The moment spring hits, I start cleaning every nook of my home. Unworn clothes go to the local charity, old books and magazines get carted to the library or senior center, and the house gets well-cleaned, top to bottom. This Organic Carpet Shake which smells like spring is getting tossed on all my rugs this year. Thanks, Melissa! ~Maggie
It never ceases to amaze me what a little aromatherapy can do. A bergamot-infused candle immediately sends me back to my college years, curled up under a blanket with a mug of steaming Earl Grey tea on an overcast, brooding New England day. Lavender transports me back to the romantic year when I started dating my husband long distance, he was living and working in Paris, while I was in grad school, honing the craft of magazine publishing.
Over the past year, I’ve been majorly focused on detoxifying our home and swapping chemical products (cleaners and beauty products, primarily) with homemade or organic alternatives. One of the fabulous fringe benefits is that all of those lovely essential oils leave my home smelling of aromatherapy, Proustian scents playing out autobiographical memories that leave spirits lifted long after they no longer linger in the air.
A favorite combination — both pretty and practical — is lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus. Something about this medley immediately puts me at ease, signaling tranquility and a time to nest. I was thrilled to find out (especially as the proud mom to two rescue dogs and foster parent to a rotating cast of others) that the combo is a natural pest repellent, too. Over on Shoestring, I shared a simple DIY Linen Spray that smells absolutely spa-worthy while being a wonderfully organic replacement for Febreze (that also repels fleas!). I use it daily on our beds, couches, the dogs’ comfy spots, really anything plush.
Replace the water with regular old table salt and you have the world’s best, completely all-natural carpet deodorizer — a far cry both in composition and fragrance to the toxic “carpet shakes” of our youth, used in vain to cover up the telltale signs of a party before parents returned home … Just me? Can’t be.
Also, salt also has its own all-natural fringe benefit when it comes to pests: it quickly, effectively, and organically kills flea eggs (while the trio of lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus repels new ones) when shaken on a rug or upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up again. If you happen to have some real dried lavender, eucalyptus, or lemon zest to crush/chop up and add to the mix, it’s even prettier and more gift-worthy.
Recipe: DIY Organic Carpet Shake
- 3 cups sea salt or table salt
- 8 drops each: lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/2 cup dried lavender, crushed (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried eucalyptus leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup dried lemon zest (optional)
- Clear glass bottle (mine was $3 at Goodwill)
- Pretty customizable label (mine were $5 a pack at OfficeMax)
- Measure the salt in a glass or metal bowl, add your essential oils, and mix thoroughly. Let sit for at least an hour, or while you prepare the other dry ingredients (optional).
- Remove lavender buds from stems and crush with a mortar & pestle to release their natural oils. Remove eucalyptus leaves from stems and chop finely with a knife, or run through a small food processor. Zest at least two lemons and let dry. Give your salt & essential oil mixture a good stir and then add your lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon zest. Mix well to combine.
- Spoon or pour into your jar, using a funnel for smaller-necked bottles, cap and affix your customized label to the front. Voila! You’re ready to go, or ready to gift.
Photos taken and styled by Chelsea Francis.
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