Aromatic & Antibacterial: 6 Best Essential Oils for Killing Germs (Updated April 2020)

We share the world with countless types of germs—bacteria, fungi, and viruses. So much so that it can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea.

While some of these microbes are relatively harmless and can even be beneficial to us, there are also those that can cause a wide range of diseases and health problems.

Luckily, there are antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial essential oils that can help get rid of germs on your body, your things, and the surfaces in your home or workplace. With Aroma Foundry’s Germ Buster Essential Oil Six-Pack, you can protect yourself from infections and keep yourself as healthy as possible.

Quick Rundown of the Best Germ-Buster Oils
Eucalyptus Essential Oil: combats bacterial strains that have become resistant to antibiotics.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: effective against microbes that cause dandruff, cold sores, respiratory.
Citronella Essential Oil: repels virus-carrying mosquitoes, prevents food poisoning, and combats antibiotic-resistant microbes.
Sage Essential Oil: fights tooth decay, urinary tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection, and intra-abdominal infections.
Lemongrass Essential Oil: can help treat typhoid fever, respiratory and gastric infections, ringworm, and athlete's foot.
Lemon Essential Oil: lends a clean and refreshing fragrance, protects against infections, boosts natural immunity.


Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antibacterial Essential Oils

The essential oils in this 6-Pack have the ability to help you fight against at least two of three different kinds of microbes: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of the oils can even fight against all three.

One of the best things about essential oils is that, unlike medication for infections, you can combine them to make blends that are more effective against a wider range of microbes.

Aroma Foundry versus other essential oil stores


1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil

Enjoy the multiple benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil that is 100% pure, all-natural and therapeutic grade.

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Eucalyptus essential oil can help treat symptoms of colds and the flu, like fever, body pains, and congestion. It comes from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which has a long history of helping treat several kinds of illnesses and health conditions.

Back in the late 19th century, eucalyptus oil was used as an antiseptic agent during surgeries, as well as for cleaning catheters. The United States also officially recognized the oil as an effective agent against insects, particularly ticks and fleas, in 1948. It has also been found to be able to help improve blood circulation, relieve pain, and boost the immune system.

The Science of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Perhaps one of the best things about eucalyptus oil is that it can help fight off bacteria and viruses, though it isn’t effective as an antifungal essential oil. It has been proven to be able to effectively kill 22 types of harmful bacteria, like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Some of these bacteria strains have become antibiotic-resistant, which means that antibiotics are no longer as effective against them as they should be. However, these bacteria are unlikely to build resistance to eucalyptus oil and other similarly effective antibacterial essential oils.

Meanwhile, eucalyptus oil has also been proven to be effective against a number of viruses, particularly the swine flu (H1N1) and herpes type 1 (HSV1) viruses.

Aroma Foundry's eucalyptus essential oil

Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil

You can use eucalyptus oil in an oil diffuser, and you can also use it topically. However, if you intend to use it on your skin, be sure to dilute it first in a carrier oil. Even a small amount of eucalyptus oil can irritate your skin, so it’s best to avoid possible issues that may arise from use.

Eucalyptus also blends well with these essential oils: rosemary, lemon, cedarwood, ylang ylang, lemongrass, bergamot, tea tree, and spearmint.


2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree essential oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil can fight off bacterial and fungal infections, as well as parasites like lice. A handy oil must-have for various home remedies!

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Tea tree essential oil, which is extracted from the leaves through steam distillation, has been found to be able to fight against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This makes tea tree oil among the most potent antimicrobial essential oils.

Many Aboriginal Australian communities have long been using tea treeleaves to treat burns, cuts, skin conditions, and infections. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the medicinal effects of tea tree were studied in earnest. During that time, tea tree oil rose to prominence as an effective antiseptic, even becoming the preferable alternative to carbolic acid.

The Science of Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil has been found to be effective against various strains of the Staphylococcus bacteria, some of which have developed resistance to antibiotics. Staphylococcus has over 30 strains that cause a variety of health conditions, like food poisoning, skin infections, and even pneumonia.

The oil can also effectively help get rid of certain types of fungus, notably Candida albicans, which can cause yeast infections. It can also be effective against the Pityrosporum ovale fungus, which causes dandruff. Thus, if you’ve been struggling with dandruff and can’t find the right shampoo for it, tea tree oil may be the best antifungal essential oil you’re looking for.

Other than bacteria and fungus, tea tree oil can also help get rid of the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, as well as viruses that cause the common cold and the flu.

Aroma Foundry's tea tree essential oil

Using Tea Tree Essential Oil

You can enjoy the benefits of tea tree oil through aromatherapy, and you can also apply it topically in small amounts. It's best to mix the oil with a carrier oil if you plan on applying it topically; this method is safer and more effective. It's also important to remember that you should avoid ingesting the oil.

Tea tress also blends well with these essential oils: rosemary, lemon, patchouli, basil, cedarwood, bergamot, spearmint, lemongrass, and grapefruit.

Learn more about tea tree essential oil benefits. 


3. Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella essential oil

Citronella Essential Oil can do so much more than just repel pesky and disease-carrying insects.

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Citronella essential oil may be best known for its fresh and distinct scent. However, it also has the ability to repel disease-carrying insects, as well as the ability to get rid of certain harmful microbes.

It also carries the distinction of being an antibacterial essential oil, while also being antifungal and, in a way, antiviral.

The Science of Citronella Essential Oil

One of citronella essential oil's best-known features is its ability to repel mosquitoes that carry potentially deadly viruses. Some mosquitoes may carry the dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, and Zika fever viruses, making citronella’s insect repellent properties important in certain areas of the world.

citronellaCitronella essential oil may be best known for its insect-repellent properties, but it has more to offer in the germ-busting department.

Not only can citronella repel insects, but it can also help fight bacteria and fungi that can cause a variety of illnesses. The oil can be effective in controlling the proliferation of salmonella bacteria, which causes food poisoning. Food poisoning can last up to a week, and using citronella essential oil can help prevent and shorten the illness.

It can also help get rid of Candida albicans, a type of fungi that causes yeast infection in the genitals, mouth, digestive tract, and skin. Some strains of fungi, like some strains of bacteria, may have already developed resistance to medication. Thus, citronella essential oil can be an effective alternative.

Using Citronella Essential Oil

While citronella oil is generally safe, you should avoid applying it undiluted on your skin. Always make sure to dilute the oil first in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. Do not apply it near your eyes even when diluted.

You also should not ingest citronella essential oil, or any other essential oil, unless they have been labeled to be food grade.

Citronella also blends well with these essential oils: lemon, bergamot, cedarwood, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, mandarin, and tangerine.

Learn more about citronella essential oil benefits.

4. Sage Essential Oil

Sage essential oil

Stimulate your mind and nourish your body with our 100% pure and all-natural Sage Essential Oil! Get all the benefits of sage in just one bottle. Order today!

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Sage essential oil can help with digestive, respiratory, and menstrual problems, and it can also function as a mental stimulant when necessary. Other than these benefits, sage oil is also used in the production of different cosmetics.

The Science of Sage Essential Oil

Because sage is an antifungal essential oil, it is suitable for skincare and cosmetic products. It has been found to be effective against a type of fungi called dermatophytes, which affect the skin, hair, and nails. This fungus type is also known to cause ringworm.

sageThe sage plant has many names, such as Dalmatian sage, true sage, garden sage, culinary sage, among others.

Other than fungal infections, sage oil can also be effective against viral infections. Respiratory illnesses like cough and bronchitis can be viral by nature, and sage oil can help you get rid of the infection sooner than if it’s left untreated.

Sage essential oil is also effective against many strains of bacteria, including those that can cause urinary tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection, skin infections, intra-abdominal infections, and septic arthritis. Other than that, the oil is also effective against Streptococcus mutans, which can cause tooth decay.

Using Sage Essential Oil

Of course, you need to be careful with using sage oil. It is safe to apply on your skin, though it's best to dilute it with a carrier oil before application. Like any other essential oil, sage oil can cause skin irritation if you use too much of it. Thus, make sure to use it in moderation.

Sage also blends well with these essential oils: bergamot, lemon, rosemary, tea tree, cedarwood, grapefruit, and lemongrass.

Learn more about sage essential oil benefits. 


5. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil

Lemon essential oil is a must-have for every home. Enjoy its uplifting and fresh scent that will boost your mood and motivation.

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Lemon essential oil is a prime example of a versatile, aromatic, and highly useful citrus essential oil that can be beneficial in many applications. The scent of lemons is often associated with cleanliness, likely because there are many lemon-scented detergents and cleaning agents.

This isn’t coincidental; lemons and lemon essential oil have germ-busting properties that make them ideal for getting rid of harmful microbes.

The Science of Lemon Essential Oil

Lemons are known to contain vitamin C, an important nutrient. However, lemons are also rich in phytochemicals, such as terpenes, tannins, polyphenols, and more.

As a byproduct of the fruit, lemon essential oil comes away with these nutrients and beneficial compounds as well. This high vitamin content is great for boosting your body’s natural immunity.

Lemon is also an effective antifungal essential oil for preventing or fighting against athlete’s foot and other skin conditions.

Aroma Foundry's lemon essential oil


Using Lemon Essential Oil

You can use lemon essential oil to sanitize surfaces in your home, but it can also help you ward off infections.

It’s important to note, however, that you should avoid applying lemon essential oil topically if you’ll be exposed to sunlight in the next 12 hours. Citrus essential oils often react negatively to sunlight, which may lead to skin irritations.

Lemon oil also blends well with these essential oils: rosemary, grapefruit, tea tree, eucalyptus, bergamot, cedarwood, ylang ylang, and lime.

Learn more about lemon essential oil benefits.


6. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil

Keep disease-carrying insects away with Lemongrass Essential Oil. No need for DEET-laden insect repellents!

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Lemongrass essential oil can help treat things such as indigestion, heartburn, acne, menstrual issues, inflammation, high blood pressure, and more. It is also known as an effective insect repellent due to its strong and distinctive scent.

Not only is lemongrass among antibacterial essential oils, but it is also effective against several fungal strains. This is thus a good essential oil to have on hand.

The Science of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass oil is made of active compounds like terpineol, methyl heptenone, limonene, among many others. These compounds are what give lemongrass oil the capability to fight against various strains of bacteria as well as fungi.

lemongrassLemongrass plants usually favor warm weather and also thrive under the sun and in high humidity.

The oil is effective against bacteria that cause problems in the stomach, colon, urinary tract, and respiratory system. It can also help treat bacterial infections such as food poisoning, typhoid fever, and even unpleasant body odor.

Lemongrass oil’s antifungal properties can also be effective against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Using Lemon Essential Oil

While lemongrass oil is generally safe to use, you do need to be careful. Take care not to use it on your skin in its undiluted form, which means that you should always dilute it in a carrier oil.

Lemongrass oil has the potential to burn your skin if you use too much of it. It’s also best to apply diluted lemongrass oil onto a small patch of skin first before applying it to a larger area. This way, if you do experience a negative reaction to the oil, it will be contained in one small spot.

In aromatherapy and other applications, lemongrass can blend well with these essential oils: eucalyptus, cedarwood, patchouli, ylang ylang, lemon, tea tree, spearmint, rosemary, lime, and bergamot

Learn more about lemongrass essential oil benefits. 



Even though these antimicrobial essential oils are natural, it does not mean that you don’t need to be careful with them. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and they can cause different adverse reactions. Thus, before using them, you should first look into how each individual oil works.

In general, it’s best to dilute essential oils in carrier oils before you apply them topically. While some essential oils are safe for the skin if you use only a few drops, some oils should be diluted, regardless of how much you’re planning to use.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use any essential oil in any amount. It is still unknown how exactly essential oils can affect pregnant women, so it’s best to avoid using the oils during pregnancy to be safe.

You also should not use essential oils on children, especially those younger than seven years old. Essential oils can be quite powerful, and it’s possible that children have not yet developed a resistance to the more intense effects.


How to Use Essential Oils for Killing Germs

soapThere are so many things you can make with these essential oils, all of which can effectively kill harmful microbes.


The best thing about Aroma Foundry’s Essential Oil Six-Packs is that they’re basically a toolkit for a lot of different projects that you can do. You can always use essential oils for simple aromatherapy, and you can also find great choices for great blends in this Six-Pack.

If you’re looking to spend a weekend having fun with a little project or two, the Six-Pack can make things easier for you. All the essential oils you need for antimicrobial products are in one neat little package.

The combinations of essential oils below are all antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. Check them out and see which ones you like best!


Lemon and Sage Shampoo

Your regular store-bought shampoo may make your hair and scalp feel fresh and clean, but you can take it up a notch or two by making your own shampoo. After all, these store-bought hair care products often have ingredients that you don’t like, and they also often come in unsustainable packaging, such as non-reusable plastic bottles. Thus, this DIY herbal shampoo can help you control what goes on your hair, as well as cut back on your plastic consumption.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 120 ml liquid castile soap
  • 60 ml water
  • 40 drops sage essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Put all these ingredients in a glass bottle, then shake well. To use the shampoo, pour out a moderate amount onto your palm, then massage the shampoo into your scalp. Rinse out the lather thoroughly, then apply conditioner.

Store the mixture in a suitable glass push pump bottle. Since you’re using all-natural and 100% pure essential oils, it’s best to use a bottle made of ultraviolet glass, which can block visible light that can damage these materials. Infinity Jars has a great collection of jars and various other types of bottles that can fit a variety of needs and are all made of durable ultraviolet glass.

Infinity Jars Push Pump Bottle


Antimicrobial Melt-and-Pour Soap

Making soap can be a fun little endeavor. You can choose to go the major DIY route and study how to make cold process soap, which can be complicated. However, you can also walk the easier path and make glycerin melt-and-pour soap instead.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs clear glycerin melt-and-pour soap base
  • 40 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 40 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
  • Soap molds in any shape or size of your choice

Cut up your soap base into roughly one-by-one inch cubes. Place them in a microwave-safe container and microwave the contents until melted. You can also melt the soap over the stove, as long as you use a pan that you won’t need to use for cooking later on.

Once the soap has melted, add your antimicrobial essential oils. It’s best to prepare the oils beforehand before beginning this process so you’ll be able to simply pour the right amount of oils in. Stir gently but thoroughly.

Pour the soap into your molds and spray the top surface with the alcohol to remove bubbles. You can then wait for your soaps to harden. When it does, carefully loosen the soaps around the edges before popping them out of the mold. Once the soaps are done, store them in a glass apothecary jar.

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Tea Tree and Lemongrass Hair Conditioner

Dandruff has many causes, and one of them is the growth of a particular type of fungus. If you have dandruff, it’s possible that you already tried many remedies, to no avail. Thus, it may be worth it to try this Tea Tree and Lemongrass Hair Conditioner.

This concoction is very easy to make, and you may already have some of the ingredients right in your kitchen.

  • 6 to 8 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 6 to 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle. As much as possible, use a bottle made of ultraviolet glass. Infinity Jars offers a variety of jars and bottles made of durable UV glass that can extend the shelf life of all-natural materials, so you can look through the products to see if there’s something you like.

Shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Spray the contents on your scalp and hair, and simply shake the bottle again whenever you need to use it.

Find all the essential oils mentioned here from our online shop and get started with your very own DIY projects!

Aroma Foundry pure essential oils



Aroma Foundry’s Germ Buster Essential Oil Six-Pack carries curated oils that can be effective against various kinds of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Keep yourself infection-free with Aroma Foundry!

Get This 6-Pack

Some microbial strains have already developed a resistance to the usual medication and remedies, which can be quite disconcerting. However, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait for scientists to come up with new drugs that can finally be effective against microbes.

You can take a more proactive approach and find a safe and proven alternative to medication. Let these antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial essential oils keep harmful microbes away.

Aroma Foundry’s Germ Buster Essential Oil Six-Pack carries curated oils that can be effective against various kinds of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Keep yourself infection-free with Aroma Foundry!



  1. Ks3 Bitesize Science 6
  2. Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antiviral Essential Oils and How To Use Them
  3. Herbal Oil: Eucalyptus Oil Benefits and Uses
  4. How To Make Antifungal, Antibacterial, and Antiviral Tea Tree Oil At Home
  5. 12 Incredible Health Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil (backed By Evidence)
  6. Herbal Oil: Citronella Oil Benefits and Uses
  7. 11 Health Benefits Of Citronella Oil (backed By Scientific Evidence)
  8. Enterobacter Cloacae
  9. Sage Oil: 12 Timeless Uses and Benefits That Can Improve Your Life
  10. Julia F. Morton (1987). "Lemon in Fruits of Warm Climates". Purdue University. pp. 160–168.
  11. Oil of the “Master Herb” - Benefits and Uses -

  12. Herbal Oil: Lemongrass Oil Benefits and Uses

  13. Risks and Dangers Of Essential Oils | Wellness Mama
  14. Homemade Toothpaste: A Natural Recipe That Is Simple and Effective
  15. How To Make Homemade Glycerin Soaps
  16. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole C - Microbios - 1996
  17. Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects of three essential oil blends Amandine Brochot, Angèle Guilbot, Laïla Haddioui, Christine Roques - Microbiology Open - 2017
  18. Safety, efficacy and provenance of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil C. F. Carson T. V. Riley - Contact Dermatitis - 2001
  19. Essential Oil of Common Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) from Jordan: Assessment of Safety in Mammalian Cells and Its Antifungal and Anti-Inflammatory Potential M. S. Abu-Darwish, C. Cabral, I. V. Ferreira, M. J. Gonçalves, C. Cavaleiro, M. T. Cruz, T. H. Al-bdour, L. Salgueiro - BioMed Research International - 2013
  20. Rauf A, Uddin G, Ali J (2014). "Phytochemical analysis and radical scavenging profile of juices of Citrus sinensis, Citrus anrantifolia, and Citrus limonum". Org Med Chem Lett. 4: 5. doi:10.1186/2191-2858-4-5. PMC 4091952. PMID 25024932.
  21. Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Medicinal Property of Sage (Salvia) to Prevent and Cure Illnesses such as Obesity, Diabetes, Depression, Dementia, Lupus, Autism, Heart Disease, and Cancer Mohsen Hamidpour, Rafie Hamidpour, Soheila Hamidpour, and Mina Shahlari - Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine - 2014
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Author Profile

Fagjun Santos is an avid reader who eventually decided to try her hand at writing her own stuff. After spending her teen years writing what can be considered to be Vogon poetry, she now writes things that aren't a pain to read. Her favorite Aroma Foundry scent is peppermint, with lavender coming in a close second.

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  1. Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antibacterial Essential Oils
    1. Eucalyptus
    2. Tea Tree
    3. Citronella
    4. Sage
    5. Lemon
    6. Lemongrass
  2. Precautions
  3. How to Use Essential Oils for Killing Germs
    1. Lemon and Sage Shampoo
    2. Antimicrobial Melt-and-Pour Soap
    3. Tea Tree and Lemongrass Hair Condition
  4. Summary
  5. References