Best Essential Oils to Use in DIY Cleaners

Essential oil bottle surrounded by wood tree branch shavings and leafs

Essential oils make a great addition to any eco-den because they’re so versatile. I use them in aromatherapy to help cleanse the air and reduce my anxiety, in the laundry via wool dryer balls, in pain-relieving creams, and in DIY cleaners.

There are endless ways to use essential oils in your own eco den, but let’s be honest: It can get expensive if you’re trying new aromas and buying fancy blends. In my frugal opinion, it’s best to stick to a few of the best and leave the rest.


Here are the best essential oils to use in DIY cleaners

1. Lavender oil

Lavender essential oil in small transparent bottles next to several lavender flowers on a wooden table | Source:

Lavender oil is a personal favourite and arguably the most versatile of all the essential oils. It’s a smart addition to DIY cleaner recipes because it has scientifically proven antimicrobial properties.

It’s a natural, yet potent, solution to tackling bacteria and disinfecting fabrics and surfaces alike. Plus, it leaves a relaxing aroma in its wake.

DIY cleaner suggestions using lavender essential oil:

  • Add a few drops of pure lavender oil to water in a spray bottle, shake, and use as a cost-effective room and linen spray.
  • Add a few drops to some white vinegar in a spray bottle, shake, and use as a bathroom basin and kitchen countertop cleaner.

2. Tea tree oil

Tea tree essential oil from tea tree leaves | Source:

Tea tree oil has a proven track record of destroying bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It’s specifically praised for its ability to eliminate germs that cause the common cold and flu, making it especially useful during the winter months.

DIY cleaner suggestions using tea tree essential oil:

  • Add a teaspoon of tea tree essential oil to your laundry load to destroy mildew odours and deep clean sports gear.
  • Spot-clean mold with a simple mix of a teaspoon of tea tree oil and one cup of water. Shake in a bottle and spray directly on the affected area.

3. Lemon oil

Lemon essential oil in a transparent bottle next to lemons | Source:

Lemon oil provides that characteristic scent we’ve come to associate with cleanliness and it’s not a front, either. It also contains a powerhouse of antimicrobial agents.

It’s even been found effective in preventing the spread of a bacteria strain found in minced beef meat. This makes it a great option for naturally disinfecting countertops after meal prep.

DIY cleaner suggestions using lemon essential oil:

  • Add 10 drops of lemon essential oil to 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, shake, and use as an all-natural wood floor or countertop cleaner.
  • Make a shower cleaner spray by mixing 15 drops of lemon essential oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid Castile soap (scented or unscented), and 2 cups of water. Shake the mix and spray after each shower to cut down on deeper cleaning needs.

4. Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus essential oil in small brown bottles | Source:

Eucalyptus oil is yet another excellent choice when it comes to cleaning with essential oils. Like the others on this list, it has naturally-occurring antimicrobial properties.


DIY cleaner suggestions using eucalyptus essential oil:

  • Freshen sheets, mattress pads, and pillows with a spritz of a simple 4:1 solution of water and eucalyptus oil mixed in a spray bottle.
  • Spot-clean stainless steel with a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a cloth.

Each of these essential oils are natural, yes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need some safety guidelines for proper use. After all, even natural products can cause skin and respiratory irritations if improperly applied. You can read my guide on safe essential oil use published by Healthline, here.

Cover image credit: OnePixel


One comment

  1. […] Essential oils give any green cleaning recipe an extra edge. You can select whichever scents are your favourites or pick them based on their antibacterial properties. My personal favourites are listed in my post on the the best essential oils to use in DIY cleaners. […]

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