5 Essential Oils for Cleaning That Can Put Chemical Cleaners to Shame

cleaning and disinfecting essential oils

Wipe down the kitchen counter. Disinfect the toys. Clean the bathroom sink. Keep that dining table spic and span.

When you run a house as I do, a big part of your day goes into cleaning and keeping away that last spec of dust. An unclean house is a big welcome home sign to germs, pests, and disease.

That is why I am extremely particular about cleaning and disinfecting each surface in my home regularly. My children play around the house all day, so I need to ensure that there is absolutely no way they can catch an infection or allergy from an unclean surface.

One of my favorite finds last year was using essential oils for house cleaning. Yes, you read that right. Not only do essential oils have a sublime fragrance, but they also have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Here is how to clean household items and surfaces using essential oils. I love these methods so much; they are practically my weekly routine!

Why Essential Oils?

For someone like me who cares deeply about the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals, essential oils are a treasure trove of goodness. They are 100% non-toxic and entirely natural. I don’t have to worry about the unhealthy chemicals in artificial fragrances and disinfectants.

Essential oils are naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial substances, which is why I swear by their benefits for house cleaning. And on the plus side, they smell fantastic too!

Check out five of my favorite cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.

1. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Who can resist the warm, heady smell of cinnamon? I know I can’t. But cinnamon doesn’t just smell great; it kills bacteria too.

  • The antibacterial properties of cinnamon oil are well documented. It is especially potent against hard-to-treat and potentially deadly bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa that infect humans and animals.
  • Cinnamon essential oil is also a natural preservative, and I like to add a few drops to my cosmetics to make sure they stay sterile and fresh.
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How to use cinnamon essential oils for cleaning?

  • As an air deodorizer and disinfectant: Use a diffuser to spread the oil in your house evenly. It is a strong preventive measure against the flu. I usually put on a few cinnamon oil diffusers in my home every evening during the winter.
  • On surfaces: Mix five drops of cinnamon essential oil in a gallon of water and wipe down tables and sinks in the kitchen or bathroom. Use this disinfectant once or twice a week around the house.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Use the freshness and excellent natural benefits of peppermint to spruce up your home. Peppermint essential oil is medicinally proven to help with nausea, common cold, headaches, and inflammation.

The active ingredient in peppermint is menthol, which makes up more than 60% of the oil and is highly effective against pests. Peppermint oil keeps away mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, and other disease carriers from your house.

How to use it?

Disinfecting your bathroom: Because peppermint oil is such a powerful antimicrobial substance, I recommend using it on bathroom surfaces like the sink and tiles to get rid of any germs.

Prepare a simple disinfecting spray with vinegar that can be used on all hard surfaces.

What do you need?

  • Peppermint essential oil (10-15 drops)
  • Lemon essential oil (10-15 drops)
  • Apple cider vinegar (¼ cup)
  • Distilled water (1 gallon)
  • Glass spray bottle


  1. Mix the two essential oils in a glass spray bottle.
  2. Add the vinegar once they are properly combined.
  3. Mix in the water and shake well to dissolve vinegar and oils.
  4. Spray liberally on bathroom or kitchen tiles, sinks, countertops, etc.

3. Tea-Tree Oil – Traditional Medicinal Essence

Tea-tree oil – which does not come from the beverage tea FYI – has been used as an antiseptic and natural medicinal substance for centuries.

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It is one of the best natural extracts to get rid of mustiness and cloth moths in the house. Tea-tree oil has the added benefit of an organic sanitizer, and I love to prepare a homemade hand sanitizer with it.

This is my tried-and-tested tea-tree oil sanitizer recipe for cleaning and disinfecting hands 100% naturally.

What do you need?

  • Tea-tree oil (30 drops)
  • Carrier oil like coconut or olive oil (5-10 drops)
  • Isopropyl alcohol at least 70% concentrated (3 ounces)
  • Aloe vera gel (½ ounce)
  • Dark glass spray bottle

What to do

  1. Mix the carrier oil and tea-tree oil thoroughly.
  2. Add the aloe vera gel and mix till all the chunks disappear.
  3. Finally, mix in the alcohol and whisk till the oily residue becomes integrated into the mixture.
  4. Pour into a small dark spray bottle, and your organic homemade hand sanitizer is ready!

I love this recipe because not only are the essential oils perfect for antibacterial cleaning, but they also leave my hands feeling soft and supple throughout the day.

4. Lemon Essential Oils For Cleaning

Lemon is one of the most versatile substances found in nature. I use it in different forms for countless cleaning and wellness hacks. The lemon essential oil contains limonene and b-pinene, which together have antifungal, antioxidant, and even antimalarial properties.

So lemon oil works miracles for killing bacterial and fungus and keeping away ticks, mosquitos, and other nasty bugs.

How to use lemon oil for cleaning?

  • I like to prepare a lemon oil glass cleaner to keep all the tabletops and windows in my house sparkling, clean, and sterile. Simply add ten drops of lemon essential oil and a cup of vinegar in some water and spray the cleaner onto your glass surfaces.
  • Lemon oil also naturally protects wooden items from cracking or catching mites. Prepare a wood polish using equal quantities of vinegar and olive oil (½ cup) and put in 15-20 drops of lemon oil. Rub this mixture well into wooden furniture, doors, and decorative items. I like to use this homemade disinfectant and polish on the wooden items in my house once every 3-4 months.
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5. Eucalyptus Oil For Pest Control

Along with its unique antibacterial nature, eucalyptus oil is a natural repellent for insects and pests. I also use it to keep my wardrobe free from moths and mold.

Here’s how you can use it to clean every corner of your house.

As a pest control agent: Mix 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in half a cup of water and spray in the corners of your kitchens and pantry. The strong smell repels rats and keeps your home safe from disgusting rodents.

Drive out the mosquitoes: Use a diffuser to spread the essential oil all-around your house. This will keep out mosquitoes and other bugs that cause dangerous diseases. Eucalyptus oil can also be applied onto the skin to prevent mosquito bites; however, I find it too strong to apply directly on soft skin.

Prevent mold: Bathroom tiles and kitchen plumbing are very susceptible to catching mold if you don’t clean them regularly. I mix ten drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water and wipe down all the corners in the bathrooms and under the sink. You can also add a few drops of this solution during grout cleaning to eliminate germs and odors.

There you go – the five best essential oils to naturally keep your house clean and sanitized.