I’ve used essential oils in many common applications like soaps, scrubs, and lotions. This article is about 15 creative essential oil uses around the house.
Whether you’re trying to keep pests out of your house or cleaning some really tough messes, essential oils can be a valuable part of your arsenal.
Essential Oil Uses for Pests
Mice and Spiders
Mice and spiders hate peppermint. Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil in the inside corners of cabinets or under the refrigerator to banish pests from the house!
Are flies trying to invade your home? A fly deterrent spray can be made with distilled water, a bit of alcohol, and a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. Add to a spray bottle, shake, and spray around your door frame and windows to keep flies away.
All it takes is one overripe banana and you get dozens of fruit files. These nasty little things are attracted to rotting fruit, so you can simulate that to attract and trap fruit flies. Fill a small disposable cup half way with water. Add a few drops of litsea cubeba or orange essential oil. Top with plastic wrap, securing it to the sides of the cup with tape or a rubber band. Then poke a few small holes in the top. The fruit flies will find their way in, but will be unable to leave and will eventually drown in the liquid when they drink it.
Add a few drops of lavender or mint essential oil to your rinse cycle. The scent will remain enough to help keep mosquitoes from flocking to you. I’ve also used lemongrass and citronella essential oils for the same thing.
You can use the same oils above for a longer lasting effect. Put a few drops of these oils on the center of a bandana and roll from the inside out (so the oils are not in contact with your skin). Wear the bandana around your neck or tuck in a pocket. This will also help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes and other flying insects. Other oils that can help with mosquitoes are geranium, eucalyptus, cedarwood, and litsea cubeba.
Cedar shavings or blocks are commonly used in closets to get rid of moths. You can also put a few drops of cedarwood essential oil on a cotton ball and place in your closet. I have a few on the top shelf of my closet and I only refresh them twice a year.
Aphids can destroy an entire crop of greens, roses, or other plants. Mix up a spray bottle with warm water, a bit of alcohol, and a few drops of cayenne essential oil. Any other pepper will also work. If these are hard to find, make an infused oil with hot peppers and add to your water. Spray the affected plants, top and bottom. This works like hot pepper wax that you can find commercially, but for only pennies!
Essential Oil Uses For Household Odors
Musty Cabinet Odors
Put a few drops of vanilla on a cotton ball and place it under the sink. Vanilla helps eliminate musty odors in small, enclosed spaces. Frankincense is naturally antibacterial, and is a good substitution if you don’t like vanilla.
Suitcases/Trash Cans/Diaper Pails
I go to see family once a year and the rest of the time my suitcases sit dormant. A few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball will help keep them smelling fresh. The same goes for trash cans and diaper pails.
Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil on your furnace filter to smell it every time the fan runs. Most essential oils are somewhat antibacterial, so this can help to clean the air as well.
Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in a cup or so of baking soda. Sprinkle on the carpet and leave for 30 minutes or so. Vacuum up the baking soda and the scent will remain for about a week.
Essential Oil Uses For Cleaning
Orange essential oil is an acidic oil, so it works very well to help get rid of residue from labels, pine resin from Christmas trees, and anything else that may be sticky. Dip an old piece of flannel into some orange oil. Rub it on the residue and wait a few minutes. It’ll soften up and you can just wipe it off. Stubborn or old tags may take a few applications.
Add essential oils to shampoo or dish soap for extra cleaning power. Lemon and grapefruit essential oils are great grease cutters. Why not add a few drops to your shampoo or dish soap to give it an extra boost? Lime essential oil works too, but I’ve found the smell a little off-putting. It works great on floors though!
Hiding Scratches in Wood
Unless your wood is blonde or very dark, the yellowish color of turmeric essential oilwill help to hide scratches in wood. It works really well for woods with a reddish tone.
Hard to Clean Dishes
We’ve all had it happen – we’re cooking something on the stove or in the oven and we get distracted. The pan burns and no amount of scrubbing will fix it. Here’s an easy solution: put a thin layer of dish soap in the bottom of the pan and add 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add warm water and stir, leaving another 30 minutes. Wash out and rinse well. Really bad burns or thick food residue may take multiple tries.
Rosemary and frankincense essential oils are great for achieving shiny hair. Put a small dab of your normal hair serum or styling balm in your palm. Add a few drops of rosemary and frankincense essential oils and mix well. Style as usual. You’ll notice more shine and smoother hair immediately!
Finding Good Quality Essential Oils
Not all essential oils are created equally. Many are cut with inferior oils or have other added ingredients that affect the purity. Non-organic essential oils may have pesticide residues present. For these reasons, we recommend using organic, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils to avoid these issues.
Always use essential oils with caution. Not all essential oils are for everyone. If you have sensitivities to some, try another. Most essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before using on the skin.
Pets, children, elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems may have more sensitivities than others. Use sparingly around these populations.