Chemical Free Cleaning

IMPORTANT: While the following article features commonly used natural ingredients, many are still toxic when ingested so ALWAYS keep your cleaning products and oils out of reach of children or pets.

Some ingredients may damage certain surfaces – always do a patch test in an inconspicuous area before proceeding with a larger space, and do additional research if concerned. See our other DISCOVER pages for more safety information.

What is Chemical Free Cleaning?

Commercial cleaning products can contain harsh ingredients, toxic chemicals, bleaches, synthetic fragrances and surfactants designed to give the extra foam that marketing has conditioned us to believe will make your household ‘cleaner and healthier’.

However, utilising just a handful readily-available natural ingredients and tried-and-true traditional methods, you can replace most of these products with simple and effective natural solutions. You’ll also know exactly what’s in the products you use throughout your house and around your family.

Essential Oils (EO’s) for Household Cleaning

Essential oils can be used to boost cleaning power, add antiseptic, anti-bacterial or  anti-microbial benefits – and as a perfect bonus – will also make your home smell fantastic. You can of course also use your favourite oils just because you enjoy their scent.

Before using any essential oil in a cleaning product, consider whether it might stain or effect the surface you’re using it on. Lemon oil may bleach darker finishes; Eucalyptus oil may damage painted surfaces; any dark coloured oil may stain textiles or carpets. Essential oils are very strong and need to be diluted for application to the skin or onto any surface, so any undiluted oils may cause damage to a finish. Always vigorously shake oil/water blends before use to ensure you’re not spraying neat oils (or use SOLUBILISER to help oils and water blend together), and if concerned try a patch test somewhere inconspicuous and out of sight before using on a larger area.

Citrus Oils

If you’re looking for a fresh, clean scent, citrus oils are an excellent choice – plus they can also help balance the sour scent of vinegar, which is used in many recipes. As citrus oils are typically invigorating, they can help you feel better about your cleaning* and leave the rest of your household happy too. Oils like Lemon and Orange can also help cut through grease and grime for added cleaning benefits.

* Enthusiasm not guaranteed.

Other Oils

CAMPHOR / BAY: Known moth repellents – try a few drops in a wooden ball in your wardrobe and top up when the scent fades. Bay oil or leaves can also be useful against pantry moths.

LEMONGRASS: Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal; the scent is invigorating and energising and can be excellent for deodorising and freshening your rooms.

PENNYROYAL: Moth and flea repellent. IMPORTANT: Avoid using near pregnant women or pets, or anyone trying to get pregnant. Toxic – never put directly onto animals or skin – add the oil to a piece of cloth or your pet’s bedding.

PINE: Cleansing & anti-bacterial, with an invigorating scent perfect for cleaning and floor products.

Natural Ingredients for Household Cleaning

Vinegar

One of the most useful ingredients in chemical-free cleaning – whether Distilled / White Vinegar or cider based vinegar such as Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). The two types have similar benefits, but white vinegar is usually made of laboratory-produced acetic acid combined with water and is more acidic. ACV is typically milder, with a more pleasant scent. The scent will fade as it dries, but can be masked with a few drops of Citrus essential oils.

Vinegars contain acetic acid so can cut through grime, sticky buildups, soap scum or hard water stains, and kill bacteria – but used too strongly can damage surfaces like natural stone, granite or marble, timber or delicate fabrics. Hence most recipes recommend diluting vinegar. Always check whether your surface is suitable for vinegar as some stone surface manufacturers recommend against it.

  • Use CIDER VINEGAR on HARD surfaces and WHITE VINEGAR on FABRICS.

TIP: Vinegar and castille soap don’t mix well, and can separate and curdle.

Bicarb Soda

Sodium Bicarbonate, known in the US as Baking Soda, is the other main ingredient used in natural cleaning. Because bicarb is a natural product also used in cooking, it is safe and non-toxic, so suitable to use around children or pets, and food preparation areas.

Bicarb is a mild alkali (an acid neutraliser). It can penetrate stains, causing dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. Used as a powder bicarb is mildly abrasive and can be used as a gentle scouring powder to help lift stubborn dirt and grime, without damaging most surfaces – though be careful with surfaces that are lightly sealed or that have a finish that can be worn away.

As a deodoriser, Bicarb doesn’t just mask odours: it neutralises them by bringing both acidic and basic (not acidic) odour molecules into a neutral, more odour-free state. Sprinkle onto carpets or upholstery (vacuum after sitting for 15mins or longer), add in with the rubbish, or leave in a bowl in the fridge. Add essential oils for extra deodorising capabilities, or to add a fresh clean scent.

As a pH neutraliser, Bicarb can also be good for your drains or septic system, to help keep the pH of the water at a near neutral pH level, ideal for the beneficial bacteria that breaks down and digests the organic wastes in your septic tank. Try adding up to a cup of Bicarb weekly to a toilet, sink or garbage disposal running with warm water – the bicarb will also neutralise odours for a fresh drain.

* Take care using bicarb to clean aluminum cookware as it can cause the surface to oxidize (change colour).

* Stone manufacturers generally don’t recommend using bicarb on marble as the abrasive action can damage the sealant.

Vinegar & Bicarb:
Magic Bubbles?

Many recipes call for the use of vinegar (an acid) and bicarb soda (a base) mixed together, which create a fizzing reaction when blended. There is much discussion over whether this is actually of any benefit: as bicarb is an acid neutraliser, the two ingredients can cancel each other out.

The Vinegar and Bicarb Method below will still get the gentle abrasive action of the bicarb as you begin to scrub, followed by the cleansing power of water. Alternately you can replace the Vinegar in any of the following recipes with water, or a water/castille soap solution.

The Bicarb-Vinegar Method

Any of the recipes below that call for the “Bicarb-Vinegar Method” mean blending these two ingredients together during the process of cleaning. They will begin to fizz as they come into contact with each other.

FLAT surfaces: sprinkle surface with bicarb, then splash with vinegar. Scrub with a sponge or non-abrasive brush as it fizzes. Repeat if necessary and rinse with water.

VERTICAL surfaces: use two sponges: one dipped in bicarb, and a second dipped in vinegar. Place the bicarb sponge against the surface, then hold the vinegar sponge over the bicarb sponge as you work over the sides.

Other Cleaning Ingredients

CASTILLE SOAP: Dating back to Spain in the 1600s, this is experiencing a comeback for those keen on using natural ingredients and free from strong chemical compounds. Being detergent-free, Castille Soap will not overproduce sudsy lather but will still effectively and gently clean almost anything you can think of. If a recipe calls for liquid castille soap, grate solid castille or natural soap into water and blend into a paste or thick liquid.

CORNFLOUR: A fine, absorbent abrasive that can be used in scrubbing products.

GLYCERINE: A natural by-product of the soap making process – many natural soaps contain an amount of glycerine, while it’s usually skimmed from commercial soaps to use in moisturising products. A gentle natural solvent that can help loosen stains.

SWEET ALMOND OIL: Cold pressed Sweet Almond oil is usually used for skincare or massage, but can also be useful for cleaning bone or ivory.

WITCH HAZEL: an alcoholic extract from the hamamelis shrub, which can be used in natural skincare as a toner etc. In cleaning it can be used as a multipurpose surface cleaning spray, as a base for deodorising room sprays, or a replacement for ‘rubbing alcohol’ in surface / glass cleaning recipes.

Solubiliser

When blending essential oils with any water-based ingredient, the oils will sit as a slick on top as they are generally not water-soluble, so many simple recipes advise you to shake your oil and water mix before every use to ensure you’re not spraying neat oils into the air or onto a surface. Alternately, add castor-oil based SOLUBILISER to the recipe to help your oils and water blend together for use in sprays and other mixtures.

TO ADD SOLUBILISER TO A RECIPE: Blend your essential oils with equal parts (or a little less) solubiliser BEFORE adding the mix to water / vinegar etc, then shake well. The recipe will become cloudy as the oils, solubiliser and water permanently combine – try using less for a clearer result.

Materials, Bottles & Packaging

You can re-use any bottles you have on hand – clean thoroughly or sterilise in boiled water, to remove any old chemicals. You can also use fresh mason jars, atomiser / trigger spray bottles and containers, ready to make up whatever you need. PET plastic is fine as long as any essential oils that you use are diluted in another medium, and is safer in slippery hands than glass.

Keep a selection of brushes and sponges on hand: old toothbrushes can get into grout or corners; bristle brushes are excellent for gentle scrubbing. Recycle old cotton shirts or t-shirts: giving your old clothes a new purpose is enviro-friendly too!

MEASUREMENTS:
1 Cup = approx 240ml (or just under)
1 Tablespoon / Tbspn = approx 15ml
1 Teaspoon / Tsp = approx 5ml
1ml = approx 20 drops

1% = approx 1ml (20 drops) per 100ml
3% = approx 3ml (60 drops) per 100ml

Cleaning Your House – The Kitchen

Oven, Cooktop & Splashback

Try to get into the habit of wiping after each use to avoid excessive buildup, rather than leaving it all for a deep clean.

For a DEEP OVEN CLEAN remove racks or gas jets and use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method (above). Scrub with a sponge or non-abrasive brush, repeat if necessary and rinse with water.

Don’t use an ABRASIVE scrubbing brush or steel wool which can scratch the enamel or finish. Bicarb soda has natural gentle abrasive qualities so let that do the work rather than the scrubbing brush itself.

Bicarb and vinegar can also be used on: stainless range hood filters, the inside of your microwave, stainless sinks, cupboard interiors, tiled splashbacks and taps (except for powder coated).

RECIPE: Heavy Duty Cleaning Paste

Create a paste with 3/4 cup bicarb and a couple of tablespoons of water. To add EO’s mix up to 40 drops with the dry bicarb before adding the water (try orange, pine, tea tree or lemon). Apply paste to a cool oven and allow to sit for 5 mins. Use a damp sponge to gently rub the paste over the surface, rinsing your sponge from time to time – for troublesome areas add more paste rather than scrub harder. Wipe residue away with a clean damp sponge – don’t leave any bicarb in the crevices as it will smell burnt when you next use your oven or cooktop.

Microwave

Add 1 cup water and a few drops of Lemon EO to a deep microwave-safe container and cook on high for 2 minutes.

Allow to sit for 5 minutes while the steam loosens the grime, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Pots and Pans

To remove stains use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method – repeat a couple of times for tough stains. See the note above under bicarb re aluminium pans. Stains may come off easier if you add some water and a drop of vinegar into the pan immediately after use.

EGG STAINS: add half an eggshell, a strip of aluminium foil and a cup of vinegar into the base. Leave for 1/2 hour and the stain should wipe off.

RUST: Dip the cut side of half a potato in some bicarb soda. Rub on rust, then rinse with water.

Dishwasher / Sink Deodorise

Run an empty dishwasher cycle with vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment, and bicarb in the detergent powder compartment.

Put a tablespoon of bicarb down sink drain, and follow with half a cup of vinegar then leave for half an hour. Repeat if needed. Copper or brass pipes may smell during the process but this will pass once flushed with water.

Refrigerator

CLEANING: Wipe interior and rubber seals with the Bicarb-Vinegar Method.
OR
Wipe interior with a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water and a few drops of Lemon EO.

DEODORISE your fridge by leaving a small open container or bowl of bicarb on a shelf, to absorb and neutralise odours. Add a few drops of Lemon or Orange EO for a clean, fresh scent – replace monthly or as needed.
OR
Create a ‘deodorising disc’ by combining 2 cups bicarb, 1/2 cup water and up to 15 drops of lemon or orange EO into a paste and dividing it into silicone ice-cube trays. Allow to set (this may take a couple of days if the weather is humid), and pop one into the fridge. Replace as needed and store unused discs in a sealed bag or container.

Benchtops

Wipe laminate, stainless steel or synthetic stone using the Bicarb-Vinegar Method.

For POROUS marble or granite, avoid using bicarb as the abrasive action can damage the sealant, and dilute vinegar 1:4. Also take care with any surface with a polyurethane sealant as this may react or bubble – for any benchtop follow manufacturer’s instructions if unsure.

RUST MARKS: Sprinkle with bicarb, splash with vinegar and rub with a sponge. Use a toothbrush for small areas or grout.

STUBBORN STAINS on laminate: Apply some glycerine to the stain and allow to sit for five minutes. Then wipe with Bicarb-Vinegar Method.

Never use abrasive sponges or brushes as this can damage the surface. Also take care using essential oils as they may bleach or damage the surface.

RECIPE: General Multipurpose Wipe Spray

Blend 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar and up to 40 drops essential oil in a spray bottle and shake vigorously before each use (or optional: 1-2ml solubiliser blended together with the EO’s before adding the mixture to the other liquids, to help the EOs and water blend together instead of the oils sitting as a slick on top). Try using cleansing / anti-germ EO’s like Lemon, Orange or Lime, Pine or Tea Tree oil which will also leave a stunning fresh scent as well as purifying the area.

RECIPE: Surface Scrub for Cooktops & Sinks

Mix 1 cup bicarb and 1/4 cup liquid castille soap, along with up to 30 drops of EO (try lime, lemon and orange for a fresh citrus scent, lemon and rosemary for a crisp scent), to form a paste – add more castille soap if needed. Apply the scrub with a rag or sponge and scrub gently, then rinse with clean water.

IMPORTANT: See safety notes above (under Essential Oils) regarding using Lemon and other EO’s which can bleach if too strong – especially on dark surfaces.

Cleaning Your House – The Bathroom

General Bathroom Cleaning

Use the Bicarb-Vinegar Method (above). For stained areas apply glycerine for a couple of minutes first. Rinse with water – to add scent add a couple of drops of essential oil (lemon, lavender, tea tree etc) to the rinse water and splash through before use.

GLASS

SHOWER SCREEN: to avoid streaks mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar and 1 part methylated spirits. Rub over the screen with a cloth. Add a few drops of cleansing lemon, orange or peppermint oil for added cleaning power.

MIRROR FOG: To avoid fogging rub the mirror with a few stripes from a bar of soap, then polish with a slightly damp paper towel.

RECIPE: Foaming Drain Cleaner

Combine 1 cup bicarb with up to 10 drops of cleansing Lemon or Orange EO, and a couple of drops of Clove oil to help reduce mould growth. Pour down a mildewy drain and chase with 1 cup of vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes before flushing thoroughly with hot or warm water.

RECIPE: Shower Head Cleaner

In a large ziplock bag, mix 1 cup vinegar with 10 drops Lemon or Orange EO. Place bag over shower head ensuring the mix covers the head, and secure with an elastic band. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse / flush with warm water.

Toilet

CLEANING: Flush to wet inside of bowl, sprinkle with bicarb and allow to sit for a moment. Splash with vinegar and scrub with toilet brush. Flush to clean. Wipe exterior surfaces with bicarb/vinegar sponges using the vertical Bicarb-Vinegar Method. Wipe over with rinsed sponge. Add a couple of drops of Eucalyptus or Tea Tree EO to the bicarb for added germ-killing freshness – avoid getting eucalyptus on painted surfaces.

DEODORISE A TOILET: add a few drops of lemon oil (or some fresh lemon juice) to a couple of litres of water and splash together well. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe toilet and pipe surfaces.

See also DEODORISING, below.

Cleaning Your House – Floors

Floors can be made of all types of material, from polished concrete to vinyl, timber (solid or veneer), tiles and carpet. Consider what type of floor you have before using any recipe and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions first.

SEALED FLOORS: mop with half a cup of vinegar in a bucket of water. Add a few drops of a ‘clean’ scented oil, and splash through well – lemon or orange oil also help dissolve grease as you clean. Add some rubbing alcohol or witch hazel to help the floor dry faster.

Spray lightly onto floating / veneer floors etc rather than pouring the solution as excess water can damage the timber or cause it to swell.

SEALED TILES: sprinkle with bicarb, splash with vinegar and mop. Rinse with hot water.

CARPET DEODORISER: Add up to 30 drops of essential oil (avoid coloured oils or lemon which may bleach) to 2 cups of bicarb and mix well. Sprinkle over carpet. Allow to rest for a couple of hours (or overnight) then vacuum thoroughly.

The bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent and extra anti-bacterial, anti-microbial benefits.

Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb. This method also works for upholstery in the home or in the car – but avoid using on delicate fabrics.

OIL BLEND IDEAS FOR THE FLOOR:
Try Lavender & Lemon, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus, or Lemon & Rosemary.

Cleaning Your House – Mould & Mildew

GROUT: regularly wipe with bicarb/vinegar, and do a proper clean using a bicarb & water paste with a couple of drops of clove bud oil added to the mixture. Apply with an old toothbrush, allow to sit for a few minutes, scrub again and rinse – splash an extra drop of clove oil through the rinse water to help inhibit mould growth.

SILICONE: To treat light mould make a bicarb & water paste (add a drop or two of clove bud oil to help kill and inhibit mould growth) and scrub it over the area with a toothbrush. Repeat a few times if necessary.

 

SHOWER CURTAINS: To avoid mould, regularly wash on a cool cycle in your washing machine and add a drop of clove bud oil to the rinse water to help prevent mould occurring.

WASHING MACHINE MILDEW SMELL: Run an empty load with one cup of bicarb and two cups of vinegar added to the rinse cycle.

 

WALLS – MOULD PREVENTION: To help prevent mould on painted bathroom walls add a couple of drops of clove bud oil to the rinse water every time you clean.

WALLS – MOULD REMOVAL: Splash 5 drops of clove bud oil through half a bucket of water. Wipe over with a sponge and allow to dry – the clove will continue to kill the mould which you should be able to dust off after it has dried. To avoid brushing mould spores through the air, use a damp cloth to dust off after the clove mixture has dried.

Cleaning Your House – WINDOWS

GENERAL CLEANING: Combine 1 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 10 drops EO (optionall: 8-10 drops Solubiliser mixed with EO’s before adding to other liquids) in a spray bottle. Spray onto windows and wipe clean.
OR
Methylated spirits and water in a spray bottle; polish with paper towel.

SCENT YOUR SPRAYS with cleansing essential oils like lemon or citrus, to help cut through grime; Peppermint will leave a fresh scent that also deters spiders. Use Solubiliser to help the oils and water blend – or remember to vigorously shake your spray before ever use.

WINDOW RUNNERS: Rub a cake of soap along windows and sashes to help them run smoothly.

NOTE: The inks now used in some newspaper printing can smear so do a spot check before wiping your windows dry with newsprint.

Cleaning Your House – The Bed

MATTRESS FRESHNESS: To keep a mattress fresh and free from odours as well as help absorb moisture, sprinkle with bicarb, let sit for a couple of hours then vacuum off. Add a few drops EO to bicarb before applying to add a fresh scent to the mattress.

TIP: Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb.

BED BUGS: Rub a little tea tree oil around the edges of the mattress.

Cleaning Your House – Linen & Laundry

LINEN SPRAY: Keep cupboards smelling fresh and clean by spraying occasionally with a water-based spray scented with your favourite colourless EO (eg Lavender – avoid dark coloured oils which may stain. Try a spot test on some light fabric or paper towel to check it doesn’t mark before using on your linen). Add 1-3% EOs to water in a spray or trigger bottle (plus optional SOLUBILISER to help the oil and water blend – if not using solubiliser shake vigorously before every use to avoid spraying neat oil).

DIY DRYER SHEETS: To add a fresh scent to dried clothes cut several 10cm squares from dryer-friendly fabric (eg cotton), and add to a jar containing 1 cup of vinegar and up to 10 drops EO (try clear oils such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary etc – avoid lemon which may bleach, or darker coloured oils which could stain). Upend jar and allow the squares to soak up liquid mix, and store closed until needed. To use, remove a square and squeeze most of the liquid out before adding it to your dryer load – the heat will bring out the scent of the oils during the drying process. Squares can be reused multiple times after returning them to your jar – add extra vinegar or EO’s as needed. During periods of illness try Tea Tree EO to help rid the load of germs and microbes.

SCENTED LINEN SHEETS: Cut a few thick paper towel sheets into quarters. Add a drop of EO to each quarter and allow to dry before placing one between your towels or sheets. Use colourless oils like lavender as darker oils could stain your linen.

SCENTED DRAWER BAGS: Add a few drops of EOs to absorbent botanicals like Lavender flowers or Rosemary needles and place in a small muslin bag. Place in drawers for their fresh scent, and top up with additional oils as needed.

RECIPE: Fresh Linen Spray

100ml water
20 – 30 drops of solubiliser, to help the water and EO’s mix
20 drops lavender EO
15 drops frankincense EO

Add EO’s and solubiliser to a small spray bottle and mix together before adding the water. Shake well to combine. Spray on sheets, pillowcases, and linen.

Deodorising

You can use oil diffusers or vaporisers in your room or space to help remove odours and create a relaxing environment – or try one of the ideas below.

Make your own natural POT POURRI from absorbent botanicals like lavender flowers, eucalyptus leaves, flower petals, rosemary needles etc in an open bowl. The botanicals contain their own natural essential oils which you can top up by sprinkling with your favourite essential oil – top up oils weekly or as needed.
OR
Make an AIR FRESHENER BOWL by adding a few drops of essential oil to an open bowl of bicarb soda – the bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent.

CARPET: Add up to 30 drops of essential oil (avoid coloured oils or lemon which may bleach) to 2 cups of bicarb and mix well. Sprinkle over carpet. Allow to rest for a couple of hours (or overnight) then vacuum thoroughly. The bicarb will absorb and neutralise odours while the essential oils add their own scent.

Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb. This method also works for upholstery in the home or in the car – but avoid using on delicate fabrics.

 

BED: Sprinkle mattress with bicarb, let sit for a couple of hours then vacuum. Add a few drops of EO to the bicarb before applying to add a fresh scent (avoid coloured oils that may stain, and don’t get eucalyptus oil on painted or varnished surfaces). Try using an empty spice container as a shaker for your bicarb.

TOILET / BATHROOM: Add a few drops of lemon oil (or some fresh lemon juice) to a couple of litres of water and splash together well. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe toilet and pipe surfaces.

BATHROOM SPRAYS: add deodorising essential oils to a spray bottle (choose colourless oils, and don’t use too much eucalyptus oil as it can damage paint). Use 1-3% ratio – 1ml (20 drops) to 3ml (60drops) EO per 100ml water – and either shake well before every use or add a solubiliser to help the oils and water blend together.

SIMPLE TOILET ROLL DEODORISER: Add a couple of drops of EO to the cardboard on the inside of a toilet roll – allow the oil to dry before placing it on the holder. Try Lavender, Lemon or Orange EO.

 

REFRIGERATOR: Leave a small open container or bowl of bicarb on a shelf, which will absorb and neutralise odours. Add a few drops of Lemon or Orange EO for a clean, fresh scent – and replace monthly or as needed.
OR
Create a DEODORISING DISC by combining 2 cups bicarb, 1/2 cup water and up to 15 drops of lemon or orange EO into a paste and dividing into silicone ice-cube trays. Allow to set (may take a couple of days if the weather is humid), and store unused discs in a sealed bag – pop one into the back of the fridge and replace as needed.

RUBBISH BINS: Follow the Deodorising Disc recipe above and replace the citrus oils with Pine or Tea Tree EO – or Peppermint to help keep ants away.

DEODORISING ESSENTIAL OIL IDEAS:

Lavender, Cedar and Citronella all have insect repellent properties.
Oils like Lemon, Orange, Lime or Lemongrass give a nice fresh citrusy scent to your space.
Pine, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Frankincense, Peppermint or Eucalyptus are excellent fresheners – but avoid getting Eucalyptus on surfaces.

Bugs and Insects

PANTRY MOTHS: Add a drop of Pennyroyal (avoid if pregnant) or Bay oil into a bucket of water, and wipe over shelves with a cloth (use rubber gloves if using Pennyroyal as it’s a toxic oil). Reapply every few days if needed – oils naturally dissipate over time. Bay or Camphor oil on an absorbent wooden ball or paper towel in your cupboards can also deter moths.

CLOTHES MOTHS: Make up muslin bags filled with dried lavender flowers sprinkled with lavender and cedar oil, and tuck them into your wardrobe – top up with additional oils when the scent begins to fade. You can also use wooden bead diffusers, by applying a few drops of oil to the inside of the bead and allowing the oil to dry before adding to your wardrobe.

MILLIPEDES: A couple of drops of Pennyroyal oil (avoid if pregnant) wiped over areas they congregate.

BED BUGS: Rub a little tea tree oil around the edges of the mattress.

DUST MITES: Add a tea bag to a spray bottle filled with water and allow to sit for a few minutes, then lightly spray over the mattress (the tannins will kill the mites). For added mite-killing properties you can also add some eucalyptus oil to the spray bottle, and shake well before use. Avoid getting eucalyptus oil on painted or varnished surfaces.

SPIDERS & ANTS: Peppermint oil is an excellent deterrent for spiders and ants – make up a spray bottle with 1-3% peppermint oil in water (add the same amount of solubiliser to help the oil and water mix together, or shake well before every use), and spray along cracks, crevices and entrances. Re-apply as needed (oils naturally dissipate) and avoid using on delicate surfaces. You can also use lemon, orange or tea tree oils for ants.

SHOP Cleaning

For more tips, ideas and recipes, visit our SOCIAL PAGES.

Our latest Instagram posts

NEW - NAG CHAMPA & SANDALWOOD
Some ALL NEW scents have landed in our AQ HANDMADE MASALA INCENSE STICK range, and we are absolutely LOVING them.

Combining the classic sweet fragrance of Nag Champa with smooth and relaxing Sandalwood, our NAG CHAMPA & SANDAL sticks are perfect for chilling by, or adding a calm ambiance to your space.

Our AQ Handmade range is available in these gorgeous scents:

* BENZOIN: Featuring natural Benzoin resins and extracts, and widely used for anxiety and stress
* DEEP FOREST: The deep wood spice of a forest grove, featuring wood and Sandalwood powders
* EUPHORIA: Lusciously sweet with a touch of floral rose
* FRANKINCENSE: Smell the pure Frankincense resin in these sticks – perfect for meditation
* GARDENIA: Rich floral scent, featuring Gardenia petals and Bay leaves
* GODDESS: Sweet and rich – a truly decadent scent to spoil the senses
* INDIAN MYRRH: Sweet Guggal featuring Indian Myrrh resin, Gum Arabica and Myrrh oil
* MEDITATE: A wonderfully sweet, chilled scent – excellent for relaxing
* MUSK BLEND: A musky ‘Kasturi’ scent made from herbs, gums, resins, rare spices and natural powders
* MYSTICAL NAG CHAMPA: The sweet scent of popular Champa, with a deep, exotic undertone
* NAG CHAMPA PATCHOULI: A luscious, deep blend of two of the most popular incense scents
* NAG CHAMPA SANDALWOOD: A peaceful blend of sweet Champa and calming Sandalwood
* OM: A fresh, relaxing scent – excellent to chill and contemplate
* SAFFRON SANDALWOOD: A luxurious blend featuring crushed Saffron and quality Sandalwood oil
* SERENITY: Deep and delectably complex – woody with a floral note
* SMOOTH SANDAL: Sweet and relaxing, with the warm scent of Sandalwood
* TEA ROSE: The rich romance of powdered rose petals creates a deeply floral incense

Find them all on our AQ Website HERE:
https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/incense-sticks/aq-handmade-sticks-incense-sticks/

AROMA QUEEN: www.aromaqueen.com.au
* Aromatherapy * Incense * Smudge *

FREE SHIPPING for Orders over $100
AFTERPAY * ZIP * CREDIT CARD * PAYPAL

#nagchampa #sandalwood #incense #incensestick #incensesticks
...

INCENSE MONTHS AT AQ - PLUS FREE SAMPLES.

#7 INCENSE CENSERS
Over May & June we`re spotlighting the different types of incense, plus giving away free samples with any order - visit our Australian AQ WEBSITE to find out more.

So what on earth is a CENSER?

The term sounds a little exotic, but it simply means `a container in which incense is burnt during a religious ceremony`.

Censers are typically used for burning incense resins like Frankincense, Myrrh or Copal over charcoal tablets, though depending on the shape or design, they can also be used as incense cone, dhoop or rope burners, or smudge pots for your smudge sticks.

While resins can be burned on charcoal tablets in a simple heat-proof bowl of sand or earth, adding a Censer to your ritual is a great way to personalise and enhance the experience by selecting a design the reflects your style.

Popular designs include `screen` censers which have a metal grid to place your charcoal in (or over - they can be inverted), or simple bowl types. Some also come with hanging chains or handles, to move around an area while burning your incense. They can be simple and practical or with decorative embellishments like mother of pearl, or intricate engravings.

The majority tend to be made of long-lasting brass or metal, but this does mean that they can heat up with a red-hot charcoal tablet inside them. A simple way to reduce this is to add a layer of sand or earth into the base, which will insulate the burner from the heat. Regardless of the design, always place censers on a heat proof surface or coaster, and ensure you keep little hands or paws out of reach during use!

If you`d like to learn more about burning resins over charcoal tablets, visit out AQ website`s DISCOVER pages for a step-by-step tutorial:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/resin-incense/

Visit our RESIN INCENSE section for our full range of resin incense and powders, censers and charcoal:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/resin-incense/

AROMA QUEEN
www.aromaqueen.com.au
Scent Your Life
* aromatherapy * incense * smudge *
...

GREEN TREE AROMA / FRAGRANCE OILS
Available in Palo Santo * White Sage * Flower of Life
$7.50 each.

When you’re looking to scent your space and don’t need any of the therapeutic benefits associated with aromatherapy, the natural version can be incredibly expensive and difficult to justify burning in a diffuser. ‘Fragrance oils’ like these are chemical copies that replicate a scent, without any therapeutic benefits, so are the perfect choice when burning just for fragrance.

Use in your oil burner or in a piece of aroma jewellery - not suitable for application to the skin.

See our website`s FRAGRANT BURNER OILS section for these and 17 different scents in our GOLOKA range:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/aromatherapy/fragrant-burner-oils/

AROMA QUEEN: www.aromaqueen.com.au
* Aromatherapy * Incense * Smudge *

FREE SHIPPING for Orders over $100
AFTERPAY * ZIP * CREDIT CARD * PAYPAL
...

INCENSE MONTHS AT AQ - PLUS FREE SAMPLES.

#6 DHOOP STICKS
Over May & June we`re spotlighting the different types of incense, plus giving away free samples with any order - visit our Australian AQ WEBSITE to find out more.

DHOOP INCENSE is similar to Agarbatti sticks except instead of compressing the ingredients around an inner stick, the ingredients are pressed into a stand-alone mould such as a cone, or rolled / extruded into a long cylinder resembling a thick piece of spaghetti.

Dhoop is often considered purer than Agarbatti as the scent of the burning bamboo core may adulterate the fragrance. However it`s a bit of a trade-off as without the inner stick for strength, dhoop sticks are also more delicate and can snap more easily.

While Agarbatti sticks extinguish when they hit the uncoated bamboo, dhoop burns right through to the base or end before going out, so they need to be burned on a heat-proof stand - many dhoop sticks or cones come with their own simple burning tile/plate, or can be burned in a specialised burner or on a burner box with horizontal metal slats for the incense to lie on while it burns (at a pinch try inserting a stick into a bowl of damp sand or earth, eg a plant pot).

To light a dhoop stick, just hold a flame to the tip in the same way you would with a traditional incense stick. Wait until it`s caught and is starting to glow red, then blow out the flame and allow the fragrant smoke to fill the air.

Find our DHOOP INCENSE range on our Australian website HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/tibetan-dhoop/

More exotic incense types to come - keep watching our page to learn more, or DISCOVER MORE about Incense HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/incense-types/

AROMA QUEEN
www.aromaqueen.com.au
Scent Your Life
* aromatherapy * incense * smudge *
...

ROPE BURNERS AND MORE
Further to our earlier post on ROPE INCENSE, there are a number of gorgeous handcrafted specialised burners that suit Nepalese Rope - ranging from STANDS that hang the soft incense braids over a burning plate, to BOWLS and dishes on which the rope lies before it turns to ash after burning.

There are also multipurpose BURNER BOXES, which are a great idea if you enjoy different types of exotic incense - your rope, stick, dhoop or Japanese koh stick simply lies on the metal bars and the ash drops into the box below for a safe and easy clean-up afterwards.

Of course, like most types of incense, if you just want to try Nepalese Rope out, you don`t need to invest in a fancy burner - simply burn over a heatproof dish, or even on some sand or earth in a bowl.

Find all of our inexpensive burners and incense accessories HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/incense-accessories/

DISCOVER MORE about Different Incense Types and How to Burn Them, HERE:
https://aromaqueen.com.au/incense-types/

AROMA QUEEN: www.aromaqueen.com.au
* Aromatherapy * Incense * Smudge *

FREE SHIPPING for Orders over $100
AFTERPAY * ZIP * CREDIT CARD * PAYPAL

#ropeincense #NepaleseRope #NepaleseIncense #incense #incensestick #incensesticks #natural #scent #perfume #fragrance #relax #calm #zen #wellbeing #ScentYourLife #Aroma_Queen
...

FOCUS ON OILS: CEDARWOOD ATLAS (Cedarus atlantica).

Cedarwood Atlas is native to the Atlas mountains of Algeria, and is a pyramid shaped evergreen tree.

Cedar was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming, and the wood has long been prized for building purposes.

The scent of Cedarwood Oil is warming and soothing, and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It is a slightly masculine fragrance often used in cosmetics.

Cedar`s sedative effects are similar to Sandalwood, and its expectorant properties can help ease respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, coughs and catarrh.

Cedarwood Atlas makes an ideal remedy for bladder and kidney infections and cystitis. Its astringent and antiseptic qualities make it useful in skincare when treating oily conditions, and it also makes a good hair tonic suitable for treating dandruff.

If you enjoy woody scents, visit our WOODS page in our SHOP BY SCENT section, where all of our woody scented oils and incense are together in the one place:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/shop-by-scent/woods/

Or find the oil in our AROMATHERAPY section HERE"

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/aromatherapy/

DISCOVER MORE about Aromatherapy and How to Use Essential Oils, HERE:
https://aromaqueen.com.au/discover/

AROMA QUEEN: www.aromaqueen.com.au
* Aromatherapy * Incense * Smudge *

FREE SHIPPING for Orders over $100
AFTERPAY * ZIP * CREDIT CARD * PAYPAL

#cedar #cedarwood #cedaroil #aromatherapy #essentialoil #essentialoils #natural #scent #fragrance #perfume #wellbeing #calm #relax #stress #ScentYourLife #Aroma_Queen
...

INCENSE MONTHS AT AQ - PLUS FREE SAMPLES.

#5 NEPALESE ROPE INCENSE
Over May & June we`re spotlighting the different types of incense, plus giving away free samples with any order - visit our Australian AQ WEBSITE to find out more.

NEPALESE ROPE is one of the most unique incense types you`re likely to come across, handmade using traditional methods.

Dried herbs and other naturally scented botanicals are finely powdered and wrapped in a thin strip of hand-prepared Nepali lokta paper, which is then braided to form a soft rope-like dhoop stick around 9 or 10cm in length.

To burn Rope Incense, just light the intertwined ends and once it`s alight, blow out the flame to allow the stick to smoulder just as you would with incense sticks or cones. Rest the lit stick in a heatproof dish of sand or ash, in a suitable censer, or over a purpose-made Burner Box that has horizontal metal bars for the rope to lie on as it burns (these also work for Japanese incense or dhoop sticks that don`t have an inner bamboo stick and so can`t be burned on standard incense stick burners).

As rope sticks only gently smoulder, we`ve found that each stick will burn up to 30 - 40 minutes depending on the breeze and burning conditions - as with all incense (or anything burning), the more breeze or wind, the quicker they will burn.

Rope incense is available in a number of different scents, from Buddhist or meditation blends, to classic scents like rose, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, nag champa, juniper, frankincense or lemongrass.

Find our Nepalese Rope range on our Australian website HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/nepalese-rope/

More exotic incense types to come - keep watching our page to learn more, or DISCOVER MORE about Incense HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/incense-types/

AROMA QUEEN
www.aromaqueen.com.au
Scent Your Life
* aromatherapy * incense * smudge *
...

MORE JUST IN: WHITE SAGE LEAVES, CRUSHED

10g (pictured) - $4.95
50g - $22.95

Also available in LEAVES AND CLUSTERS - listed separately.

WHITE SAGE has been traditionally used in Smudging to purify the mind, body and spirit before praying, to cleanse the atmosphere and disperse negativity – sage is believed by many to be a masculine plant that can reduce or eliminate negative energy; some place sage at doorways for protection against evil. Today, it can be used to purify homes, offices or other spaces; the smell of sage will remind you of the desert and the sacredness of life.

CRUSHED WHITE SAGE Leaves can be used as incense or even with natural pot pourri to scent a room.

Burn the leaves as incense over charcoal tablets or a candle warmed censer, just as you`d burn resin incense like Frankincense. As it heats, the beautiful, cleansing scent of desert sage will be released through the fragrant smoke – use sage leaves as an alternative to white sage smudge sticks.

Our white sage is Grown in California, cut straight from the bush and allowed to dry naturally.

VISIT OUR SMUDGING SECTION for Smudge Sticks of all types, Palo Santo, Abalone Shells & Tripods and a range of Smudging Kits, HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/smudge/

DISCOVER MORE about Smudging and the different types of sticks used, HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/smudging/

AROMA QUEEN: www.aromaqueen.com.au
* Aromatherapy * Incense * Smudge *

FREE SHIPPING for Orders over $100
AFTERPAY * ZIP * CREDIT CARD * PAYPAL

#smudging #smudge #smudgestick #smudgestick #sage #whitesage #abalone #negativity #positivity #wellbeing #clearing #cleanse #protection #healing #ritual #smoke #ScentYourLife #Aroma_Queen
...

INCENSE MONTH AT AQ - PLUS FREE SAMPLES.

#4 JAPANESE KOH STICKS
Over May & June we`re spotlighting the different types of incense, plus giving away free samples with any order - visit our Australian AQ WEBSITE to find out more.

JAPANESE `KOH` differs from Indian sticks in that it doesn`t have an inner bamboo skewer: picture a delicate spaghetti-like stick with no protruding wood. The result is a beautifully subtle, purer scent with less smoke than you`d find with most Indian `agarbatti` sticks. This makes them the perfect choice if you`d prefer a less smoky space, or want to use relaxing incense in a smaller room such as by the bath.

For a stronger scent you can burn a couple of sticks at a time, or even try burning a mix of different scents at once to create your own signature scent.

As koh doesn`t have the inner bamboo stick and burns all the way to the end, it generally can`t be used with ashcatchers or other burners that are designed to have the bamboo inserted into the holder. Instead, Japanese incense like Morning Star comes with its own ceramic burning tile - place the tile on a heatproof plate or bowl and lean the stick in the tile`s hole. There are also specialised burner boxes available, with a grid of metal slats to lie koh, dhoop or rope incense on while burning.

As koh is quite thin, most packs have 40 or 50 sticks which means plenty of burning time per pack.

Find our Japanese Incense range on our Australian website HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/product-category/incense/japanese-incense/

More exotic incense types to come - keep watching our page to learn more, or DISCOVER MORE about Incense HERE:

https://aromaqueen.com.au/incense-types/

AROMA QUEEN
www.aromaqueen.com.au
Scent Your Life
* aromatherapy * incense * smudge *
...

Disclaimer

The advice within this page is general and not specific to individuals or particular circumstances.

Before using herbs, essential oils or other natural ingredients or methods in your home or household, check all cautions and restrictions and always try a diluted patch test in an inconspicuous area before trying on a larger space: this general information does NOT cover every available surface, textile or material so it is your responsibility to be aware of your own details and whether or not these suggestions may be useful for you.

Aroma Queen cannot be held responsible for any injury, damage or otherwise resulting from the use of any treatments or products within this website. Always keep aromatherapy and cleaning products out of reach of children and pets and remember that even though these ingredients are natural, they may still be toxic or damaging to your goods.