Mosquitoes. I hate those little bugs but oh how they love me. They either view me as their queen and have to be near me or they view me as a very yummy, irresistible snack. I also have a knack of attracting spiders, gnats, flies, really, any bug outside (or inside) will make it’s way to me for a quick snack or to just say hi. In the hopes of becoming slightly less visible to my insect friends, I decided to make a bug repellent. I was hoping to find a good, allergen free bug repellent this year, as I was unable to find one last year; alas, this was not the case. The closest thing I found was the Beat It product! This product may work very well for some of you with less sensitive contact reactions; we unfortunately cannot tolerate some of the essential oils used in the product. Unplugged Sunday posted a great recipe for DIY bug repellent and that is the recipe I will be using. Making toiletry/personal care items is usually the safest way to protect my family from unnecessary allergen exposures.
Figuring out essential oils (EOs) is always the most difficult part of a recipes for me. I have many essential oils in my cabinet. Occasionally I ask myself this question: Which of my essential oils go well together? Mountain Rose Herbs does a great job of listing complementary essential oils on the “Learn More” tab for each individual essential oil. I decided to compile a list from the information on their site and wanted to include it here. All of the EOs listed below can be used as insecticides:
- Cajeput – goes with lavender, rosemary
- Cedarwood – goes with eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary
- Lavender – goes with cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree
- Eucalyptus – goes with cedarwood, lavender, peppermint, rosemary
- Peppermint – goes with eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, tea tree
- Tea Tree – goes with eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary
- Rosemary – goes with cedarwood, eucaluptus, lavender, peppermint, tea tree
- “Double boiler” – pot and a glass bowl
- Fine strainer
- Silicone Spatula
- Glass measuring cup with spout
- Glass bowl, or a second glass measuring cup
- Chopstick, for stirring
- 9-2oz cosmetic tins or jars with lids
- 1 cup dried calendula
- 1 cup fresh rosemary - I didn’t have any uncontaminated rosemary so I left it out this time
- Enough olive and coconut oil to cover herbs (as carrier oils)
- I used about 1 1/4 cup of oils
- 4 tablespoons kokum butter
- 2 tablespoon candelilla wax
- 20 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
- 20 drops organic Cajeput essential oil
- 10 drops organic Lavender essential oil
- 10 drops organic Eucaluptus essential oil
- 5 drops organic Tea Tree essential oil
- Put water in your pot and set the bowl on top. Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down until the water is lightly simmering.
- Put 1 cup dried calendula into your bowl. Pour in enough olive oil and melted coconut oil to cover your herbs (I used more coconut oil than olive; 2 part coconut / 1 part olive oil).
- Cover your bowl and let the water simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not overheat the oil or allow the water the boil.
- Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup. This would be a great place to use your spatula. - I skipped this step and really wish I hadn’t. Oil was EVERYWHERE!
- Strain the oil into your second glass measuring cup. Press the herbal infused oil with the spatula to expel as much oil as possible. I ended up with 1 1/4 cup of herbal infused oil.
- Put the oil back into the “double boiler” with the kokum butter and candelilla wax. Melt over low heat. Stirring occasionally. - I sat the glass measuring cup into the pan to let the butter and wax melt.
- Once the butter and wax are melted, turn off the heat and add your essential oils. Stir gently.
- Pour the liquid into your cosmetic containers and allow the salve to set up. Once the mixture is completely cooled, cover with tight fitting lids and store in a cool, dry place.