'Game changing' hack to cure damp, mould and condensation
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When cleaning our homes, it can be tempting to grab the nearest sprays and disinfectants to give floors, sinks, baths and showers a thorough clean. However, many of these regular cleaners can be harmful to the surrounding environment and our health. To reduce toxins in the air, people are looking for alternative natural solutions to clean their properties.
Essential oils are plant extracts made by pressing and steaming different parts of plants, such as bark, flowers and leaves.
The oils are famous for their exotic scents but can surprisingly be helpful for cleaning too.
Some essential oils have antibacterial, anti-fungal and pest-repellent properties while also neutralising unpleasant odours.
Ongoing studies have shown that essential oils could hold disinfectant properties, effective against viruses and bacteria.
Combine a few drops of essential oils with a spray bottle of another liquid. They are a natural, safe, affordable and non-toxic way to clean your home.
With this in mind, Yasmin Sharp, aromatherapy expert at Nikura has shared the five most “effective” essential oils to use when cleaning including basil and peppermint.
Lavender is associated with sleep and tranquillity which is why it’s often used as a pillow spray or for diffusers in bedrooms. However, according to Yasmin, lavender oil is also beneficial for laundry.
She added: “It could stop mould and mildew from building up in clothes and provides a floral scent.
“Acting as a disinfectant and deodoriser, lavender is a gentle all-purpose cleaner.
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“Add two to three drops of lavender oil to your regular detergent or fabric conditioner before you pour it into your washing machine.”
Lemon is well known for its strong cleaning properties, so it’s no surprise lemon oil is just as versatile.
Yasmin said: “Lemon oil provides a clean, citrus scent without any heavy chemicals and is used to remove bacteria and fungi around the home due to powerful hygienic properties and the ability to attack harmful microorganisms.
“Due to its acidic roots, it works well in all-purpose cleaners for kitchens and toilets, leaving surfaces sparkling. Lemon oil could also be used to clean wood, windows, and carpets.
“For surface cleaning, add five to six drops of lemon oil to 1/8 cup of water in a spray bottle and apply to a cloth before rubbing the surface.”
Peppermint oil is great for hygiene as it has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties.
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The oil makes a great spider repellent because it contains monoterpenoids that claim to act as fumigants.
The natural sanitiser has a strong yet pleasant smell that can remove bacteria harbouring in your room and on surfaces.
The best place to use this is in showers which are often a breeding ground for bacteria.
To create a daily shower spray, combine ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, ¾ cup of water and 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle. Shake well, spray and don’t rinse.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is also known as melaleuca oil and has been used for centuries. The essential oil is known for its antiseptic properties and can protect against infections.
The oil is best for everyday cleaning throughout the house and works especially well in removing musty odours.
Yasmin added: “After the busy festive season, your kitchen sink needs TLC as it’s a magnet for mould, bacteria, and fungus.
“Add two to three drops of tea tree oil to one cup of baking soda before scrubbing your sink. Focus on the drain and grooves to eliminate any growing mildew.”
Yasmin said basil has a plethora of uses around the home because it’s antibacterial.
In fact, one study found that the use of basil oil can decrease germs and food-borne pathogens, which keeps the food we eat safe.
Yasmin said: “It is also useful in removing bacteria from surfaces and freshening the air.
“Sprinkle one drop of diluted basil oil into your basin when washing fresh produce to potentially reduce the risk of harmful microorganisms and bacteria.”
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