10 Brilliant Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Everyday Life

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Essential oil lavender and orange dry on a wooden table, top view
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Essential oils are having a moment. Devotees have long praised essential oils for their therapeutic properties. Now these products, which are simply oils extracted from plants, have gone mainstream. You can pick up essential oils in the grocery store. But what to do with them? Uh... a lot. Prepare for good smells ahead.

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Kitchen bin with out of date food
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Deodorize Stinky Spots

Hey, trash smells — that's what it's known for. Douse a cotton ball with lemongrass or tea tree oil and tuck it in the bottom of the trash can, where it will mask smells until trash day. If you're like most people, you probably have a few other stinky zones in your home, like wherever your sneakers are kept. Make a deodorizing spray with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of essential oils and spritz it inside smelly shoes.

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Close up woman practicing yoga on yoga mat with foot between hands
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Spritz Your Yoga Mat

Picture it: You're holding an especially hard yoga pose, trying to relax rather than grimace, when you catch a whiff of soothing lavender. Spritzing your yoga mat with essential oils is an easy way to engage your sense of smell while enjoying your yoga practice. Make a simple spray using water and a few drops of an oil that won't irritate the skin; tea tree and rose oils are both good options. After spritzing the mat, wipe it down thoroughly so the oil droplets don't make the mat slippery.

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Air / furniture freshener
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Create DIY Cleaning Spray

Prefer DIY cleaning sprays over the chemical-laden type you find in stores? Vinegar will get surfaces clean, but it doesn't smell great on its own. Adding essential oils is a simple solution. Citrus oil is an especially good choice for this, as are lavender and tea tree oils.

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Woman reading valentine card
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Scent Cards and Letters

Few people write letters and handwritten cards anymore. But we all love receiving them, right? You could become the person in your family or friend group who sends correspondence through the mail. While you're developing this old-school habit, go a step further and spritz the paper with an essential oil spray. Call it your signature scent.

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I really felt that workout
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Soothe Sore Muscles

You've been working hard, and your body might be protesting. Oils including peppermint and eucalyptus can be useful in easing aches and pains. Experts generally don't recommend putting essential oils directly on the skin, largely because some types can cause irritation. Dilute the oils well by adding just five or six drops to an ounce of a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Do a test on a small patch of skin first, and if you have no adverse reaction, rub it over achy joints and sore muscles.

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Flower Wall
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Bring Real Scent to Fake Flowers

Fresh flowers brighten up your whole space... but have you seen how much they cost? Save fresh blooms as an occasional treat and instead, make a cost-effective floral display using silk and other artificial flowers. When you're happy with the arrangement, spray it with rose oil diluted in water. Administer another spritz whenever the scent starts to fade.

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Woman holding essential oil bottle
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Curb Cravings

If you need some help resisting food cravings, you're far from alone. Enlist essential oils the next time you're tempted to gorge on candy. Peppermint oil in particular is said to help curb sugar cravings. Use it in a diffuser after dinner, or whenever you're most likely to experience those cravings.

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Nothing's going to hold her back now!
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Make Skin-Softening Body Powder

We all want skin that's silky smooth and smells good, too. Skip the pricy lotions and creams and instead, make a batch of homemade body powder. With simple ingredients like cornstarch and a few drops of an essential oil you love, it takes just minutes to create your own powder. Dust it on areas where you tend to sweat.

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