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9 Useful Cleaning Hacks That Prove The Power Of Essential Oils

cleaning with essential oils - woman's hands putting essential oil into brown glass bottle/blond woman dusting a storage cabinet.

Cleaning With Essential Oils: The Best Oils & How To Use Them

A while back, I posted a little refresher about the benefits of essential oils that didn’t include a lot of information about cleaning with essential oils. I was able to cover the basics of how to use essential oils to improve your health and wellness, but because I wanted to keep the post (relatively) short, there was plenty of great information I wasn’t able to include.

That post barely scratched the surface of using essential oils for cleaning, which is one of my very favorite uses for them! So today I thought I would give that topic my full attention.

In today’s post, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about cleaning your house with essential oils. You’ll learn about the various benefits of cleaning with essential oils (there are several!), and I’ll also share some of my best cleaning tips and recipes for homemade essential oil cleaners.

Related: This Is One Of The Most Versatile Cleaning Ingredients You Can Buy

cleaning with essential oils -- blond woman dusting a storage cabinet with a brown glass spray bottle in one hand
My home always feels and smells cleaner when I combine essential oils with my efforts.

The Benefits Of Cleaning With Essential Oils

There are many reasons to consider cleaning with essential oils, not least of which is their effectiveness. Many essential oils have grease-cutting or stain-fighting abilities, while others have antimicrobial properties that make them a safe, natural alternative to the chemicals found in commercial cleaners and disinfectants.

Another benefit of cleaning with essential oils is that it’s cost-effective. When you make your own essential oil cleaners, you’ll spend less money in the long run than you would if you were paying for expensive store-bought cleaners.

Whether you’re interested in a more natural or less expensive way to clean your home, using essential oils for cleaning is a great way to do it!

Cleaning With Essential Oils - putting essential oils into a spray bottle of homemade cleaner with oils and white vinegar
It’s a simple way to add more cleaning and disinfecting power to your homemade products.

The Best Essential Oils For Cleaning

There are a LOT of essential oils that can be useful in cleaning applications, but since we don’t have all day, I thought I’d save us some time by highlighting my top 5 favorite essential oils for cleaning. This list is a great place to start if you’re new to cleaning with essential oils or making your own DIY cleaners.

  1. Tea Tree Essential Oil – Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, making it very useful for fighting germs on just about any surface. It’s handy to use during cold and flu season to keep doorknobs, countertops, and other frequently touched surfaces free of germs.
  2. Lavender Essential OilLavender oil has antimicrobial properties and its aroma has a relaxing effect. Use it to keep fabrics and textiles around your house clean and fresh.
  3. Lemon Essential Oil – Lemon oil is antibacterial and can cut through greasy messes with ease. It’s a great choice for cleaning jobs in the kitchen, like your stovetop, oven, and even your floors.
  4. Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint oil also has antibacterial qualities, and its minty fresh scent has an invigorating effect. This oil makes a great all-purpose cleaner.
  5. Simple Clean Blend – This blend from my Essentials by Jillee line features lemon, cedarwood, lemongrass, balsam fir, cypress, sweet orange, pine, and tea tree essential oils. It’s great for cleaning, and you can also use it in a diffuser to purify the air in your home!

9 Easy Ways To Use Essential Oils For Cleaning

Cleaning with essential oils Homemade dusting spray being sprayed on a wood surface
Using my own homemade cleaners makes me feel good.

1. Make DIY Cleaning Recipes

I’ve used essential oils extensively in many of my homemade cleaning recipes, not only because they’re effective, but because they leave behind a naturally fresh, clean scent too. Learn how to make some of my favorite DIY cleaners with essential oils at these links:

cleaning with essential oils - lemon essential oil being sprinkled on magic marker stain on a surface

2. Remove Permanent Marker

You can use lemon essential oil to remove permanent markers stains from many surfaces. Just place a drop of lemon oil on the marker stain, then use a cloth to rub the mark away. (Don’t be afraid to use a bit of elbow grease if necessary!)

3. Clean Your Dishwasher

Lemon oil can help dissolve grease and gunk buildup that may be lurking inside your dishwasher. Just add a couple of drops of lemon oil to your dishwasher detergent and run a load as usual!

cleaning with essential oils - hand spritzing essential oil solution onto sofa pillows to freshen them

4. Freshen Air & Fabrics

Lavender essential oil is great for eliminating odors in the air or on fabrics. Make a simple freshening spray by filling an 8-ounce spray bottle with distilled water and 10-20 drops of lavender oil. Spritz into the air or onto fabric for instant freshness.

5. Freshen Carpets

Essential oils can do wonders for musty-smelling carpets. Combine a cup of baking soda with 10 drops of lemon or lavender oil, (or mix and match if you like!), then sprinkle the baking soda essential oil cleaner onto your carpets. Let it sit for an hour, then vacuum the area thoroughly.

cleaning with essential oils - hand sprinkling lemon essential oil into an open box of baking soda
One of the best things I’ve done for my refrigerator!

6. Eliminate Fridge Odors

Add a few drops of lemon oil to a fresh box of baking soda and place it in your fridge or freezer. The baking soda will absorb food odors and replace it with the fresh scent of lemon.

7. Deter Pests

Most insects and rodents avoid the smell of the cedarwood, pine, and tea tree oils in Simple Clean, which makes it a great natural pest deterrent. Place a few drops of Simple Clean oil blend onto a cotton ball and place it inside your cabinets to keep pests at bay.

Related: How To Get Rid Of Ants And Keep Them Away

cleaning with essential oils - woman's hands putting essential oil onto a cotton ball for a stinky shoe
A few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball is a great way to experience their benefits in a variety of situations.

8. Deodorize Smelly Shoes

Have a pair of smelly shoes? Use lemon oil to get rid of those unpleasant odors! Place a few drops of lemon oil onto a couple of cotton balls and put them into the offending shoes. Let them sit overnight, and the shoes will smell much fresher in the morning.

9. Scrub Away Soap Scum

Simple Clean can make short work of soap scum in your tub or shower. Just sprinkle some baking soda onto a damp sponge and add a few drops of Simple Clean. Give your tub or shower a scrub and watch the soap scum disappear!

If your shower needs a bit more help than baking soda and Simple Clean can provide, try my DIY Shower Cleaner. Dish soap and white vinegar make a powerful shower and tub cleaner that can break down even the thickest layers of grime. (After that, regular applications of baking soda and Simple Clean should keep it ship-shape!)

cleaning with essential oils - putting lavender essential oil into a small brown glass bottle/hand holding a small brown spray bottle

3 Bonus Tips For Cleaning With Essential Oils

  1. Use Glass. When making cleaners with essential oils in them, store them in glass bottles or containers. High concentrations of essential oils can degrade plastic, but they won’t affect glass.
  2. Use Distilled Water. Whenever you’re adding water to essential oils, use distilled water if possible. It has fewer impurities and will give your cleaners a longer shelf-life.
  3. Shake Them Up. Always shake your homemade cleaners before each use, especially if they contain essential oils. Oil and water will separate over time, but a quick shake before each use will take care of it!

Do you have any tips or tricks for cleaning with essential oils?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • Great ideas. I use the diy air freshener tip a lot . I tried the disinfectant to use after sickness recently. It worked great.

  • Hey Jillee! I just love you and your down to earth tips. I live in Australia so, in some instances, have to consult Professor Google to find what is the equivalent product here. I am wondering what you could suggest to remove foundation from inside of car doors? I always think that my hands are cleaned properly before going out but still there are those sneaky little fingerprints waiting to implant themselves on the vinyl. Can you help please?

  • I want to echo Kat’s Comment about being careful using essential oils around pets. In many cases it is unknown if a particular oil is safe, especially for cats. Just breathing tea tree oil can affect a cat’s kidneys.

  • I really would like to know the most efficient oil for cleaning my toilet, not only the bowl but also the tank. I love all this information and appreciate it.

  • Every thme I use Tea Tree Oil in my cleaning water my hands become very dry and the skin cracks– Would I be allergic to it?? I only use a few drops in my bucket of water

    • I would suggest wearing cleaning gloves! I don’t think that would be an allergy – it can just be drying on the skin. If you had bumps or hives, then I would be concerned about an allergy. :-)

  • In all of your posts about essential oils, you say to only store anything containing essential oils in glass because it can degrade plastics. All glass bottles I’ve ever come across have plastic straws, lids and internal mechanisms. How is this any different? Even the glass bottles the oils come in have plastic tops. How is this safe?

    • All of my glass spray bottles have plastic mechanisms, too. This is just unavoidable! But a glass bottle is still better than a plastic one. :-) The plastic that the bottle is made of is often thinner and weaker than the plastic the straw is made of.

  • I have heard that certain oils , like peppermint and tea tree oils are harmful to cats, whats the story behind this, I have a diffuser and after hearing this about the effects on cats I only use one kind ,, whats your opinion on this.??

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