With the right essential oils, you can DIY an affordable hand sanitiser.
Aromatherapy is a well-known, affordable way to improve wellness, but there are many other ways to harness the power of natural essential oils.
Hand sanitiser, moisturiser, linen spray, stain removal and surface cleaners can all be made using the right oils.
Here is a step-by-step guide to making affordable hand sanitiser at home, and other ways to use essential oils.
Essential Oil Hand Sanitiser
Frequently washing our hands has become a mandatory part of life.
When a handwash and sink aren’t nearby, having a hand sanitiser is the alternative.
To create a DIY hand sanitiser, a few key ingredients are required: essential oil of choice, a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil to dilute the essential oil and to absorb it into the skin, and alcohol (at least 60% alcohol is needed as it is the key ingredient that disinfects).
Here are a selection of essential oils, with antifungal and antiseptic properties, that can be chosen from to customise your DIY hand sanitiser:
- Glass spray bottle (120mL)
- 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil (carrier oil)
- 10-15 drops of essential oils
- 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel
- ½ teaspoon glycerin
- 2-3 drops of Vitamin E oil
- 80mL of 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- Distilled water
- Remove the cap from the glass spray bottle and place funnel at the opening,
- Add the essential oils, aloe vera gel, glycerin, vitamin E oil and isopropyl alcohol together, using the funnel to pour the mixture into the spray bottle.
- Remove the funnel and fill the bottle to the top with distilled water.
- Close the spray bottle with the cap and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- To use: shake the bottle to allow the ingredients to reincorporate, and then spray onto hands. Rub hands until dry.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic liquids extracted from plants through distillation methods.
Chemically pure and 100% natural, they are highly versatile and can be incorporated into a multitude of everyday routines.
Moisturiser for Dry Skin
Essential oils can be used as a DIY calming remedy for dry skin, providing a natural way of creating a glowing complexion.
Several celebrities swear by essential oils and incorporate them into their daily routines.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Cara Delevingne have been known to use rosehip oil to moisturise and rejuvenate their skin, while Jenna Dewan has sworn by Young Living Essential Oils for 16 years.
Oils to use as a DIY moisturiser:
1) The Sandalwood (10%) Essential Oil ($28.00) by ECO. Modern Essentials can be used to help dry skin conditions and treat inflammation.
According to Healthline, sandalwood oil is well-known for moisturising abilities and its anti-inflammatory properties.
The essential oil promotes the turnover of skin cells, removing the build-up of dead skin cells to reveal smooth, moisturised skin.
2) In Essence’s Lavender Pure Essential Oil (8mL) ($22.95) can be used to soothe and heal dry, cracked skin.
It contains 3 drops of pure Lavender essential oil in 12ml of Sweet Almond base oil, creating a topical blend that is nourishing to the skin.
3) Biovea’s Grapeseed Oil (118mL) ($22.45) is an organic and cruelty-free essential oil that can help reinvigorate, moisturise and replenish the skin.
Read our story on the skincare benefits of Grapeseed Oil here.
DIY Surface Cleaner
Although effective in removing bacteria and dirt, most household cleaners include chemicals and toxins that could be harmful.
Essential oils can also be used to clean surfaces and provide a safer alternative to commercial cleaners.
Oils to use as a surface cleaner:
1) Tea Tree Oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a natural solution that fights germs, bacteria, bugs and viruses, and works well as an everyday cleaning agent.
The Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil (8mL) ($16.95) by In Essence can be used in a solution with water as a cleaning spray or used as a spot cleaner for stubborn marks on floors, benches and tabletops.
2) Cinnamon Oil is another essential oil that can kill viruses and bacteria, and is a natural disinfecting and antiseptic ingredient. It fights against mould and mildew to leave surfaces clean.
Combine 20 drops of Cinnamon Bark Oil, 4 drops of Cinnamon Leaf Oil and water and mix to create an all-natural surface cleaner that is toxin-free.
DIY Stain Removal
Essential oils are a natural (and safe) approach to removing stains, containing potent cleansing properties that make them useful for household cleaning purposes.
From pets to cooking, fitness and accidents, stains are an inevitable part of life.
Essential oils can be used to make homemade stain removers that are safe and free from harmful chemicals and toxins.
Oils for removing stains:
Lemon Oil is one of the most popular natural ingredients used in stain removers.
1)The Lemon Pure Essential Oil (8mL) ($20.95) by In Essence is vegan and cruelty-free, and easily removes grease stains from clothes.
Garment stains can be lifted by rubbing a few drops of the lemon essential oil directly onto fabrics before placing it in the washing machine.
**It is important not let it sit to avoid oil stains.
The oil can also be combined with vinegar and water to create a strain-removing spray.
2) Eucalyptus oil is another effective essential oil for removing stains.
In his scientific article, The Chemistry of Eucalyptus Oils, chemist Arthur de Ramon Penfold wrote that “there is no better substance for the removal of grease stains and tar from clothes, even the most delicately coloured fabrics, than certain grades of Eucalyptus Oil.”
Jurlique’s Eucalyptus Pure Essential Oil (10mL) ($35.00) is a cleansing essential oil that preserves the integrity of nature by extracting Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil straight from the source.
3) Orange essential oil can also be used to create oil stain removers.
The Sweet Orange Essential Oil (15mL) (($7.70) by N-Essentials is cold-pressed from orange fruit and has a sweet, citrus aroma and can remove stains.
Creating a DIY essential oil stain remover is simple.
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 20 drops of essential oil (lemon, eucalyptus or orange)
- 750mL of cooled distilled water
- 1L glass spray bottle
- Mix the ingredients together in the spray bottle.
- Lightly shake the bottle.
- To use: spray the mixture on any clothing with stains just before placing it in the washing machine.
DIY Insect Repellent
Not only useful in cosmetics and for cleaning purposes, essential oils can also be used as insect repellent.
Repellents sold commercially often have harmful and toxic ingredients that may impact health when used over time.
Essential oils eliminate this concern by providing an effective yet natural alternative.
According to Healthline, Citronella Essential Oil is an ingredient best known as a natural insect repellent and is also often used in commercial products.
To keep bugs and mosquitos at bay, add Citronella Oil to water in a glass spray bottle and shake well to create a convenient insect-repelling spray.
Oils to use to repel insects:
1) The Citronella Java Essential Oil (15mL) ($8.80) from Australian Wholesale Oils is made from 100% Pure Citronella Java essential oil.
With its antiseptic properties, the oil has a fresh, lemon-like aroma that effectively repels insects and bugs.
2) Another effective essential oil to use as a repellent is Lemongrass Essential Oil.
Unlike toxic sprays sold commercially, Lemongrass is a natural ingredient that can be used as a replacement.
It is commonly believed that Lemongrass Oil rids mosquitoes due to its smell, which is highly unpleasant to mosquitoes.
The Lemongrass Pure Essential Oil (8mL) ($24.95) by In Essence is an all-natural oil that discourages the presence of mosquitoes and other insects.
The oil can be used individually or blended together.
DIY Linen Spray
Elevating home spaces can be as simple as setting the right mood through aromatherapy.
By harnessing its soothing abilities, essential oils can be used to create a linen spray that freshens and calms.
Oils for linen:
1) One such oil is the Clary Sage Essential Oil derived from the Salvia sclarea herb, native to Southern France and Italy.
It works to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria whilst infusing an enriching scent that promotes relaxation, making it perfect to use in linen sprays.
In Essence’s Clary Sage Pure Essential Oil (8mL) ($41.95) can be combined with other essential oils, a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle to create a refreshing spray for linen sheets, towels and pillowcases.
2) Another essential oil that can help your sheets smell amazing is Chamomile Oil, a gentle ingredient that can also be used to make linen spray.
The Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (15mL) ($31.90) by N-Essentials is extremely versatile and nourishing, and can be used for its uplifting and herbaceous aroma.