This method involves diluting an essential oil or blend, generally in distilled water, shaking well, and spritzing the mixture onto the animal, wound, location of injury, or application site. This method can also be used to spritz leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, sprouts, and other foods when we would like an animal to ingest certain essential oils. Sunshine in a Bottle is an excellent blend to spray onto foods and greens!
Although we are taught the essential oils and water do not mix, this is an effective method to disperse a light and even amount of essential oil over a large area or onto an animal that is difficult to apply oils to. This method will generally include various bug repellent sprays, odor sprays, skin sprays, as well as the Feathered Blend NEAT and Feathered Plus NEAT recipes.
The oils should be added to a glass spray bottle, and not a plastic one, especially if they are to be stored for more than a day or two. Essential oils can degrade plastics, so the least amount of contact an oil can make with plastic, the better. The plastic tube and sprayer components seem to do just fine, however, I try to avoid entirely plastic spray bottles as much as possible.
There are various recipes "out there" that include a dispersal agent, such as a soap, shower gel, or cleaning solution, to be added to the water spray to help the essential oil and water mix more completely, and for a longer period of time, before separating. I personally find that these items are unnecessary, and that a simple good shake of the bottle prior to use, is quite effective in mixing plain solutions.
We are also taught that if we want to drive an oil into the skin, that applying a water compress can help to do that. Additionally, we are told that if you need to "take the heat away" from an applied oil, or "rinse" it from an eye - to not use water and use a diluting fatty carrier oil. Many people have expressed concern that by applying a spray application of essential oils in water, that we would make them more intense. I'll set your mind at ease. Because we are applying these oils with the idea of absorption in mind - it would actually be beneficial for the water to drive the oils "into the animal." Furthermore, the oils are generally being used at quite a low concentration, so water enhancing the absorption is actually a good thing!
As for concerns of intensity, we are simply applying the oils in this manner, not trying to calm an irritated essential oil application site. So, we do not need to avoid water. For example, if a dog had reddened skin from an improper essential oil application - it would be completely inappropriate to use a water spritzer on the area - whether there were oils in it or not. In this situation, dilution at the site of application with a fatty carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) is the correct choice. Likewise - if an essential oil accidently came in contact with eye tissue - spritzing it with water would be the wrong choice!
When spritzing an animal such as a bird, I have found that they blink their eyes very effectively. When I first used spritzers in birds, I tried to avoid their head and eyes, and aimed only for their feet. The birds quickly showed me who was in control of where the spray landed, and they often made sure that it came in contact with their head, face, and mouth. Unless there is neurologic damage or functional issues with the blink reflex, normal and proper misting towards an animal would rarely, if ever, result in eye irritation.
Situations in which Water Misting is highly useful include the following: misting birds with Feathered Blend NEAT or Feathered Plus NEAT, misting large proud flesh wounds in horses, misting wounds (such as hot spots in dogs) in which ointments would provide too much moisture, misting into the air when diffusion is needed, misting bedding, fabrics, or other areas in need of odor control, and the list goes on and on.
animalEO products will state if they are appropriate for Water Misting, and when and how you should use them with this application. Some of our favorite ways to use animalEO with water misting include:
When spritzing a bird or small animal, I would consider what it would feel like if I sprayed myself in the face or eyes with the mist, and I often do just that, to test out what I have created. After all, I would never expect that I should be able to spritz a bird with a solution, that I cannot spray directly into my own face.
It is always wisest to start with very low concentrations of oils in the water mist. 1 drop of essential oil in 4 ounces (120 mL) of water is a very low concentration, on that is unlikely to cause discomfort or a detoxification response in even the most sensitive of species. When a range of drops is recommended for a product - please start with the lowest recommendation or even less initially. You can always start with this lower concentration, and then add an additional drop into your solution later. Use this next "more concentrated" solution for a few applications, and then increase the strength again in several stages. This is generally how we will "titrate" a concentration to a specific animal or species.
A great rule of thumb to remember is "While we can always use more, you can never take away what you have already applied!"