Springtime, clean time is here! And with my side-kick toddler always wanting to help (make messes), I need cleaners that are easy to make, effective to use, and safe for the whole family. With basic household ingredients and selective essential oils, I can replenish my cupboard with safe cleaners for my child to be around and help make.

The welcoming chirping birds are returning to their nests, and with this time of year, the beetles, spiders, and flies also appear. But when they enter my home, those bugs become pests. Open windows and loose screens are the easiest way these critters enter homes.

So, I thought, why not meld a window cleaner with a bug-away spray? Using my favorite chart from Aromatics International, A Guide to natural bug repellent with essential oils, peppermint is an excellent option for deterring household bugs. But the essential oil should not be used around children under 5 years of age. However, in small amounts, peppermint hydrosol offers the same benefits as the oil but is much gentler and safer for a small nose.

Recipe: Peppy Window Cleaner and Bug Deterrent
½  cup (120 ml) distilled water (to prevent water spots)
¼ cup (60 ml) Peppermint hydrosol (bug repellent)
¼ cup rubbing alcohol (60 ml) (to allow quick drying) + extra for sterilizing
Splash Castile soap (cut grime)

8 oz spray bottle (240mL)

Instructions: Sterilize the spray bottle with rubbing alcohol. Add each ingredient to the spray bottle. Shake it up and get to cleaning! I make enough to use up within 1-2 weeks and then start a fresh batch! To extend the shelf life, I store this spray in the refrigerator.

With oodles of puddles to splash in and sidewalks to decorate with chalk, our days always end with a bubble bath. The bath needs to be a safe place where hazardous chemicals aren't contacting skin that is spending extra time submerged in warm water.

Even though the bath scrub is rinsed down the drain, I still only want to use safe oils for children in case any residuals remain. Since bath time is usually the beginning of the bedtime routine, I like to add lavender to the recipe to promote a calming environment. As calm as splashing with bubbles can be. I make sure to use non-oxidized citrus oils for their antimicrobial power.

Insider tip

I often use Aromatherapy for Natural Living class as it is fabulous for Green Cleaning and has many recipes. One of the recipes I use is the Abrasive Scrub.

This is a beautiful recipe for children to help with. They can scoop out the baking soda, count the drops of essential oil as they go in, pour the Castile soap into the jar, and, my little-ones favorite, stir, stir. Be careful though; it's hard to keep him from eating it since it looks like frosting.

Natural cleaning can be such a fun way to introduce new scents and life skills to your family. It may take a little more time to teach a child how to clean, but it’s always more fun to do chores with someone.

And here is another scrub I love - right from the Aromahead Blog!

Happy Cleaning! And I'd love to hear about your favorite cleaning tips. Let me know in the comments below.