Inspired by reading articles about natural hand sanitizers (including this excellent one by Lilith Dorsey), I have decided to share information about natural cleansers and what I use. Now, when it comes to viruses, the best option will always be to wash your hands. This is everyone’s first and best defense against the spread of germs. Period. Not to mention, staying home from work, school, general errands, or events if you are ill. However, it is good to protect your home surfaces (especially car steering wheels and door handles, doorknobs, kitchen appliances, cabinet handles, etc.).
Cleansers: Herbal Shields
The CDC recommends a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol as effective against most (not all) germs and viruses in homemade hand sanitizers. The CDC is also recommending people wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, avoid touching their face and cover hand/mouth when sneezing or coughing.
I am including the above information because I do not want anyone to think the information or recipe I’m going to share for a homemade cleanser is foolproof protection against the Coronavirus, common cold, and flu, etc. The herbs and oils I use have been proven to be effective but nothing is 100%. But may common sense and good housekeeping prevail.
So, that said if you are looking for herbal shields to use in cleaning your house there are several options for both diffusing and making a cleanser. The essential oils include:
Clove Bud: A versatile oil that is antiseptic and part of the fabled “Thieves Oil”, a 14th-century plague defense.
Eucalyptus: This plant is said to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It can be found in cleaners and disinfectants.
Lemon: A powerhouse cleaner with antiseptic, antimicrobial and bactericidal properties. The fresh scent also brightens a room.
Lavender: A plant in which its constituents are used in a variety of ways which include antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal.
Oregano: Antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Great to use if you do not mind a house that smells like a pizzeria.
Peppermint: A popular plant with many uses which include cleaning because of its antiseptic properties.
TeaTree: Another plant with antimicrobial, antifungal, and bactericidal substances, it is used in household cleaners and bath/body products alike.
**Be aware that not all essential oils are safe to use with children or pets. I recommend Google and The Portable Essential Oils by Anne Kennedy. Do your research and find what will work best for your family.**
Cleansers: Basic Recipe for Home Cleaning Spray
Adapted from B H & G Amazing Homemade Cleaners.
Combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
2 cups Water
1/2 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Witch Hazel or Florida Water
1 tsp Unscented Dish Soap (Ex: Seventh Generation)
Add: 15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
10 drops TeaTree Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
**Use the above-suggested oils or choose others that suit your needs best. Some oils combine better than others. For instance, clove and lavender pair well. Or you may want to use lemon and eucalyptus as an effective, refreshing cleanser. While not listed above, rosemary has great antiseptic properties and teams with peppermint and lavender. Additional information of note, Witch Hazel and Florida Water do not have the CDC recommended alcohol content.**
Be proactive and make use of the herbs and plants which the Earth Mother provides to assist us in our health and in caring for our homes. I know it’s tempting to think Stephen King’s The Stand may be playing out before our eyes but I do not think we need to worry just yet. As magickal people, we can reach out to the plant allies included in our homemade cleansers and hand sanitizers for some extra mundane protection. I find them to be very effective powerhouses.