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Fewer Toxins, More Plants: Cooking and Cleaning with Essential Oils

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

Wake up! It’s cleaning day. You know the one? The day where you are tired of looking at piled up dishes. The moment when that scuff on the arm of the couch just has to go, and that dust bunny in the corner calls out to be vacuumed.

No matter what sparks that urge to clean up, inevitably you will jump (or drag your heels) to the task. Cleaning and cooking are tasks that everybody has to do. Some have found ways to enjoy these everyday chores, and others still see them as CHORES!

So when you are faced with a task that MUST be done, how can you take back control? How can you make housework both effective AND enjoyable? The potent power of amazingly fragrant essential oils may be just the ticket!

Why switch to essential oils for cleaning?

Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from plants. You may have heard of people using lavender oil to relax, or perhaps peppermint oil to cool off. There are hundreds of therapeutic grade oils (taken from natural resources, thoroughly tested, with a high level of purity) available today. Each oil has its own unique characteristics, and many of them contain a variety of naturally-occurring acid and alcohol compounds that have antiseptic properties. So how can you start using essential oils in your life and housekeeping today?

Instead of scrubbing with eye-burning bleach, clothes-staining cleaners, and questionable lists of chemical ingredients, how about the disinfectant power of… wait for it… pure lemon?! How about the aromatic and germ-fighting qualities of oregano? Or the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil?

If you have trouble believing these natural cleaners will be effective, try suspending old beliefs (some of which have been marketed to you) for just a few moments and remember that you have the ability to CHOOSE. It is easy to disregard something when we don’t understand it. We are sometimes afraid of the unknown. But there is nothing scary about using oils in your home. You won’t know that, though, until you take the time to learn more and try them for yourself.

The best part is you don’t have to learn alone. The team at Mindful Ways to Wellness is ready and excited to share our knowledge about natural products and essential oils with you. Look out on our schedule for upcoming workshops and classes to make your own cleaning and household products using the best and purest essential oils.

Where do I start?

Bringing essential oils into your home is as easy as replacing one toxic item with one natural one. Start small. Try one oil that you are familiar with. Remember WHY you want to use more natural products. From a place of positive intention, it is easier to let go and have FUN with your housework.

There are many benefits to ridding your home of toxic chemicals but it doesn’t have to be a painful process. Using essential oils for cleaning around your home can save you money, space, and stress.

Imagine the feeling of knowing you aren’t using chemicals on your eating surfaces, that your kids can clean with you and enjoy the smell of lavender or orange while helping care for their home. The best part about essential oils is that they are natural and safe. Nature and humans have a lot in common. Humans and synthetic chemicals, not so.

Using natural cleaners is good for your health, well-being, and your wallet. Essential oils are powerful as cleaning agents. The potency and purity means you don’t have to use a lot. This makes them cost-effective. Essential oils are also versatile. The same oil can be used in your water, your surface cleaner, your diffuser and meanwhile it can be improving your mood. Hey, they just smell good!

To start a basic kit for cleaning and cooking your home pick up a few basic oils. This will be your cleaning toolbox:

  • Lavender

  • Peppermint

  • Frankincense

  • Melaleuca (tea tree)

  • Lemon

With just these five oils you have antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial and antibiotic properties. The combinations of these oils can make some of the most potent and effective cleaners for your home. You may also want to have the following supplies for creating products: Baking soda, borax, unscented castile soap, and white vinegar.

Also, before you start concocting cleaning potions with oils you will want to know some basic safety tips. Remember oils are very powerful. A little (1 or 2 drops) goes a long way. If oil makes its way into your eyes, flush with a vegetable oil, never with water. Always get your oils from a reputable company or source. You can purchase quality therapeutic grade oils from Mindful Ways to Wellness and attend classes on oils by visiting

Ready to make your own cleaner? We all need a grease-cutting, surface-purifying, odor-removing cleaner in our kitchen right? Try this recipe from Essential Oils for A Clean and Healthy Home for an all-purpose citrus kitchen cleaner:


½ cup vinegar

½ cup distilled water

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

5 drops lemon essential oil

5 drops orange essential oil

5 drops lime essential oil.

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and spray away. Enjoy the lovely smell!

How do I use essential oils for cooking?

Another awesome way to bring essential oils into your life and your household is to cook with them! In the same way that oils are potent and powerful for cleaning, they are powerful and potent for FLAVORING. They are perfect for adding some extra zing to your dishes. Because they are so intense, you only have to use a few drops to flavor your meals. Again, cost-effective and YUMMY.

In addition to their great taste, when taken regularly, essential oils can promote healthy digestion, cleanse your body of toxins, support the body’s systems, and provide other internal benefits. It is important to note, though, that not all essential oils are created equal. Be sure you are using quality therapeutic grade oils that are labeled for internal use.

As you start to enjoy the process of flavoring your food with essential oils, you may find that being creative in the kitchen is really fun! Taking care of yourself and your health is important. If you have questions regarding your diet or how to incorporate more healthy foods and cook using essential oils we are here to guide you. We offer a FREE, 30-minute wellness consultation to discuss your health and diet goals.

Now that you have opened your eyes and mind to the idea of cooking and cleaning with oils, a whole world of possibilities exists at your fingertips. Whether you decide to jump all in with Mindful Ways workshops, an essential oils toolkit, online resources, and recipes (see list below for further reading), or try out a single all-purpose oil like lemon, the power of nature now belongs to YOU!

As you begin to understand and enjoy the benefits of oils, you may notice how unpleasant your old cleaning products become. This is a natural and wonderful progression to a safer and more pleasurable house-keeping experience. Goodbye, toxic cleaners that burn eyes and stain clothes. Hello, tea tree, cinnamon, lavender and lemon! Thank you for your awesome-smelling, germ-busting, potent cleansing power.

Join us Sunday, April 28th from 1-4 pm for our Natural Solutions: For Your Health and Home workshop all about incorporating essential oils into your daily life. Register here to reserve your spot!

References cited:

dōTERRA. (n.d.). Cooking with Essential Oils. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from

dōTERRA. (n.d.). Cleaning with Essential Oils. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from

Aroma Tools. Modern essentials: A contemporary guide to the therapeutic use of essential oils. (2018). Orem, UT: AromaTools.

Oates, Jenni. [Nathan and Jenni]. (2018, July 31). dōTERRA Natural Solutions Essential Oil Class. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from

Schwartz, K. (2016). Essential oils for a clean and healthy home. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Siegel-Maier, K. (2009). The naturally clean home. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.

Snyder, M. (2017). Smart moms guide to essential oils: Natural solutions for a healthy family, toxin-free home and happier you. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press.

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