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My cleaning and self-care products are legendary… well, the ingredients are, anyway.

When I started making my own cleaning sprays, I was a bit intimidated by the vast world of essential oils and stuck to two main oils: tea tree and lavender, the former for its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, the latter because I think it smells nice and the scent really does seem to decrease my anxiety a bit. HOWEVER, tea tree oil is toxic to cats! This is especially bothersome to our already neurologically-impaired little companion, Mo Vox. I wish I would have put together that my tea tree oil cleaning supplies were possibly raising her toxicity and exacerbating her condition sooner. Unfortunately, a great deal of essential oils are toxic to cats (and dogs, too, but I’ve mostly researched cats) so avoid using these in products for cleaning floors or areas that your pet likes to hang out. Believe me, the irony in making my home less toxic for me and my family only to make it more toxic for my kitty is not lost on me. ASPCA has a fantastic list of toxic/non-toxic plants, and I advise looking into possible adverse affects from all oils/ingredients for every member of your family, even the fluffy ones!

Young Living Thieves Oil

At this point, I have developed a veritable essential oil arsenal. Even so, there is one bottle that stands out, and is the workhorse of the lot: Thieves oil. Yes, it is pricey, but my concoctions never take much, and I still save money over buying “eco-friendly” or mainstream cleaning products. Besides, backed by a mythology so full of intrigue, I’ve got to say, if it can fight the plague for a band of medieval grave-robbers and offer protection to plague doctors, then it can certainly pass muster in taking out my body odor and cleaning my sink. So, what do I make with it? Well, yesterday I made deodorant and an air freshener.

4-Ingredient Deodorant

Four ingredients, one powerful deodorant


2 Tablespoons Baking Soda (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder (again, Bob’s Red Mill brand)

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, warmed to liquid (I use Dr. Bronner’s)

20 Drops Thieves Oil*

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and essential oil, stirring until mixed. Transfer to a small jar, and, if desired, refrigerate to create a more solid texture. I find this step necessary during the summer, as coconut oil has a very low melting temp (76 degrees Fahrenheit). Separation may occur, especially in the heat, and can be remedied with a quick stir. And that’s it. So easy.

TA-DA! Now you, too, can smell as fresh as a plague doctor!

*I started out using 10 drops tea tree oil and 10 drops lavender, to good results. Any combination of oils will work, although I recommend using one that is antibacterial and antifungal (thyme, mint, cinnamon, and clove are all excellent choices).

Easy-Peasy Pretty Air Freshener

Gather a small canning jar, baking soda, oil, and a card

Trace the metal canning lid and cut

To make an air freshener, I just grabbed an extra Ball jar, tossed in 2 tablespoons of baking soda (to absorb odor) and five drops of Thieves Oil, cut out a bit of card stock to use in place of the metal canning lid, poked a few holes in it, and that was that! I think it looks rather elegant for being so simple. This will work with any essential oil, and more drops = more scent (I’m into fairly subtle rather than perfumey cloud).

Additionally, I also use this oil in my All-Purpose Cleaning Spray, which is just 2 cup white vinegar, 2 cup distilled water, and 10 drops of oil. It’s a great disinfectant, and the vinegar scent vanishes once it dries. Also, I use it in my homemade toothpaste. I follow the recipe from Bonzai Aphrodite, and then toss in 15 drops of Thieves in addition to the peppermint. I’ve got a few more non-Thieves-based items to share in the near future (Hey, I make my own diaper wipe solution for my cloth wipes now! I’m feeling like a pretty crunch mama these days!).