Thursday, November 7, 2013

What To Do With Essential Oils - Three Easy DIYs

We've got three projects packed into one post today, which might seem like a weird strategy for someone who doesn't post that often, but since they all use the same ingredients it would be a cheap move to spread them out over three separate posts.

Now, I must admit, I am not the greenest person. I buy paper plates sometimes when my dishes are stacked up in the sink, I use a ton of aerosol spray paint, I drive all my garbage to the nearest clean water source to dump it out there...Al Gore I am not.

However, I am kind of picky about scents. I've yet to find my ideal perfume, and the only cleaning scent I really love is Mrs. Meyers' Lemon line. However, I was at Merz Apothecary the other day, because there is one down the street from my work and I was having a bad day and wanted to stress shop. An apothecary seems like a productive place to do that, right? All holistic and shit, I don't know. I was just trying to avoid spending a ton of money on polyester at Forever21, if we're being honest. Anyways, I was smelling the essential oils and found the BEST lemon oil, and an amazing basil oil. They were only $4 each, so I bought them on the spot and figured I'd find a use for them later. 

Well, I found three things to do with them, all of which are pretty much the same thing but with different uses.

DIY Reed Diffuser & Carrier Oil
I originally bought one of these babies from Target a while ago, for like ten bucks. It was pretty nice, though it wasn't really strong enough, so I thought I'd try and make my own once it ran out. I used the same bottle, but I dipped it in gold paint, because of course I did.

You Will Need:
A bottle with a narrow neck (it helps slow evaporation)
Bamboo skewers
20 drops of essential oil (I used 15 lemon, 5 basil)
1/4 cup water
Splash of vodka or gin

In your bottle, pour in all the oil and booze and swirl until mixed, then top off with water. If you don't want to use water and vodka, you can use grapeseed, safflower, or almond oil, but ours is the kind of house much more likely to have gin. The scent of the oils covers up any alcohol scents, if you were worried about that. Don't skip the booze though, it helps bind the oil and water! 

DIY Linen Spray
When I was a kid, my mom refused to help clean our rooms or make our beds, or anything like that, but once in a while she would spritz our pillows with a linen spray from Bath & Body Works that, to my 10 year old self, was the epitome of riche. I felt like a baller, like a kid who also had a fridge that made ice, or a mailbox that was encased in bricks, or other arbitrary markers of Having It Made, as seen through the eyes of a fifth grader. 

You Will Need:
Spray bottle (I used an old Demeter perfume bottle)
45 drops of essential oil (I used 30 lemon, 10 basil)
Enough water to fill your bottle
Splash of vodka or gin

In your spray bottle, again mix the booze and oil together to combine them, then top off with water. Spray on your pillows and go to bed feeling like a ten-year-old Meg Zandi who was totally asking her parents for those name-brand sneakers for Christmas. 

DIY Dryer Sheets
I love the result of dryer sheets, but I hate buying them because they always smell so chemically. I don't have a particularly sensitive nose, and Eau de Chemical normally never bothers me, but something about dryer sheets is where I really smell it, so I like to go homemade. 

You Will Need:
Scrap of cotton or flannel fabric, cut in roughly 6"x6" squares
1 cup white vinegar
30 drops essential oil (I used all lemon this time)
Mason jar

I first cut up my fabric to be about the size of a standard dryer sheet. I used an old pillowcase that, while clean, had lost its luster and was past its prime. In your Mason jar, mix together white vinegar and essential oil, then put your fabric scraps in and shake until coated. I like using a mason jar, because I can trust it to stay shut when I throw it on top of my laundry pile. Throw the damp sheet of fabric in the dryer with your next load and your clothes will come out smelling exactly how you want them to. The smell of vinegar is apparent at the beginning of the load, but I promise it does not linger on your clothes. 

What are your favorite scent combinations? I almost always go with anything citrus, but the perfume I have on the shelf in the linen spray shot, The Voice of Reason, is a real smoky, leathery scent that is totally uncharacteristic, but I love it. Lavender is another soothing one, and I love it mixed with a black pepper oil, or more traditionally peppermint.


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  1. I like that linen spray idea! I have some already, it's rosemary mint but it's too minty & I think it smells like toothpaste lol. Maybe I can add something to it to make it less offensive.

  2. Woah these are some really good ideas! I live in a n old building with no vents, so that diffuser one sounds right up my alley haha! Thanks for sharing, this post was awesome!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  3. I think my biggest WOW was the pillowcase cut up for dryer sheets. Because I hang onto things like that for no reason and never think to cut them up for anything more useful than a window-cleaning rag.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Zandi! I linked to your recipe on my holiday gift guide idea post:

  5. Awesome find! I love all of your ideas! Gotta try 'em!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing these homemade ideas. Will try the linen spray first !

    Have a look at my new blog

  8. These are really great ideas, only I would be careful with which essential oils you use in the summer. Honey Bees love love love done of them-- like Lemon grass-- and will be very attracted to you if you're sporting a smell they love. My husband is a novice bee keeper and I listen very carefully when he talks about what attracts them :)


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