Essential Oil Craft Series: Basic Soap and Candle-Making
A clean home can smell like many things. The sweetness of crushed rose petals. The quicksilver winds of autumn. The nip of cloves and pine needles. Aromatherapy is the art of bottling these moments (in the form of an essential oil) to enhance well-being. While there's no substitute for clean carpet and spotless hardwood, essential oils can contribute to a fresh smelling home. That's not to say they can remedy the effects of dirty carpet or a smelly grout. Start with Zerorez's professional carpet cleaning and surface cleaning to give your home a blank slate. Then, an artfully used essential oil can add a touch of freshness (or even zest) to an already clean home. Smell isn't a factor we often consider when designing our home environments but it shouldn't be overlooked.
Everyone appreciates the smell of 'clean', if only because they notice its absence.
It may sound hokey to some, but science shows us that smell has a very powerful effect on our mindsets. At the mere mention of a scent, memories begin to take shape. Lavender. Sage. Asphalt in the rain. Most of us can recall exactly what these smell like. Alternatively, think of when you smell something particular, and you're transported into a memory. This is because the section of our brain associated with smell and the section of our brain associated with memory are actually neighbors. And memory is strongly correlated with emotion. Consequently, smell also evokes emotion—a little biological quirk the entire perfume industry is constructed on.
While it won't necessarily help you attract a hot date the way a Chanel fragrance might, aromatherapy can have beneficial effects on psychological and physical well-being. We'll go through some of the most popular essential oils and their effects before diving into two fun, easy crafts that freshen up any household. They're kid-friendly, too!
The Skinny on Essential Oils
Distilled from leaves, bark, petals, buds, needles or roots, essential oils are highly concentrated substances derived directly from botanicals. They're different from fragrance or perfume because they contain nothing synthetic. As a result, essential oils are extremely potent. Some are even considered anti-bacterial. Not only are they sold in tiny vials, but they must be diluted if you apply them topically. They can be purchased individually, or as blends. Each oil affects you differently. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Hubby/wifey or kids driving you up a wall? For an extra dose of patience try calming chamomile, energizing marjoram or uplifting orange.
- Anxious for an exam? A big meeting? Lavender might just be your best friend. It's the most common essential oil, although jasmine, sandalwood and frankincense are all popular choices for stress-reief.
- Feeling under the weather or just need a little pick-me-up? Put pep in your step with the energy-lending lemon, anti-infection tea tree oil or cooling eucalyptus.
- Need an extra boost to your focus or motivation? Peppermint and vetiver have your back.
You can discover hundreds of essential oils. Thousands of blends. Don't be afraid to explore!
Craft #1 Basic Glycerin Soap
- Double boiler (or a smaller pot that can fit inside of a larger pot)
- Wooden spoon
- Soap molds
- Rubbing alcohol
- Essential oil(s) of choice
There are many ways to make soap. The melt-and-pour method is ideal for beginners because it's easy. It doesn't involve the hazards of lye. Melt-and-pour is a great project for kids, too!
- Melt the glycerin in a double boiler. Fill the bottom saucepan with water and chop pieces of glycerin into the top saucepan. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Warm the glycerin over medium-high heat until it is completely melted.
- Because the soap base (glycerin) is already made for you, crafting a bar is mostly a process of personalization. You'll certainly want to add your essential oil(s) of choice. Remember, essential oils are potent! So, you only need a few drops.
- Customize more! After removing soap from the heat, add a splash of color. Glycerin is sold in a variety of colors, but most varieties are clear. You can also craft your own color schemes by mixing in a few drops of food coloring. You might also consider mixing in an exfoliant like oatmeal. Dry oatmeal is excellent for exfoliation and soothing irritated skin. Other creative additions include sparkles (a beautiful touch to clear bars of soap) or dried flowers.
- Spray the molds with rubbing alcohol. This will keep the glycerin from adhering to the mold, as well as prevent tiny bubbles from appearing in the finished product. Make sure to get the sides of the mold, too—that way the soap will easily slide out.
- Pour it in! Be sure to leave a few centimeters of space between the soap and the rim of the mold. You'll also have to move quickly so that the soap doesn't cool.
- Cool off. Allow the soap to dry for two hours before pushing them out of their molds.
Craft #2 Candles in a Jar
- Double boiler
- Glass jars
- Essential oils
- Soy wax or beeswax chips
- Candle wick
Poured directly into a glass jar, you can then decorate the jar with ribbons and flowers. Homemade candles make great gifts!
- Place the wick. Add a drop of wax or hot glue to the metal disc of the wick and place it at the bottom of the jar. Lay something like a stick across the mouth of the jar, and wind the remaining wick around it so that the wick remains upright.
- Melt the wax. Do this either in a double boiler, or in a microwavable bowl.
- Add your essential oils of choice. 15-20 drops will smell strong at first, but once it hardens the smell fades a little.
- Pour the wax into the jar. After a few hours, it will harden and you can snip off the excess wick.
DIY projects are a lot of fun. Those that beautify the home and make them smell nice are especially rewarding endeavors. However, all the essential oil in the world can't cover up the smell of a dirty home. Get a clean start with services like carpet cleaning, hardwood cleaning, tile cleaning, natural stone polishing, grout sealing, rug restoration and more. We offer a pet odor treatment that zaps even the most stubborn and invisible pet stains. Zerorez's revolutionary cleaning technologies are hypoallergenic, chemical-free approaches to cleaning that leave household surfaces sparkle-new. We get that clean house smell without the use of detergents. No detergents means no residue. No residue means your home won't get any fresher than after Zerorez cleaning services. Find us at zerorezsocal.com or give us a ring at (949) 387-2222.