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.
I frequently include it in my all-purpose cleaning sprays. And because it contains calmative properties when inhaled [source], it’s a no-brainer for linen and pillow sprays.
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.
5. Cinnamon leaf
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.
Diffuse it to cleanse the air, add it to your refrigerator deep clean, and keep germs at bay with homemade hand soap.
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.836
Kathie Landis says
My only addition is to be careful around pets! Peppermint can be very toxic even if inhaled. So warn your readers to be cautious. :)
Time to update my cleaning supplies
Click Here says
Thanks for these 10 best oils. For me no 3 “ROSEMARY” is best.
justin Williamson says
Very interesting stuff! I have a bit of experience with this myself in Sydney Pressure Cleaning.
Stockholm is gorgeous! I see so many posts on Denmark and Norway but rarely ever any on Sweden. So thanks! I need a pic in front of that rainbow wall at the metro! But my favorite is def that Vasa ship!! By far! That is so freaking cool!!! <3
Deborah Cooke says
Hi what oils make a good antibacterial wipe to disinfect a room.
Also can I mix a few together safely
Wow!! This article is really useful. I love essential oils but never thought they can even use this way. Totally mind blower. I will try it out for sure.
Thank you for the information.
Great stuff!! enjoyed reading this alot. Thank you so much for sharing
Edward Morrison says
I’ve been wanting to use more natural cleaning agents since I know the chemicals aren’t good for my house and my cat.
What about pet safety
Jerry Moore says
Very good and interesting choices.
Simon Harrison says
Essential oils are just that…essential….I really love the way that you put the information in such an easy to read manner…many thanks
FARKHAND RSHEED says
Very Good article as per my need and interest.WOULD YOU PLEASE MENTION THE REFERENCES FOR THE PRESCRIBED USE ND EFFECT OF THE OIL.IT WILL ADD CONFIDENCE FOR USE
Since starting our company we’ve found that lemon can do wonders and so many things you never thought it could. Thanks for this article, we use it to show new cleaners that we bring on our team.
Wow!! Just what I was looking for. Thank you so much for sharing
Hi Grace. Where did you learn this method? I don’t know why we have the same approaching. :D
even though essential oils contain chemicals they are really great for cleaning.
High quality oils do not contain oils. Look into doTERRA. Most of their oils are safe for consumption even.
do not contain chemicals** is what I meant to say. sorry.
Awesome! Such great information. I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m out shopping for my wife!! :)
James @ Vacate cleaning sydney says
Interesting! I would love to try thyme in my kitchen for next house cleaning.
We just started using essential oils quite a bit, even bought a diffuser. We use lavender, tea tree, and peppermint quite a bit.
Essential oils are best natural healing and cleaning. I used to get it from thrive market and aromatherapy.
i am here given you my website link …please visit there…
Lloyd Rutledge says
I work at a church with a daycare.
Can anyone give me documentation that proves that Lemon Essential Oil cleans like a good antibacterial?
(Kills 99.9% of bacteria)
Lillian Trupia says
Where do can I order these oils
Done and Dusted says
Another great one is Bergamot. It has a citrus-like fragrance, similar to orange but really lovely, and it is a less obvious fragrance than lemon which I think is sometimes a bit over-used.
Sammy Dolan says
Lemon definitely has a big influence in my cleaning products, it smells so clean and new. I also have a peppermint air freshener, it smells amazing!
I was happy to see bottle of Finlandia vodka. Greetings from Finland!
Piggy Vest says
good tips, thank you for the list, i will try this natural cleaning tips during weekend
I’m very new to this and excited to try! Would like to know WHERE to buy the essential oils and an estimate on the cost for them. Thanks!
Holland and Barrett have some that are half price at the moment.xxx
Fleet Cleanig Sydney says
Using lemon is my favorite one on the list whenever I go cleaning and i also love its scent. Thank for sharing, green cleaning really rocks!
I have used orange essential oil to keep ants away!! Thoroughly wash down all kitchen surfaces, let dry, then apply a thin swipe of the oil on all surfaces, especially on window sills, doorways, and any openings such as where the counter top meet the wall. reapply after wiping down counters daily, if needed. Works like MAGIC and the whole house smells great.
Candice Byron says
For persistent odor in the fridge, line bottom shelf with newspaper that has been sprinkled with 10-15 drops essential oil, such as Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, or Orange. Remove after 2 or 3 days. You can also use a slice of bread on a plate to absorb many odors. Sprinkle with 2-4 drops of essential oil of choice for extra deodorizing power.
Golders Green Carpet Cleaners Ltd.
Angela Leigh says
I so appreciate this! I am new to the world of essential oils & have been researching for topical use, etc. Since I am a big clean freak, I will definitely give these a try :) Thank you!
Thanks for this list! I’ve been wanting to use more natural cleaning agents since I know the chemicals aren’t good for my dog and I.
Great choices! I thought it interesting as well that these are almost all the same essential oils I use topically to boost my immune system. I swipe a blend of tea tree, pine, peppermint, rosemary, geranium, eucalyptus, and cinnamon along my throat and the bridge of my nose every morning and night to keep away illness, and it works!
Shuntinette Fields says
I will try this