13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils

Essential oil use is on the rise in home care products on the market. If you look around the web, you’ll also find recipes for putting oils in things like laundry detergents, candles, cleaners, and much more. What’s not to like? They smell great. And many are antibacterial, which helps keep stuff clean and fresh. So we’ve collected a solid list of ways even beginners can start using essential oils at home.

(Note: You’ll find a number of ideas for using oils online, and most are safe and effective. However, it’s smart to follow some basic safety guidelines. For example, use caution when putting oils on your skin — you should always dilute them with a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Keep solutions containing essential oils out of reach from kids and pets. And never ingest oils unless you’re trained on their use.)

1. Cleaning Wipes

Stop tossing paper in the trash and try making these disinfecting cleaning wipes. Find an airtight glass jar and roll some clean washcloths inside. Then pour in a solution of water, white vinegar, and various essential oils.

2. All-Purpose Spray

Along these same lines, you can make a powerful all-purpose spray to keep bacteria at bay on all your hard surfaces. Just fill a bottle with distilled water and put in 20 drops of essential oils. I’d add a bit of vinegar for good measure. Try anything from cinnamon oil to eucalyptus oil to grapefruit oil.

3. Toilet Cleaner

Get your throne sparkling without all the harsh ingredients with this DIY toilet bowl cleaner. You’ll combine castile soap with water, baking soda, and eight to 10 drops of essential oils. Use an old squirt bottle for the easiest dispensing.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Keep bacteria at bay with this handy hand sanitizer. You’ll whip up a mix of aloe vera gel, witch hazel, vitamin E, and tea tree and lavender oils. Store in a travel-sized squeeze tube for washing on the go.

5. Car Freshener

Is your car smelling funky? Try this simple air freshener idea that takes only minutes to make. You’ll hot glue a piece of ribbon around a bobby pin. Then slip a tiny cotton ball soaked in essential oils in the loop you made. Clip onto your vent. Reuse again and again.

6. Fabric Spray

Or make your home smell sweet with this DIY Febreze spray. The second recipe gives you a great fabric spray for use on clothing, curtains, couches, and whatever else needs freshening. Just combine alcohol, vinegar, and essential oils in a spray bottle and spritz.

7. Soy Candles

These scented soy candles are a wonderful gift idea. First, find some creative containers (old mugs, cups, and bowls work beautifully). Then place a wick in the center before melting soy wax in a double boiler. Add essential oils, pour into your vessel, and let sit until cool. Consider using citronella oil if you’re trying to ward off mosquitoes.

8. Hand Soap

We started making our own hand soap years ago and haven’t gone back to buying it at the store. Stir together some castile soap, water, vitamin E, almond oil, and tea tree and lavender essential oils. Then pour into a small glass container or — better yet — use a recycled hand soap dispenser.

9. Laundry Detergent

There are a lot of laundry soap recipes you can find online. Take your solution up a notch by adding essential oils. Simply add 30 drops of lavender to the soap, borax, washing soda, and water. The oil gives your clothing a pleasing scent and naturally fights offensive odors. (See also: 5 DIY Laundry Detergent Recipes)

10. Home Filter

Give your entire house a boost with essential oils in your furnace’s air filter. Choose your favorite scent or make a blend. Either way, just put on a few drops and lock your filter into place. Scent should last a few weeks.

11. Poo Spray

Have you seen those powerful (and expensive) bathroom sprays at the store? You can make your own poo spray with a few simple ingredients. Mix together lemongrass, grapefruit, and bergamot essential oils with water in a small spray bottle. Then use whenever you need to banish odors.

12. Carpet Freshener

Shake some homemade carpet freshener on your stinky floor. You only need two cups of baking soda and drops of any essential oils that strike your fancy. Sprinkle onto your carpet and let sit for around 15 minutes before vacuuming.

13. Floor Cleaner

Get your wood floors shining like new with the homemade floor cleaner. Fill a big jug with water, leaving room for 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup castile soap, and 30 drops of lemon essential oils. When you need to clean, combine a cup of this cleaner with one gallon of hot water.

How do you use essential oils around your home?

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