Essential Oils

How To Use Essential Oils As Natural Cleaning Products (Plus 11 Easy DIY Recipes)

Updated on 21 September 2020 • 5 minute read
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Why Use Essential Oils For Household Cleaning? 

Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant extracts containing several active compounds known to have antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. 

This makes them an excellent and safe option if you’re looking for natural cleaning products that get the job done.  

Use EOs like lemon, grapefruit, tea tree, oregano, and thyme as natural cleaners and disinfectants that can quickly eliminate mildew and grime without unnecessary exposure to harsh or harmful chemicals. 

Average household cleaners (including laundry detergent, dish soap, and dishwasher cleaners) often contain questionable ingredients, synthetic chemicals, and toxins known to cause health issues in the long run potentially. (1) 

 

The Best Essential Oils For All Your Natural Cleaning Needs 

Here are some of our favorite essential oils to use for cleaning: 

Citrus oils   

Citrus oils like lemon oil, grapefruit, bergamot, and wild orange oil are natural degreasers and potent antimicrobial agents. Their aromatic profile makes cleaning a more enjoyable task. 

 

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca) 

Tea tree is a potent antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and deodorizer. It’s protective against viruses, too, and can help boost immunity. It’s also great for getting rid of and preventing mildew. 

 

Lemongrass oil 

This fragrant oil is perfect for cleaning porous surfaces and deodorizing even the stinkiest of shoes. It’s also an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and strong disinfectant. 

 

Eucalyptus oil 

Eucalyptus is a strong disinfectant thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. Thanks to its strong scent, it also makes for an effective deodorizer. 

 

Rosemary oil 

The active chemicals in rosemary create strong disinfecting capabilities. It’s also antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral. 

 

Lavender oil 

Lavender oil may be one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy, and even though its lovely fragrance can be calming and soothing, it’s also a total germ and microbe buster. It also makes for a delicious smelling linen spray and air freshener. 

 

Other oils that are effective as cleaning solutions are: 

  • Peppermint oil 
  • Oregano oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Melissa oil 
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Clove oil 

 

How To Use Essential Oils For Cleaning 

You have 12 easy and quick cleaning recipes and hacks to help keep your home clean and fresh. Here’s are some natural cleaning supplies to have on hand to make the cleaning recipes below: 

  • Dark glass spray bottles 
  • Baking soda 
  • White vinegar 
  • Castile soap 
  • Non-toxic, clean dish soap or hand soap 
  • Minimum 70% rubbing alcohol 
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Coconut oil 

 

Safety Concerns 

EOs are strong. A little goes a long way, and you only need a few drops of essential oil to reap the full cleaning and disinfecting benefits. 

If you use them carefully and mindfully, there’s a low chance of adverse side effects. (If you have a known allergy to a specific plant or oil, avoid using it.) 

If you experience any allergic reactions to any essential oil, then discontinue use immediately. 

Be aware of the contraindications for each oil you use as some of them aren’t safe for babies, young children, pregnant women, or those with high blood pressure or epilepsy. 

The best essential oils are pure essential oils. 

EOs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it’s important only to choose the highest quality products. 

Always choose certified organic, therapeutic grade oils that are 100% unadulterated. 

Perform a patch test on a small area of your skin and wait 24-48 hours. Proceed with the oil if you do not react. (Especially if you have sensitive skin.) 

Important cleaning tip: Always use dark glass to store your essential oils and recipes. EOs break down plastic so harmful chemicals can leech onto your skin and home surfaces. 

 

12 DIY Cleaning Recipes & Hacks 

All-purpose cleaner spray 

Spray this cleaner on your countertops and kitchen surfaces to unleash its full cleaning power. The lovely smell will probably make you want to clean the counters more often. 🙂 

  • A large dark glass spray bottle 
  • 5 drops of a clean, non-toxic, and fragrance-free dish soap (We like Molly’s Suds and Puracy brands.) 
  • 7 drops lemon essential oil 
  • 7 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 7 drops rosemary essential oil 
  • 7 drops tea tree essential oil 
  • 2 cups water or just fill the spray bottle. 

 

Disinfecting spray 

This is a more targeted version of our cleaning spray. Note that it includes alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, so be mindful of which surfaces you use it on. (Pro tip – use it on high-touch areas like doorknobs and cabinet handles.) 

  • A large dark glass spray bottle 
  • 3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol (70% or above!) 
  • 7 drops clove essential oil 
  • 7 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil 
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil 
  • 2 cups water or just fill the spray bottle. 

 

Veggie Wash 

Fill a large dark glass spray bottle with 4 drops of any citrus oil plus ½ cup vinegar. (White vinegar is best.) Spray your veggies and rinse them off, and voilà!

 

Glass & Mirror Cleaner 

Fill a large dark glass spray bottle with 7 drops of grapefruit oil and 7 drops of peppermint oil, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of 70% or above rubbing alcohol. Fill the bottle with distilled water, give it a good shake, and you’re ready to go. 

 

Yoga mat cleaner

Grab a small dark glass spray bottle and add 2-3 drops of unscented dish soap, 5 drops of lemongrass oil, and 7 drops of lavender oil. Give it a good shake and spray it over your mat. Wipe it with a microfiber towel or cloth. 

 

Bathtub scrub cleaner 

  • 3 tablespoons of coarse salt 
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons of unscented natural dish soap
  • 1 cup of distilled water 
  • 5 drops of lemon oil 
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil 

Mix everything in a dark glass jar or bottle and scrub your tub. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing with water. 

(Pro tip: This mixture can also double as a cleaner for your stovetop and toilet bowl!

 

Floor cleaner 

Mix 10 drops of orange oil with 10 drops of thyme oil and add 1½ tablespoons of unscented natural dish soap. Mix with water as needed (At least 3-5 cups) in a bucket or full a spray mop with the solution. 

 

Air freshener 

Add 12-16 drops of the EOs of your choice to your diffuser. For an air purifier option, add tea tree, lemongrass, and lemon oils. This is a powerful blend that can clean the air of mold and other pathogens. 

   

Trash freshener

Deodorize your trash bin by adding 5-7 drops of your favorite EO to a cotton ball and place it in each bin. 

 

Vacuum freshener  

Add 5-7 drops of lavender, lemon, rosemary or any other EO to a cotton ball or piece of paper towel and keep it in the receptacle of your vacuum. This will not only give out a lovely smell when you use it, but it can also kill bacteria and other pathogens. 

 

Linen spray 

Fill a small, dark glass spray bottle with 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 7 drops of ylang-ylang oil, and 7 drops of tea tree oil. Add 3 tablespoons of witch hazel and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Spray over your bedding whenever you want to have an extra boost. 

 

 

 

References: 

(1) https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies

 

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