I’m a tree hugger (figuratively speaking — trees aren’t very good huggers and it’s kinda painful hugging them); I admit it. I love nature and every one of the charities I support (other than my church’s humanitarian program) is a nature conservation organization: WWF, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Wildlife Federation to name the three I support.
That said, sometimes it’s hard to find a way to utilize those three R’s for certain things. Like old printers. What do you do with those? (If you know how to recycle those let me know. I’ve got two broken ones sitting around….) But, for my fellow essential oil users, I have discovered a way to use up those empty bottles of oil: use them to make natural, sweet-smelling, and inexpensive hand sanitizers! The oils are much better for you and your family since they are cell-specific and only kill infectious cells, and they leave your skin healthy instead of broken down like alcohol does.
The recipe is easy too!
What you’ll need:
- Your old 15 ml or 5 ml bottles of oils (they don’t need to be rinsed out)
- The essential oils you want to use (see below for different mixes)
- Distilled or purified water
- A spray mist top that fits the bottle (you can order them from aromatools.com for about 35 cents each)
- Blank mailing labels and a pen (for labeling the bottle!)
How to put it all together:
- You’re going to be putting some drops of oils into the used bottles so the first thing to do is to select the oils you want to use. I’d try to select oils that mix well with whatever use to be in the bottle. For instance, pine mixes well withmelaleuca,citruses mix well with othercitruses and Immune Blends. If you’re not sure you can do an easy internet search on what oils mix well with other oils, but don’t worry about it too much. My favorite oils to use are:
- Citrus Blends (this one also works well as an anytime facial freshener, and it also helps with insomnia)
- Immune Blends (spray your car or hotel bed with this one)
- Equal parts of Immune Blends and Lemon oil (This is good to spray fruits with before eating. It’s especially yummy on apples!)
- Equal parts Lemon and Lime (Another good one to spray on fruits before eating)
- Lavender, Peppermint, and Melaleuca is also a good mix (Especially good for burns!)
- Once you’ve selected your oils, put 20 drops total for the 15 ml and 7 drops for the 5ml size. If you’re using two oils then add 10 or 4 drops of each, for three different oils add 7 or 3 drops of each oil respectively. (The smaller amount noted is for the 5 ml size).
- Fill up the difference with distilled water (a little below the neck of the bottle). BE CAREFUL when pouring it in, those tiny bottles fill up REALLY FAST!
- Put the Spray mister on. You may have to trim it. I just eyeball it, it’s okay if the length of the tube is longer than the bottle, it’ll just curl a bit at the bottom.
- Make sure to label your bottle so you know what you put in it (for next time), just be sure to dry off the bottle (in case you spilled) before applying the label.
And voila! A healthy non-toxic alternative to hand-sanitizer. And inexpensive too!
How to use it:
- Just throw it in your purse (or man bag), shake it, and then spray it wherever you need it including counter tops, hotel pillows, etc. Like I mentioned in the recipe, the Citrus Blends spray also makes a great anytime freshener for your skin, or you can use it to help you sleep (a lavender one is good for that too) by just spraying your pillow with it before bed.
The Immune Blend and Lemon mix is probably the best for sanitizing, but really any mix of anti-septic oils is effective. Use what you think smells the best or that your kids (in my case, nephews and nieces) like the best.
I just wrote a follow-up to this article, Essential oil sprays tips, that has even more tips!
Like how to make the sprayer last longer, how to get your oils to disperse evenly, etc.
What essential oils will you use in your sprays?
Let me know in the comments!
Use Therapeutic Grade Oils
You’ll want to use therapeutic grade oils because they are the highest grade essential oil on the market so you don’t have to worry about any negative side-effects that lower and synthetic grades can sometimes cause. Be sure to choose a good brand too that thoroughly tests every batch of oils to make sure that no pesticides or harmful chemicals are present and that all the many (sometimes up to 20) constituents (these are the parts of the essential oils that give them their scientifically proven healing properties) are not only present, but are present in the right amounts. Keep in mind that these are healing compounds and you want to use the best! I’ve used several brands. Don’t go cheap when it comes to essential oils. You won’t get all the health benefits, and possibly negative ones, from cheap brands. I know personally because I’ve used cheap brands. They just don’t compare. Disclaimer
I know therapeutic grade oils seem expensive, but remember that these are also highly concentrated compounds. You’ll usually use just a couple drops of oil at a time. A drop is a serving! And if you calculate the price per serving is pennies. The peppermint I buy, for instance, is 11 cents or less per drop. Lemon is 4 cents. It’s a deal!
I feel better!
And now, I feel better knowing that empty oil bottles everywhere will get reused.
Now what to do about tigers… 🙂