One of the healthiest and simplest ways to go “green” is to replace your harsh, chemical-laden cleaners with natural alternatives. This can seem daunting and expensive at first, but it can actually be simple and low-cost down the road when you make your own cleaners.
It’s true, there are natural cleaners on the market that definitely cost a pretty penny, but many can be made with ingredients you probably already have around the house. Not only is it significantly cheaper to make your own cleaning solutions, but it can be healthier as well.
When you make them yourself, you don’t have to worry about what they’re made of because you know every single ingredient you put in! What’s more, if you decide to use essential oils, you can really amp up the cleaners’ effectiveness. Plus, they will make your home smell delightful—naturally!
Your house will be clean and nontoxic, and you’ll even reap the essential oils’ therapeutic benefits while you clean. A total win-win!
These six essential oils for green cleaning are must-haves when you begin making your own natural cleaners.
6 Essential Oils for Green Cleaning
Lavender is good for so many things. As one of the most versatile and widely used essential oils, it has a ton of therapeutic properties that make it useful for dealing with just about any issue. It’s also a great option to consider when choosing essential oils to naturally clean your home.
Lavender is naturally antibacterial [source] and anti-inflammatory [source], making it beneficial for a multitude of skin issues. It’s a wonderful addition to homemade laundry soap and dryer balls because of its gentle properties and soothing scent. It’s also a great choice for hand soaps and cleansers since it increases their antibacterial properties without being too harsh on the skin.
It should come as no surprise that lemon is on this list. Since many mainstream cleaners are scented with lemon, its aroma is often associated with cleanliness. Lemon essential oil contains potent antimicrobial [source] and degreasing properties that make it essential for DIY green cleaners.
Because it’s a great sanitizer, it’s beneficial when used for all-purpose sprays and floor cleaners. It is especially useful as a degreaser in dish soap and other grease-cutting formulas, like DIY oven cleaners. Additionally, lemon is a great choice to consider when making your own furniture polishing formulas.
Lemon is well-known for its germ-fighting capabilities, so it’s also effective when used in air-purifying blends. As an added bonus, in addition to calming and muscle-relaxing properties with inhalation [source], the crisp, citrusy aroma can both boost your mood and energize you while you’re cleaning!
Peppermint is another extremely versatile and popular essential oil. Its concentration of menthol contains antimicrobial properties [source], which is why so many people like to use it in all-purpose cleaning blends. It’s also considered useful as a pesticide [source] for repelling both ants and mice.
It can be used in a pest spray around door frames or other points of entry, or a few drops can be placed on a cotton ball and then placed in areas to deter pests.
With its fresh minty aroma, peppermint is a great option for room sprays or other blends to scent the home.
4. Tea tree oil
Due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties [source], tea tree oil is a must-have for anybody who’s serious about creating their own green cleaning formulas. Tea tree is a wonderful addition to any germ-fighting formula and can be used in cleaning sprays or blends created to purify the air.
I use it every time someone in my house has been sick, and it’s great used as a disinfectant for things like doorknobs and light switches if there’s been illness in the house. It would even be a good choice to use in soaps and homemade wipes for sanitizing.
Tea tree packs a powerful antimicrobial punch [source] and is a necessity for anyone who uses essential oils or who wants to clean their home naturally.
Like tea tree, cinnamon leaf is also antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal [source], so it would be effective for use in germ-fighting formulations. Cinnamon is an effective deodorizer as well. In fact, it is really good at removing and covering up unwanted smells. I use it in all my bathroom sprays and to freshen up the air in the house.
In the fall and winter, I diffuse it almost daily for a festive seasonal blend. With cinnamon leaf essential oil, it couldn’t be simpler to create your own completely natural air freshener!
Lemongrass essential oil is one of the most powerful natural cleaning weapons. Not only does its clean scent freshen and deodorize, but the oil is also antimicrobial [source]. It’s an excellent addition to an all-purpose spray for bathroom and kitchen cleaning. Just be sure to use gloves because it can irritate the skin with repeated usage.
Using essential oils for green cleaning is a nontoxic way to clean your house without having to worry about the unwanted side effects of questionable ingredients. They’ll boost the effectiveness of your cleaners, make your house smell wonderful, and you’ll be exposed to their amazing therapeutic benefits every time you clean. With just a few easy-to-find ingredients, you can create green cleaners for your entire house!
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.833