12 Best Essential Oils for Cleaning

Find out the 12 best essential oils you need to for natural cleaning. Plus get easy cleaners you can make like DIY shower spray and DIY glass cleaner.

Cleaning supplies and essential oils on a table

Why Clean With Essential Oils?

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Did you know that many household cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that have been linked to respiratory issues, compromised immune system, and even fertility issues. Check out the 7 toxins to avoid in store-bought cleaners to learn more.

While there are “natural” cleaners at the store, many still have questionable ingredients like artificial scents that can be harmful to your family’s health. That’s why making your own household cleaners and using essential oils is key. Here’s a list of my top 10 Best DIY Cleaners You Can Make.

I also wanted to share the best essential oils for clean that can help to break down stubborn grease, as well as provide natural cleaning that’s safe for the whole family.

What Essential Oils to Use for Cleaning?

1. Lemon

Lemon essential oil is one of the best for cleaning because it’s a natural degreaser. It can help to remove caked on dirt, grime, or dust on surfaces like a natural goo gone remover. Just put a few drops on the surface and use a Natural Household Cleaner to wipe it up. Use it on walls to remove scuff marks or shelves that have that caked on dust that’s hard to remove.

It’s also got a citrus, uplifting scent that makes it great for purifying like kitchen sinks, trash cans, and diaper pails.

Try this Homemade Soft Scrub made with Lemon to scrub those tubs, tile, and sinks. It has a natural abrasive that gets out soap scum, but still gentle for all surfaces.

2. Tea Tree

Tea Tree essential oil has natural purifying and cleansing properties like a natural astringent. Use it for cleaning areas like toilet seats, faucets, door knobs, kitchen sinks, countertops, etc. It also works great for getting rid of musty smells in your home.

You can also make a DIY Hand Cleaning Spray with Tea Tree.

3. Lavender

Lavender essential oil has a relaxing scent that makes it perfect for making a DIY Linen Spray. Use it to freshen up linens, bedding, closets, and even shoes. You can use use a few drops of Lavender to a set of wool dryer balls and use in place of traditional dryer sheets. The wool dryer balls help to reduce wrinkles and drying time, while the Lavender helps to infuse clothes with a fragrant aroma.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil has a naturally cool and refreshing scent, so it makes a perfect DIY Air Freshener. Add citrus oils and you’ve got a uplifting, minty scent that’s perfect for kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. It’s also great for keeping pests away, so spray liberally near patios, screen doors or anytime you want to keep pests at bay.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil has an herbaceous scent that helps to get rid of stinky odors, especially when mixed with a lemon or eucalyptus essential oils. Make your own DIY Air Freshener or DIY Linen Spray, or even just add a few drops to the laundry when you wash.

6. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is an excellent deodorizer. Add a drop or two to diaper pails, trash cans, closets, etc. It helps to neutralize odors and get rid of musty scents.

Combine with rosemary to make a DIY Linen Spray to banish those musty scents from closets, bedding, or even spray on mattresses.

7. Orange

Orange essential oil works well for degreasing, especially on cutting boards, kitchen appliances, and pots and pans. Just add a few drops to the surface and use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe up or use a natural household cleaner like Thieves Household Cleaner.

You can also clean windows, glass and stainless steel with this DIY Glass Cleaner that leaves surfaces streak free.

8. Thieves

Thieves essential oil blend (made with cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemon) is very effective for everyday and deep cleaning. These are the oils you want to use for bathrooms, kitchens, tubs, tile, floors, etc.

Make a DIY Disinfecting Cleaning Spray with witch hazel or vodka to help clean and disinfect areas in the home.

9. Pine Essential Oil

Pine essential oil can be used for multi-purpose cleaning too like sinks, tubs, and tile. The best place to use this essential oil is when cleaning hardwood floors and your bathroom without leaving a harsh chemical scent like traditional Pine-Sol and other wood cleaners that don’t actually contain natural pine, but rather artificial scents that smell like pine.

Make a DIY Pine-Sol Cleaner for wood floors, wood furniture, wood fixtures, and floors.

10. Thyme

Thyme essential oil is a great essential oil to use when cleaning cutting boards or sinks after you’ve handled raw food. It helps to deodorize and deep clean. Put a few drops of Thyme and Lemon and wipe liberally and let sit for 10 minutes.

You can even make a DIY Foaming Hand Soap for cleaning hands after using the bathroom.

11. Lemongrass

Lemongrass essential oil is one of the best deodorizers. Add 3-4 drops to the wash when you’re doing laundry to get rid of stinky odors in socks and gym clothes. Or add 1-2 drops to the trash can, kitchen sink drain, or diaper pail for a fresh, clean scent. You can also use a few drops along with a natural household cleaner to clean gym equipment.

12. Grapefruit

Grapefruit essential oil is a great all-purpose cleaning essential oil. Like lemon and orange, it’s a natural degreaser and excellent to make cleaning sprays or even a DIY Shower Spray to help combat soap scum and build-up.

Other Supplies

In addition to essential oils, other supplies you’ll want to have on hand for cleaning including:

  • Nylon Scrub Brush. A brush costs between $4 and $7 but can be disinfected (with vinegar or alcohol) and reused over and over.
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. Paper towels are a smaller financial investment up front, but the cost adds up quickly. Consider investing in one or two microfiber cleaning cloths, which can be washed and reused. You can expect to pay less than $2 per cloth.
  • Spray Mop. An inexpensive spray mop can be found at a big box retailer or online for around $25. For an even less expensive alternative, skip the mop and use a bucket and cloth instead.
  • Spray Bottles. Cheap spray bottles and containers can be bought at big box retailers or via Amazon.com for less than $2 per bottle. You can reuse these bottles indefinitely – just remember to keep refilling it with the same solution. You don’t want to accidentally mix a new solution with residue that was previously in the bottle and risk creating a toxic blend.
  • Pumice StonePumice stones are used to help break down and remove tough mineral deposits and stains. You may also recognize them from the nail salon if you get pedicures. While not a “must-have” item, a pumice stone can help with stubborn stains, particularly in your bathroom. Expect to pay between $2 and $3 for one stone.

Keep all your cleaning supplies together in a bin or basket under the sink, so you can easily grab them with your essential oils and use them as needed for cleaning.

natural cleaning supplies like lemon, baking soda, sponges and essential oils on a table

Top Tips for Cleaning with Essential Oils

  • A diffuser is a great way to add a little aromatherapy to your home, but when you add these to your homemade cleaner, they can tackle some pretty tough cleaning jobs.
  • As you combine essential oils with water, be sure to give your cleaning solution a good mix before using so the essential oils are evenly distributed throughout.
  • When making a DIY cleaning solution with essential oils, be sure to add at least 10 drops for every 2-3 cups to ensure that the properties of the oils come through.
  • Be sure to use high-quality essential oils when cleaning as many low quality essential oils have been adulterated with synthetic chemicals or contain cheap essential oils produced from crops with pesticides. Check out my advice here on buying essential oils.
  • Essential oils are great for combating odors in even the toughest of spots. Just put a few drops in places like trash cans and smell your favorite aromas.

How to Get Started with Essential Oils

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Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / EkaterinaMo

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the extensive post about cleaning toxin-free. I’ve been working to remove the toxin load from my home and trying to chip away at it a little at a time. I’m definitely going to start removing toxic cleaners and replacing them with your suggestions.