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Get rid of those stubborn grease, coffee, pen, lipstick stains, and more.
Doesn’t it just feel inevitable that the day you decide to wear a crisp white button-up or a pair of khaki pants is the same day you get a leaky coffee lid at Starbucks or you splatter yourself with oil while cooking dinner? As frustrating as it may be in the moment, you should know that those messy clothes don’t have to be immediately thrown in the giveaway pile. A surprising (and natural) stain remover may be able to make it seem like the annoying mishap never even happened. Read on to find out the essential oil that will make those pesky spots disappear.
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Using essential oils may have once seemed a little woo woo, but these days you don’t have to be a New Age mystic to depend on the aromatic plant-derived liquids for a multitude of things. Of course, they have long been used to scent different foods and products, but the current version we think of comes in a little bottle—you may even know someone who sells them or have a few of your own sitting in your medicine cabinet.
Whether aromatherapy is your thing or you integrate them into your beauty routine, essential oils are considered by many to be natural, holistic remedies for everything from acne to stress to the common cold—and their popularity keeps growing. In 2020, the global essential oils market was valued at $18.6 billion, reports Grand View Research. In 2019, the U.S. market was estimated at $4.7 billion, according to Statista, and will increase to $7.3 billion by 2024.
While the actual healing power of essential oils may still be up for debate, when it comes to getting stains out of clothing, proof comes in the time of a wash cycle. If you’re a messy eater or tend to find yourself with unexplained spots on your favorite clothing, eucalyptus oil should be in your cleaning arsenal. While you may want to reach for a store-bought stain remover to get the job done, they are often made with harsh chemicals that can rough up your clothing or irritate your skin. Eucalyptus oil, according to First for Women, “contains antibacterial compounds (specifically eucamalol and limonene) that make it a natural disinfectant” that can remove unruly stains or freshen up a load of laundry.
Simply dab the pen, coffee, lipstick, or grease stain with eucalyptus essential oil, let it soak in, and then toss the item in the washing machine. Alternatively, CityHippyFarmGirl suggests mixing the eucalyptus oil with a liquid washing detergent and rubbing it into the stain with an old toothbrush, leaving it on for 10 minutes before washing. Good on You suggests making your own stain remover spray in a spray bottle with 10 drops of essential oil combined with either water or vinegar. If your whole load needs a refresh, you can also “add a capful of eucalyptus oil to your wash cycle to cut through grease stains and make your clothes smell great!”
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If you need more proof of the power of eucalyptus oil, in 2020 a woman in Australia reached out to a Facebook cleaning group after she got permanent blue marker on a white hoodie. The users suggested she soak the stain in eucalyptus oil for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with water. After following their instructions, the stain was 90 percent removed, she then poured a bit of bleach over the faded stain and popped it in the laundry. Thirty minutes later, it came out like nothing had ever happened. The before and after photos of the sweatshirt went viral with followers calling the hack “life-changing” and “revolutionary.”
Eucalyptus oil is not just a laundry room essential. According to Healthline, rubbing the oil on your chest when you have a cough or a cold can relieve symptoms and help you breathe easier (it’s even an active ingredient in Vicks VapoRub). If you want a natural DEET alternative, eucalyptus oil can help keep bugs away. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve cold sores and prevent bad breath, Healthline reports. Finally, it is said to soothe joint pain and inflammation and is a commonly found in “over-the-counter creams and ointments used to soothe pain from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.” Be sure to talk to your doctor if eucalyptus oil seems like it could be helpful for you.
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