Essential oils may be great for aromatherapy, but can they really be used to help clean your home?
In fact, lemon, tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and peppermint essential oils are all naturally antibacterial, whereas many more, like orange, pine, and eucalyptus, are often major ingredients in less-natural cleaning products.
For me, the initial purchase of a bunch of essential oils was absolutely worth it; only a few drops are ever used at once, and they have plenty of uses around the home. Here are just a few of the ways you can clean and freshen your house with them.
1. Create Your Own, Cheaper Air Freshener
- This is an obvious one, but it’s very useful. Pick your favorite scent and put it in a spray bottle with some distilled water. Spray as necessary. I like to spray a lavender freshener on linens.
1. Repel Pests
- Put a drop of oil on a cotton ball, and scatter a bunch of these around your kitchen. Peppermint oil repels mice and spiders, while lavender, citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary oils repel flying insects.
2. Freshen Clothes
- Either put a nice scent, like lavender oil, on cotton balls and put them in your dresser, or create a sachet out of rice, a few drops of oil, and spare cloth.
- You can also put a few drops of your favorite oils onto a damp cloth and throw it in the dryer as an alternative to scented dryer sheets.
3. Take Deep Breaths
- Eucalyptus oil in the shower, in your humidifier, or just in a pan of simmering water on the stove can help you breathe easier.
4. Kill or Prevent Mold
- Mix tea tree oil and water and spray onto the affected area to get rid of mold and mildew. Let it sit and then wipe it away.
5. Deodorize Trashcans
- Mix hot, soapy water with some eucalyptus oil and swirl it in the bottom of your trash can if it needs a freshened smell.
6. Repel Foot Odors
- Use basil or lavender oil in your shoes. I like to put a cotton ball with basil oil on it in my shoe caddy.
7. Make Your Dishes Sparkle
- Put a few drops of lemon oil into your dishwasher before running it.
8. Create a Dry Wash
- If you have non-leather upholstery, you can freshen it with oils combined with baking soda. Dust it on and then vacuum it off. Lemon, peppermint, lavender, and ylang-ylang oils work best.
- Combine baking soda with the powerful germicide eucalyptus to destroy dust mites on your mattress or your child’s stuffed animals.
9. Repel Pet Odors
- Mop up strong pet odors with hot water, a cleanser, and either lemongrass or geranium oils.
10. Keep the Toilet Fresh
- Add drops of tea tree oil to your toilet tank so every time someone flushes, it fills the bathroom with a nice scent. It also cleans the inside of the toilet.
11. Get Gum Off
- Lemon and orange oils can get rid of many different sticky materials. (Launder immediately after using it on clothing to avoid stains.)
12. Clean Wooden Cutting Boards
- Use the powerful thyme essential oil to destroy germs.
And there are plenty more ideas out there! I have to admit that whenever I see a new cleaning tip that includes essential oils, I get a little excited. They can make your house smell great in no time!