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Top 12 Best Essential Oils for Cleaning

best essential oils for cleaning - cleaning products on counter

Using essential oils for DIY cleaning products will change the way you clean forever. Not only do they smell great, but they can also clean just as well as many store-bought products but without the chemicals. And when it comes to the products you use around your family and pets, you deserve to be particular right?

Essential oils for cleaning allow you to choose the scents you prefer without compromising on the benefits. There are powerful essential oil degreasers and bacteria fighters that give fantastic cleaning results and smell great for example. Whether it is a warm spicy smell of cinnamon or a fresh citrus scent that you prefer, essential oils bring you aromatherapy as you clean and reduce your exposure to the chemicals commonly found in household cleaners. 

That being said, below we’ve put together a list of our 12 favorite essential oils for cleaning so you can pick a few and get busy making your home smell great! 

Why Use Essential Oils for Cleaning?

Commercial cleaners have harsh chemicals that can contain neurotoxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors. Not only can these be harmful to humans and pets, but also to the environment. 

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that are distilled from herbs and plants. Many essential oils kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses the same way commercial cleaners do. But they provide the result without the heavy chemicals that can cause lung or skin irritations. 

Essential oils in cleaning products fight a microscopic battle, eliminating bacteria and grime. They are also a cost-effective option since pure oils are versatile and can be used for cleaning,  aromatherapy, and more. 

List of the Best Essential Oils for Cleaning

person putting cleaning gloves on

Use distilled water instead of tap water when making your DIY cleaning products with essential oils. This prevents bacteria or minerals in tap water from mixing with the cleaning solution. 

Now that that’s out of the way, here are our favorite essential oils for cleaning: 

1. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is a useful addition to any DIY household cleaner. Why? Because studies have shown that cinnamon contains vital oils that inhibit bacteria. It also has antiseptic properties. 

For an all-purpose DIY cleaning spray, add equal parts white vinegar and distilled water to a spray bottle. Add ten to twenty drops of cinnamon essential oil to the mixture. 

Use this spray in areas with mold, mildew, or fungi, like in bathrooms. The antibacterial properties also make this a good option for kitchen countertops. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Oregano, rosemary, thyme

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is another one of the best essential oils for cleaning. The aroma of eucalyptus is superb for clearing the sinuses and can be added to water and sprayed on linens. Take advantage of its grease-cutting powers and antibacterial properties by using it on the stovetop, appliances, or sinks. 

Eucalyptus oil is a natural flea repellent so add a few drops of this essential oil to your pet’s shampoo to remove fleas. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Peppermint oil, oregano, tea tree oil

3. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Like other cleansing oils, grapefruit essential oil is a natural degreaser. It is antibacterial and adds a refreshing tang to the air that awakens the senses while you clean. 

Make a powerfully refreshing all-purpose grapefruit cleaning spay. Mix ten to twenty drops of grapefruit essential oil to an equal mixture of water and white vinegar.

Alternative Oils:

  • Lemon oil, orange oil

4. Lavender Essential Oil

Commonly found in laundry detergents and soothing candles, lavender has a calming effect. It’s also a great essential oil for cleaning products. 

Lavender prevents the buildup of mold and mildew. If you live in an area with high humidity, try a DIY lavender oil linen spray. 

Spray this on closet shelves and clothes to freshen up stored clothes and avoid mold buildup on stored away linens. Or spray bed sheets and pillowcases for a calming scent to promote a great night’s sleep. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Rosemary 

5. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is a popular essential oil for cleaning. It’s reminiscent of the lemon fresh scent that many commercial cleaning products contain. 

Lemon essential oil has antiviral properties and cuts grease. These two combined make it an ideal tool for kitchen cleaning. It helps to disinfect and clean sticky messes left by cooking oil or fallen bits at the bottom of the oven. 

Make your own DIY lemon essential oil kitchen spray by combining ¾ cups of distilled water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and thirty drops of lemon essential oil. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Grapefruit, lime, lemongrass, and orange

6. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass has a softer citrus-clean scent than lemon essential oil. It’s a useful essential oil for cleaning products because it’s a natural deodorizer.  

Mix this in with a lavender laundry detergent, linen spray, or homemade cleaners to add a refreshing scent to the mixture. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange

7. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint awakens the senses and brings on festive nostalgia. Peppermint is one of the best essential oils to use for cleaning due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. 

Peppermint is also a natural rodent and pest repellent. Using this around the home protects your home from all sorts of bacteria and has a double benefit of repelling pests. 

Make a DIY peppermint oil air freshener by mixing four tablespoons of white vinegar with three cups of distilled water. Add in at least ten drops of peppermint essential oil and spray as needed. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Eucalyptus, spearmint, tea tree, wintergreen

8. Pine Essential Oil

Pine essential oil kills germs and has the classic scent you recognize in many floor cleaning products. It is known to be a disinfectant, mild antiseptic, and to kill yeast spores and E-Coli. 

Try using it in a DIY pine essential oil floor cleaner by mixing ten to twenty pine oil drops into four cups of warm water, one cup of white vinegar, and one tablespoon of Castile soap.

Alternative Oils:

  • Bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, sandalwood

9. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil has properties that aid memory and reduce smelly odors. It is useful in cleaning products to freshen up a room or closet or as an ingredient in soaps. 

Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to DIY air fresheners or linen sprays. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Lavender

10. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is a powerhouse in your arsenal of natural cleaners. With antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil might just be the best essential oil for cleaning. 

Use tea tree oil in cleaning sprays on kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Or make your own DIY yoga mat cleaner. In a spray bottle, mix one cup of witch hazel or white vinegar with four cups of distilled water. Then add in tea tree oil and other oils of your preference like lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Eucalyptus and peppermint

11. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are great for kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Thyme also has calming properties that help make cleaning a whole lot more relaxing. 

Thyme is effective against foodborne pathogens, so use this in the kitchen on cutting boards and utensils. Add a few drops of thyme essential oil to the DIY lemon essential oil kitchen spray for a new twist on the scent. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Cinnamon, oregano, rosemary

12. Orange Essential Oil

Like other citrus essential oils, orange essential oil is another one of the best essential oils for cleaning. The fresh scent permeates the room after using it and has the added benefit of being energizing. 

Orange oil has natural antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It’s a good option to add to kitchen sprays to help cut grease. 

Alternative Oils:

  • Peppermint oil, oregano, tea tree oil

Cleaning Supplies

cleaning supplies on white background

Here are some additional materials that are good to have at hand during your all natural cleaning frenzy. 

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are an eco-friendly alternative to paper towels that are also cost-effective. Since they do not leave streaks, they are perfect for cleaning glass surfaces like windows and mirrors. 

Nylon Scrub Brush

Use nylon scrub brushes to get to hard-to-reach places. Scrub away at dirty corners, tile grout, and other pesky messes. 

Pumice Stone

Use a pumice stone for baked-on bits in the oven, rusty metals, and other surfaces that need some elbow grease. 

Spray Bottle

Spray bottles are a must for self-made cleaning products with essential oils. Grab large and small bottles for different uses around the home. 

Spray Mop

A spray mop is worth the investment if you plan to use essential oils for cleaning. You can refill the cartridge with your homemade solution for efficient application and cleaning. 

Essential Oil Cleaning Blends

Experiment and blend essential oils to get the smell and effects you desire. Some worthy of mention include: 

Tips For Cleaning With Essential Oils

Here are some pro-tips to consider next time you use essential oils for cleaning.

  • Store your essential oils in dark bottles to avoid light and heat damage. 
  • For every two to three cups of liquid used in your mixture, add at least ten to twenty drops of essential oil. This way, you get the full benefits of its properties and smell. 
  • Always shake the cleaning solution before using it to keep the oil and liquids from separating. 
  • Freshen smelly areas by adding a few drops of your favorite scent to the kitchen sink, trash cans, or diaper bins.

Essential Oil Risks & Safety

Essential oils are a safer option than commercial cleaning products on the market. However, all cleaning products, including essential oils, should be used with caution. 

Some pure essential oils can cause itching, swelling, or skin irritation if used in direct contact with the skin. If pregnant or lactating, consult a doctor before using essential oils. 

Dilute essential oils in a cleaning solution with distilled water and/or vinegar. If using essential oils on the skin, use a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. Diluting the oils into other substances will lower the chances of skin irritation. It also helps the oil evaporate slower and maintain its scent for longer. 

How to Choose Essential Oils

When choosing a brand of essential oils, aim for 100% pure, organic essential oils. Why? Oils that you plan to dilute into cleaning solutions will be less effective if they are already diluted down with other ingredients. 

Choose reputable shops to purchase essential oils, as online sellers can dilute oils or sell low-quality options. Check the label for the list of ingredients. The oil should be the only ingredient listed. 

The Takeaway

Natural essential oils, especially ones with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, are exceptionally useful. They help keep your home clean and smelling fresh.

Essential oils are free from chemicals, irritants, and toxins found in commercial cleaners. They also make your home smell great! Invigorate yourself and your cleaning solutions with the Soothing Scents line of 100% pure essential oils. 

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