Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Essential oil uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments.
The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In ancient times, Jews and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering the oil through a linen bag.
Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without any side effects. Ready to harness the power of the world’s most proven therapeutic compounds? Then let’s talk about 101 ways to use these amazing essential oils.
Essential Oil Uses for Cleaning and Home
- All-purpose cleaner: Add three drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil to a few ounces of warm water, then spray countertops to naturally disinfect.
- Natural mosquito repellent: Combine one drop each of lemongrass oil, citronella oil and eucalyptus oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil to make natural bug spray and rub on exposed skin. Reapply as needed.
- Sports gear: If your kids play sports, add two drops each of tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to one quart of warm water; next add four tablespoons of baking soda and mix. Use to clean ripe (!) jerseys, cleats and sports gear.
- Clean air: Diffuse cinnamon essential oil in the air and enjoy its anti-microbial properties.
- Homemade peppermint patties: Use peppermint oil, coconut oil, dark chocolate and raw honey to make real peppermint treats.
- Washing machine: Add 10-20 drops of your favorite scent per load.
- Vacuum cleaner: Add 5-10 drops of your favorite oil in your vacuum bag or dust container.
- Homemade sunscreen: Mix coconut oil, zinc oxide, shea butter, helichrysum oil and lavender essential oil, then store in a squeeze bottle to make homemade toxic-free sunscreen.
- Eliminate shower curtain scum: Using a 16-ounce spray bottle, use four drops of eucalyptus essential oil and four drops of tea tree oil (melaleuca) with warm water; spray onto your shower for natural mold killing action.
- Clean burnt pans: Use a few drops of lemon oil and some boiling water to help remove burnt food from pots and pans.
- Wonderful smelling home: Diffuse clove, rosemary and orange essential oils when guests come over, and they will talk about how amazing your house smells.
- Carpet cleaner: Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with Borax for homemade carpet powder.
- Kill pests: Spray orange essential oil and clove oil to kill pests on contact.
- Lavender cake: Mix coconut flour, raw honey, organic eggs and lavender essential oil and bake at 350 degrees.
- Eliminate mold: Add tea tree oil to your diffuser to kill mold and other pathogens in the air.
- Christmas scent: Add a drop of pine, sandalwood or cedarwood oil on a fire log about 30 minutes before burning.
- Reduce anxiety: Diffuse lavender essential oil around your home to reduce feelings of stress and tension.
- Spiritual enlightenment: Diffuse frankincense essential oil while praying, meditating or reading to increase spiritual awareness.
- Bathtub scrub: Mix one-half cup of baking soda, one-half cup of vinegar and five drops of bergamot or lime oil; use as a scrub for a sink or bathtub.
- Freshen trash can: Put a cotton ball with two drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil at the bottom of the trashcan to help decrease the odor and detoxify.
- Wash produce: To clean fruit and vegetables, add two drops of lemon oil to a large bowl of water then wash.
- Clean kitchen smell: Add a few drops of clove, cinnamon or citrus essential oil to a simmering pan of water to get rid of cooking odors.
- Bathroom freshener: Put a cotton ball soaked in lime or lemon oil behind the toilet for a bathroom refresher.
- Purify fridge: To freshen up the fridge or freezer when cleaning, add a few drops of lime, grapefruit or bergamot oil to the rinsing water.
- Mint tea: Use 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil in your favorite tea for a hint of mint.
- Eliminate smoke: To remove cigarette smoke, put four drops of rosemary, tea tree and eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle and spray around the house.
- Detoxify the air: Add peppermint and eucalyptus oil to a gallon of paint to dispel fumes.
- Get rid of shoe smell: To remove the smell from shoes, add a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon oil to freshen them up.
- Bridal shower gift: For a cute bridal shower gift, create a “love potion” with essential oils. Use 20 drops of sandalwood, and four drops of cocoa, vanilla and rose oil to unscented lotion.
- Baby shower gift: Give a wall diffuser with a lavender scent to calm the mom and baby.
- Flavored lemon water: Use 2-3 drops of lemon oil in water for a delicious citrus flavor.
- Cleaner dishes: Add a few drops of lemon oil to the dishwasher before washing for a spot-free rinse.
- Physician kit: Makeover your medicine cabinet and create a family physician kit with essential oils of lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree, oregano and frankincense.
Lemon Essential Oil
We use lemon and other citrus essential oils aromatically by diffusing them in to the air. I also add 10-15 drops of lemon or orange essential oil to all of my homemade cleaning products for a fresh and clean smell without the chemicals.
Lemon has natural antibacterial, antiviral and antihistamine properties and it is great for dabbing on insect bites or in salves used on wounds. I also often add lemon or sweet orange essential oil to our homemade shampoo since the scent is energizing and there is some evidence that lemon can stimulate hair growth. I add lemon and orange to either my honey face wash or my oil cleansing blend for use at night.
We don’t use citrus essential oils for any homemade products that we will use on our skin during sun exposure as citrus can increase sun sensitivity.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is one of my favorite essential oils to diffuse as it is said to help increase mental clarity and is invigorating. I use it in my homemade remineralizing toothpaste and in homemade lotion recipes. It is also an ingredient in my homemade vapor rub.
When I’m not pregnant, I use it on my feet for nausea or upset stomach and on my neck for headaches. It is an ingredient in our homemade bug spray and I also add peppermint and lavender to a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to help cool sunburns (though we don’t usually get those anymore since adjusting our diet).
Lavender Essential Oil
I absolutely love the scent of lavender essential oil and diffuse it as an air freshener. It is said to help digestion, support skin health, stimulate hair growth, help mitigate the effects of stress and more.
I sometimes add a drop of lavender and lemon to bug bites or burns to cool the sting and use it with peppermint to calm a headache or sunburn. Lavender essential oils is also an ingredient in many of my homemade beauty products.
I love that the smell of oregano reminds me of Italian food. I also love the natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties of Oregano. It is important to note that Oregano is very potent and should always be diluted for topical use. In times of bad illness, I diffuse oregano in to the air. I don’t do this often since it isn’t the most pleasant scent but it definitely works!
Oregano is anti-parasitic and a recent stool test I did (more details on that later) showed I have no intestinal parasites! The majority of the population does have parasites, but I credit my external use of oregano essential oil and a diet high in probiotic-rich fermented foods to my lack of intestinal invaders.
I’ve used (or had a family member who has used) Oregano effectively for:
- Getting rid of athletes foot (diluted with coconut oil)
- Massaged on feet to help deal with intestinal parasites
- Diluted topically for killing ringworm
- Diluted to help remove warts
- Diluted on sore muscles to speed muscle recovery