For the summer, our Unitarian Universalist church has a program after their Sunday service called second hour where they have a variety of eco-friendly projects that people can do. This past week they had container gardens and natural bug spray. We chose to do the bug spray project.
They had three different recipes that were basically different mixtures of essential oils. They each start with 2 cups of water. We used water bottles, it’s just about measured perfectly. They each also have 20 drops of citronella essential oil. Then you add the mixture of other two essential oils you want. The three different recipes are lemon basil, geranium lavender, and eucalyptus lemon.
All varieties: 2 cups water and 20 drops citronella essential oil
Lemon Basil: 5 drops lemon essential oil and 10 drops basil essential oil
Geranium Lavender: 5 drops geranium essential oils and 10 drops lavender essential oil
Eucalyptus Lemon: 5 drops lemon essential oil and 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Mix everything together in a spray bottle (or water bottle and pour into smaller spray bottles). Don’t forget to shake the bottle up before you use it each time.
The minion and I went to a dog park the other day and almost got eaten alive. We both walked away with so many bug bites that I was spurred on to stop procrastinating and make our own bug repellent. Then I had to put it in a comically large spray bottle because that’s all we had.
Homemade Bug Repellent
1/3 cup witch hazel
15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops citronella oil
Mix in a spray bottle and spray on clothes and hair before going out. It is safe to spray it on the skin, but it will last longer on your hair and clothes than your skin. Be sure to shake it up before you use each time.
I want to plant some citronella plants near our garden because we get eaten up when we’re out there too.
The minion is right in the stage where everything goes in her mouth. She also loves animals, anytime the pavlovinator is anywhere she can see, she desperately tries to get to her. If she does she pets and then sticks her hands in her mouth. I don’t have much of a problem with her doing this with our clean, healthy, indoor cat. Goats however, I’m a little more wary. We went to Zoo Atlanta a few days ago and we knew there was a petting zoo before we went. We thought that if we let the minion pet the goats there, we would want to wash her hands afterwards and the zoo would probably either provide industrial soap or alcohol based hand sanitizer. Neither of which we wanted to put on our daughter’s skin, much less have end up in her mouth.
My solution was to make ‘crunchy’ hand sanitizer before we went. I dissected an aloe vera leaf for the first time, a messy but very fun experience, and scraped the juice out. If you use a leaf instead of buying the juice on its own, put a towel down under your workspace.
The variety of essential oils in this recipe give it antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. The vitamin E oil and aloe vera are good for your skin. The witch hazel includes 14% rubbing alcohol to kill microbes. You can substitute other essential oils for the clove and eucalyptus oils, it was mainly what I had on hand. Lavender, rosemary, sage, and/or peppermint essential oils could also be used and probably many more that I just don’t know of.
‘Crunchy’ Hand Sanitizer
1 cup aloe vera juice
1 Tablespoon witch hazel
3 drops vitamin E oil (optional but extends shelf life to 6 months)
30 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Mix everything together in a sealable container. Shake well before each use as oils will separate. It goes on very slimy but will evaporate/sink into your skin in a few seconds of rubbing.
The minion loved petting the goats and the rest of the zoo. Here’s a picture of some of the goats cuddling up.