Using essential oils for cleaning is a great way to maintain a healthy, environmentally friendly home. It is a 100% natural way to clean. Commercial cleaning products are often full of chemicals that you don’t want in your home. Sure – you want to remove bacteria and germs, but you don’t want to introduce more toxins into your house.
Essential oils can disinfect, brighten, kill mold and mildew and prevent bacteria from creeping in. The oils also smell great, which helps create a nurturing and healthy environment.
Given the many choices of oil brands available today, you have a lot of variety to work with! Luckily, basic essential oils for cleaning are quite commonly part of many starter kits. If you have a set of oils at home, chances are, you’re ready to switch to oils for your cleaning product needs.
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Bacteria is Everywhere in your Home
According to an article published on www.science.time.com, your house is a tiny ecosystem of bacterial life. It contains at least several billion bacteria, fungi and viruses. “Some of them are harmless, some are actually helpful.”
Essential oils have the ability to kill harmful bacteria and not kill the bacteria we need.
How to Switch to Natural Cleaning
The recommended essential oils should be used together with supporting natural products. You may wish to purchase some high-quality, amber glass spray bottles that you can use for your natural cleaning recipes.
Here’s how to put together your all-natural cleaning kit:
- Amber glass spray bottles (like these ones here)
- Fine mist spritz bottles (like these ones here)
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Distilled water
- Scrub Brushes (these ones here work amazing)
Now that you’re all set-up with the ingredients, onto the fun part! Which oils to use and how to make your first DIY essential oil cleaner recipes!
5 Best Essential Oils for Cleaning
Choosing which oil to use for cleaning depends a lot on your preference for smells. All of the oils featured in this list have antibacterial qualities. Some also have anti-fungal qualities as well, some have both.
The list below gives an overview on how to use your oils for cleaning. I’ll explain each oil, why it works for cleaning, and how you can quickly whip up a DIY recipe with it to try in your home.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is the first choice for a cleansing essential oil. It’s strongly antibacterial and anti-fungal, and with that, can fight bacteria, viruses, bugs and germs. It can also clean and prevent mold and mildew in the home. If you have an area that smells musky in bathrooms, kitchens or attics, grab this oil!
The following homemade cleaner is great for bathrooms, garbage bins, under sinks and on floors.
Tea Tree All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
- 16 oz spray bottle
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 25 drops tea tree
- Fill ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake to combine and shake before each use.
Substitute oils: eucalyptus, peppermint
2. Lemon Oil
Lemon oil (Citrus limon) leaves that fresh, citrus-y scent without any synthetic fragrances. Is my favorite oil for cleaning! It fights bacteria and fungi, lightens and brightens surfaces and smells amazing.
It works as an antimicrobial agent and removes dirt from around the home. Use it in an all-purpose cleaner spray for the kitchen or bathroom.
Lemon Scrub Paste
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
- 30 drops lemon
- Mix to form a paste. Use on counter tops, stove tops, or sinks to clean stubborn dirt. After use, rinse and wipe area with warm water.
Substitute oils: lemongrass, lime, grapefruit
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is one of the most versatile oils. It smells amazing and has tranquil healing properties as well, making it a nice essential oil to enjoy while cleaning your space.
Lavender has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It removes mold and mildew and prevents bacteria and fungus from re-forming.
Use its soothing scent in the bedroom to reduce stress and aid with sleep, all the while keeping your bedroom bacteria free. It’s also great to disinfect toys as it’s an oil that’s safe for kids.
Lavender Linen Spray
- 4 oz fine mist spritz bottle
- 3 oz distilled water
- 2 tbsp (=1 oz) vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 30 drops lavender
- Combine ingredients in a fine mist spritz bottle and shake well before each use. Spritz onto sheets, linens, fabrics, pillowcases, and mattresses.
Substitute oils: rosemary
4. Orange Oil
Orange oil helps to break down grease and product build up from sinks, counters and tubs, making it a fantastic oil to clean with.
Similar to Lemon, Orange oil fights bacteria and fungi. In fact, all citrus oils do.
Orange oil lightens and brightens surfaces and has a nice, clean smell. You can use either Sweet Orange or Wild Orange.
Orange Oil Grease Fighter Spray
- 16 oz spray bottle
- 2 cups of water
- 30 drops orange
- 20 drops grapefruit
- Fill spray bottle with water and add essential oils. Shake well before use.
Substitute oils: lemon, lime, lemongrass
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a strong essential oil. Its anti-bacterial qualities fight germs and pests in the home. It is also a great insect repellent (ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, ants, and cockroaches). It works wonders when warding off headaches and fever in the body.
Using 10 – 15 drops in a spray bottle and spraying into the nooks and cracks of your space where insects tend to rally can end the party and send the pests packing in a short time.
Peppermint Mirror/Window Cleaner or Faucet Polisher
- 16 oz amber glass spray bottle
- 1.5 cups distilled water
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp clear grain vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 25 drops peppermint
Substitute oils: eucalyptus, spearmint, wintergreen
How to Clean Your Whole House With Essential Oils
You can use essential oils to clean your whole house. Where and when you want to use them is completely up to you. Once you figure out the basics of what you can do, it will open more doors. Enjoy exploring different natural cleaning products and creating your own DIY cleaning recipes.
To get your started, here’s how I’d go about it:
The kitchen is one of the dirtiest places in the home. It is vulnerable to all kinds of bacteria and mold, which can creep into a lot of nooks and crannies. Essential oils for cleaning in the kitchen include Lemon, Thieves by Young Living, Tea tree, Lavender, Peppermint and Orange. Use them to replace your commercial all purpose cleaner and to disinfect surfaces in your home.
Cleanse the air in your living space with a diffuser and your favorite essential oil. Dust table tops and lamps with a gentle mist spritzer (Lavender). Since citrus oils are great for breaking down build up of products, they will do so on treated table tops. Therefore, it isn’t recommended to use citrus oils on treated table tops or as a fabric cleanser. You can spray couches and rugs with a gentle cleanser, such as Lavender, without worrying about a breakdown of fabric or polish.
Also, grab olive oil to polish up untreated wood. It will give it a nice shine and help prevent cracks.
Cleaning in the bathroom may require strong essential oils, such as Peppermint and Tea tree oil. Since skin and hair sheds and can attract tiny insects, spraying your bathroom with Peppermint oil after it has been cleaned is a great way to keep your bathroom clean longer and detract any pests. Spray around the bottom of the toilet and faucet and under the sink and edges of the floor and inside the garbage. Vinegar is your best friend for mirrors and polishing faucets.
Want More Essential Oils Cleaning Recipes?
When adopting a toxic-free cleaning regime into my daily household care I used Schoff’s book, Green Up Your Cleanup as a reference. Schoff provides easy-to-make recipes and simple strategies to ensure high standards of clean in your home. The point is to reduce the use of toxic chemicals. Schoff recommends boiling rags and scrubs after cleaning, so it’s like starting with a brand-new tool each time you clean.
I hope you were able to learn a bit more about creating a chemical free, natural cleaning regime for your home, and how to get started with essential oils for cleaning. Natural cleaning products are environmentally friendly, give you peace of mind, and get the job done without harsh chemicals.
As you gain experience and try out a few recipes, you will most definitely build your confidence and find new ways to use essential oils for cleaning in your home. When you do, I would love for you to share your favorite recipe with me.
I love when my home is fresh and clean. I think better. I feel better. I get more done and I relax more.