5 Easy Ways To Clean Using Kapha Season Essential Oils
It is now officially spring! I’ve got visions of sunshine and warm days and flowers bursting into bright color… and yet, Mother Nature tends to take her time, doesn’t she? The days are lengthening, and there might be a few warm moments of sunshine (depending on where you live), but winter is still clinging on—wet, cold, sometimes dark. Though we’re nearing its end, we’re still in Kapha season, too. It’s hard not to think, ‘Hurry it up. I’m ready for the next season!’ When I get the spring-fever jitters, I’ve found that the best way to prepare for the unveiling of the next bright season—and to transition from what tends to be a more sedentary and reflective time during winter and the beginning of Kapha season—is to do a little bit of my own spring cleaning at home. Yep, you guessed it—using Ayurvedic principles and my favorite essential oils specific to the end of the Kapha season.
Why clean with essential oils?
The greatest benefits for me are threefold. First, I always prefer all-natural cleaning solutions without the harmful chemicals found in the “heavy duty” stuff. And to be 100% certain of everything that’s going into my cleaners, I make my own from scratch. The ingredients are simple—water, apple cider (or white) vinegar, sometimes baking soda, and those oh-so-delightful essential oils.
Second, when we choose essential oils with the qualities that balance our doshas during any given season—in this case Kapha-pacifying scents—we’re doing wonders for our own internal balance and our mindset going forward. There’s a long list of Kapha-pacifying scents, which are light, warm, and dry—pretty much the opposite of Kapha’s properties.
Finally, they smell so darned good! I can personalize my workspace, my home, and even my cleaning supplies with whatever scents feel the best suited to my mood on any given day. As far as Kapha-pacifying essential oils go, my favorites are saffron, lemongrass, rose, and tea tree (rose and tea tree oils mixed together take me to my happy place). For a deeper dive into the qualities and benefits of many of these essential oils, this is a fantastic list of some of the most popular scents.
Now, let’s look at the five areas of cleaning in the home that I try to hit every spring (though sometimes, I admit, I’ll dive into this refreshing ritual at least three times a year).
Pantry and Refrigerator
It doesn’t matter how clean we are in the kitchen—the pantry and the fridge always deserve a good scrub-down. I always start with the interior of my kitchen cabinets, wiping them down with my solution of essential oils (this year I’m using lemongrass). Moving everything out of the pantry and the fridge comes next, and all surfaces get wiped and left smelling fresh. It’s also a great way to clear out expired or unused items hidden in the very back. My post last fall on pantry stocking explores this in more detail with fun tips and organizational advice, too.
This wasn’t really something I spent much time thinking about until I actually tried it. I mean, I use the bedroom for sleeping! But there are so many benefits to flipping your mattress, like evening out the pressure put on each side of the bed to keep your mattress in the best shape it can be for as long as possible. Even vacuuming the bed is a great way to “clear the air” and help things to feel fresh again—the dust doesn’t stop falling when we turn in for the night. Sometimes, I’ll dab a few drops of rose essential oil onto a paper towel and toss that into the dryer with my bedsheets—with a non-scented dryer sheet, of course. And using color therapy in the bedroom, specifically with bedsheets, can help brighten the space with a little more energy until the sun starts shining on a daily basis again.
Can anyone really say they enjoy scouring the bathroom? It’s just one of those things that has to be done, but it can definitely be enjoyed afterward and leave the entire room feeling and smelling better than ever (I find that stress-reliever an extra bonus). I make an all-natural scrubbing paste with Kapha-pacifying essential oils for my spring clean on the bathtub, sinks, and even the toilet (antibacterial essential oils like tea tree and eucalyptus are great for this, and they burst right through any other bathroom odors). I also stick a lavender-scented paper towel in the dryer with my violet towels, which I switched out at the beginning of the Kapha season to help transition my way into the colder months. Violet is still a Kapha-pacifying color, so it helps to transition out of the Kapha season too.
When I found out about sticking essential oils in the vacuum, of all places, I was so excited to try it out. And it worked better than I expected. I mentioned vacuuming the mattress when I flip and spin it a few times a year, but I also take that powerful little machine to the curtains, couches, armchairs, baseboards, blinds, and windowsills. The vast majority of vacuums have to vent the air back out again after filtering it as much as possible. Using the scented paper towel again in the vacuum’s canister means even more of my favorite Kapha scents follow me wherever I clean. And it’s great for busting through the not-so-amazing smell the vacuum sometimes leaves behind.
Cleaning Floors and Windows
The ingredients in the all-natural cleaning solutions I use vary in small ways, but each solution starts with essentially the same basics—especially when using these essential oils. I really enjoy eucalyptus for the floors, which lends a bit of lightness when I’m walking over the just-mopped hardwood. I absolutely love this fresh mint window and mirror cleaner, and I’ll even alternate between peppermint and juniper essential oils. It smells amazing any time I’m walking in or out of my house, which I’ll be doing a lot more now that the weather’s starting to improve.
To keep my home clean and myself feeling balanced with the seasons, I flip my mattress and clean out the pantry and fridge a few times a year. The mopping, vacuuming, spraying, and scrubbing everywhere else, of course, gets done on a regular basis. The fun part comes in choosing my very favorites from among the Kapha-pacifying essential oils, some of which I only use during the Kapha season. I challenge you to mix and match a few to find new scent combinations. The possibilities for balancing your doshas and the anticipation of warmer days are seemingly endless this way. Once you’ve gone through your spring-cleaning burst, treat yourself to one of our all-natural, Ayurveda-inspired candies—like Head Over Hibiscus, Inner Glow, or Bing Balance. You deserve it after a day (or two) of hard work.