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

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

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.

DIY baking soda air fresheners with essential oils

These DIY baking soda and essential oil air fresheners are an easy way to freshen the air without using a spray. Baking soda absorbs odors while the essential oils give off a pleasant scent.

You can use any essential oils you like. I used a combination of lemon, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils for a deodorizing effect.

Deodorizing Essential Oil Blend

  • 8 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 16 drops lemon essential oil
  • 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil

For this recipe, you will need a 4 oz. mason jar and mason jar inserts. I found these decorative galvanized metal inserts on Amazon.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. mason jar
  • mason jar inserts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • essential oils

Instructions:

  1. Measure 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl.
  2. Add 30 – 40 drops of your choice of essential oils.
  3. Mix well.
  • 4. Scoop the baking soda mixture into the mason jar.
  • 5. Place the lid back on the jar with the insert. You’re done!

DIY Essential Oil Room Spray

Essential oils have countless uses around the home. Not only are they used for their therapeutic properties such as relieving stress, relaxing, and uplifting, they are deodorizing and smell great!

This is an easy recipe for making your own room spray using essential oils. I used both lavender and vanilla essential oils because it is one of my favorite combinations. There are many essential oils to choose from. Orange and cinnamon are a great combination if you like fall spice. I also like orange and mint to freshen a room.

Some essential oils are know to be energizing and uplifting, such as; lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and lemongrass. Other essential oils are relaxing, such as; lavender, clary sage, vetiver and ylang ylang. And some are refreshing, such as; spearmint, lemon and pine. There are also many essential oil blend recipes to choose from on Pinterest.

For this recipe, I use a 2 oz. cobalt glass spray bottle. Amber glass is also a good choice when using essential oils. The colored glass helps protect essential oils from outside elements such as sunlight so the oils last longer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 30 -40 drops essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 cup witch hazel to the spray bottle.
  2. Add 30 – 40 drops of essential oils.
  3. Replace cap and and shake bottle.
  4. Label the bottle (optional).

DIY Garbage Can Deodorizers

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home smelling a little fresher, these DIY garbage can deodorizers might do the trick! They are easy to make and take just a few household ingredients. Just toss one into the garbage can to keep odors away.

For this recipe, I used lemon essential oil, although you can use whatever essential oil you’d like. I also used silicone baking cups, but you can use disposable baking cups as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 – 5 drops essential oil (each)
  • baking cups

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix 2 cups baking soda and 1/2 cup water in a bowl.
  3. Spoon 1 -2 Tbsp. each into the baking cups.
  4. Bake the deodorizers for 20 min. on a baking sheet.
  5. Once they are done baking, add 3 – 5 drops essential oil to each baking cup.
  6. Allow the deodorizers to cool and remove them from the baking cups.

DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray with Essential Oils

In an earlier post, DIY Hand Sanitizer, I made hand sanitizer in a plastic squeeze bottle with just three ingredients. Since then, I have found a way to make a hand sanitizer spray with essential oils. This recipe is a little more complex and uses a few more ingredients. I used orange essential oil, but which essential oil you use is up to you. Please see the earlier post, DIY Hand Sanitizer on April 11, 2020 for a list of essential oils and their properties. This recipe also calls for a carrier oil. I used sweet almond oil, although you can also use fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. Carrier Oil: fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
  • 2 – 3 drops vitamin E
  • 10 – 15 drops essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerine
  • 2 tsp. Aloe vera gel
  • Isopropyl alcohol 90%+
  • 2 oz. spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/2 tsp. carrier oil, 2 – 3 drops vitamin E, 10 – 15 drops essential oil, and 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerine to the spray bottle.
  2. Next, add 2 tsp. aloe vera gel. This can be a little tricky. If you’re using a funnel, you might want to scoop the aloe vera into the bottle instead.
  3. Fill the rest of the bottle with isopropyl rubbing alcohol 90%+.

Finally, place the spray pump back on the bottle and give it a good shake to mix all of the ingredients. If you’d like, label the bottle with a sticker.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with shortages on essentials at the grocery store and a more urgent need to keep things clean, I found an easy way to make your own hand sanitizer using just a few ingredients.

For this recipe, you can use any essential oil you like. Although some are better for their cleaning your hands than others. I used tea tree oil, which has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic therapeutic properties. Below, I have listed other essential oils that are great for keeping your skin clean.

Essential Oils

Chamomile: antibacterial, anti-infectious

Lemon: anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent

Lemongrass: anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent

Lavender: antibacterial, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic

Peppermint: antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral

Sweet Orange: antibacterial, antiseptic

Spearmint: antiseptic

Tea Tree: antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. aloe vera gel
  • 2/3 c. Isopropyl Alcohol 90% (or more)
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil of choice
  • 2 3oz. plastic bottles

Instructions:

  1. Combine aloe vera gel, isopropyl alcohol, and essential oil in a bowl.
  2. Pour mixture into 2 plastic bottles.

These hand sanitizers are small enough to carry with you in your purse or bag. The bottles shown in the photo are 3 oz. silicone bottles.