Thinking of essential oils for home use? It could be a good way to start a more natural and sustainable lifestyle.
After all, specific oils and special essential oil blends can potentially offer a variety of benefits, which could lessen your reliance on chemical or inorganic products. There are varied applications for essential oils, including but not limited to:
- Skincare and body care
- Relaxation and stress relief
- Supported sleep
- Cleaning the home (due to the potential bacteria-busting properties of some oils)1
Clearly, there’s more to these oils than just pouring a blend into an essential oil diffuser and letting it fragrance your home. While that’s still actually an effective way to use them, with a little more research, you may come to find that essential oils can fulfill quite a few purposes around the home.2
Read on for a simple guide some of the most popular essential oils.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil can do more than just help you get a good night’s sleep – studies show it may even help support a positive mood and help with anxiety.3
However, it should be noted that since lavender oil contains several strong compounds, using it undiluted can cause skin irritation and headaches in some sensitive individuals.4 Just dilute it with a carrier oil. Start with 1 drop of lavender oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Dilute further if necessary.
For household purposes, it’s a good scent to use around the home. Consider:
- Making a natural linen and room spray with it as the main component.
- Creating a laundry freshener “dryer sheet” by dousing a coffee filter with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
- Diffusing its calming scent while you clean by soaking a cotton ball in the oil and adding it to the dust bag of the vacuum cleaner. The
smell will waft around your home as you vacuum.
- Keeping your linen closet fresh by putting one or two lavender oil-soaked cotton balls in it.
- Removing a lingering smell left by pets by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a handful of baking soda, then sprinkle the mixture over the smelly area. Vacuum after a few minutes.5
Tea Tree Oil
While tea tree oil is popular for its reported effects on the skin (especially in regards to acne), tea tree oil’s bacteria-killing component makes it a versatile ingredient around the home, as well.
You can try:
- Making your own all-purpose cleaner to sanitize your countertops and other kitchen and living spaces.
- Potentially limiting mold growth on your fresh produce by soaking your fruits and vegetables in a water-and-tea-tree solution. Fill the
kitchen sink with warm water and add 5 drops of tea tree oil. Soak and then rinse well.
- Making your own liquid cleaning soap by adding a few drops to castile soap.
- Adding a few drops to distilled water to make an organic mouthwash (but care should be taken to make sure you don’t ingest this oil).6
- Mixing your own insect repellent by combining this and other types of beneficial oils with distilled water into a spray bottle.7
- Neutralize the odor of smelly shoes or mudrooms by adding tea tree oil to baking soda, sealing the mixture into an old (clean) sock, and stuffing it into shoes to absorb moisture and the unpleasant smell.8
Grapefruit Essential Oil
Diffusing essential oils like grapefruit can certainly uplift your mood with its signature clean and sharp citrus smell. It also offers a host of practical uses as well.
Try using this oil to:
- Possibly aid in controlling cravings when inhaled (either through a topical application on the skin or diffused).
- Help disinfect your kitchen. Add a few drops to your natural cleaning solution stored in a bottle kept away from direct sunlight.
- Help support your focus and concentration. Either soak a cotton ball in grapefruit essential oil or add a few drops to your diffuser and keep it close to your workspace.
- Deodorize your home by helping to eliminate the smell of cooked food, pets, etc.9
Cinnamon Essential Oil
In direct contrast to the citrusy or floral smell of other popular oils, cinnamon essential oil is characterized by its warm, exotic aroma.10
Try these applications for cinnamon essential oil around your household and you just might make a permanent space for it in your medicine cabinet:
- Adding a small amount to homemade muscle rubs or salves to help soothe tired and sore muscles.
- Diffusing around the home for that special holiday vibe, or to feel warmer when the weather turns.
Practice Caution When Using Essential Oils Around The Home
With all their purported benefits and uses, it’s clear these oils are strong stuff. Experts suggest diluting pure essential oils with neutral carrier oils or barrier substances to help prevent skin irritation and burns associated with high-grade oils.
It should also be noted that essential oils remain unregulated by the FDA – which means you have to do your own research when purchasing and using them on yourself and around the home. While diffusing essential oils seems like a harmless activity, keep in mind that young children and animals are extra-sensitive to certain oils and may exhibit untoward signs of respiratory distress or allergies.
If you bottle your oils up, make sure they are clearly labeled and tucked away safely away from fire hazards and curious little hands. For all the good they do, essential oils are still pretty potent stuff and should only be used (and ingested, most especially) under the guidance of a professional.11