Today’s household cleaners are filled with chemicals and toxins that can be dangerous for your home and family. You want to make sure that you remove all the bacteria and dirt when cleaning, but you don’t want your cleaners to add even more gunk to your house.
Essential oils are a natural, safe, non-toxic way to clean your home. They’re inexpensive and versatile, and they also work well for personal care and aromatherapy. Essential oils are the natural solution to all of life’s conditions.
Below we go through our favorite cleansing essential oils, their uses, alternative oils, and some recipes that use those oils. In the cleaning formulas, we also include some of our other favorite natural solutions, which you can learn more about here.
Note: If you want to use any of the oils below as a spray, we recommend 3-5 drops per one ounce of distilled water. This solution dilutes the oil so you can use the spray as an air freshener mister or surface cleaner. The recipes we provide you below include additional ingredients for extra punch, but most of these oils work well on their own when diluted in water. Use distilled water to ensure you don’t “clean” with any toxins or minerals that could be in tap water.
1. Lemon oil
Lemon is our favorite essential oil for cleaning. It gives that clean, citrusy scent without any of the heavy chemicals or fragrances. This freshening oil is antiviral and antibacterial, attacking and dissolving any dirt it comes in contact with.
Uses: Lemon essential oil works well for all-purpose cleaners for the kitchen and toilets. It’s also great for shining wood floors and furniture.
Similar oils: lemongrass, orange, grapefruit, lime
Lemon leather polish:
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca oil, is one of the strongest cleansing oils. It fights germs, bacteria, viruses, and bugs. In fact, studies show that it can prevent influenza and norovirus. One study found that it can even kill influenza virus two hours after exposure. This antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral mixture is the ultimate solution for fighting off nasty bacteria that threaten the health of your family.
Uses: Tea tree oil is best for everyday cleaning throughout the house. It works especially well for removing musty or mildew odors in bathrooms, attics, and kitchens.
Similar oils: eucalyptus, peppermint
3. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-odor. Lavender also has calming qualities, which makes it ideal for use around the home. Its soothing scent works well in the bedroom to reduce stress and induce sleep—while keeping your bedroom fresh and bacteria free.
Uses: Use lavender oil to clean your mattress and linens while adding a relaxing scent. It also works well for toys because it’s highly effective against viruses and bacteria, but it’s safe for kids.
Similar oils: rosemary
4. Eucalyptus oil
Not only does eucalyptus have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. When used around the home, it can actually help improve seasonal allergies. It’s also powerful for fighting mold and mildew. Studies show that eucalyptus also fights bacteria that cause influenza, pneumonia, staph, and strep.
Uses: Eucalyptus is a great all-purpose cleaner, especially to stop mold, fight allergies, and repel rats.
Similar oils: tea tree, peppermint, oregano
Deep clean scrub:
5. Wild orange oil
Orange is purifying and uplifting with a clean citrusy scent. Orange is filled with vitamin C, which is good for your body—but also for your home. The enzymes in orange actually help eat away at bacteria and prevent it from growing back.
Uses: It’s great as an all-purpose spray as an alternative to lemon oil. It’s especially useful to clean cutting boards and appliances because it won’t add an unexpected taste to foods. It’s also a powerful grease fighter.
Similar oils: lemon, lemongrass, grapefruit, lime
6. Peppermint oil
Peppermint is cool, refreshing, and invigorating. It’s antibacterial and antifungal, so it’s great for killing gunk hiding around your home. It’s also a natural rodent and pest repellant. Cleaning with peppermint oil kills bacteria and prevents dirty pests from hanging out in your home.
Uses: Peppermint is great throughout the home, but it works especially well to deter pests. It’s also great for glass and mirrors that require a streak-free shine. It’s also great mixed in with other oils like lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus.
Similar oils: spearmint, tea tree, eucalyptus, wintergreen
7. Cinnamon oil
For centuries, cinnamon has been considered the spice of protection and prosperity—and for a good reason. If you put it in your home, it can help kill off serious viruses and bacteria. Cinnamon oil is antibacterial and antiseptic, and it’s a natural home deodorizer. Nothing makes your home smell more inviting than cinnamon!
Uses: Cinnamon fights mold, mildew, fungi, and other gunky bacteria. It’s also effective against insects. We love using cinnamon to freshen the air and deodorize.
Similar oils: thyme, oregano, rosemary
Mold resistant spray:
8. Pine oil
Pine is a common ingredient in a lot of your favorite household cleaners (think Pine-Sol). It’s great for killing household germs like yeast spores and E.coli. It’s also great against mold and mildew. A lot of people prefer pine as opposed to lemon for a fresh, clean scent.
Uses: Use pine oil to cleanse the home of bacteria, fungi, pathogens, and yeast. It also helps kill odors and purify the air. Use it on large surfaces, like walls and floors to clean and purify.
Similar oils: cypress, cedarwood, bergamot, sandalwood
9. Thyme oil
Thyme oil is not only antiseptic and antibacterial, but it also has calming properties. It’s been used in potpourri and aromatherapy for years because of its cleansing properties. In fact, it’s so potent it’s been able to clear up fungal and bacterial infections and skin conditions. If you find you’re having skin troubles, it may be from the chemical-filled products you’re using in your home—and thyme can help fix that!
Uses: Thyme is effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella, so it’s especially effective for cleaning cutting boards and kitchen utensils.
Similar oils: oregano, cinnamon, rosemary
Keep your home chemical and toxin free by using natural essential oils around the house. These 9 essential oils are antibacterial and antimicrobial to kill even the toughest strains of bacteria.
Which essential oil do you like to use most around the house? Let us know in the comments below!