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10 of the Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Cleaning

Jennifer is passionate about essential oils. She loves using them as a natural alternative for cleaning and disinfecting her home.


Switching from conventional home cleaners to using essential oils for cleaning can be life-changing if you want to live more naturally and avoid dangerous chemicals in your home. You'll not only save loads of money on cleaning supplies, but you'll also be reducing the toxins that chemical-based cleaners leave behind. And your home will smell amazing!

Even the toughest messes can often be cleaned with the help of essential oils. Additionally, they aid in deodorization and the eradication of viruses and bacteria. By experimenting with some of the ones listed below, you can decide which oils smell the best to you. Your home will smell fantastic once you've found the ideal mixture!

Which Essential Oils are Best for Cleaning?

  • Tea Tree
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Bergamot
  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme

How to Use Essential Oils for Cleaning

  • Use them undiluted to get rid of difficult stains. Simply apply a few drops of oil to a microfibre cloth and scrub the surface clean.
  • Dilute them with water and vinegar for all-purpose cleaning. Just combine a few drops of oil in a spray bottle with equal amounts of water and vinegar.
  • Use an essential oil diffuser to eliminate offensive odours, reduce airborne germs and prevent mould formation.

Why Household Cleaners Are Bad For Your Health

Did you know that using household cleaners could be harmful to your health? Particularly if they are not used properly. And it's not just true for household cleaners. When used over an extended period of time, any product with added fragrance can be damaging to your health. Even products advertised as "green" or "natural" may contain ingredients that can cause health problems.

According to the American Lung Association, many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful ingredients like ammonia and bleach. VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches.

Important Information About Mixing and Storing Essential Oils

Glass is the best container for mixing and storing essential oils. Pure essential oils can be very potent, and some oils can dissolve plastic. Because glass is impervious to essential oils, it cannot be damaged. The best thing about using glass is how easy it is to clean!

Specifically, amber glass bottles or cobalt blue bottles are recommended for storing essential oils. This is because essential oils can degrade and lose their fragrance as well as their therapeutic properties when exposed to heat and sunlight. Storing essential oils and cleaning products made with them in darker stained glass containers will extend their shelf life.


1. All-Purpose Cleaner (Any Essential Oil)

When you use commercial cleaners to clean your home, you are spreading chemicals all over the place. The chemicals are left everywhere—on your floors, counters, table, bathtub, toilet, and so on. This is especially dangerous if you have children or pets in your home.

Making your own natural cleaner is actually very simple and inexpensive. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water (give or take depending on how strong you want it) and add essential oils. The amount of essential oil you use will depend on how strong you want your cleaner to be. Begin with a small amount (a few drops) and gradually increase it as needed.

Citrus essential oils (such as lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit) make the best cleaning solutions, but you can use any oils you want. Experiment with different combinations and use the oils that smell the best to you. They will leave your house smelling wonderful.

2. Glass Cleaner (Any Essential Oil)

This is similar to an all-purpose cleaner, but it deserves its own spot on the list. Simply use a little less vinegar than you would with the all-purpose cleaner, and avoid using too much oil because it can leave streaks. In comparison to an all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner should be gentle.

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3. Wood Polish (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Etc.)

If your wood furniture has become dull and faded, essential oils can be used to bring it back to life and make it look new again. Combine olive oil and vinegar and add a few drops of essential oils. Water should not be used for this because it will damage the wood. Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, lavender, and cedarwood are the best essential oils for cleaning and restoring wood.

4. Air Freshener (Most Essential Oils)

It's important to know that if you are using synthetic air fresheners in your home or car, you may be increasing your risk of developing some very serious health problems. The chemicals found in synthetic air fresheners can accumulate in your body over time and have been linked to lung damage, cancer, and a variety of other serious health issues.

Essential oils not only have strong aromatic properties, but they can also effectively eliminate bad odours rather than just masking them. Furthermore, essential oils promote good respiratory function and influence positive moods and emotions. The most convenient way to use essential oils as an air freshener is to use a diffuser, but if you don't have one, you can mix some essential oils with alcohol and filtered water and spray it around your home.

5. Mold Killer (Tea Tree, Cinnamon, Oregano, Etc.)

Tea tree, cinnamon, oregano, basil, thyme, and clove essential oils have strong anti-fungal properties and are very effective at killing mould. You can use these oils in your diffuser to keep mould at bay, or you can dilute them with vinegar and spray them directly on the mould.


6. Bathroom Cleaner (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Etc.)

Cleaning your bathroom usually entails inhaling hazardous chemicals and scrubbing on your hands and knees. Using essential oils and a few other simple ingredients can effectively remove those difficult-to-remove stains, leaving your bathroom clean and bright without putting your health at risk. Hard water stains will be removed much faster and easier with vinegar and essential oils than with most store-bought cleaners.

To make your own bathroom cleaner, combine liquid castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, and water, as well as several drops of lemon oil. Lime, orange, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender, tea tree, peppermint, oregano, clove, arborvitae, and cedarwood could also be added.

7. Bad Odor Eliminator (Lavender, Tea Tree, Bergamot, Etc.

Essential oils have anti-bacterial properties and can help you remove odours from your home caused by must, smoke, and pets. Lavender, tea tree, bergamot, peppermint, wintergreen, thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, sage, and cedarwood, cinnamon, jasmine, rose, and lemongrass are the best essential oils for odour removal. You can diffuse these oils to eliminate odours, or combine them with alcohol or vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray around your home.

8. Degreaser (Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils are excellent for cleaning and removing grease and oil stains. Add a few drops of lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit essential oils to a small amount of liquid dish soap and water. Spray it on the stain and scrub with a cloth or sponge. You'll be amazed at how well it works.


9. Carpet Cleaner (Lavender, Tea Tree, Citrus, Etc.)

Commercial carpet cleaners are not only expensive, but they also leave chemicals in your carpet or rug. It can be especially hazardous to the health of small children and pets in the home. Using homemade, all-natural carpet cleaners is just another great way of reducing harmful chemicals in your home. Essential oils are also great for protecting the fibres in your carpet, lengthening its life.

Use baking soda, vinegar, a small amount of castile soap (optional), and a few drops of essential oils to make homemade carpet cleaner. You can use rosemary, peppermint, thyme, lavender, tea tree, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, and tangerine.

10. Permanent Marker, Crayon, and Gum Remover (Lemon Oil)

Lemon oil can be used to remove permanent marker, crayon, gum, and all other kinds of gunk from your walls, floors, or furniture. Scrub the area with a few drops of lemon oil on a cloth or rag. You may need to repeat this a few times to get it all off.

More Essential Oil Uses

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about essential oil uses, read 20 of the Best Essential Oil Uses That Are Life-Changing.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Jennifer C


Jennifer C (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 05, 2018:

Vinegar is great for removing hard water so I bet it would work amazing for the shower. It actually works better than most cleaners I find. I clean with vinegar and water mixed with citrus essential oils like lemon, lime, and orange. I love the smell it leaves behind and I feel better knowing its safe. I'm hooked!

Jennifer C (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 05, 2018:

Thanks, Layne. Yeah, they make me sick too. I can't stand air fresheners. Essential oils actually work way better for removing odors. They smell better too!

Liz Westwood from UK on December 05, 2018:

This gives some great ideas for safer cleaning. I had heard vinegar mentioned before as a good shower screen cleaner.

Laynie H from Bend, Oregon on December 04, 2018:

Synthetic air fresheners give me migraines—crazy to read they can be carcinogenic. I really love your wood polish idea. Nice article.

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