The benefits of essential oils have been making their way around the interwebs for some time, so this isn’t a new craze. The use of essential oils for healing, wellness as well as masking terrible odours have been around for centuries. Thankfully, many families are looking for more natural ways to manage their health and scent their homes, so essential oils have made a resurgence. But many haven’t discovered yet, the benefits of using essential oils in the laundry room, so I’m here to let you in on the secret that you could be missing out on some amazing natural cleaning power!
1. Stain Removal
We know stains are a pain, and it seems that every time I get a new outfit, I stain it during the very first wearing. It’s so frustrating, especially if it’s an oil-based stain which is almost impossible to get out. Then, there are also those stinky dog and kids stains, and of course, hubby adds motor oil, grease, dirt and goodness knows what else to the mix
Of course, there are a plethora of commercial stain removers to choose from, and some work better than others, but finding a truly natural way to care for stains takes a little more work. But, if you keep a simple essential oil on hand, you may be able to tackle those more frustrating stains. All you need is some Lemon Essential Oil. It’s so incredibly versatile you’ll want to have this in your oil arsenal at all times. In the laundry room, rub a drop or two directly onto the grease stain and then launder as usual.
2. Stinky Washing Machine Odour Remover
If you use a front loader washer, you’ve likely had to deal with a stinky washing machine, from time to time. The first thing to do to prevent the stink from happening is to leave the door ajar after the end of the cycle, so it has a chance to dry out complete. However, if you have children, please exercise caution – we don’t want any kiddos crawling inside. Therefore, another (child safe) option is to dampen a washcloth thoroughly with warm water and add 5-10 drops of lemon or lime essential oil. Put it inside and let it work until the next time you use the washer.
3. Make Your Own Homemade Sensitive Laundry Detergent
There are so SO many popular DIY laundry detergent recipes out there, but this is a basic version you can make your own. This should be HE safe (which means it doesn’t produce too many suds), try it the first time when you’re home to make sure it doesn’t cause a problem.
- 1 Tbsp. Washing Soda (you can make your own, if you’ve run out)
- 1 Tbsp. Liquid Castile soap “base”
- 1 Tbsp. Citric Acid
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (in the softener compartment)
- 1-3 drops of a quality essential oil – try lavender, grapefruit, lime or orange, or you could even mix them to create your own signature scent! The number of drops will depend entirely on how scented you want your wash – use the same scent in your dryer for a long-lasting scent to your clothes (see the scented dryer ball spray below).
I always suggest that you pre-treat stains and use a bare minimum of warm water – because oil and water don’t mix….
If you use a scented castile soap, you’ll need to adjust the amount of essential oil you add to the recipe to compensate. If you want to add your own, use the Unscented versions.
For towels after showering? I love the peppermint – it’s an amazing way to wake up in the morning! I’m also quite a fan of the citrus for the morning as well and then lavender for a bath before bed and I’m all set!
4. Scented dryer balls
If you don’t already use wool dryer balls, you must give it go! They help your clothes dry faster (aka, save time, energy and money) and keep them static free, so you can stop buying those expensive, overly scented, and chemical-filled dryer softener sheets. If you miss your scented clothes and towels, put a few drops of your favourite essential oil on the dryer balls before tossing them into the dryer. Giving the oil spot a little rub before you toss it in the dryer will help stop it from staining your clothes.
If you’re ready for an even longer lasting scented laundry, we recommend dryer balls (they’ll even cut down drying time, aka save time, energy and money!). however, if you aren’t quite ready for that step, then put a few drops of your favourite essential oil on a water dampened piece of fabric (like a washcloth) and dry it with your load. Or, make a wool dryer ball spray by mixing 10-15 drops of essential oil for every cup of water or witch hazel in a fine mist spray bottle and spray the balls before use. Be sure you always shake to mix the oils before spraying and adjust the scent to suit your taste. Lavender, Rose, Geranium and Lemon, or any combination of these give you great smelling laundry.
5. Cleaning surfaces in the laundry room
Laundries, naturally, are often wet rooms – either through spills, leaks or even humidity from drying, and as a result, cleaning is imperative.
From sanitising to cleaning and inhibiting mould growth, is a step in your cleaning routine, that essential oils can be a powerful ally in.Essential oils in the laundry room can truly help remove stains, replace expensive dryer fabric sheets, and can scent your homemade laundry soap. But you will have to do some amount of trial and error because we all have different stains to deal with, and our ability to smell isn’t the same, and some have hard or soft water. Plus, the fabric content matters too. But do it and you’ll be rewarded with a natural way to care for your family’s clothes!
Lemon, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils are often the most recommended for sanitising and cleaning surfaces. Add your choice of oil to any of the following: water, liquid castile soap or witch hazel. If using water, add the oils to a small amount of either liquid castile or vodka, to help disperse the oils before adding the water.
If you have a mould problem in your laundry room, Clove oil is one of the most effective agents to kill mould spores. Always use gloves and a face mask when dealing with mould for your own health and safety.
For the initial clean add 3 drops of clove oil to 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 Tbsp. liquid castile. Both clove oil and vinegar have been proven to kill mould (not just bleach it). For a follow up clean on hard to kill mould try using a stronger dilution of clove oil with the vinegar and castile, leave overnight, then clean away. Note: clove oil is brown coloured and may stain white silicone – use with caution in this regard.
Essential oils in the laundry room can truly help remove stains, replace expensive dryer fabric sheets, and can scent your homemade laundry soap. But you will have to do some amount of trial and error because we all have different stains to deal with, and our ability to smell isn’t the same, and some have hard or soft water. Plus, the fabric content matters too. But do it and you’ll be rewarded with a natural way to care for your family’s clothes!