Essentially Sofia’s: Plant-Powered Cleaning with Essential Oils

Is there anything more satisfying than sitting back with a well-earned glass of wine on Sunday afternoon relaxing in a clean, fresh-smelling house? We agree. That’s why we sharing a little Sofia’s plant-powered secret with you: essential oils. Now, obviously, we haven’t invented essential oils (we were a bit preoccupied inventing an amazing green cleaner, after all). Essential oils are an age-old homeopathic remedy for nearly everything. But, we started playing with a DIY aromatherapy meets cleaning technique that amplifies all the satisfaction feels – and we’re here to share.

Let’s start with the essentials – the oil essentials that is.

Not all oils are created equal.

Extracted directly from plants, essential oils are natural concentrations of plant fragrance. They are perfectly safe and offer a variety of mood and health benefits. Our preferred brand is DoTerra because we think their purity and high-concentration oils are the best bang for your buck. Whatever brand you decide, here are the cardinal rules when shopping for oils:

  • Buy only organic, non-gmo brands
  • Buy brands that source their plants from their native regions (and aim for sustainability when possible)
  • Avoid any brands that have warning labels

Do keep in mind that while essential oils are safe, over-consumption can have health and environmental impacts.

The Bedroom

Lavender is a natural source of zen with calming qualities perfectly suited to creating a clam, serene bedroom. Floral, without being cloying, it’s a subtle way to soothe and relax your mind. We mix a drop into our bedding wash and use a spray bottle to mist oil infused water (just a couple drops to one part water) on linens. When it comes to the [hard] floors, we combine a couple drops of lavender oil with warm water and Sofia’s Soy Cleaner and give it a quick, simple mop.

Want to spice it up? Exotic scents create a subtle seductiveness. Ylang Ylang, lotus, cardamom, and jasmine are some that come to mind. The oil-infused linen mist trick is a great way to add some warmth to your room. Another way to use oils in the bedroom is as an antimicrobial mattress spray. Good oils for this are eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree and rosemary (in any combination you like).

Furniture Care

Essential oils not only smell wonderful but also add richness to wood furnishings when used appropriately. A particularly lovely mixture is lemon, sweet orange, and a wood-based oil like cedarwood, eucalyptus or myrhh. Combine a drop or two in a small spray bottle with Sofia’s all-purpose cleaner and wipe down dusty surfaces with a clean cloth. Be careful not to saturate the wood with oil, less is more when cleaning furniture.

Kitchen & Bathroom

We love a combination of a bright citrusy oil, an herbaceous oil such as oregano, coriander or basil, and a disinfecting oil like tea tree, eucalyptus or black pepper. Of note, black pepper oil was reported effective against several problem bacteria including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, e. coli, and salmonella. Simply mix a couple drops of each oil of choice with Sofia’s Soy Cleaner and grease, grime and germs will be gone in no time – leaving a fresh scent and luxurious shine.

A trick to mitigating food odors in the kitchen is to create a pan diffuser of sorts. Boil water on the stove, then reduce to a simmer. Add a few drops of oils (either a fresh citrus or floral scent or a warm scent like cinnamon or cardamom) and infuse the room with neutralizing aroma.

Keep a bottle of your favorite scent in the bathroom to add to lotion, body wash or shampoo. Here is a good breakdown of the health benefits of various oils.

Disinfecting

Tea tree and lemon oils are natural cleansers and antibacterial oils. Mixing a few drops with Sofia’s Soy Cleaner gives you double the protection with the added benefit of clean shine and clean scent. Since our soy cleaner is safe and all0purpose, you can use it to disinfect every room in the house. If you’re cleaning the kiddos toys, lavender oil has shown to have some antimicrobial properties and is mild enough for children.

Pest Control

You don’t need Sofia’s for this, but we wanted to share none-the-less. Essential oil blends are brilliant pest repellents. You can deter bugs easily and naturally with tea tree oil, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus. Either apply directly onto skin or soak cotton balls then place into a jar to set on tables near you.