Autumn has arrived, which means that cold and flu season is lurking just around the corner. Or it may have already arrived at your house! Either way, now is a good time to brush up on your knowledge of natural remedies and disinfectants. And when it comes to these sorts of uses, one particular essential oil reigns supreme in my mind – tea tree oil.
Tea Tree essential oil (also known by the name “melaleuca”) is distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Tea Tree oil is one of the most commonly known essential oils because it is an antimicrobial powerhouse! I personally recommend it to friends all the time for a variety of different uses, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet dedicated a blog post to this amazing oil! Here are 15 of my favorite ways to use Tea Tree essential oil around the home.
15 Simple Ways to Use Powerful Tea Tree Oil
1. Minor Cuts
Tea tree essential oil has natural antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties, which makes it great for cleaning minor cuts and abrasions. After cleaning the area, mix 1 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, and apply the mixture to the cut. Cover with a bandage and reapply once or twice a day until the cut has healed.
2. Sore Throat
If you feel the tingle and tickle of a sore throat coming on, mix a drop of tea tree oil into a glass of warm water, and gargle with it. The oil will help fight infection and soothe inflammation, helping you heal and manage the pain.
Take care of pesky lice by whipping up your own lice shampoo. Add 15 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup of castile soap (or 1 cup of your favorite shampoo). Massage into the scalp and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing.
4. Household Pests
Create an all-natural pest deterrent spray by adding 20 drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle containing 1 cup of water. Spray the mixture in cracks and crevices where you see insects and pests lurking. This mixture is particularly effective against ants!
5. Fungal Infections
Melaleuca is very effective at killing fungus, which makes it an effective treatment option for athlete’s foot. Dilute a couple of drops of tea tree oil with a bit of your carrier oil of choice, and apply with a cotton swab to the affected areas.
6. Oral Health
Tea tree oil reduces inflammation and kills bacteria, which makes it a great addition to your toothpaste. Just add a drop of tea tree oil to your toothpaste on top of your toothbrush, and brush your teeth as usual. Making this a habit can help improve the health of your gums, and it keeps your breath smelling great!
Keep your countertops clean and disinfected with a simple homemade spray. Mix 1 cup of water, 4 ounces of white vinegar, 15 drops of tea tree oil, and 15 drops of lemon oil in a spray bottle. This cleaning spray kills bacteria, is free of harsh chemicals, and it smells nice and clean!
8. Stinky Shoes
No one likes a stinky pair of shoes! Deodorize them with the help of tea tree oil by filling a spare sock or the foot of a pair of nylons with baking soda, and adding 5 drops of tea tree oil. Tie the sock or nylon off with a rubber band and stick it into a smelly shoe. The baking soda and tea tree oil help to absorb odors and kill bacteria.
If you have acne or are prone to breakouts, tea tree oil is your new best friend. It’s very effective at drying out and healing acne. For a quick spot treatment, mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Dab the mixture on affected areas, leave on for 1 minute, then rinse.
10. Skin Conditions
Psoriasis and eczema can be painful and itchy. Soothe the irritation by applying an oil-infused lotion. Take a cup of your favorite lotion, and stir in 3 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of tea tree oil. Apply regularly to keep skin moisturized and to reduce pain and swelling. Or you can always make your own lotion bars!
Read More: How to Make Homemade Lotion Bars
11. Stinky Garbage
If your garbage can is smelling a bit off, you can deodorize it with the help of tea tree oil. Simply stir 5 drops of tea tree oil into a quarter-cup of baking soda, and toss it in the bottom of your garbage can to help absorb odors.
12. Bug Bites
Tea tree oil is great to have on hand for treating itchy bug bites. You can use a cotton swab to apply a drop of tea tree oil directly to the bite, or for those with sensitive skin, just dilute it with a bit of carrier oil first. The oil will reduce inflammation and lessen the itch.
13. Sore Muscles
The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil can help soothe sore muscles. Reducing inflammation will relax your muscles and help soothe soreness. Add 10 drops of tea tree oil, along with a large handful of epsom salts, to a warm bath and soak for 30 minutes.
14. Washing Machines
Harness the cleaning and disinfecting power of tea tree oil to help clean your washing machine. Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to your empty washing machine, then run it on its hottest cycle. This will help kill bacteria and eliminate odor.
15. Toothbrushes and Retainers
Keep your toothbrushes and retainers bacteria-free by treating them with tea tree oil. Add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water, and submerge your toothbrushes or your retainer overnight. Do this once a week to ensure a clean and healthy mouth!
What’s your favorite use for tea tree oil?