I am very interested in all of us taking more interest in doing what is good for our environment, and there are so many ways we could contribute in more positive ways than we do. I recently had the opportunity to make up some DIY environmentally safe cleaning products for my friend Dr. Mica Carew after she showed me an article which included recipes. They are made with some basic household ingredients and essential oils. I did some more research and compiled a list of 15 easy to make cleaners that can both save you money and make you feel good about what you are cleaning your home with and help to provide an safe environment for your family or housemates.

Essential Oil DIY Cleaning Recipes
For non-toxic household cleaning

All-Purpose Spray


¼ cup white vinegar
1 ¾ cups water
30 drops doTERRA essential oils

 Recommended essential oil combinations:


1.   Add all ingredients to 16 ounce spray bottle. 

2.   Shake thoroughly. Spritz on surfaces and wipe clean. 


Carpet Cleaner

Carpet can make a room comfortable and homey, but it can be difficult to keep clean. This simple DIY utilizes the cleansing power of Purify Cleansing Blend to help clean carpets. Use regularly to keep carpets fresh.


2 cups baking soda
10 drops Purify Cleansing Blend


1.   Add essential oil to baking soda and stir until well combined.

2.   Sprinkle mixture over carpet.

3.   Let rest one to two hours. Vacuum.

4.   Store remaining baking soda in an airtight container for future use.



Dishwasher Detergent

This essential oil dishwasher detergent combines the refreshing aroma and powerful cleansing properties of Lemon oil. For clean dishes that smell lovely, try this dishwasher detergent—it only take you a few minutes to make!

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup citric acid
1 glass mason jar

20 drops of Lemon oil



1.   Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2.   Add essential oil drops and mix well. Make sure there are no clumps.

3.   Pour into a glass jar for storage.

4.   When you are ready to use, place 1 tablespoon of mixture in the soap dispenser on your dishwashing machine. 


Gardener's Hand Soap

½ cup white sugar
3 tablespoons liquid castile soap
1 teaspoon almond oil
7 drops Clary Sage oil
5 drops Melaleuca oil


1.   In a small bowl, add all ingredients and stir until smooth and combined.

2.   Pour into air-tight container and keep next to sink for easy use.

3.   To use, grab a handful of soap and scrub dirt-covered hands. After you're done, your hands will be clean, soft, and exfoliated.



Glass Cleaner

16-ounce spray bottle
1 ½ cup white vinegar
½ cup distilled water
8 drops of your citrus oil of choice

Recommended oils: LemonLimeGrapefruitWild Orange, and Citrus Bliss®.


1.   Add vinegar, water, and essential oil(s) to spray bottle and shake.

2.   Clean surfaces.


Lemon Oil Sticker Removal

If you’ve ever purchased a brand new vase, bowl, or candle, you’ve most likely had to deal with the struggle of removing tough adhesive. Luckily, Lemon essential oil is an excellent resource for removing even the most stubborn of stickers. 



2 tablespoons baking soda

5 drops Lemon essential oil

1 cup water

Cleansing wipe or towel


1.   For sticker removal, first peel off the parts of the sticker that will come off easily. If paper remnants are left behind, the solution should still be able to soak through.

2.   Combine baking soda, Lemon, and water in a small bowl or dish. 

3.   Apply mixture to sticky surface and let soak for 2–5 minutes. 

4.   Use a damp towel or cleansing wipe to remove adhesive easily.

Note: Lemon essential oil can also be used on its own to remove adhesive by applying one or two drops to an adhesive surface.



Natural Stone cleaning Spray

Chances are that you already know not to use acidic solutions on your stone. This includes vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic cleaners that you typically turn to. This is a problem specifically for marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces. You also don’t want to use abrasive cleaners such as soft scrub, as they may scratch the surface, even on sealed stone.

Instead, you want to be sure to use pH neutral, or non-acidic products. Isopropyl alcohol and castile soap have a neutral pH, and can be used on stone countertops or tile. The other good news? Essential oils (including citrus oils) are not acidic.** This makes their cleansing properties very helpful when it comes to stone surfaces.

½ cup isopropyl alcohol
1½ cups water
15 drops doTERRA On Guard®
½ teaspoon castile soap


1.   Combine all ingredients in a 16 ounce glass spray bottle.

2.   Before using, shake well and spray over the surface.

3.   Wipe away with a soft cloth.

Tip: Other oils that work well in this cleaner include Lemon, Grapefruit, or Basil essential oils.

**Note: Despite the lack of acid in essential oils, this doesn’t mean that the constituents in the oil won’t interact with some substances. Diluted citrus oils in this cleaning solution should not damage finished stone surfaces, particularly if the surface is sealed correctly. But, before spraying your entire countertop with this solution, we recommend testing in a small, inconspicuous area to make sure there are no issues.


Natural Air Freshener

¼ cup baking soda
5–6 drops favorite essential oil

Recommended essential oils: doTERRA Balance®CassiaGeraniumEucalyptusLavenderLemondoTERRA On Guard®Purify, or Wild Orange.


1.   Put ¼ cup baking soda into a small Mason jar. Add five to six drops of your favorite doTERRA essential oil or blend.

2.   Put piece of fabric on jar and seal with jar band.

3.   To keep an area smelling fresh, place jar on a solid surface and shake often to activate the fresh scent.

4.   If scent starts to fade, simply add two to three drops of essential oil to jar. 


Oven, Stove Top & Grill Cleaner

¼ cup baking soda

¼ cup table salt

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

4–5 drops of Purify Cleansing Blend



1.   Stir all ingredients together until they form a paste and spread it over the stove top and burners.

2.   Leave it on for 15 minutes or longer for hard-to-remove stains.

3.   Using a sponge, scrub the mixture into the grime.

4.   Remove excess cleaner and wipe surface clean.


Phone and Computer Cleaner

In a small spray bottle mix:

1 oz. rubbing alcohol
1 oz. filtered water
6 drops lemon essential oil


 Powder Laundry Detergent

Conventional laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, and phenols. Why not make your own natural laundry detergent? This simple DIY yields a natural and effective detergent.

2 cups washing soda
2 cups borax
1 bar grated castile soap
25 drops favorite essential oil single or blend


1.   Mix washing soda, borax, and grated castile soap together.

2.   Add essential oil, mixing to combine.

3.   Use ¼ cup per load. Store in an airtight container.

Tips: Recommended oils include Lavender oilLemon oil, and Purify Cleansing Blend


Refridgerator and Microwave Cleaner

Cleaning the fridge and microwave can be two of the most difficult chores around the house. Caked-on food, mystery stains, and questionable smells can make this a dreaded cleaning job that gets put off until the last minute. If you need a little help, try this DIY Refrigerator and Microwave Cleaner featuring Lemon essential oil for an easy cleaning job and refreshing aroma. 


1 cup white vinegar
2 cups hot water
15 drops Lemon oil


1.   Combine the ingredients in glass spray bottle.

2.   Spray mixture inside fridge or microwave, then scrub and wipe using damp cloth. 


 Soft Scrub Cleanser


¾ rounded cup baking soda

¼ cup unscented liquid castile soap

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon vinegar

5–10 drops Lemon oil



1.   In bowl, combine baking soda and castile soap.

2.   Add water and stir.

3.   Add vinegar and essential oil. The consistency should be a soft paste.

4.   Store in airtight container.


Make in small batches and store in an airtight container. This is enough for two to four applications. This soft scrub is excellent for getting rid of soap scum, removing stains, and brightening your tub, tile, and toilet. To use, just apply and let it sit for 5–10 minutes and then scrub. Once done scrubbing, take a wet cloth and wipe clean. Note: this scrub is also great to use when cleaning your kitchen sink or refrigerator.


Thieves Recipe

I first learned about Thieves from a friend when I was living in a house that had mold issues that I wasn't able to clear. I had removed all the mold I could see, washed all the walls 3 times, had the air ducts cleaned and the house still smelled like mold and I kept getting sick. My friend gave me some Thieves and the recipe and told me to put it in a diffuser. I had tried everything and thought I was going to have to move, but after running the Thieves in a diffuser in the basement for a couple weeks the mold smell went away. I now also use it as an all purpose cleaner. I mix 20-30 drops of Thieves in a spray bottle with a few drops of dis soap and water.

In 1997, Weber State University did a study that found the Thieves essential oil blend to have a 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria. The essential oils are truly antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious. They will stimulate the immune system, circulation, and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more.

40 drops of Clove Essential Oil

35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil

15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

10 drops of Essential Oil of Tea Tree, Lavender, Cedar or other anti-microbial, aromatic essential oil. (OPTIONAL)

Wood Polish


¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar

10 drops doTERRA essential oils


Recommended oils: Wild OrangeArborvitae, or Lemon.



1.   Add olive oil and vinegar to glass spray bottle.

2.   Add 10 drops of essential oil.

3.   Shake well before each use.

4.   Apply to microfiber cloth and wipe wood surfaces clean. Repeat every two to three months or as often as needed. 


Yoga Mat Spray

Yoga is a great way to increase your physical and emotional well-being. Whether you are an expert yogi, or just getting started, a good yoga mat spray is a must.


¾ cup distilled water

¼ cup alcohol-free witch hazel or white vinegar

5 drops Lavender oil

3 drops Melaleuca oil

Glass spray bottle

Note: Not all yoga mats are treated the same. Using essential oils may ruin some yoga mats. Spray a test patch on a small part of your mat first to make sure the cleanser doesn't adversely affect it .


1.   Combine all ingredients in glass spray bottle.

2.   Shake until combined.

3.   To use, spray on mat and wipe dry with towel. 



I recently saw this segment on KOIN 6 news and it struck home with me because I have been wanting us as Americans to take Recycling a lot more serious than we do. I was disturbed when the Chinese decided to quit taking our recycling, but then I thought, "Why should they?" Why are we not taking care of our own recycling? Why does our government not only support, but demand that businesses and individuals recycle? Why are none of the Presidential candidates talking about recycling?


One of the problems is that we as individuals, on the whole are neither taking recycling seriously and even when we think we are, we are not doing it correctly, so that the businesses that deal with our recycling, are spending way more time than they should have to sorting out garbage from our recycling. I see it almost every day. Below is the news segment from KOIN 6 that talks about what we are doing wrong and how it makes our lack of attention a huge problem in the recycling industry.


A few of the problems I see regularly are that we include lids and caps from our containers which have never been okay, but which are often thrown in and are so tedious to sort out of mass piles of recycling. The other thing I see is that bottles and cans are not rinsed out and cleaned before going into recycling, which is unsanitary and makes those items garbage and not recyclable. Something I did not know and learned from the video is that receipts are not recyclable because they have some kind of toxic substance on them. The recycling guidelines are not hard and not all that time consuming and are so important for our environment. I feel very strongly that this should be a nation wide practice for all individuals and businesses and is crucial for our planets survival

The following information came off the Portland Metro website which has additional information to what I have provided below

These items are OK in your recycling container


Ignore the numbers. Ignore the arrows. Sort by shape. 

These items are OK in your recycling container – rinse thoroughly

  • Plastic bottles, jugs and jars 6 ounces or larger, any container with a threaded neck (for a screw-on lid) or neck narrower than the base. This includes milk jugs, peanut butter jars, and bottles that held personal care and cleaning products (shampoo, laundry soap, etc.).
  • Round plastic containers that can hold 6 ounces or more, with a wider rim than base, and typically contain products such as salsa, margarine, cottage cheese, hummus, etc. (no drink cups).
  • Planting/nursery pots larger than 4 inches in diameter and made of rigid (rather than crinkly or flexible) plastic. Remove any loose dirt. 
  • Buckets 5 gallons or smaller. Handles are OK. 

Do not include these items in your recycling container

  • Plastic bags. They are recyclable, but not at the curb. Plastic bags are a serious problem for recycling facilities. They get caught in machinery, which causes costly shut-downs of sorting lines to cut the bags out of the equipment. Take plastic bags back to stores or drop them off at recycling centers where they are collected separately from other plastics.
  • Bottles that have contained hazardous materials such as motor oil, pesticides, herbicides. Bottles that have contained cleaning products are OK.
  • Lids. They are too small or too flat to be sorted out of recyclables and usually end up at paper mills where they contaminate the paper. These items are garbage.
  • Trays from microwaveable meals, deli products, prepackaged meals and snacks. Take-out, deli or other food containers that are not specifically round plastic containers, including hinged containers, square snack containers, food containers with a plastic pull-tab, bowls, etc. These items are garbage.
  • Styrofoam or other foam products (cups, meat trays, egg cartons, packaging foam, packing peanuts, etc.).
  • Plastic or plastic-coated beverage cups, lids or straws. These are garbage at home. 
  • Plastic packaging that doesn't conform to the bottle, jar, bucket or round container shapes, such as blister packaging or plastic wrap (stretch or shrink wrap, bubble wrap and bags), or containers smaller than 6 ounces.

  • Steel and aluminum cans, thoroughly rinsed. Do not flatten cans. Do not place lids loose in recycling containers; place lid inside the can and crimp it shut. Loose individual lids get lost in horizontal piles of paper at recycling facilities and magnets can't pull them out. Paper labels can be removed and recycled.
  • Aluminum foil and trays. Rinse thoroughly. 
  • Small metal items (such as bottle caps, nails, and other metal items 2 inches or less in length) should be placed in a metal can crimped shut.
  • Large metal items with a maximum size of 30 inches by 8 inches and weighing no more than 30 pounds.
  • Empty aerosol cans. Remove the cap, but not the nozzle. Don't puncture or flatten can. Cans that are still pressurized should be brought to a Metro household hazardous waste facility or neighborhood collection event for proper handling.


Keep glass separate

Use a separate bin for glass recycling like a plastic bucket or other type of container that will hold up in the rain. If you live in an apartment, condominium or other multi-family housing, a separate container for glass is provided for you. Glass is picked up on the same schedule as your other recycling.

Remove lids and rinse containers. Metal lids can be recycled with other metals in your recycling roll cart or container. Lids are not allowed in the glass bin.

Glass mixed with other items can break and can contaminate paper, plastics and other recyclables making them more difficult, costly or impossible to recycle. In addition, broken glass can damage recycling equipment at paper mills. 

Bottles and jars only – do not include other types of glass

Do not include vases, bake ware, drinking glasses, eye glasses, window glass, mirrors, dishes, light bulbs, ceramics, broken glass, etc.

Glass bottles and jars are different from other types of glass. They have different ingredients and melt temperatures than all other types of glass. Mixing other types of glass with jars and bottles during manufacturing can weaken the structure of a bottle or jar, which can cause it to crack or explode when being filled or opened.


These items are OK in your recycling container

  • Newspaper, including ads and other paper inserts
  • Corrugated cardboard (a wavy layer between two flat layers). Flatten cardboard boxes and cut up any boxes larger than 3 feet in any direction. Do not cut them any smaller than 1 foot square.
  • Magazines, catalogs, phone books
  • Junk mail and scrap paper
  • Envelopes. Windows and labels are OK.
  • Paper bags
  • Boxes from cereal, cracker, cookie and shoe boxes (also known as "brown board," "grey board," or "chip board").
  • Wrapping paper. No foil, glitter, plastic coating or tape.
  • Cards. No foil, glitter or plastic coating.
  • Paper labels from cans.
  • Paper towel and tissue cores with all paper and tissue removed.
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Miscellaneous paper. Copier and printer paper, fax paper, construction paper stationery, file folders, note paper, computer paper, brochures, coupons, Post-it notes.
  • Shredded paper. Place shredded paper inside a paper bag before placing in your recycling container.
  • Milk cartons and juice or soup boxes (called aseptic boxes). Rinse thoroughly; no need to flatten.

Even though milk cartons and aseptics are not 100% paper, there are specific markets for these materials so they can be recycled curbside. Aseptic boxes are a combination of plastic, metal and paper, and milk and juice cartons, also known as "gable-top" containers, contain a moisture barrier.

Do not include these items in your recycling container

  • Frozen food boxes such as butter boxes, ice cream containers, take-out containers. The fibers are impregnated with moisture-resistant plastic to keep them from disintegrating or becoming contaminated with food.
  • Paper bags lined with plastic that contain pet food, cat litter, coffee and other products.
  • Waxed paper
  • Photographs. Chemical coatings are not recyclable.
  • Tissues, napkins or paper towels. Residues on these contaminate recycling processes.
  • Food contaminated paper or cardboard. Residues on these contaminate recycling processes.
  • Paper cups. The plastic coating makes them unrecyclable and uncompostable.
  • Cereal and cracker box liners
  • Plastic envelopes or mailers (Tyvek, etc.). Mailers that are a combination of paper and plastic (such as paper lined with bubble wrap).
  • Hard cover or paperback books. The binding glue is a contaminant and makes books difficult to recycle – consider donation and reuse options.