Welcome to our series for Plant Therapy blog: Ask our Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists! Where you ask, and we answer your most burning oily questions.
Wondering who your Plant Therapy Aromatherapists are? You can get the full introduction to our whole team on our Meet Our Aromatherapists page! Because Plant Therapy is dedicated to being transparent, we knew we wanted to introduce you to the team behind answering your essential oil questions.
Without further ado, let’s see what you asked us this month:
Which oils are best for cleaning?
Jayme Signorello asks:
Is there such a thing as a sanitizing oil? I want something that will kill the germs and bacteria!
Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin
There are essential oils that have properties that are effective for cleaning.
I’m the mom of six busy children and I end up doing a lot of cleaning up after them. Let’s just face it, kids can be gross.
When I can send the kiddos out with their dad and have a day when I can use non-KidSafe oils, I really like to pull out Lemongrass, Basil, and Thyme for use in a DIY cleaning spray. I also like the combination of Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint, Not only do these oils smell fabulous together, they’re super effective for cleaning purposes.
Germ Fighter is another synergy that I reach for often. I like to use this synergy in toilet bombs or to clean the bathroom walls/shower curtain to combat issues common in areas with high humidity.
For recipes to utilize these essential oils, I would recommend checking out this helpful blog post: The Guide to Spring Cleaning.
Itching and sneezing and allergies (oh my!)
Regina Sender wants to know about:
Allergy remedies…other than Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, please! I’m not a Lavender fan at all. Something that smells amazing AND clears my nose LOL.
Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist & Content Manager:
This is such a great question Regina (and I love your name btw!) I have to deal with this exact issue in my house every year.
I’m also not a huge Lavender fan: I know, I know, it’s one of the best powerhouse oils! But sadly I have a Linalool sensitivity, which means 99% of all floral oils (including Lavender) make me feel sick and give me headaches. We won’t even go into the irony of a Certified Aromatherapist getting headaches from floral scents…
But your girl also has allergies like woah. So what do we use in our house?
I seriously can’t talk enough about this blend, and its amazing ability to help with allergy symptoms! Our Marketing Director, Mykeah Kranzler, recommended this blend when I started working at PT, and we’ve been using it ever since.
Diffuse Clear Again or keep it in a personal inhaler. I have some serious, unpleasantly not-pretty seasonal allergies and this blend is my savior. I diffuse clear again at night and it drastically helps my breathing, itching, and sneezing (and helps curb the miserable runny nose, too).
We also make a KidSafe version of Clear Again, Sneezy Stop, for kids under 10.
Now, this might sound like an advertisement for a Plant Therapy blend, but I swear to you this product is on my “must-have” list even if I wasn’t working for PT. It’s that good!
But in case you don’t want to run out and buy Clear Again, there are tons of other essential oils that are also great for allergy symptoms.
Our team here at Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists have nailed down 5 essential oils that really help ease symptoms caused by seasonal allergies. Check them out:
If you want to read even more about essential oils and allergies, we have some great blog posts so you can do a deeper dive into this hot topic:
Keeping pests where they belong…off of you and out of your house!
Alicia Guminski says:
Bugs! Spidies and such!
Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist & Content Creator
So, I’m probably a bit too enthusiastic to start gardening. By the start of January, I’m already organizing my packets of seeds, containers, and plant lights for indoor germinating. So that means, by about this time I’ve got plenty of beautiful little seedlings, but also, *sigh* … gnats. So I’ll address those tiny demons first. They love how seedling soil has to stay a bit damp and that warm grow light, right? It turns into a gnat paradise pretty fast. Super gross.
I always start with hydrosols, like Peppermint and Helichrysum. I spray it on the plant containers and you’ll notice immediately that gnats get away from it. But when they’re in your house, it really just means the gnats will find somewhere else to go. Drastic measures are necessary. And I’d like to mention that I’m one of those people who will carefully capture spiders or shoe flies out the door before I consider reaching for something to smash them with. But gnats just multiply so incredibly fast that they really can’t be dealt with that way.
So here’s what I do that I’ve found really effective: I take a mug and fill it about half way with some warm coffee. Then, I add a couple of drops of my Coffee Essential Oil to the cup, and the gnats LOVE it. They find the mug, get in the coffee, and, well…no more gnats! It might gross you out when you check the mug at the end of the day and see a ton of dead gnats floating around, but honestly, it’s better than them flying all over the house. My family is already used to my gnat-coffee technique, but if you want to give this a try, please label the cup so no one drinks it! Just take some washi tape and write a very clear warning on it.
For ants, I use Peppermint Essential Oil. This was actually one of the first things I ever learned about essential oils—that ants hate peppermint! Kind of a weird first thing to learn I realize, but I used to live in a rental with some serious summer ant problems.
If you find them congregating somewhere inside your home, just drop a drop of Peppermint in the spot. They hate it and will have to find somewhere else to go, hopefully back outside where they come from. You can also make a spray: for a 2-ounce spray bottle, I just use 10 drops of Peppermint with an equal amount of Polysorbate 20 and fill the rest with water (make sure to add a preservative as well if you don’t want to keep it in the fridge and use within a week). I spray in the area of the ants or use it near my doorways or anywhere outside I see too many ants hanging out.
Honestly, this is a recipe that could be improved upon. I’ve heard people also having success using Clove and Lemon EOs, as well as vinegar or even dish soap instead of water. If this is something you want to play around with, I’d love to hear what you come up with in the comments!
Lastly, let’s talk spiders. Very similar to ants; they hate Peppermint. They also hate citrus oils. The Peppermint spray recipe I talked about works for those small household spiders, but what about something larger? Like hobo or jumping spiders? The best way to use essential oils for those kinds is to work on prevention, rather than reaction.
Many large spiders don’t like clean, well-lit areas with bright, citrusy aromas. Diffusing oils like Lemon, May Chang, Lemon Eucalyptus, or Lemongrass help keep them out of the house. You can use these oils in your ultrasonic diffuser, but the Diffuse on the Move is also a great choice since the oils are being diffused without any water, making for a stronger scent. You can also place a drop or two of these oils on a cotton pad to passively diffuse in areas that spiders are appearing.
I hope this helps, Alicia!
If you have questions for our Certified Aromatherapy team, head on over to our Safe Essential Oil Facebook Group and watch for our monthly post for your chance to get featured and have your questions answered!