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Top Essential Oils for a Cleaner & More Fragrant Home (Updated April 2020)

Nature has its own line of antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-everything-bad cleaners. Anyone can protect their family’s health and happiness with essential oils for home and household uses. It’s just a matter of using the top essential oils to have at home.

More and more households are shunning commercial products in favor of household cleaners they made all on their own. Studies about the diverse properties of essential oils show that they have properties that can keep your home’s surfaces and atmosphere fresh, clean, and clear of microbes.

A lot of essential oils can be put to such uses, but some do stand out from the pack. Here are our picks for the top six essential oils for household uses.

top essential oils to have at home

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Brands comparison


The Top Essential Oils to Have at Home

We can’t see microbes with the naked eye. Sometimes, something might look clean, but it might still be covered in harmful bacteria. These essential oils for home cleaning and maintenance can make sure that you get rid of those germs -- even the ones you can’t see.

1. Rosemary Essential Oil

rosemary essential oilRosemary has a herbaceous camphor aroma that can lend an earthy dimension to any essential oil blend.

Rosemary essential oil is a useful ingredient in aromatherapy blends, handmade skin care products, and more. This is because rosemary oil has antimicrobial properties, which means that it can help get rid of harmful microbes that cause skin issues and infections. 

The Science of Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is effective against the Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria, which cause urinary tract infection. Furthermore, this essential oil is also effective against the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans and other infection-causing microbes. These include:

  • Escherichia coli
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Proteus vulgaris
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus
Additionally, rosemary essential oil can help relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections, like coughing or wheezing. The oil also gives off a woodsy, herbaceous scent that can make your home smell clean, without the harsh chemical stench of commercial cleaners.

rosemary essential oil

>Using Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary oil is highly versatile. It can blend very well with several other essential oils, such as:

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Grapefruit essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Ylang ylang essential oil

Furthermore, you can use rosemary essential oil in a variety of ways. It lends a fragrant, herbaceous dimension to aromatherapy blends, and it can also be used in cleaning mixtures. For example, you can mix rosemary with lemon essential oil and witch hazel to come up with a spray that can rid household surfaces of harmful microbes.

Learn more about rosemary essential oil benefits.


2. Lemon Essential Oil

lemon essential oilLemon can be used in so many different ways.

Lemon essential oil is on the the top essential oils to have at home, and for good reason. Lemon is already a household name when it comes to household cleaners, so it's no surprise that lemon essential oil is part of this list. Its cleaning prowess is nothing if not reliable, and you can put it to nearly any household use you could think of.

The Science of Lemon Essential Oil

Because it smells highly pleasant, fresh, and clean, lemon essential oil should be a staple in any collection of essential oils for home uses. Aside from its aroma, however, lemon oil has a lot more to offer. It can also help disinfect surfaces, such as tabletops, appliance exteriors, and more.

Bad odors and bad microbes often go hand-in-hand. With lemon essential oil, you’ll be able to deal with both issues in one fell swoop. Lemon doesn’t just cover up bad odors, it also gets rid of the microbial sources of the smell.

lemon essential oil

Using Lemon Essential Oil

There are so many ways to use lemon essential oil, and a single bottle can definitely go the distance. Here are some of the ways you can use lemon essential oil:

  • Disinfecting and deodorizing
  • Cleaning and polishing wood and stainless steel surfaces
  • Cleaning glass windows
  • Removing stains
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Making laundry smell fresher
  • Cleaning and deodorizing carpets
  • Removing gum, grease spots, adhesives, crayon marks, and oil
  • Scrubbing sinks and tubs
  • Sanitizing sponges
  • Freshening bathrooms
  • Cleaning the air

You can mix lemon essential oil with other ingredients, such as olive oil, white vinegar, water, and other essential oils to make cleaning solutions. Of course, lemon oil can also stand on its own as a cleaning agent.

Learn more about lemon essential oil benefits.


3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

eucalyptus essential oilEucalyptus essential oil is highly useful and effective in so many different ways.

Eucalyptus essential oil has undeniable cleaning power, not to mention its other benefits to the mind and body. From dandruff in your hair and other similar skin issues to the pests in your cupboards, there’s very little that could get past this powerful essential oil.

This oil should definitely be on any list of top essential oils to have at home. It's highly versatile and can help resolve a lot of household concerns.

The Science of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil contains a lot of beneficial compounds, which give it a lot of its capabilities. These compounds include:

  • Camphor
  • α-Terpineol
  • 1,8-Cineole
  • Globulol
  • Citronellol
  • Piperitone
  • Camphene
  • Limonene
  • Pinene
  • Sabinene
  • Aromadendrene
  • P-Cymene

These are the active chemical components of eucalyptus essential oil. Because of these components, eucalyptus is a must-have. With a wide variety of beneficial properties, eucalyptus essential oil is versatile and highly useful. These beneficial properties include:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • Analgesic
  • Vasodilating
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Mucolytic
  • Bronchodilating
  • Expectorant
  • Decongestant

eucalyptus essential oil

Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is versatile and proven to be capable in many applications. It can be used to clean wounds, relieve muscle and joint pain, improve skin and hair quality, and improve dental health. It can also help relieve the symptoms of respiratory ailments and fevers. Other than these, eucalyptus essential oil is also effective at repelling insects.

Thus, eucalyptus is an important all-around essential oil that can work with other ingredients and other essential oils. Often, it’s just a matter of finding the right recipes. By simply mixing eucalyptus oil with household ingredients like baking soda or vinegar, you’ll be able to end up with effective cleaning sprays and scrubs.

Learn more about eucalyptus essential oil benefits.


4. Lemongrass Essential Oil

lemongrass essential oilLemongrass has a distinctive scent and can be used to help repel insects.

Lemongrass essential oil can prove to be useful around the house in more ways than one. It has antibacterial properties that can make it a good cleaner and disinfectant. As a bonus, it can make areas in your house smell clean and fresh, without that harsh, unpleasant chemical smell that commercial cleaners leave behind.

Additionally, lemongrass is also an effective insect repellent, which makes it valuable in gardening and other similar endeavors.

The Science of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Two chemical compounds make up the majority of lemongrass essential oil. The compound citral-a makes up around 33% of the oil, while the compound citral-b makes up 33%. In fact, lemongrass has been found to be one of the common sources of citral. 

Citral has the ability to repel insects, but it also has the ability to attract bees. In fact, citral can even help guide bees find their way home to their hives. Furthermore, it also has a citrusy odor, as its name suggests. This is what gives lemongrass its lemony aroma.

lemongrass essential oil

Using Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil has a wide range of uses, and can be used to repel insects, relieve pain, improve digestion, improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and more. Thus, it can also be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as an ingredient in an all-natural insect repellent spray or an all-natural cleanser.

These essential oils can also blend well with lemongrass:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Patchouli
  • Ylang ylang
  • Lime Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Bergamot

Learn more about lemongrass essential oil benefits.


5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil has been rising in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It’s not just a potent antibacterial solution for skin problems and the like, it can also be a homemaker’s go-to when it comes to disinfecting the spaces the whole family moves in.

Whether as a spray cleaner or a general deodorizer, there’s almost no household use that tea tree essential oil won’t be able to live up to.

The Science of Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil is made of a cocktail of beneficial chemical compounds. These include compounds such as 1,8-Cineole, α-Terpinene, and α-Pinene, all of which are known to provide sweet aromas and useful benefits.

However, tea tree essential oil is mainly composed of the compound Terpinen-4-ol. Terpinen-4-ol has antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, and other properties. The presence of this compound alone, therefore, enables tea tree essential oil to be useful in a number of ways. 

tea tree essential oil

Using Tea Tree Essential Oil

Like most, if not all, essential oils, tea tree can be used in a number of different ways. It can be an addition to or ingredient in various handmade household items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and more. It can also be added to carrier oils for topical use.

Of course, tea tree essential oil is also highly beneficial when used in aromatherapy. It can blend well with the following essential oils:

  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Spearmint
  • Grapefruit

Learn more about tea tree essential oil benefits.


6. Lime Essential Oil

lime essential oilWith lime essential oil, your house will smell clean and fresh, without the harsh chemical scent of commercial cleaners.

Lime essential oil also comes with many germ-fighting uses around the house. That makes it perfect if lemon-scented anything has become too familiar and you want a variation that’s still refreshingly citrusy. 

Additionally, lime stands out among other citruses in terms of fighting against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Though lime is often less favored, it most certainly isn’t a lesser citrus.

The Science of Lime Essential Oil

The major chemical component of lime essential oil is limonene, a compound that’s known to have a lot of benefits. Limonene gives lime its strong, refreshing citrus scent, but that’s not all. Limonene also has the following properties and abilities:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Improves heart health
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves digestion

Other than these, lime essential oil is also a potent antibacterial and antiseptic. It can help reduce fevers and manage the symptoms of bronchitis. As an antiviral agent, lime can also help fight the common cold while also boosting the immune system.

lime essential oil

Using Lime Essential Oil

Lime essential oil can be useful in many ways around the house. You can use it in a multipurpose cleaning spray solution together with lemon essential oil and common household ingredients such as white vinegar. Because lime has a refreshing and clean aroma, it will be able to help get rid of bad odors as well.

In aromatherapy, lime can blend very well with these essential oils:

  • Patchouli
  • Lemongrass
  • Grapefruit
  • Ylang ylang
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Mandarin

Learn more about lime essential oil benefits.


Check out Aroma Foundry's whole range of pure and all-natural essential oils.

 

Precautions

While majority of the recipes in the following section aren’t intended for use on the body, it is still advisable to exercise caution. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not be exposed even to the scent of some essential oils, as some of them may be harmful to their babies. Others, meanwhile, have menstruation-inducing and/or anti-fertility properties.

Also, if you or someone in your home is medicating, please consult with a qualified professional prior to extensive use.

Protecting Your Skin and Furniture

The recipes listed in this article almost always call for proper essential oil dilution, so the resulting products are relatively safe to get on your skin. As an added safety measure, however, it is recommended that you wear protective gloves while cleaning, especially since essential oils won’t be the only chemical you’ll be handling.

Remember that when using oils topically, perform a patch test—this time for your furniture and other surfaces—in an out-of-sight corner before any extensive use.

Storing Essential Oils

Some recipes also call for essential oil blending. Essential oils, especially cold-pressed citruses, are highly concentrated by nature and can be corrosive. As such, it is inadvisable to use plastic or ordinary bottles to mix or store them in. Invest in safety and a longer shelf-life by stocking up on reusable light-filtering glass bottles

For thinly diluted and quick-to-run-out solutions, bigger containers may do just fine. For those that won’t be used up at once, it is highly advisable to protect them from sunlight when stored as some oils’ phototoxicity might cause them to lose potency and/or make them dangerous for further use.

Treat essential oil cleaning products as you would commercial ones and store away from children’s and pets’ reach. Avoid getting the oils in mucous membranes such as the eyes. In case of contact, flush with water.

If undiluted essential oils gets on the skin, however, use carrier agents like coconut or olive oil to dilute and eventually wash them away. 

 

How to Use Essential Oils for the Home

How do you best use essential oils for home purposes? We tried to count the ways, but we had to stop at around twenty or so. There’s a lot you could do with essential oils in and out of your home.

We’re just using the six essential oils that Aroma Foundry has bundled in a nifty 6-pack and we already arrived at this many variations for their household use. If you think you can handle being flooded with just some recipe examples, then feel free to dive right in.


1. Sprays

1.1. Multi-purpose spray cleaner

You'll need:

  • 2 cups hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 drops of lemon essential oil  
  • 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. First, blend the essential oils together in an airtight and sun-protected bottle and leave for a few minutes up to half an hour to fully meld.
  2. Add the hydrogen peroxide. Screw the nozzle lid on and shake well before every use.
  3. To get the most out of this combination, leave it on for a few minutes after spraying and then wipe the surface clean with a rag.

NOTE: This recipe and all that follows may be doubled or tripled by adjusting the amount of each ingredient accordingly.


1.2. All-around spray sanitizer

You'll need:

  • 1 cup distilled water 
  • 1 cup white vinegar 
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil 
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • ½ teaspoon dish soap
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Blend the drops of essential oils together (preferably in a separate glass bottle as cold-pressed citruses can corrode plastic), then add the other ingredients.
  2. Shake well before each use. Use the spray on surfaces that need attention. Leave the solution on for a couple of minutes then wipe clean with a rag.
  3. The spray may also be used as a leave-on solution for sinks, toilets bowls, pipes and the like. Scrub or wash it off afterwards.

1.3. Heavy-duty cleaning spray

You'll need:

  • 1 cup distilled water 
  • 2 tbsps white vinegar
  • ½ tsp borax
  • 8 drops of lime essential oil
  • 8 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Heat the water just enough so the borax would dissolve in it thoroughly.
  2. Add the vinegar to the mixture, then let it cool down before transferring the solution to the bottle.
  3. In a separate glass bottle, blend in the drops of essential oils until they’ve melded. Add this to the bottle mixture, cap and shake well.

Spray this solution anywhere that needs just a bit more muscle to clean. Anywhere except glass windows and mirrors, that is. You may use another formulation for that, which we’d also tackle later on.

You may also substitute other blends of essential oils for this, as well as vary the number of drops for each depending on the scent you want to smell more of or the accompanying benefit you want to simultaneously receive as you clean. Examples include the invigorating combination of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils or the cheerful, citrusy burst of blended lemon and lime.

1.4. Anti-mineral-buildup spray

You'll need:

  • 1 ½ cups distilled water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil 
  • 10 drops of lime essential oil
  • 1 tsp dish soap
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Blend the drops of essential oils together, let them meld in a glass bottle for a time before combining it with the other ingredients in the spray bottle.
  2. Screw on the cap and shake well before each use.

This solution is best used on shower doors that tend to accumulate suds as well as other particles from the water itself. Spray this on the glass doors and on any corner of the shower room where minerals and other particles might build up.

1.5. Glass windows and mirrors spray cleaner

You'll need:

  • 1 ½ cups distilled water
  • 2 tbsps white vinegar
  • 2 tbsps vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Combine everything in the bottle and shake well.
  2. Spritz on glass surfaces like mirrors and windows, or even on glass table tops and stainless steel counters.
  3. Leave on for a few minutes. Wipe to an optimum shine using old newspapers or paper towels.

1.6. Heavy-duty glass and window spray cleaner

You'll need:

  • ¾ cup distilled water
  • ¾ cup vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • ½ tsp dish soap or dishwashing liquid
  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. In the spray bottle, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Cap and shake well before each use.
  3. Spray this solution on glass windows with stubborn streaks of mineral and dirt build-up. Let it set for a few minutes before wiping it off with recycled newspapers or a rag.

1.7. General air deodorizer

You'll need:

  • 1 ½ cups distilled water
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 20 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Blend the essential oils in a glass bottle until they’ve melded.
  2. Add the blend to the bottle of combined alcohol and water, screw the cap tight, and shake well before every use.
  3. Spray the solution on any space that needs freshening.

For a longer-lasting effect, substitute the rubbing alcohol with high-proof alcohol like vodka, but it’s not necessary nor recommended if there’s children in the house. Vanilla extract could work the same way. With the original solution, spray as much and as often as needed.

You are also free to substitute other essential oils with this recipe. Mix things up with your preferred scents, or get into the spirit of any season by flavoring your air with aromas that complement each one. Here are examples of other blends you could try:

Citrusy forest

  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 8 drops of lime essential oil
  • 6 drops of lemon essential oil

Herb garden

  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil

1.8. Ant-repellent spray

You'll need:

  • ⅓ cup distilled water
  • 25 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 25 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 10 drops of lime essential oil
  • Fine mist spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. In the glass bottle, blend the essential oils together and let sit for a few minutes as they meld.
  2. Add the distilled water, screw on the lid, and shake well before every use.
  3. Spray the solution everywhere you see ants gathering. Repeat as often as needed.

OPTIONAL: Use only half of the water and substitute the other half with a high-proof alcohol like vodka. The number of drops for each essential oil must also be halved. Including alcohol in the mix would facilitate the dispersing of the oil into the solution and would make the effects last longer.

1.9. Children’s toys sanitizer

You'll need:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 30 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in the bottle and shake well before each use.
  2. Only use on toys that won’t be ruined by liquids. Simply spray all over whatever needs sanitizing, leave on for a few minutes, and wipe it all cleanly off with a cloth.

Vinegar is a standard cleaner and sanitizer in many households, but it can be stinky and is therefore unfit on its own for disinfecting children’s toys. Lemon essential oil will help mask the scent while also boosting the solution’s sanitizing power because of its own germ-fighting properties.

1.10. Air freshener recipes for every occasion (and location)

You'll need:

  • ¼ cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsps high-proof alcohol like vodka
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil (or any fragrant EO of your choice)
  • Spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Pour the distilled water onto the bottle and add the alcohol.
  2. Next, add the drops of essential oil, screw on the cap, and shake vigorously.
  3. To start, spray in the bathroom air as much as needed, as often as needed.

This air freshening spray may also be used anywhere else, of course, but the bathroom could probably use a dedicated bottle. Note that this formula may also be used as a surface cleaner, but it must be wiped off after every application.

For outdoor uses, adapt the above recipe and simply substitute tea tree essential oil or eucalyptus essential oil (or both!) and use as insect deterrent. It can also be used in dark, often-ignored spaces like sink cupboards where pests might be making themselves at home.

Please note that this formula is not recommended for topical use. However, here is a household solution that could specifically target bugs and pests and may be applied to the skin.

1.11. Anti-bug hand spray

You'll need:

  • 4 tbsps distilled water
  • 2 tbsps rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbsp jojoba or fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • Spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Blend the essential oils together in the bottle and let them meld for a time.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Cap and shake well before each use.

It could work as a general repellent or something to spray all over your clothes, but because of the presence of skin-friendly oils like jojoba or coconut and because the essential oils are properly diluted, it may also be sprayed on your skin.

Essential oils can be added not only to liquid mixtures but also to powders, waxes, and salts.

2. Soaps and detergents

2.1. Dish soap for handwashing

You'll need:

  • 1 ½ cups distilled water
  • ¼ cup vegetable glycerin
  • ¼ cup flakes of unscented soap
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • Push pump bottle

Instructions:

  1. Boil water until it’s piping hot.
  2. If you haven’t yet, coarsely grate any kind of unscented soap (Ivory seems popular for this), then add the resulting flakes to the hot water. Stir until the soap flakes dissolve completely. In case they don’t, subject the mixture to a low heat to help the flakes along.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about five minutes.
  4. Stirring continuously, gradually add the vegetable glycerin into the mixture.
  5. Top it all off with the drops of essential oils that have been blended in a separate glass bottle beforehand. Stir the blend in thoroughly.
  6. Allow the entire mixture to cool. Clumps may form as it does, so remember to break those up to achieve a uniform gel-like consistency.
  7. Pour everything into the soap-dispensing bottle and use like any store-bought dish soap when you’re washing dishes by hand.

Note that this solution might not work as well for dishwashers. For that, the following might be the better choice.

2.2. Detergent for automatic dishwashers

For a liquid formula, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 cup dishwashing liquid (you can use the homemade recipe above for this, though depending on your particular formulation, it might not prove strong enough. You can either add more or simply use a measure of store-bought dishwashing liquid.)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 10 drops of lime or lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • Push pump bottle

Instructions:

  1. Bring water to a boil and add the baking soda and borax. Stir until fully dissolved.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the liquid detergent. Blend the essential oils in a separate bottle beforehand, let it sit and meld while the rest is happening, and then stir the blend in thoroughly to the mixture.
  3. Transfer to the prepared container. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time.

For a powder formula, you’ll need:

Instructions:

  1. Combine the powders in the jar, shake a bit to achieve homogeneity, then add the drops of your preferred essential oil.
  2. Give the jar another good shake to make sure the essential oils coat every last grain.
  3. Add 2 to 4 scoops at a time in your dishwasher’s soap compartment, but reduce the amount if you observe powdery residues afterwards.

Please note that the overall efficacy of these dishwashing detergents might depend on the quality of the water in your area. Do a bit of experimentation to see which kind would work best. As an added dish-cleaning bonus, run your rinse cycle using 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and a drop or two of lemon essential oil mixed with your water.

2.3. All-natural laundry detergents

For a powder recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flakes of unscented soap
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Glass jar for storage

Instructions:

  1. For your convenience, run the unscented soap in a food processor to come up with fine flakes. To do it the old-fashioned way, use the fine side of a cheese grater.
  2. In the glass jar, combine the powder ingredients with your soap flakes. Shake for a bit to achieve homogeneity, then add in the pre-blended essential oils.
  3. Shake extra thoroughly to ensure every bit of your powder ingredients are coated with the oil blend, then close the lid tightly and store when not in use. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons per laundry load.

Please note that washing soda is not the same as baking soda, but it can be just as easy to find in your local supermarket.

Making soaps has become one of the DIY trends wherein essential oils are commonly used.

For a liquid recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 bar natural unscented soap
  • 2 tbsps borax
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil 
  • 15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil 
  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10-l size bucket to mix everything in
  • Recycled detergent containers

Instructions:

  1. Set your water to boil. While that’s happening, finely grate your half-bar of unscented soap by hand or by using a food processor.
  2. Over a low fire, combine the soap flakes with the hot water and stir until everything’s fully melted.
  3. Boil more water and use this to fill the bucket halfway. In there, combine the liquefied soap, borax, and washing soda. Stir until everything’s completely dissolved.
  4. Top that bucket up with more hot water, give the mixture another good stir, then cover and let it sit. The mixture will thicken overnight.
  5. While waiting for the next day, blend your essential oils in a glass bottle. You could get the most out of this mixture as well if you let the oils meld together first before adding it to the main solution.
  6. Once the new day rolls in, combine the two mixtures and stir very thoroughly.
  7. With the help of a ladle and a funnel, pour in the resulting liquid detergent to the recycled containers for storage. It might seem a lot, but none of it would go bad so you’ll still end up using everything.
  8. Before each use, give the container a good shake. The recommended amount to use is 1 cup per laundry load. Halve that amount if you’re using a front-load washing machine.

Note that if any big lumps form in the making, or afterwards, giving it a good stir or simply mashing the lumps to make them dissolve should be able to remove them.

2.4. Antibacterial hand soap

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsps castile soap
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 15 drops of essential oil of your choice
  • Push pump bottle

Instructions:

  1. Combine the castile soap, olive oil, and essential oil drops in the bottle. Mix gently by swirling the bottle around.
  2. Top the bottle off with the water, cap tightly, and shake.
  3. Dispense as needed, lather well, and rinse. Enjoy the scent!

3. Household miscellany

3.1. Furniture polish

You’ll need:

Instructions:

  1. Blend the olive/coconut oil with the essential oil in the bottle. Gently swirl to mix.
  2. Dispense over a fine cloth as needed and use it to wipe furniture to a high shine.
  3. Tip! This formula could also work well as a remover of sticky, stubborn stains like glue spills or crayons.

3.2. Floor cleaner mix

You’ll need:

  • 1 bucket hot water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of lime essential oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine everything together and use the disinfecting water to mop your floors—no need to rinse it off afterwards, just let it dry.
  2. Tip! For an extra-strength floor cleaner, increase the vinegar to half a cup. Add in another half cup of vodka or rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, and a quarter cup of baking soda. Mix well and use for scrubbing.

3.3. Easy-peasy carpet cleaners

For a foaming formula, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups distilled water
  • 3/4 cup castile soap
  • 10 drops of lime essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine everything and whisk vigorously until you produce foam. But if you think your mouth will foam first before the mixture does, just run it in a blender.
  2. Using a sponge, apply the foam over the carpet areas that need freshening.
  3. Let it dry overnight and vacuum the carpet the next day.

For a powder formula, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops of your choice of essential oil combination

Instructions:

  1. Blend your chosen mix of essential oils and let them meld for a time.
  2. In a container, combine the blend with the baking soda and shake such that the powder will completely absorb the oil.
  3. Sprinkle all over your carpets. Let sit for a few hours or even overnight, then vacuum all the powder up. Not only would it lift every dust and dirt along with it, the powder mixture would also leave your carpets sanitized and smelling extra fresh.

Check out our special pack containing all the oils mentioned here on Aroma Foundry.

 

Summary

These are the top essential oils to have at home for cleaner surfaces, fresher air, and more. Aroma Foundry has bundled all six in a handy pack that’s sure to cater to all your homestead needs. They all have their specific uses and merits, but together, each can make up for what another might lack.

 

References

  1. Jayakumar, Manickkam, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu. "In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Some Plant Essential Oils." BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. November 30, 2006. https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-6-39.
  2. Lane, Jennifer. "20 Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes - Free Printable Guide." Loving Essential Oils. February 01, 2018. https://www.lovingessentialoils.com/blogs/diy-recipes/20-essential-oil-cleaning-recipes-free-printable-guide#.
  3. Nerio, L. S., J. Olivero-Verbel, and E. Stashenko. "Repellent Activity of Essential Oils: A Review." Bioresource Technology. January 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19729299.
  4. Ogden Publications, Inc. "Natural Cleaning Recipes with Essential Oils - Green Living - Natural Home & Garden." Mother Earth Living. https://www.motherearthliving.com/Homemade-cleaners/natural-cleaning-recipes-zmhz12mazmel.
  5. "Recipes for Homemade Cleaners." Easy-Aromatherapy-Recipes.com. https://www.easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com/homemade-cleaners.html.
  6. Vance, Katie. "Cleaning With Essential Oils: 10 Ways To Use Them Effectively." DIY Natural. June 19, 2016. https://www.diynatural.com/cleaning-with-essential-oils/.
  7. Winger, Jill. "Top 10 Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes • The Prairie Homestead." The Prairie Homestead. March 18, 2018. http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2016/04/essential-oil-cleaning-recipes.html.
  8. "17 Amazing Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil." Organic Facts. January 15, 2018. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html.
  9. 20 Must-Know Tips for Using Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning - https://jane-athome.com/lemon-essential-oil-for-a-clean-home/.
  10. All About Eucalyptus Oil - https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-eucalyptus-oil.html#benefits-of-eucalyptus-oil.
  11. 9 Unexpected Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil - https://www.healthline.com/health/9-ways-eucalyptus-oil-can-help.
  12. Chowdhury, Somit & Tandon, Pramod & Chowdhury, A.R.. (2013). Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Cymbopogon flexuosus (Steud) Wats. Growing in Kumaon Region. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants. 13. 588-593. 10.1080/0972060X.2010.10643867. 
  13. Citral. Brian Clegg - https://www.chemistryworld.com/podcasts/citral/3008193.article.
  14. Terpinen-4-ol. PubChem - https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Terpinen-4-ol.
  15. Spadaro, Federica & Costa, Rosaria & Circosta, Clara & Occhiuto, Francesco. (2012). Volatile Composition and Biological Activity of Key Lime Citrus aurantifolia Essential Oil. Natural product communications. 7. 1523-6. 
  16. Limonene: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage. Ashley Sobel - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/d-limonene.
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