Essential oils have been around for centuries, but the benefits are only starting to make their mainstream mark on households around the country. Moms across the country are using essential oils as a replacement for harmful chemicals in detergent, soaps, and cleaning supplies, and for good reason.  

Essential oils smell amazing and are naturally antibacterial options that keep your family safe while cleaning. Here is your essential guide to cleaning with essential oils.

Best Oils for Cleaning:

  •      Lemon: If you use no other oil for cleaning, use lemon.  It is a cleaning powerhouse. It is antiviral (and antibacterial) and gets rid of stubborn stains. Combine it with olive oil to make a beautiful furniture polish.
  •      Orange: If you don’t like the scent of lemon, go for orange. It has many of the same properties and is great for lifting grease.
  •      Tea Tree: For getting rid of those flu germs, tea tree oil is what you’re looking for. It fights bacteria, germs, bugs, and can even prevent lice and house pests.
  •      Lavender: This is a great option for combining with vinegar to make a natural all-purpose cleaner that smells wonderful.
  •      Eucalyptus: This is another one of my favorite scents and it does wonders on dusty areas. It is also create for cleaning mattresses and stuffed animals to remove dust mites and tiny pests.
  •      Pine: If you’ve ever used Pine-sol, swap the chemicals for pure pine and reap the benefits of killing household germs, getting rid of mold, and cleaning hardwood floors with a natural scent you already love.
  •      Peppermint: This makes a great addition to homemade spray cleaners as a natural deodorant. It is also very effective at deterring spiders and ants.
  •      Thyme: This is one of the most powerful oils, and is effective against salmonella, so you an use it to clean cutting boards or surfaces that come in contact with raw meat.

Essential oils contain powerful ingredients that can actually degrade plastic, so you want to always keep them in glass containers or glass spray bottles. Once you have your bottles and your oils, try some of these popular recipes for homemade cleaners made with essential oils from The Prairie Homestead.

All of these recipes can be mixed in a quart-size spray bottle and used around the house as you would a normal household cleaner. Note that castile soap does NOT mix with vinegar, so be sure to use natural dish soap, not castile soap where noted.

All-Purpose Cleaner:

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon natural dish soap (NOT castile soap)

30 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops melaleuca essential oil

Window & Mirror Cleaner

3 cups distilled water

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or vodka

1/4 cup vinegar

20 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oils

Simple Soft Scrub

1 cup baking soda

1/4 cup liquid castile soap

10 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops lime essential oil

10 drops wild orange essential oil

Toilet Scrub

1/2 cup baking soda

1/3 cup liquid dishwashing soap

1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide

30 drops eucalyptus essential oil

3/4 cup water

Daily Shower Spray

1.5 cups water

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

1 teaspoon natural liquid dish soap (not castile soap)

15 drops lime essential oil

15 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil

This is best used every day to prevent buildup of hard water and soap scum

Carpet Refresher

1 cup baking soda

30 drops lemon essential oil

Let this combination sit for 6-8 hours before sprinkling on carpet. Then allow it to sit overnight and vacuum in the morning.