Is winter over yet? Like many Montrealers, I’m ready to breathe again. I packed up my winter clothes and I opened my windows that have been shut for months, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. I opened my eyes and as my lungs filled with fresh air, I looked around and all I could see was how dirty everything looked.
Spring brings a need to clean. Every year at this time, we like to start with a clean slate. Detoxes in mind and body are underway and we start thinking about spring cleaning but before you reach for that commercial cleaning product under your sink, lets talk about options. I’m not a big fan of using things that have labels with skull and cross bones on them. The amount of toxins in commercial cleaning products is staggering, they’re expensive, and are almost always packaged in plastic. There has been no better time to go green.
Being the founder of Audre Leigh Beauty, I obviously believe in the power of plants, so naturally, I clean my living spaces with essential oils. With their antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, they don’t damage my health or the health of my loved ones, they don’t damage the environment and they most often work much better than the mass marketed cleaning products you can find at your grocery store chain. And did I mention the aromatherapeutic benefits?
The most common essential oils to use is the brilliant Lavender — the most essential of the essential oils — strong, yet gentle, there is little it can’t do. It can sanitize floors, countertops and my fella loves it when I spray lavender floral water on our sheets, making slipping into bed even more divine after a long day.
Not a fan of lavender? Neither am I. The great thing about essential oils is there are so many scents to choose from. If you prefer herbal scents, try peppermint, tea tree,thyme, eucalyptus, lavender. And if you prefer spicy scents, there’s cinnamon and clove and the citrus scents, like lemongrass and orange are always favourites.
Once you choose your scents, here’s a great basic recipe that can be used for everything from cleaning floors to countertops:
Makes about 20 ounces
- 15 ounces distilled water
- 5 ounces white distilled vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemongrass essential oil
- 1 tbs clove essential oil
- 1 tsp peppermint essential oil
No time to make your own cleaning products? Montreal has a growing list of retail stores that offer eco-friendly cleaning materials and some like, Klova on St Denis offer refills, so you can bring in bottles and refill them, limiting the amount of waste, while supporting our local businesses.
This season is a great time to try new things. Inhale deeper than you have ever before this spring with greener air and cleaner habits that won’t only benefit you, but the world around you. Breathe easier. Essentially, the time is now.