Best Essential Oils for Cleaning

Essential oils are packed with antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Find out how to choose the best essential oils for cleaning your home naturally.

| March 2014

  • Lavender essential oil packs a powerful scent, but it is also well-known for its antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
    Photo by Fotolia/Vasileva
  • Get more than 150 recipes for all of your cleaning needs in "Homemade Cleaners."
    Cover courtesy Ulysses Press

Commercial cleaners—the very products you buy to help make your home clean and healthy—are loaded with toxic chemicals. Eliminate these hazardous ingredients from your home by making your own cleaners. Homemade Cleaners (Ulysses Press, 2014) by Mandy O’Brien and Dionna Ford features more than 150 toxin-free and effective recipes for cleaners for the entire house. In this excerpt from “Getting Started,” learn how to choose the best essential oils for your cleaning purposes.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Homemade Cleaners.

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants, including trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, and flowers, through steam distillation, expression, or solvent extraction. Unlike many artificial chemicals, which can accumulate in our bodies or in the environment, the plant nature of essential oils results in a product that breaks down readily. Research regarding essential oils has confirmed their various applications, including antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, depending on the essential oil.

Although essential oils are all natural, use them with caution. As most essential oils are very concentrated, they should be diluted using a carrier oil as a base. In this book, we discuss essential oils used topically or in cleaning solutions; please do your own research for using essential oils internally, as some can cause harm. Keep them out of reach of children or pets. Additionally, many essential oils are photosensitive and heat-sensitive and are best stored in a cool, dark place.

You do not need to purchase or use all of these oils. If you find a recipe you would like to try, check out any suggested essential oils and decide what will work for you. Some oils will appeal to some individuals more than others, and many have similar properties. Experiment. Go slow. Before long, you will enjoy using essential oils in many of your home applications.

To learn more about essential oils and how you might use them for other applications besides cleaning, check out Valerie Ann Worwood’s book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. It is an excellent beginner’s book about essential oils.

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