Some Blends - Natural Cleanser

When you move over to essential oils there is a temptation to go all natural on everything and why not right?  There are actually reasons to not do so or if you're going to do so then be aware of some things.  Water is where bacteria proliferate.  So that anything that has water in it is going to become contaminated with bacteria within about the same amount of time as left out food.  Most vegetables and fruits have some natural protection on them before you cook them or cut them up and most folks wash them before using them anyway and we know meat goes bad almost immediately but think about how long does cooked broccoli stay good outside the fridge - that's about how long a cleanser made with water is going to stay good - maybe add a day to that tops because the essential oils are in there but minus a preservative the bacteria will get in and make a party if only on the sides of the bottle and that's plenty of room to make a mess that will contaminate your counters if you then spray them with this, so mixes with water are out unless you add a preservative.

Alcohol is a fairly good preservative by the by but in a pretty big percentage.  Sugar is another preservative but you don't want to clean your counters with it and salt and vinegar are preservatives. 

Another thing - there is little point in adding baking soda which is a chemical base to vinegar which is a chemical acid.  You're just doing a lab experiment, making a little volcano, not really making an effective cleanser.  Both of them separately are good cleansers and adding vinegar to baking soda in a drain may help to get it moving per it's ability to literally move things but other than that not really  a great idea to mix them in a bottle together.  It won't hurt anything but it won't make the best cleanser either.  Borax is a natural cleanser - it's a salt and I believe a detergent (there are some technical reasons that keep it from being a surfactant I believe having to do with it's ability to keep water from sluicing off skin) - bottom line it's not soap.  Some folks eat it (I know weird huh?)  I don't recommend this personally.  If you cook baking soda you get washing soda which is another detergent - all natural and fine to use as is not mixed with vinegar but with water if you're going to mix it (right before or as you are using it).  Or one can mix soap (bar soap is typically used that has been shredded) with borax and washing soda to get a nice cleanser for doing laundry or dishes or the floor or whatever.  It will whiten clothes though so take care not to leave it sit on colored clothes.

One bar of soap (about 7oz)
1 Cup Borax
1/2 Washing soda
Either grate the soap by hand then mix the three or throw chunks in a food processor that you are going to keep just for mixing things like soap and cleansers and such and no longer use for food and when the soap is effectively powdered add the other two ingredients and blend away - take care not to inhale the dust it kicks up.  It's better for your lungs just to fine grate the soap by hand and mix the three in a bowl and you needn't mess up your food processor - but if you plan on making it often it is quicker of course to use it.  Anyway mix the three.  Then use it in a variety of ways either mixed with water or not - if you mix with very hot water and let it then sit for a day it will make a sort of gel.  But this DOES get contaminated with bacteria - the borax and washing soda and soap are all pretty bacteria unfriendly but after some time bacteria can make it in there anyway - just depends on how well you keep it sealed and just how long we are talking about.

Adding essential oils to vinegar makes it smell nice and raises the cleansing ability.  ANY way to make cleaning more pleasant is welcome.  If you don't have pets adding essential oils to baking soda and scattering that on the rug and then vacuuming that up will help make the house smell nice and sanitize a tad as the essential oils have antibacterial action.  A solution of vinegar or isopropyl alcohol and liquid soap and essential oils with a little water will stay well enough because the ingredients are all antibacterial except the water and will keep the water well enough for a while.

For example
1/2 cup vinegar or isopropyl alcohol
2 Tbsp of Liquid Soap
3/4 cup water
60 drops of essential oil
will make a good cleanser for countertops/bathroom

Here's another way to go:

6 oz vinegar
30 drops of essential oils

I'm going to encourage you to make your own blends as it is fun and a good way to learn the properties of essential oils but here are a few tips.  Stay within the group.  That is citruses mixed together, herbs mixed together, spices mixed together, woods mixed together or florals mixed together.  Or another way to go if you are more adventurous is to try a top, a middle and a base note.  So top notes are citruses and middle notes are like cedar, lavender, rosemary - a few like peppermint, cinnamon or lemongrass can be a top or a middle depending on your mix but these tend to stick around so technically they are middle notes, also eucalyptus, fir balsam, clary sage, basil, and so forth (the list is rather long actually) and base notes are chamomile, patchouli, vetivert, labdanum, benzoin and things like rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang... and so on.  The base notes stick around the longest in terms of fragrance and the top notes stick around the shortest time.  When mixing it is good to use the most of a middle note so it would look like this:

5 drops of citrus
15 drops of cedar
3 drops of patchouli, vetivert, rose...

OR
3 drops of citrus
5 drops of a middle like cinnamon leaf (cinnamon bark can be dangerous so maybe don't mess with it until you have FULLY researched it)

OR
5 drops of peppermint
2 drops of patchouli
and so forth.

There really aren't many rules to blending but it does take some practice to do the top, middle, base note way mixing between groups....well and have it smell nice that is.  Alternatively, when staying within a group it is almost hard to mess up but I assure you it can be done so here a few LOL

3 parts lemon
6 parts lavender
2 parts vetivert (optional)
-
3 parts grapefruit
5 parts palmarosa
1 part rose

3 parts bergamot
3 parts rosemary
5 parts sweet basil (the two herbs here together add up to 8 - other herbs could be used instead)
2 parts labdanum (this smell spicy/sweet/deep)

There are a few you want to avoid using as cleansers as they are toxic - the most popular one is tea tree or ti tree or Malaleauca alternifolia but there is also rue, pennyroyal and a few others - if you are unfamiliar with them just don't use them.  A great place to look up essential oils in terms of safety information and the standard desk reference for aromatherapists and layfolks alike is Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young., Second Edition 2014.

Good Luck - Have Fun - Be Safe :)

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