Lavender essential oil should have a place in any natural cleaning fan’s cupboards. With its antiseptic germ-killing properties and fresh scent that everybody loves, lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils in use.
So how do you use lavender essential oil? This may become a part of your daily routine and during the house cleaning.
1. To make disinfectant spray. Mix equal proportions of vodka and water, or 2 units of white vinegar to one unit of water in a spray bottle. Add in about 10–20 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake well. This mixture can also be used for cleaning glass as well as being used as a general everyday disinfectant.
2. To make air freshener. Either put 10–20 drops of essential oil in water in a spray bottle, or put the same amount of lavender essential oil in a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar. Shake well before use to disperse the oils. You can also use the disinfectant mixture as an air freshener.
3. Scenting your rooms: Dab a little lavender oil on a cold lightbulb before switching on, or rub a little onto a radiator. When the lightbulb or the radiator heats up, the lavender oil will be released and dispersed through the room. Alternatively, use an aromatherapy burner of the type heated by a tea light candle.
4. Scented stationery. Put a few drops of lavender oil on a bit of tissue paper. Tuck the tissue paper into writing paper, scrapbooks, journals, etc.
5. Bath salts: Get about a cup full of common table salt of any type and put it in a screw-top jar. Add in 20 drops of lavender oil. Shake well so the smell is dispersed through the salt. Leave it to mellow for a bit before using. If you want, you can tint the salt a delicate purple by mixing a few drops of food colouring into the salt.
6. As a massage oil: Mix about 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a cup or so of light oil (sunflower oil is good, but olive oil is a bit too strong, although it’s lovely for the skin). Leave it to mellow together for a week or so before use. This oil can also be used as a bath oil.
7. In the bath: Simply put 10 or more drops of oil into the bath while it’s running. As lavender oil is very calming and soothing – one of the reasons it is prized in aromatherapy – this is the perfect way to unwind after a hectic day.
8. As a steam inhalation. Fill a bowl with boiling water and add 5 drops of lavender oil. Cover the bowl and your head with a towel in a sort of tent. Stay under this tent (don’t touch the water) for at least five minutes, breathing deeply. Great for relieving congestion and headaches caused by a nasty cold.
9. Making liquid lavender soap. Get an ordinary bar of soap and chop it up into rough cubes. Put this into a container. Pour about a pint of boiling water over the soap. Leave the soap to melt and then re-congeal into goo. Add about 20 drops of lavender essential oil and decant the goo into an airtight container. Use this for washing delicates (the lavender scent is perfect for woollens and repels moths) or for handwashing. You can use it for washing nearly anything, including the floor and the car!
10. Ironing spray: Fill a spray bottle with plain water and add 10 drops of lavender oil. Spray your shirts, etc. with this before ironing them. Makes the chore of ironing into a pleasure!
More ambitious people can also try their hand at using lavender essential oil to make their own perfumes and cosmetics, or in other handcrafts like soap and candle making.