ve also been roped into some insanely over-promised, over-priced cleansers that never ended up changing my life/making all my dreams come true.

But, I’ve known for awhile that it was time to move on from Proactive. My skin doesn’t break out like it used to, and it’s rather harsh for a daily cleanser. I stopped using Proactive’s toner and repairing cream years ago, and I’m not a fan of the auto-ship program. Moreover, while I’m not one of those EVERYTHING MUST BE ORGANIC/NATURAL/NON-TOXIC types, I’ve slowly been switching to less chemical-heavy products — Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, Tom’s deodorant, paraben-free shampoo (I still haven’t found one I like). That said, I am not really the type to start mixing up my own product, so I’ve been gearing up for a full-on search for and serious cash commitment to new skincare products.

Then I found Blooming in Bedlam, or specifically Blooming in Bedlam’s dark-spot reducing soothing toner recipe. You see, I have a lovely keepsake from my pregnancy in the form of a dark spot right in the middle of my forehead. It’s not super noticeable to other people, but as far as I’m concerned, it might as well be a bulls-eye on my face.

I was intrigued by the toner recipe, so I read the post about two dozen times before I finally decided that I could probably handle mixing water with apple cider vinegar and essential oils.

Within a week, I could see a difference with the dark spot, and I was hooked on the idea that I could make these products myself. I started Googling for homemade facial cleaners and came across the idea of oil cleansing.

If you’re like me and have oily skin, the idea of applying actual oil directly to your face sounds like a recipe for disaster. I decided to take the plunge anyway, knowing that I’d probably end up with a few breakouts, especially as I adjusted to a new skincare routine. But after three weeks of oil cleansing, my skin feels clean and looks bright, and I haven’t experienced one breakout.

The dreaded no-makeup Selfie

Here’s the recipe I’m using for my slightly oily skin:
1/4 cup Caster Oil
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP Olive Oil

And that’s it. I mix it together and keep it in a glass jar, and since you only need about the amount of a quarter to cleanse your face each day, it lasts for quite some time.

There are tons of different combinations you can do, and I’m not expert, I just researched what would work for my skin type. So if you’re interested, I’d check out these resources:

  • Wellness Mama’s Oil Cleansing for Naturally Perfect Skin: This gives an overview of various oils you can use and ratios for different skin types. I’m also using the method she describes in her post to cleanse my face.
  • Blooming in Bedlam’s Oil Cleaning Method by Skin Type: I noticed as I was writing this piece that Cajun posted an article about this a few days ago. I will definitely be referring back to her amazing charts in order to determine if I decide to add some essential oils to my mixture.

My Current Skincare Routine

Before bed:

  • Cleanse with a quarter-sized amount of the oil mixture using the technique outlined on Wellness Mama. I do this at the sink, not in the shower, as I do not want to deal with cleaning out the tub on a regular basis. I even use this to remove mascara, and it seems to work just fine.
  • Apply Soothing Toner

In the morning:

This routine seems to be sticking, and I’ve been very happy with the results. In some ways, making my own products has been less overwhelming and anxiety-producing than standing in front of shelves and shelves of products trying to figure out what will work. I’m already planning to start looking into recipes I can use weekly for exfoliating, as well as eye creams and products that will help combat fine lines.

What about you? Have you ever tried making your own skincare or beauty products?