5 Essential Oils to Clean Your Home

Essential oils for house cleaning

You know I am a huge fan of super awesome quality essential oils. Whether I am putting them on my body, inhaling them, or cleaning with them, I always opt for the best ones.

Though cleaning may not be as fun or glamorous as making your own natural body care recipes, it can be as decadent when you incorporate the refreshing scents of a few key essential oils. I can’t say cleaning is my favourite pastime in the world, but I do love when my kitchen is sparkling clean – not with chemicals, but with botanicals.

According to popular advertising, we’re led to believe that we need an array of home cleaning products, from air fresheners to special mopping cloths to laundry detergents to sprays. These products are typically loaded with toxins that put our health at risk, including ingredients that are known carcinogens. Not to mention the environmental implications of the toxins that go down the drain, or the impact of the single-use and disposable products that we toss in the garbage. Because nothing is truly disposable – it all goes somewhere.

Creating a healthy home from the inside out is very important to me and I solely use natural cleaning products, most of which are homemade. It never ceases to amaze me what a little baking soda, vinegar, and a good essential oil can do.

There are so many amazing essential oils to clean your home with and I love playing around with different scents. However, I realize that not everyone is an essential oil hoarder like me (hey, I love what I love!) and so I want to share my must-haves – or my ‘essentials’, if you will.

Spring Cleaning

5 Essential Oils to Clean Your Home

Before you purchase essential oils, it’s important to ensure your oils are top quality. Essential oils are powerful, but only if the ones you buy actually contain the active compounds the company promises they do, and leave out the synthetics that are present in the ones sold by some of the bigger brands out there. You can read about this in-depth here.

I personally use Living Libations oils – so before you ask, that’s my answer and here are my five favourite essential oils to clean your home.

1. Tea Tree Oil

This essential oil is incredibly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and it has disinfectant, antiseptic and anti-microbial properties. It really keeps those germs at bay. Take a spray bottle and fill it with water and a few drops of tea tree oil, then use it to clean your kitchen, bathroom, floors – pretty much everywhere in your house. It works especially well when you use it to clean out the mold in your shower and to disinfect your yoga mat after a sweaty sesh.

Tea Tree Oil

2. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is another potent anti-bacterial and the benefit of adding grapefruit to vinegar-based cleaning products is that the citrus helps balance with the sour smell of the vinegar. Grapefruit is an uplifting scent that offers that citrusy freshness we’ve come to associate with clean. I often add grapefruit to my surface cleaners, mop water and glass cleaner.

Grapefruit Oil

3. Lemongrass

Like the oils I’ve already mentioned, lemongrass is anti-bacterial but it’s more well-known for being highly anti-fungal (it’s often used as a natural treatment for candida, a fungus that clings on for dear life). This means that lemongrass is one of the best essential oils to clean your home with if you’ve got a lot of fungus and mold. Mold tends to grow in damp spots, like the kitchen, bathroom, windows and in the basement. Add lemongrass to your home cleaners and banish that mold once and for all!

Lemongrass smells awesome and can help reduce anxiety levels too, so that’s one more reason to use it.

Lemongrass Oil

4. Eucalyptus

By now you’ve probably surmised the theme of the essential oils I’m choosing, so it won’t surprise you to learn that eucalyptus oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic too. When inhaled, it also supports the immune system and reduces inflammation. Eucalyptus is often used as a scent in conventional cleaning products because it has that outdoorsy, woodsy smell. By using eucalyptus essential oils to clean your home, you’ll get the benefits minus the toxins in conventional products.

Eucalyptus Oil

5. Lavender

I chose this because it’s one of my all-time favourite scents. I use it in home cleaning and beauty care, and always take it traveling. Though lavender has some mild anti-bacterial properties, this is one I use for its magnificent effect on the nervous system. It helps us feel calm and relaxed – who wouldn’t want that kind of scent to permeate their home? I love adding lavender essential oil to my all-purpose cleaners so I can smell lavender wherever I am at home.

Lavender Oil

These are 5 great staple essential oils to clean your home with and once you start using them, you won’t want to go back.

Did I miss anything? What are your favourite essential oils for home cleaning?

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5 Essential Oils To Clean Your Home

Photo Credit: iStock/kerdkanno


  1. Love this post! I also love the idea of essential oils and their natural power that comes with but am often overwhelmed by the vast number of different ones that you can get. Love this shortlist and am looking forward to slowly growing my collection of precious oils!

  2. For so long I worried about what I put inside my body (food I ate) that I overlooked the products that I apply outside my body (deodorant, moisturizer, household cleaning products). I love the focus of this blog post! And this is a great quote for people who are passionate about being green: “Because nothing is truly disposable – it all goes somewhere.” – Meghan Telpner

  3. Thank you for the tips on ecofriendly yet effective cleaning products.
    I am not a big fan of lavender oil (most often it is too overpowering), however, I once took a small bottle with me camping. It saved the day. I had 20+ noseeum (or however you spell those tiny little biters) bites per foot. Using a Q-tip I dabbed each bite with lavender oil and voila no more itch!
    Thanks for your work helping educating us so we can all help reduce the load of cleaning agents, chemicals and personal care products that are deposited into our lakes and rivers.

  4. A great post. My mum recently introduced me to essential oils – top quality oils – and I am now hooked! My lavender oil now goes everywhere with me also, and I’ve started cleaning with eucalyptus. Definitely going to try the lemongrass and tea tree! Thanks Meghan!

  5. I am a huge fan of lemongrass. I use it in my soaps and my cleaning products. I love the fresh scent and love knowing if I spray it around food it’s ok!

  6. Hi Meghan, any concerns with using lavender oil on/around boys because of the apparent estrogenic impact? Thanks!

  7. Hi Meghan, thanks for sharing this info. I will be starting to clean with essential oils this week. I am also going to be sharing my essential oils journey with friends and family and was wondering if I could use the main picture you have for this blog post in my closed fb group? I love the pic of the plants in the jars.
    Thank you

  8. Lemon is amazing if you have removed a sticker and have a residue left over! I have been able to use lime and orange as well but Lemon is the best! I have cleaned the glass, wood, plastic, and even my vinyl! I love it and it leaves the cleanest smell ever! Oils really are the best

  9. How many drops of oil do you use to how much water, to ensure their antibacterial/antiviral/antifungal etc properties are still potent and not watered down?
    Also, being essential oils, do they not leave any kind of grimy/oily residue on surfaces over time? For example, I have – and often use – an essential oil diffuser. But I find that some of the oils (despite water being added as well) leave a yucky-feeling residue inside over time that’s hard to clean out bc you can’t submerge the diffuser to wash it thoroughly.
    So how would that not be different for countertops or showers etc?

  10. I appreciate the variety of essential oils you’ve highlighted for cleaning purposes. It’s wonderful to have options that not only provide effective cleaning but also infuse our homes with delightful scents. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise on using essential oils for cleaning.

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