Spring is right around the corner!

A return to longer light and sunnier days fills us with that fresh-start feeling! It’s the perfect time to give your home a new shine.

If you haven’t tried making your own natural cleaning products yet, there are so many good reasons to start! Essential oil cleaning products smell amazing, support your health, reduce your exposure to harsh, synthetic chemicals, and help protect the planet.

You can make recipes to clean every room in your house with just a few core essential oils and simple supplies you probably already have in your kitchen.

While many essential oils can help get rid of germs and microbes,
we’ll make it easy by sharing our top 5 cleaning classics.

One great thing about these oils is that they’re versatile. An oil that can help clean your kitchen, can also work in your bathroom, to freshen your indoor air, and more. And they all work best when combined with tough germ-fighting ingredients like high-proof alcohol and Castile soap.

Top 5 essential oils for cleaning

1. Thyme ct Thymol Oil (Thymus vulgaris ct thymol)

Thyme may be a common kitchen herb, but its essential oil is so potent against germs that it was used in field hospitals in WWI. This is due to its main chemical component, thymol, which has been well researched. Plus, thyme ct thymol has a lovely herbal aroma that makes your home smell fresh and clean!

2. May Chang Oil (Litsea cubeba)

May chang is an oil from India with a lemony-sweet aroma. It’s rich in aldehydes, giving it a potent effect against a variety of microbes, but it can also be harsh on skin. Be sure to dilute it well in your natural cleaning blends if they’ll come into contact with your skin.

3. Lemongrass ct Rhodinol Oil (Cymbopogon citratus ct rhodinol)

Lemongrass essential oil is famous for its purifying effects, especially when it comes to preventing fungi and mold from collecting on surfaces. This chemotype of lemongrass has a soft, rosy aroma, and won’t irritate your nose and skin like “classic” lemongrass sometimes can.

4. Scotch Pine Oil (Pinus sylvestris)

There’s a reason so many cleaning products are scented like pine! Of course, conifers smell amazing—but most of them, including Scotch pine, are also incredible at decreasing the presence of microbes. (That’s also what makes this oil popular during cold season.)

5. Peppermint Oil (Mentha × piperita)

A classic essential oil for natural cleaning! Peppermint’s crisp, minty scent makes your home smell pristine. And its menthol content makes it one of our top choices for purifying the whole house—especially in air fresheners like room mists and diffuser blends.

Ready to go green, but not sure where to start?

Get our free natural cleaning guide! We’ll walk you step by step through which oils to use, how to make water-based cleaning products, how to include high-proof alcohol in your recipes, ensuring your products are safe to use around kids and pets, and more! You can read the guide online or download it as a PDF and print it out.

References

Abbaszadeh S, Sharifzadeh A, Shokri H, Khosravi AR, Abbaszadeh A. Antifungal efficacy of thymol, carvacrol, eugenol and menthol as alternative agents to control the growth of food-relevant fungi. J Mycol Med. 2014 Jun;24(2):e51-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mycmed.2014.01.063. Epub 2014 Feb 26. PMID: 24582134.

Astani A, Reichling J, Schnitzler P (2010) Comparative study on the antiviral activity of selected monoterpenes derived from essential oils. Phytotherapy Research 24(5):673-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2955

Boukhatem, M.N., Ferhat, M.A., Kameli, A., Saidi, F. and Kebir, H.T. (2014) Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drug. Libyan Journal of Medicine 9, 25431. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ljm.v9.25431

Da Silva AC, Lopes PM, de Azevedo MM, Costa DC, Alviano CS, Alviano DS. (2012) Biological activities of a-pinene and ß-pinene enantiomers. Molecules 2012 17, 6305–16.

Lang, G. and Buchbauer, G. (2012) A review on recent research results (2008-2010) on essential oils as antimicrobials and antifungals. A review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 27, 13-39

Minami, M., Kita, M., Nakaya, T., Yamamoto, T., Kuriyama, H. and Imanishi, J. (2003) The inhibitory effects of essential oils on herpes simplex type-1 replication in vitro. Microbiology and Immunology 47, 681-684.

Rota, M.C., Herrera, A., Martinez, R.M., Sotomayor, J.A. and Jordán, M.J. (2008) Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis and Thymus hyemalis essential oils. Food Control 19, 681-687.

Saad, N.Y., Muller, C.D. and Lobstein, A. (2013) Major bioactivities and mechanism of action of essential oils and their components. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 28, 269-279.

Silva, B., Guterres, S.S., Weisheimer, V. and Schapoval, E.E. (2008) Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp. Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases 12, 63-66.

Tao N, OuYang O, Jia L. (2014) Citral inhibits mycelial growth of Penicillium italicum by a membrane damage mechanism. Food Control 41, 116-121.

April 03, 2022 — Karen Williams