This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, shows us how valuable citrus essential oils are when it comes to cleaning dried-on paint, dried-on gunk or sticky stuff.  

Jill had a mirror that she had gotten on Facebook Marketplace. The previous owner had tried to paint the frame and masked off the mirror with regular masking tape. Then they abandoned the project and left the tape on … for years.  

The tape was completely dried on, along with excess paint on the mirror. It was a mess, and even scraping it with a razor blade was difficult. Jill’s concern was damaging the mirror.  

Even though she had gotten it for a bargain price, a large beveled mirror is valuable. Jill didn’t want to risk scratching or gouging the glass or damaging the bevel.  

Citrus oils to the rescue! Jill tells us that any of the essential oils in the citrus family; lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, are great for eating through dried-on paint or tough, gunky, sticky spots, especially on glass.

Jill used lemon oil on the mirror, dripping a few drops on the spots that needed cleaning. Then she smoothed it with her finger, spreading it as evenly as possible.  And, she waited.  

About five minutes later, she checked it. The paint spots that didn’t even want to come off with a razor blade, wiped right off. The spots where the masking tape was dried on peeled right off. A little extra rubbing took off the adhesive it left behind. Within a minute or two, the mirror was totally clean.

Next, Jill took the lemon oil to the outside of her workshop door, where someone had painted the door, but never did the proper clean-up on the glass. It had been that way for years.

Jill drizzled the oil down the side of the glass and, again, spread it with her finger. This time the paint was starting to melt as soon as she touched it. Still, she let it all sit for about five minutes. When she came back, the paint wiped right away.

Jill says all of the citrus essential oils will work like this, and the bonus is that they all smell really good!

There are many brands of essential oils available. Jill finds many of hers on Amazon.  

She says the citrus oils are generally very affordable. Jill also says that you can add them to traditional cleaners, like glass cleaners, to give them an extra boost. She says you’ll find lots of ways to put these all-natural cleaners to work around your house.


To watch Jill take you through the process, just click on the video player above.

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