Cinnamon Shines In Food, But You Should Also Consider Cleaning With It

It can be difficult to source cleaning products that are both natural and effective. You don't want to fill your home with harmful chemicals, but natural products sometimes feel less adequate, especially when it comes to repelling pests. The answer to this cleaning dilemma might be hiding in your kitchen pantry. You may be familiar with cinnamon for the comforting, spiced flavor it brings to food dishes, but did you know that it can also be an effective cleaning agent and pest repellent? 

Using cinnamon as part of your cleaning regimen, especially in areas where you're vulnerable to ants, can be an easy and safe way to repel the insects. Cinnamon powder and essential oil contain a compound called trans-cinnamaldehyde, which, according to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, acts as a powerful deterrent to ants and other insects. If the insects inhale cinnamon powder, it can also potentially harm them. While less potent household cinnamon likely won't fully rid you of ants, especially if you have a bigger infestation, it can be used as an excellent preparative action in your daily cleaning. 

Cinnamon also has strong antibacterial properties, and, as a 2015 study in Nutrients noted, is effective at inhibiting the growth of pathogens that cause infectious diseases. Again, cinnamon won't be able to do the cleaning work all on its own, but if you combine the fragrant spice with other agents like baking soda and vinegar, you'll have a powerful natural cleaner.

How to use cinnamon in your home

If you're using cinnamon as an ant repellent, the easiest way to apply it is to sprinkle ground cinnamon along paths where you usually see ants. The strong smell will interrupt the scent trails that the ants rely on when foraging and will likely repel them from the area. You can also wipe down high ant traffic areas with cinnamon oil. Oil is especially useful for places where you don't want messy piles of powder sitting out. Any type of cinnamon will work, but loose powder is better suited for areas where you see ants frequently, such as known entry points, and can help stop them directly at the source. 

You can also infuse your mop water with cinnamon sticks or a few drops of cinnamon oil before you clean your floors, effectively erasing all traces of ants. If you want to make your own all-purpose cleaner infused with cinnamon you'll just need 1 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. This will serve as the base of your cleaner. From there, you can infuse cinnamon sticks into the solution, add a tablespoon of loose cinnamon powder, or add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. This cleaner can be used across the home and on many different surfaces — and, as a bonus, it smells fantastic!