If you try out an internet search on essential oils, you’ll get a ton of hits about aromatherapy. And not much about their use in cleaning products. I’ve ended up finding overwhelming, massive, and unhelpful lists of tons of essential oils, describing which ones have antibacterial properties, which ones have antifungal properties, which ones are safe to put a drop on your skin, and which ones are best for various cleaning products. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to these things, and it’s just plain overwhelming.
And lots of sites out there claim you need a whole arsenal of essential oils to get various cleaning jobs done. But in my experience, any of those lists I’ve seen seem way too long. So which essential oils are the, well, truly essential ones? I can say I’ve been making a lot of my own stuff for a long time, and I have a total of five bottles of essential oil in my cupboard. And that’s even more than you really need. If you’re just starting out (or even if you’re not), here’s my short rundown of the essentials.
Tea Tree Oil
This is the main ingredient that gives the antibacterial kitchen and all purpose cleaner it’s truly cleaning kick. It kills everything while still managing to be pretty mild, and it smells nice too. It’s also a must for the deodorant recipe. And if you like the scent of this one, you can stop right here. It can go in your laundry detergent, shampoo, everything.
If you like a bit of variety, lavender is a nice scent. It’s very clean-laundry-ish, so this is the one I put in my detergent, dryer sheets, shampoo, and air fresheners. It’s also a good antibacterial one, but the tea tree oil is best for the spray cleaner. Maybe not truly a must-have, but it’s nice to have something different once in a while to take a break from the tea tree oil.
This one is a good additive for homemade toothpaste, but you can just use peppermint extract instead if you have that. I’m not big on the scent, so it pretty much just gets used in my toothpaste.
This one has a good fresh scent, but it is very strong. Think Vicks Vapo-rub. This one is a good one to add a drop or two to onto your pillow if you’re feeling congested. But go light on it. Eucalyptus oil seems to have more of a potent scent than the others. If you want to add it to dishsoap or something, four or five drops would do the trick.
I ended up getting this one just because I started getting tired of the lavender scent (gasp! who could ever tire of lavender?!?). I just needed something a little different, and it has a nice, crisp, fresh scent that works well with laundry soap, dishsoap, and shampoo. I alternate this one with the lavender between batches just to change it up a bit.
So there you have it. Don’t let the immense amount of essential oils out there overwhelm you. As far as cleaning products go, you only really need one or two to get the various jobs done.
Which essential oils are YOUR essentials?