Bug Spray with Citronella Essential Oil

Everyone loves spending time outdoors in the summer. It’s a great time for picnics, gardening, ball games and going to the park. It’s also a great time for pesky mosquitoes.

While store bought bug sprays can be costly and harsh smelling, you can make your own bug spray by using two simple ingredients and citronella essential oil. Citronella essential oil is a natural mosquito repellent. There are many other essential oils are good for using in bug sprays. For this recipe, I have used citronella as my main essential oil, and smaller amounts of lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils. Adding other essential oils makes a more pleasant smell, and to adds to the strength of the repellent.

Other essential oils for bug sprays:

  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 15 – 20 drops citronella essential oil
  • 3 – 6 drops your choice of other essential oils (listed above)

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 cup witch hazel to the spray bottle.
  2. Next, add 15 – 20 drops citronella essential oil.
  3. Add 3 – 6 drops of other essential oils (listed above).
  4. Replace cap and label the bottle (optional). Your’re done!

Essential Oils: Storage, Safety and Other Uses

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Essential oils are oils derived from plants through steam distillation. I use essential oils in many things I make for several reasons. Not only do they have a wonderful all-natural smell, but they are known for their medicinal and therapeutic properties.

How to Store Essential Oils

Essential Oils are considered volatile, meaning they will quickly lose their scent and therapeutic properties if they are exposed to air, sunlight, or extreme temperatures. There are a few things you can do to keep your essential oils stored correctly.

  1. Store essential oils in dark glass bottles. Sunlight can cause essential oils to deteriorate and lose their smell. Dark glass such as amber and cobalt keep out harmful light and keep the oils safe.
  2. Store essential oils in a cool dark place. Essential oils need to be stored where the temperature is stable. A shelf or drawer is a good place to keep them cool and away from sunlight. Also, consider buying a wooden essential oil storage box.
  3. Avoid bottles with a rubber stopper or cap. Essential oils can cause the rubber to deteriorate and ruin the essential oils. Instead look for a bottle with a built-in dropper.

Essential Oil Safety Precautions

Essential oils are essentially safe to use, although there are a few simple safety precautions to take when using them.

  1. Do not use essential oils undiluted on skin. This can cause skin irritation. Instead add a few drops of essential oil to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.
  2. Some essential oils may cause sensitivity, irritation, or and allergic reaction in some individuals. Try a small patch test on a small area of skin before using.
  3. Watch out for essential oils that are phototoxic, or sun sensitive.

Carrier Oils and Other Uses

Carrier oils are often used to dilute essential oils especially when applied to skin. There are many different types of carrier oils. Although carrier oils have different properties, which carrier oil you choose is up to you.

Some Carrier Oils:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Rosehip Oil

Essential oils have many uses, such as making household products, health and beauty products, and aromatherapy. They work great in a diffuser because their wonderful scent and for other therapeutic properties.

Zipper Pulls

If you’ve ever broken the pull tab on a zipper you have probably been faced with finding a way to replace it. Although paperclips and safety pins work for a little while, they are not a permanent fix. That is why I came up with a better solution.

These zipper pulls are easy to make in just a few minutes. All you need is grosgrain ribbon and a lobster claw clasp with a ring attached. I chose grosgrain ribbon because it is known to be durable, and it is available in many colors. The size of the ribbon I used is 3/8 inch. There are different sizes of ribbon. Just keep in mind that you will need to thread the ribbon through the ring in the clasp.

The lobster claw clasp is easy to use and comes with a ring already attached for the ribbon. There are many sizes of lobster claw clasps. This one measures just over 1 inch and is sturdy enough to use for a zipper. Larger clasps can be too bulky, and smaller clasps are too dainty and could break. I have included three different ways to make a zipper pull using the same methods.

What you need:

  • grosgrain ribbon
  • lobster claw clasp with ring attached
  • scissors
  • measuring tape or ruler

Instructions:

  1. First, measure and cut 5 inches or more of ribbon. Keep in mind that shorter ribbon is harder to work with.
  2. Fold the ribbon in half equally and thread it through the ring.

3. Pull the ends of the ribbon through the loop made by folding the ribbon in half.

4. Continue to pull the ends through until it forms a tight knot.

You’re done!

One other way to tie the ribbon is to make a simple loop. Start by measuring about 8 inches or more of ribbon. Pull the ribbon through the loop. While keeping the ends together, tie them in a loose knot. Gently slide the knot towards the end of the ribbon and tighten the knot.

Lastly, and probably the easiest way to make a zipper pull is to use either of the two methods I have mentioned above and tie the ribbon directly to the zipper.