Welcome to April, month of liveliness! From plants to bursts of creativity, it’s the month where everything buds into full bloom. It’s also the month that hosts a festival just as warm and sprightly: Qing Ming! Named after the Chinese words for “pure brightness,” the day celebrates the beginning of April with a respectful acknowledgement of gone lives and a cheerful welcome to new ones .
Aside from the traditional Qing Ming customs of tomb-sweeping and kite-flying, why not bring a little cleanness and brightness into your home, too? This month, start Qing Ming by cleaning and refreshing your home! A natural lineup of NOW essential oils are here to help.
Refresh the Air
The quickest, easiest way to revitalise a living space is to freshen its air! Being one of the warmer and drier months of the year, April is the best time to push those windows open. Letting outside breeze into your room helps improve air quality by encouraging air movement. It also lets sunlight in, which helps boost vitamin D levels and trigger the release of serotonin, the “happiness hormone” that fosters good mood and better focus .
The habit of ventilating every so often paired with natural room fragrances gets the home ready for further cleaning! For extra freshness, run a few drops of herby essential oils like Peppermint or Lemongrass in an Essential Oil Diffuser. You could also go for a premade essential oil blend like the NOW Foods Clear the Air Oil Blend. Worried about insect bites after opening your windows? Try the Bug Ban Oil Blend that repels insects with natural essential oils like citronella and rosemary.
Or, mix your favourite essential oil with water to make an all-natural room spray—choose a floral scent like Bergamot or Blue Tansy to spritz onto faux flower decorations for a long-lasting smell plus room decor!
Some other tips to boost your indoor air quality include running a dehumidifier from time to time to prevent molds; cross-ventilating by opening two windows facing each other; and changing filters in air conditioners, fans, and ventilation hoods more often .
No More Odour: Tips for Deodorising Naturally
Let’s face it—some places in our homes require more than just an aroma diffuser to smell as nicely. Adding fragrances to cover up these stinks can worsen the odour if the source of the smell isn’t addressed properly. In this case, choose citrus—an all-rounder that does both odour-eating and fragrancing! Citrus fruits are known to be one of the best natural deodorisers with their strong, refreshing scents and high acidity.
And they’re safe to use in any home space, from fridges to bathrooms! Here are some easy-to-follow deodorising tips by area, using NOW Foods citrus essential oils and natural ingredients easily found around the house.
Kitchen Sink. Decomposing food scraps are usually the source of smelly kitchen sinks, especially in hot weather. Remember to run boiling-hot water down the drain from time to time to flush down accumulated grime. For instant deodorizing, mix 5 drops of NOW Foods Lemon Essential Oil and Clove Essential Oil each with 1 cup of baking soda; sprinkle in and near the drain; and pour 1-2 cups of heated white vinegar to let the fizzy mixture dissolve the debris. Then rinse with cold water .
Refrigerator. Worried that artificially manufactured deodorisers might contaminate your food? Make an all-natural fridge odour-eater by filling a small jar with baking soda, dropping up to 10 drops of NOW Foods Lime Essential Oil on top, and covering the top with a cheesecloth. Place the jar in the corner of your fridge for up to 30 days. Of course, other citrus essential oils like Grapefruit, Tangerine, and Orange work just as well!
Bathrooms. Try cleaning washing bowls, counters, and toilet covers with an essential oil disinfectant cleaner! All you need is 3 cups of water, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 10 drops of NOW Foods Lemon Essential Oil mixed in a spray bottle . Or, make an essential oil toilet spray by combining ¼ cup of distilled water with a teaspoon of vodka and 10 drops of NOW Foods Orange, Tangerine, and Peppermint Essential Oil each (totalling 30 drops) . A couple spritzes inside the toilet before flushing does the job!
Waste Disposals & Bins. In garbage bins, dampen a cotton ball with 4-5 drops of NOW Foods Lemon Essential Oil and place it beneath the liners. For fresher air in garbage disposal areas, mix 1 cup of water with 10-15 drops of NOW Foods Tangerine Essential Oil in a spray bottle to make a deodorising room mist.
For nasty surfaces that won’t do with simple water sprays, try these 3 homemade deep-cleanser recipes:
Soft Scrub for Grimy Surfaces 
This scrub works perfectly on surfaces in need of tough rubs, including but not limited to oily stovetops, grimy tiles, bathtubs, and sinks.
1 ¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup liquid castile soap
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
15 drops NOW Foods Lemon Essential Oil
15 drops NOW Foods Orange Essential Oil
Instructions & Use:
- In a glass bowl, mix all ingredients into a paste.
- Add the paste onto a cleaning sponge, and lightly scrub the area being cleaned.
- Let the paste sit for a while, and rinse with clean water.
2-Ingredient Sticky Residue Remover 
Struggling to remove gum, sticker glue residue, or crayon marks from walls and countertops? Worry no more! Here’s a gunk removing oil that uses just two all-natural ingredients. The secret here is the antibacterial Lemongrass Oil that loosens the goo while leaving the area smelling fresh and clean.
18 drops NOW Foods Lemongrass Essential Oil
Instructions & Use:
- In a container, add the ingredients and swirl to mix.
- To use, add desired amount to the area being cleaned.
- Let the remover sit for 5 minutes, and use a wet cloth and/or scraper to remove the sticky residue. Rinse the surface if needed.
Toilet Cleaner Bombs for 2-Minute Cleaning 
Dreadful toilet cleaning is made easier than ever with these fizzy cleaner bombs! Just pop one into the toilet bowl and wait for it to do the work for you. It’s all thanks to the Citric Acid that works against the mold and inhibits bacterial growth, along with the disinfectant properties of eucalyptus and lemon blended in a bottle of NOW Foods Lemon & Eucalyptus Oil Blend.
1 cup baking soda
¼ cup NOW Foods Citric Acid
½ tsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. hydrogen peroxide
30-40 drops NOW Foods Lemon & Eucalyptus Oil Blend
Instructions & Use:
- In a bowl, mix baking soda and NOW Foods Citric Acid. In a separate container, combine vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
- Slowly pour the vinegar & hydrogen peroxide mixture into the bowl of baking soda and citric acid. Stir until the mixture clumps together.
- Add the NOW Foods Lemon & Eucalyptus Oil Blend and mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spoon, place small scoops of the cleaning mixture onto the sheet.
- Let the tabs dry overnight. When completely dry, store in an airtight container.
- To use, drop one tab into the toilet bowl. Let it bubble for a few minutes, and gently scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet to finish.
 Recipe adapted from https://hungryfoodie.com/diy-soft-scrub-cleaner/
 Recipe adapted from https://blog.simplyearth.com/diy-sticky-residue-remover/
 Recipe adapted from https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/fizzy-toilet-freshening-bombs/