Did you or anyone in your family get that annoying cough/sinus sickness this winter? We did. As a mother, I can think of fewer helpless feelings than hearing your child cough & hack the night away with little to help them through the night. After a few sleepless nights, I rallied myself and tried to come up with a plan. Humidifier, check. Vayas vapor balm, check. Zarbees cough syrup, check. Glass of wine for Mom, check & check.
After a couple weeks of this, a fever arises, then a doctor's visit, and you can guess the rest...a script for antibiotics. And you know the thing about antibiotics? They are superb at eradicating a bacterial infection, but if the illness is viral (which it was in our case), antibiotics will only get you more than half the way. After 3 weeks, myself & my husband also came down with the same sinusitis/bronchitis nonsense already plaguing our household. It was then I went to Defcon 2 and put the house on red alert for hazmat containment. I hung eucalyptus branches in the shower, eliminated dairy from the family diet, brought the juicer up from the basement, and rounded-up the usual suspects in Mommy's essential oil arsenal.
If you aren't familiar with the anti-viral benefits of essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, clove, juniper & lavender, you're in for a surprise. When added to your DIY household cleaner, these oils - when used sparingly - can not only clean, but prevent future viruses from taking hold in your home.
I use the same cleaner for all surfaces. My year round DIY all-purpose cleaner is usually this recipe:
Into one 28 oz. bottle, fill halfway with white vinegar, then fill the other half with water. I then add about 25 drops of 5 fold lemon oil and another 10-15 drops Lavender, Bergamot, or another fresh smelling oil. The great thing about this cleaner is that my rooms don't reek of vinegar after I've cleaned.
The DIY anti-viral all-purpose recipe is fill the same bottle with half white vinegar, half water, then 20 drops eucalyptus oil, 5-8 drops clove bud oil, and 10-15 drops lavender essential oil.
Both cleaners we use to wipe down toilets, clean bathroom mirrors, wipe down doorknobs, wipe down the dining room table, and clean our hardwood floors. No streaking, no worries about adding chemicals into our home environment, and I know I'm doing my share of 'preventative virus maintenance'. Now, if only I remembered to make the anti-viral cleaner a month or so ago...!
NOTE: If you are pregnant, be sure to check with your OB before using or mixing any essential oils.