13 Cleaning Hacks Using Essential Oils

dried herbs and essential oils


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Make up brush

Natural Cleaning Made Easy

The uses of essential oils are bountiful, from reducing stress and anxiety to getting rid of pests and keeping your house fresh and clean, there are hundreds of ideas out there. We put together a list of some of our favorite ways to use different essential oils to meet all of your cleaning needs starting at your makeup brushes all the way to your washing machine. 

Related: How to Spring Clean With Everyday Household Items

Woman hands cleaning and polishing golden jewelry at home. Top view

Jewelry Cleaner

Wanting to bring some sparkle and shine back to your favorite piece of jewelry? In a glass jar, add 1 teaspoon of Young Living’s Thieves cleaner, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil and stir to create a liquid paste. Let your jewelry sit in the jar for 10 minutes before taking it out. From there, you just gently scrub it with a toothbrush and rinse it off with warm water.

Related: 20 Cleaning Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Woman using wool dryer balls for more soft clothes while tumble drying in washing machine concept. Discharge static electricity and shorten drying time, save energy.
Helin Loik-Tomson/istockphoto

Wool Dryer Balls

The fragrances used in traditional dryer sheets can cause irritation to sensitive skin and even throw hormones off-balance for some people. If you want a more natural approach to your laundry, try using wool dryer balls. These are unscented, so to add some smell, you can put a few drops of your favorite essential oils directly on the balls before tossing them in the dryer. 

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House cleaning

Vacuum Hacks

Vacuuming is definitely a necessary household chore if you have carpet, but if you also have pets, it can sometimes push unpleasant smells out as you clean your floors. There are a couple of hacks using essential oils to keep your home smelling fresh while you vacuum. You can fill a small jar with baking soda and stir in about 8 drops of your favorite oils and then sprinkle the mixture on your carpet. Just vacuum it up and your carpet will be instantly deodorized. You can also put a few drops of your favorite essential oil directly on the filter of your vacuum to emit the scent as you clean.

Related: Spring Cleaning Tips From People Who Clean and Organize for a Living

Laundry Washing Control
sefa ozel/istockphoto

Washing Machine Cleaner

Washing machines are supposed to clean your clothes, so many of us don’t think about them being dirty. Over time, soap scum, dirt, and even mildew can build up inside your washer. Not only does that pose a problem for effectively cleaning your laundry, but it creates some pretty musty odors. Essential oils are excellent natural cleaners, and some of them have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. When cleaning your washing machine, some of the best oils to use include lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, and tea tree. For a quick and easy weekly cleaning mixture, add ¾ cup of white vinegar and about 15 drops of essential oils (try a combination!) to a spray bottle and coat the inside of your washer, using a microfiber cloth to wipe the cleaner off.

Related: How to Make Sure Your Appliances Don’t Fail When You Can’t Get Them Repaired

Stack of folded towels and detergents on white table in bathroom
Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

Laundry Scent Booster

Another essential oil hack we love for laundry is this DIY laundry scent booster. All you need is ½ cup of epsom salt, ½ cup of baking soda, about 20 drops of lavender essential oil, and 10 drops of eucalyptus oil. Mix it all together and add it right to your washing machine when you wash your clothes. Your clothes will smell like a day at the spa!

Related: 31 Ways to Spring Clean With Everyday Household Items

Various household items such as pillows and quilts standing in the white cupboard.

Lemon and Lavender Linen Spray

Linen spray is the perfect way to keep your towels and sheets fresh in between washes. Add 3 ounces of rubbing alcohol or non-flavored vodka to a spray bottle along with 1 ½ cups of distilled water, 15 drops of lavender essential oil, and 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Spray your linens before you put them away and when you get them back out, they will still smell fresh and clean!

Young man cleaning with a duster

Dusting Spray

Dusting might just be the most tedious chore. To make each dusting last longer, try using a dusting spray. Add 1 cup of distilled water to a 16 ounce spray bottle along with ½ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of fractionated coconut oil, and 30 drops of an essential oil of your choosing (lemon, orange, and grapefruit all work great). The spray cuts through dust and dirt and will actually repel dust and eliminate fingerprints.

Related: 25 Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Keep Making Every Year

Asian Family helping cleaning House together.

Glass and Window Cleaner Spray

For an effective, easy-to-make glass and window cleaner, all you have to do is combine 1 ½ cups of distilled white vinegar, ½ cup of distilled water, and 10 drops of lemon essential oil in a 16 ounce spray bottle.

Young woman tired of spring cleaning house

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Not only are essential oils great natural cleaners, they also smell amazing, so why not use them to make an all-purpose cleaner? To a bowl, add 1 ¾ cups of white vinegar, 4 ½ tablespoons of baking soda, 3 ½ tablespoons of castile soap, and 10 drops of your favorite essential oils. The mixture will react and fizz at first, but once it settles, you can transfer it to a spray bottle.

Related: 30 Handy Products to Refresh Your Home This Spring

High quality service. Happy afro american woman in uniform making a bed and smiling while cleaning a client's house

Mattress Spray

If you’ve never sprayed your mattress while your sheets were in the washer, you are missing out. Applying this DIY mattress spray will make your bed smell extra fresh. Just mix equal parts of distilled water and witch hazel in a spray bottle and add in 15 drops of lavender essential oil. Make sure you let the spray air dry for at least an hour before you put your sheets back on. 

Related: 40 Products You Can Make at Home If You Can't Get Them

Young woman in white apron cleaning shower

Shower Cleaner

Combining a ½ cup of dish soap, 1 ½ cups of white vinegar, and 30 drops of essential oils (we suggest lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus) makes for the perfect shower cleaner. Spray your shower with this cleaner liberally and leave it on for an hour before you scrub it. 

Related: Spring Cleaning: 51 Things to Toss Right Now

Make up brush

Makeup Brush Cleaner

Makeup brushes are one of those things that you should try and wash at least once a week if you’re using them every day. You can mix 1 cup of witch hazel, 4 teaspoons of liquid castile soap, and 10 drops of lavender or tea tree oil in a glass jar and just like that, you have the perfect way to keep your makeup brushes squeaky clean.

Washing Vegetables

Produce Wash

It is so important to wash your produce before preparing or eating it, especially during the pandemic when germ awareness is at an all-time high. When it comes to getting your fruits and vegetables clean enough to eat, don’t settle for water by itself. Instead, mix 2 cups of water, ½ cup of white vinegar, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil in a bottle and spray all over your produce before rinsing. 

Related: Which Fruits and Veggies Go Bad the Quickest and Which Last the Longest?

dried herbs and essential oils

Mishaps to Avoid

When using essential oils, you should always keep the quality and integrity of the oil at the forefront of your mind. While we’re all for a good deal, chances are if you’re grabbing a $2 bottle of peppermint oil from your local dollar store, it’s likely not therapeutic grade. Pure essential oils come in dark amber glass bottles and should be labeled as therapeutic grade. You also always want to make sure you dilute oils before they come into contact with your skin in case of sensitivity. Finally, since we’ve got so many great laundry hacks using oils, keep in mind that if you put essential oils directly on your clothes, they will likely stain!