fotolia/279photo

The 5 Best Essential Oils For Cleaning

Whether you're trying to freshen up your cleaning products or avoid harsh chemicals altogether, there are a ton of natural oils that work as disinfectants. In fact, the best essential oils for cleaning pack nearly the same punch as any other cleaning agent — only without the chemicals.

The good news is that most oils are super easy to clean with, and many can be mixed with other oils for even more potency. To make just about any solution, mix up to 10 drops of oil in a gallon of water for a mild cleaner, or mix them into vinegar, baking soda, or castile soap to create a variety of other cleaning solutions. You can even add essential oils to coconut oil to make a natural insect repellant. The options are endless.

But first, consider where in your home you plan to use them. While most have some kind of antiseptic properties, each tends to eliminate different strains of bacteria and viruses. For example, thyme oil is particularly effective against salmonella, so this oil would work best in the kitchen, while a less potent oil, like lavender, is gentle enough to use on laundry.

With so many different oils on the market, it can be tough to figure out the ones that'll work best for you. Here's a round-up of some of the best essential oils for cleaning to help keep your cleaning routine eco-friendly and chemical-free.

1. The Best For Grease: Lemon Oil

Artnaturals Lemon Oil (15 mL)

$7

|

Amazon

Not only does this therapeutic-grade lemon essential oil smell amazing, but it's also a powerful cleaning agent found in disinfectants and degreasers. The natural acid in the lemon cuts through caked-on grease with ease, making it the perfect addition to any cleaning solution for kitchen appliances. You can even add a few drops of this oil to water to create a fresh-scented floor polish, or just add an undiluted drop of it to a grease stain on a blouse before running it through a wash cycle. Even better? This lemon oil is 100-percent natural, cruelty-free, and certified vegan.

2. The Best Disinfectant For The Bathroom: Tea Tree Oil

Healing Solutions Tea Tree Oil (10 mL)

$8

|

Amazon

This distilled tea tree oil is so powerful, it can blast away the viruses and bacteria hanging out in your bathroom. Studies have shown undiluted tea tree oil can eliminate the strongest bacteria — even staph. This 100-percent pure oil by Healing Solutions is highly concentrated, making it great for mixing with baking soda for a natural sink and toilet bowl cleaner. It's also lightly scented so it can be easily mixed with other oils (including lemon) to create a potent disinfectant that won't stand a chance against germs.

3. The Best For Deodorizing For Laundry: Lavender Oil

Artisan Lavender Oil (30 mL)

$7

|

Amazon

This lavender essential oil is natural and not diluted with any carrier oils. That means this entire bottle is full of potent lavender oil, you can use for pretty much all of your laundry needs. Lavender oil works as an excellent deodorizer, working to lift stubborn scents from just about any clothing. Just add a few drops to wool dryer balls or directly to your detergent or washing machine for a natural scent booster. Lavender oil mixed with water is also a great linen or towel spray to freshen up fabrics on the fly.

4. The Best Antibacterial For The Kitchen: Thyme Oil

Gya Labs Thyme Oil (10 mL)

$9

|

Amazon

This earthy, slightly floral thyme oil smells wonderful while it banishes dirt and grime. High in anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, it works as a natural disinfectant for any surface that harbors stubborn germs. In fact, studies even show that thyme oil is strong enough to ward off salmonella and e.coli, making it an effective kitchen cleaner. Just add a few drops to water to make a countertop cleaner, or to liquid dish soap for an extra layer of protection for your dishes. Thyme also blends well with tea tree oil to make a powerful, all-purpose cleaner you can use anywhere.

5. The Best Insect Repellant: Peppermint Oil

Plant Therapy Organic Peppermint Oil (10 mL)

$8

|

Amazon

You don't have to use traps and chemicals to get rid of pests with this organic peppermint oil. Just add a few drops of this high-potency oil into a carrier oil, like coconut, and let the mixture set and harden slightly. Leave your solution any place where ants, spiders, or mosquitoes tend to lurk and voila! They'll vanish in a snap —and your home will smell fresh and minty. This peppermint also works great in a diffuser to eliminate bacteria and odor from the air so you can keep your home free of germs.

Elite Daily may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Elite Daily's editorial and sales departments.