In case you hadn't noticed, some people get a bit obsessive about lavender oil. Can an essential oil actually have fans? It seems so: This purple, fragrant flower has long been cherished for its medicinal and aromatherapeutic benefits, deployed to treat everything from allergies to insomnia. But as it turns out, lavender oil also has a number of high-impact uses around the home.
“Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils of all, and no home should be without it,” says Kasey Schwartz, who runs the blog AllThingsMamma.com and is author of "Essentials Oils for a Clean and Healthy Home—200+ Amazing Household Uses for Essential Oils."
"Because of its cleansing and purifying properties—which work to clean, purify, and protect your home from dirt and grime—it's perfect for many household remedies,” Schwartz says.
Lavender oil is easy to find—pick up a bottle at your local grocery store or pharmacy, and put it to use in nearly every room of your home.
1. Banish odors in your bathroom
Keep bathroom odors at bay with the use of some oil.
“Skip the chemical aerosol sprays. Next time you are deodorizing the bathroom, use lavender oil and water in a spray bottle,” says Schwartz.
You can also place the oil in a diffuser, or let the fresh lavender scent permeate your bathroom on toilet paper rolls.
“Add one or two drops to the inside of the toilet paper roll for a fresh scent,” says Dorene Peterson, founder, president, and CEO of American College of Healthcare Sciences, which focuses on holistic health education.
Each time the toilet paper is dispensed, the roll releases the oil's calming and fresh scent.
2. Deodorize floors
Lavender was sprinkled on the floor in medieval times for its fresh scent. Today it can be used to freshen carpets.
“Add a few drops of lavender to your vacuum filter or to a small piece of paper and vacuum it up. The fresh scent will fill your vacuum and your room,” says Schwartz.
Alternatively, you can make a floor deodorizer with eight drops of lavender oil and a half-cup baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture on your carpet, and then vacuum.
It also works well on wood floors.
“Woods love oil. Just add a few drops of lavender oil to your cleaning mixture, and your floor can look—and smell—like new,” says Schwartz. (Just be sure to test a small patch of your floor before applying the mixture throughout.)
3. Boost liquid soap
Tired of your usual boring liquid soap that’s low on scent? Give it a boost with a few drops of lavender oil.
“If your liquid soap smells a bit flat, you can add lavender oil for additional aromatherapy benefits,” says Schwartz.
There are all kinds of scented dish soap on the market, but most contain harsh chemicals that are tough on hands. Try making your own dish soap, like this lavender lemon dish soap from the blog A Beautiful Mess.
4. Freshen up laundry
Lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, meaning “to wash.” Use the essential oil to give your laundry an extra clean punch.
“You can add a few drops to a dryer ball or unscented dryer sheet to freshen your laundry,” says Peterson.
You can also make your own fragrant dryer sheet with a few drops of lavender oil on a dry cloth. Simply toss it into the dryer with your wet laundry.
Another option is to add a few drops of lavender oil to the water in your iron for a steamy, flowery scent.
5. Make an eco-friendly air freshener
Ditch those fake air fresheners that come in a range of manufactured scents but leave a lingering chemical smell. Instead make an all-natural air freshener.
Schwartz suggests putting baking soda and five or six drops of lavender oil in a small Mason jar, then punching holes in the lid. Place the jar in smelly areas of your home—near garbage cans or dirty clothes—and shake the jar often to release the scent.
It also works well in a scent diffuser for your bathrooms and bedrooms. Peterson recommends diffusing two or three drops an hour before bedtime to help create a calm atmosphere.
“You can also create a pillow spray with lavender essential oil and a mixture of witch hazel (which acts as a preservative) and water for your guest room.”
6. Eliminate stale air
That coat closet hasn't been opened all summer, and that means the air in there is a little musty.
Chase stagnant closet air away by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to cotton balls and placing them throughout your closets or drawers.
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