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Best Essential Oils for Green Cleaning

Updated on July 1, 2014
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie was an elementary school teacher for 13 years, teaching grades 3-5. She is now a Library Media Specialist in an elementary school.

Eucalyptus Leaves


Beneficial Essential Oils for Green Cleaning

There are dozens of essential oils that work well with green cleaning mixtures.

  • Lemon, cinnamon, lavendar, and orange essential oils leave wonderfully fresh and pleasing smells.
  • Although more pungent in smell, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oils are three of my favorites because of their many beneficial properties.

This article focuses on these properties and explains how they are helpful when used in cleaning mixtures.

Cleaning With Essential Oils

Creating green cleaning mixtures is easier than you might think. As people become aware of the harmful toxins in many store-bought cleaners, more people are looking for other options. A wealth of information about how to create your own green cleaners is found quickly with a Google or Hubpages search. Beneficial essential oils can easily be added to all of the green cleaning recipes in the hub, Healthy Natural Green House Cleaning Solutions.

One example is a furniture polish cleaning solution. Combine equal parts of vinegar and olive to use as a furniture cleaner. Put in a spray bottle or easy-dispense container. Add several drops of essential oil to the furniture polish solution. For a small bottle, add 3 to 6 drops, and for a large bottle, add 10 to 20 drops. According to tests run by Biomed Central, cinnamon was very effective for antibacterial properties. Because of this, I would use cinnamon essential oil in surface cleaners, such as furniture polish. Not only will your furniture be shiny and attractive, it will be germ-free as well.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil has some wonderful cleaning properties. Because of its antibacterial strenght, it is very useful in cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, and surface areas. In additioln to its antibacterial properties, peppermint essential oil is a natural pest detterant as well, keeping ants, roaches, spiders away from you home. It mixes well with other essential oils such as lemon and lavendar, creating an incredible smell as you are cleaning.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil offers antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. IIt is an excellent remover of mildew and mold in the bathroom as well as other areas of the house. I was amazed at the result when I sprayed a mixture of water and tea tree essential oil on my mildew-infested shower walls and floor. I did this for several days, and the mildew gradually vanished. Now I maintain a mildew-free shower stall by spraying the walls and floor once a week. To make this mixture, mix 10-20 drops of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle. Then, spay the mixture on moldy or mildewy areas. Let it sit on the surface without scrubbing or rinsing. This mixture will also rid your house of musty and unpleasant odors.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

According to, the health benefits of eucaplyptus oil include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and other medicinal properties. Because it is used to treat many respiratory problems, when used to clean bathrooms and add to hottubs, it has an added health benefit as well. In addition, eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral, which makes it a wonderful ingredient in household cleaning mixtures. Eucalyptus oil has also been shown to repel dust mites, so it is an excellent choice of essential oil to add when washing clothes, towels, or linens. Simply add several drops to the washing machine when beginning a load of laundry.


One should always be careful when using essential oils. Check to be sure that you are not allergic to them and that they will not interfere with any other treatments you may be receiving. Keep them away from children. Essential oils are meant to be used diluted as they are very potent. Visit: Essential Oil Warnings for more information about the uses and warnings for specific essental oils.


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    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 5 years ago from Virginia

      When I worked in Detroit, MI, we had a terrible mice problem in our school. I could hear them running across the ceiling after school in what sounded like herds. One ran around the classroom during school one day. We all had our feet up for that. Peppermint makes a great alternative to other options. It may work well to spray it along possible entrances as well. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I read somewhere that peppermint oil deterrs mice as well. I have had issues with mice in my classroom, which freaks me out! I never keep food there, but something attracts them. So I tried the pepperment oil. I wiped down all the surfaces, including inside my desk where I have seen evidence of mice in the past. So far this school year...NO MICE!!!! I think it must be working. Great hub :)

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for reading Mommymay! I've never tried the grapefruit essential oil- will be looking into it. I started making my own cleaning products several months ago and really like them as well. Adding essential oils is fun and extremely beneficial too. Take care.

    • Mommymay profile image

      Heather May 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the hub! I make ALL of my own cleaners - laundry, window cleaner, all purpose, etc...I really do find them better than the storebought ones and I just started using essential oils in them! My favorite is the grapefruit. It makes the house smell so fresh and clean! I am just starting to lean about green cleaning and am hubbing as I go too! I think we may have a lot in common!!! Voted up!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 5 years ago from Virginia

      carol7777, thanks for reading and pinning!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 5 years ago from Virginia

      momswearyourtees, welcome to Hubpages! Thanks for reading my hub - I love essential oils too!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good information here. Thanks for sharing. Going to pin this.

    • momswearyourtees profile image

      Scarlet Paolicchi 5 years ago from Nashville

      I love essential oils. Thanks for sharing these useful tips!