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What Essential Oils Can I Clean With

Cleaning-using essential oils to clean with-defungus-kills bacteria and fungus

What Essential Oils Can I Clean With

What essential oils should I use when it comes to cleaning products?

The two reasons we’re using them to clean is to kill bacteria, fungus and viruses where and to benefit from that delicious aromatic punch they offer.   The citrus family of Essential Oils can also help break down grease and grime, which is nice.

So, if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend picking up the following essential oils and a spray bottle as doTERRA does not make them:


Known for being antiviral and also helping to cut grease, this uplifting powerhouse of an essential oil can be used to help disinfect and remove sticky, greasy substances.  It has a beautiful, bright scent and I like to blend it in to kitchen and bathroom specialty cleaners, specifically. It blends beautifully with basil, any other citrus fruit, vanilla, bergamot, ylang-ylang, rosemary and peppermint. If you can’t find lemon, orange will help with degreasing (bit not with the disinfecting).

Tea tree

Also called Melaleuca, this is an essential oil cleaning powerhouse!  It may take some getting used to the scent, although you may come to love it overtime.  Tea tree is an antimicrobial, its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral (watch out now!) Essential Oil.  I use this for my all-purpose kitchen spray and in the bathroom to help fight mildew in the shower. It mixes nicely with bergamot, clary sage, clove bud, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, geranium and rosemary.


Many people associate lavender with tranquility and sleep, but it’s also great for laundry; I add 5 drops to my laundry detergent after it’s been portioned out to help keep musty odors from building up in my washing machine and forgotten loads of laundry.  Lavender helps prevent mold and mildew from building up. It’s also a perfect oil to use for bedroom and linen sprays. It mixes well with many Essential Oils including bergamot, peppermint, cedarwood, lemongrass, grapefruit, lime, orange, peppermint, rosemary, ylang ylang and clary sage.


Known for its antibacterial properties and is used in many natural cleaners for its powerful properties.  It’s perfect for a kitchen or bathroom cleaner and should be used in a higher concentration (see below). It blends well with bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lavender and rosemary.


When it comes to adding multiple scents to your recipes, you can play around with what you love and start creating mixtures that please your nose.  This is one of my favorite parts of using essential oils for cleaning, because it’s fun and I’m the person who stands in the store and smells every bottle until I narrow down my selections.  Want something uplifting?  Add grapefruit or peppermint.  Want something calming? Add Eucalyptus or geranium.  There are endless possibilities for scent combinations.

How much to add to a recipe?

The jury is out on this, but according to my research, here’s what is generally recommended.

For a gentle scent, in other words, not overly concerned about the properties of the oil, add 15 drops of essential oils to 3 cups of water.

For the properties of the oils to come through in cleaning, usually 20-30 drops will do in 3 cups of water.

Feel free to add a few dashes to your mop water or sink water when hand washing dishes, and you all know that I love adding a few drops to my laundry detergent.  I also like adding a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball and placing that in my office if I don’t have a reed diffuser or defuser handy.

Some of my favorite scent combinations include:

  • Bergamot, lemon, spearmint
  • Rosemary, lemon, vanilla
  • Basil, lemon, lime
  • Lime, lavender
  • Lavender, rosemary eucalyptus
  • Eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree
  • Geranium, sandalwood and mandarin
  • Vanilla, lavender
  • Vanilla, peppermint
  • Cinnamon, clove, orange

Tips for cleaning with essential oils

  • Add Essential Oils after you’ve added your water to the spray bottle.
  • Since oil and water don’t mix well, give your product a good shake before using it
  • They are safe to use on any surface you’d be cleaning and safe for kiddo’s to be on and around.

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