Should you use essential oils in a DIY all-purpose cleaner? Pros & cons

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In a world shifting towards eco-conscious living, the choice to create your own DIY all-purpose cleaner is gaining popularity. This simple yet effective cleaning solution not only keeps your home spick and span but also contributes to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

One common consideration in the DIY cleaning realm is the use of essential oils. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of incorporating these aromatic plant extracts into your homemade cleaning concoctions.

The pros of using essential oils:

  1. Natural Fragrance:
    Essential oils provide a delightful, natural fragrance to your DIY all-purpose cleaner. Options like tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, or citrus not only make your cleaning experience more pleasant but also impart additional antimicrobial properties.
  2. Antibacterial Properties:
    Many essential oils boast antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Adding them to your cleaner can enhance its ability to combat germs and bacteria in your living spaces.
  3. Aromatherapy Benefits:
    Beyond their cleaning prowess, essential oils offer aromatherapy benefits. The right scent can uplift your mood, reduce stress, and create a more pleasant atmosphere in your home.
  4. Customizable Blends:
    The wide variety of essential oils allows you to customize your cleaning solution based on personal preferences. Experiment with different blends to find the perfect aroma for your living space.

The cons of using essential oils in DIY products:

  1. Cost:
    Essential oils can be pricey, and their cost may add up, especially if you’re experimenting with various blends. If budget-conscious cleaning is a priority, opting for a fragrance-free version might be more economical.
  2. Potential Skin Sensitivity:
    Some individuals may be sensitive to certain essential oils, leading to skin irritation. It’s essential to test your DIY cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before widespread use, especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
  3. Not Pet-Friendly:
    While some essential oils are safe for pets, others can be harmful. If you have furry friends at home, it’s crucial to choose pet-friendly oils or consider skipping them altogether to ensure the safety of your pets.
  4. Overpowering Fragrance:
    Overuse of essential oils can result in an overpowering fragrance that may not be suitable for everyone. Striking the right balance is key to achieving a pleasant, subtle scent without overwhelming your living space.

Whether or not to use essential oils in your DIY all-purpose cleaner ultimately boils down to personal preference, budget considerations, and potential sensitivities. If you enjoy the natural fragrance, antibacterial properties, and customizable blends that essential oils offer, incorporating them into your cleaning routine can be a rewarding experience.

However, if simplicity, budget-friendliness, or sensitivity concerns are paramount, a fragrance-free version may be the perfect fit. Whichever path you choose, the journey to a cleaner, greener home is in your hands!

DIY products to use essential oils In

If you do choose to use essential oils when making your own cleaning products, here’s a list of ideas to try.

  1. All-Purpose Cleaner: Create a versatile all-purpose cleaner by mixing water, vinegar, and a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, lemon, or lavender.
  2. Disinfectant Wipes: Make your own disinfectant wipes by soaking cloth squares in a solution of water, vinegar, and a few drops of essential oils. Store them in a sealed container for easy use.
  3. Room Spray: Mix water with essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, or citrus to create a refreshing and natural room spray to freshen up your living spaces.
  4. Carpet Deodorizer: Combine baking soda with essential oils like lavender or lemon to create a DIY carpet deodorizer. Sprinkle it on carpets, let it sit, and then vacuum for a fresh scent.
  5. Laundry Freshener: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a damp washcloth and toss it in the dryer with your laundry for a natural and pleasant fragrance.
  6. Fabric Softener: Mix vinegar with essential oils like chamomile or lavender to create a homemade fabric softener. Add it to the rinse cycle in your washing machine.
  7. DIY Hand Soap: Make your own hand soap by mixing liquid castile soap with water and adding a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, lavender, or peppermint.
  8. Furniture Polish: Mix olive oil with a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil to create a natural and effective furniture polish.
  9. Air Freshener Sachets: Fill small sachets with dried flowers, herbs, or even rice, and add a few drops of essential oils for a natural and fragrant air freshener.
  10. Goo Remover: Use a combination of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil like eucalyptus or tea tree to create a DIY goo remover for sticky residues.
  11. Shoe Deodorizer: Create a shoe deodorizer by placing baking soda in a pouch with a few drops of essential oils like peppermint or tea tree.
  12. Drawer Liner Sachets: Place small sachets with essential oils in drawers to keep clothes and linens smelling fresh.
  13. DIY Hand Sanitizer: Mix aloe vera gel with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil to create a DIY hand sanitizer.
  14. Linen Spray: Combine water with essential oils like lavender or chamomile to create a soothing linen spray for your bedding.
  15. Candle Making: Infuse homemade candles with essential oils to add natural scents to your living space.

What are some alternatives to essential oils for scenting homemade products?

If you’re looking for alternatives to essential oils for scenting your DIY products, here’s a list of options that can add delightful fragrances to your creations:

  1. Herbs and Spices:
    Infuse your products with dried herbs and spices like lavender, rosemary, cinnamon, or cloves for a natural and aromatic touch.
  2. Citrus Zest:
    The peels of citrus fruits, such as lemon, orange, or grapefruit, can be grated or finely chopped to add a fresh and citrusy scent to your creations.
  3. Vanilla Extract:
    Vanilla extract provides a sweet and warm fragrance. Add a few drops to your DIY products for a comforting aroma.
  4. Coffee Grounds:
    Used coffee grounds can be added to products like homemade scrubs or deodorizers to impart a rich and invigorating coffee scent.
  5. Dried Flowers:
    Incorporate dried flowers like rose petals, lavender buds, or chamomile into your products for a delicate and floral fragrance.
  6. Cinnamon Sticks:
    Cinnamon sticks can be added to homemade potpourri or simmered in water for a cozy and spicy aroma.
  7. Mint Leaves:
    Fresh or dried mint leaves can be crushed and added to products for a refreshing and invigorating scent.
  8. Citrus Essential Oil Alternatives:
    If you’re after citrus scents but don’t have citrus essential oils, use the juice of citrus fruits or citrus zest for a natural alternative.
  9. Pine Needles:
    Crushed pine needles can be used to infuse a fresh and forest-like scent into your DIY products.
  10. Almond Extract:
    Almond extract provides a sweet and nutty aroma. Add a few drops to your creations for a pleasant scent.
  11. Coconut Extract:
    Coconut extract offers a tropical and sweet fragrance, perfect for adding a hint of the beach to your products.
  12. Rosewater:
    Rosewater is a gentle floral alternative, ideal for adding a subtle and rosy scent to your DIY creations.
  13. Lemon or Orange Peel Powder:
    Dried and ground lemon or orange peel can be incorporated into powdered products like cleaning powders or deodorizers for a citrusy fragrance.
  14. Essential Oil Blends:
    If you don’t have a specific essential oil, try creating custom blends using other available oils to achieve a unique and pleasing scent.
  15. Scented Extracts:
    Explore various scented extracts, such as almond, peppermint, or coconut, as alternatives to essential oils for fragrance in your products.

Feel free to mix and match these alternatives based on your preferences and the desired scents for each DIY project. Experimenting with different natural scents can add a personal and unique touch to your homemade products.



Hey! I'm a freelance writer and a mom of three. I've been blogging for over 10 years now and def I write posts here about working from home as a parent, mindful parenting, and tips for how to develop a more sustainable home.

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