Most bug repellents smell disgusting, don't you think?
Today we make our own and it smells delightful!
Citronella oil comes straight from a plant and as an essential oil it has a very distinctive scent. You cannot rub the oil directly on your body, but you CAN use it pure in a carrier oil for protection on every inch of your skin. Combined with bug repelling (and fresh smelling!) grapefruit and lemongrass, you have the start to a great little lotion.
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- Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Citronella Essential Oil (Buy all 3 as a collection for less than $20 HERE)
- Coconut Oil
- Cheap, Fragrance-free Lotion (optional)
- Olive Oil (optional)
You can use pure coconut oil or make an olive oil whip like I did HERE for my 'Beach in a Jar' lotion. However, for this particular mix, I decided to go the bit more inexpensive route because we need to use this lotion in great quantity everyday. Pure coconut oil would get VERY expensive.
1. Start with about 1/2 cup of coconut oil. NOTE: In Pennsylvania, I can get away with storing coconut oil in the pantry. In Puerto Rico, I have to store it in the fridge or else it is completely liquid and can go rancid quickly. If your coconut oil arrives in the mail as a liquid (shake the jar and you can hear it), pop it in the fridge to harden it up. When you are ready to USE the oil, use a spoon to "shave" the solid oil into your mixing vessel. Alternatively, you can let the oil sit out at room temp to soften up. In the photo below, you can see the progression of oil from solid shavings to liquid. Also note that my current "room temp" is about 81-84 degrees.
2. Once the coconut oil is liquefied, add in 10 drops of citronella oil, 15 drops of lemongrass and 5 drops of grapefruit. You can adjust based on which scents you prefer in the trio. I like the sharpness of lemongrass.
3. Once the oils are combined, add 1 cup of regular, fragrance-free lotion to cut the cost. Stir thoroughly or use a mixer to whip mixture.
4. Store in the fridge in warm climates, where the mixture will harden slightly, but still maintain a "spreadable" texture.
If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!
Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.
Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden. Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!
Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, POWELL's! (!!!!) Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBound, Alibris, Glose.com, The Book Depository and Walmart.com. Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there.
If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!