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Top Essential Oils for Cleaning

Top Essential Oils for Cleaning

Essential oils are concentrated, fragrant oils derived from plants.  They smell fantastic, can improve the effectiveness of your cleaning products and positively affect your mood.  A few drops of your favorite essential oil can turn a blah cleaning product into a pleasant experience.  Below is an overview of my favorite essential oils for home cleaning products:

Must haves at our house:

  • Lavender – this is one of the most widely used and widely loved essential oils.  Its antiviral, antibacterial properties add a powerful punch to home cleaning supplies.  It’s also known for its relaxing effect and most people love its calming scent.
  • Tea Tree – is a must for home cleaning supplies.  Extensive research has been shown to combat bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus.  It has a strong, medicinal scent that people either love or hate.  I wasn’t crazy about the smell at first but it’s such a useful oil that it’s really grown on me.
  • Peppermint – if you’re a mint lover like me, this oil is the best.  It’s bright, refreshing and very minty.  I use a lot of vinegar in my cleaning products and this does a good job cutting the vinegar odor.  As an added benefit peppermint has anti-bacterial properties and is a natural bug repellent.
  • Lemon – this oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that are great for cleaning.  I love it’s clean, uplifting scent and its positive affect on my mood.  It’s particularly good in the kitchen where it cuts grease and is a key ingredient in furniture cleaning/polishing recipes.

Runner Ups:

  • Eucalyptus – this oil is antiseptic, antibacterial and deodorizing in nature.  It is often used in freshening rooms sprays and is a good addition to many home cleaning products.  Some people love its medicinal smell, others don’t.  I use this oil similarly to tea tree.
  • Pine – this is a good, inexpensive oil with a woodsy smell that most people associate with clean.  This is another oil with antibacterial and antiviral properties.  I personally prefer tea tree oil but this is an excellent alternative, especially if you don’t like tea tree’s unique scent.
  • Sweet Orange – I use this like I do lemon essential oil.  It has a good cleaning reputation (although I find lemon to be slightly more effective) but the smell simply can’t be beat.
  • Grapefruit – This is another oil I use primarily for its smell.  It’s not as effective as lemon but its energizing, uplifting scent makes it well worth using.



Essential oils are typically sold in health food stores and their high cost per ounce may seem expensive.  But a very small amount goes a long way so they last a VERY long time.  When I first got interested in essential oils I immediately ran out and bought way too many oils.  I tend to get really excited and I wanted to buy every smell that struck my fancy!  Then I actually started using them and quickly realized that I use a select few all the time while the others mostly gather dust.  If you’re new to essential oils, my advice is to choose a couple versatile oils whose scent you enjoy (the list above is a good place to start).    I’ve also created a list tailored to skincare products:  With use you’ll learn about how each oil works, how it smells, how it makes you feel, and you’ll gravitate towards the oils that work best for you.  I hope this overview is helpful, happy cleaning!

Please note: Essential oils are powerful substances that should be handled carefully.  As a rule of thumb, do not let undiluted (neat) essential oils come in contact with your skin.  Also some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and in the presence of certain medical conditions.  It’s always wise to research the safety precautions of whatever oils you choose.  You shouldn’t be afraid of these wonderful oils but they do demand common sense and respect.

Photo Credit: Chariot Perfume Oil, a photo by Helena Liu on Flickr.

3 Responses to “Top Essential Oils for Cleaning”

  1. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. Nevertheless think about if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this website could certainly be one of the greatest in its niche. Awesome blog!

    • Jen Hubbard says:

      Thanks for your feedback! I’ve got some pictures in the works and will seriously consider the idea of video clips. Great idea!

  2. Andrea Taras says:

    I don’t usually comment but I gotta tell thankyou for the post on this great one : D.

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