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9 Best Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils (Plus Bonus Recipes)

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Do you want to use natural cleaning products in your home? There are many different essential oils that can be used, but some of the most popular include lavender oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil and lemon oil. These four oils have various uses for both cleaning and disinfecting, but there are even more great cleaning and disinfecting essential oils. Want to know more about these 9 amazing Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils? Read on! 

In this post, we’ll share about the 9 best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils plus 12 DIY recipes using these essential oils so you can get started with using them in your own home. You’ll learn how they’re all used for cleaning or disinfecting purposes as well as their individual benefits. If you’re ready to start making your own cleaners at home, read this blog post now!

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9 Best Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil 

Tea Tree oil is a powerful cleaner that can be used to keep germs and bacteria at bay. It’s antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial – just about all you need in one plant! A study found Tea Tree helps fight against influenza viruses- which means it has even more cleaning power for everyday use during cold or flu season. One of the BEST cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.

Note: It’s important to use caution when using tea tree oil as it can be erosive. We recommend against applying this product on marble, granite and plastic surfaces.


  • Use daily to keep surfaces clean and germ free. Combine 2 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water, 30 drops of Lemon oil, and 20 drops of Tea Tree oil in a spray bottle for a great all-purpose cleaner. 
  • Keep your shower clean and free of mildew or mold by spraying it down with a water and Tea Tree oil mixture after every use. 
  • Eliminate harmful bacteria by diffusing or spraying around the bathroom. Be mindful that Tea Tree is safer to use on porcelain than other materials, but be cautious using it on plastics, such as a plastic toilet seat. 
  • Deter pests and bugs by spraying a Tea Tree oil and water mixture both inside (around windows and doors) and outside the base of your house. 
  • Freshen up stinky shoes. Add 2 drops of Tea Tree oil to a cotton ball, and place a cotton ball in each shoe. Let it sit overnight. 

2. Lemon Essential Oil 

Lemon essential oil is one of the most commonly thought-of oils when it comes to cleaning, and there’s a good reason for that! Not only does lemon offer an invigorating scent with its light freshness. This powerful natural cleaner also contains antibacterial properties which are harnessed in this highly beneficial liquid making it great at keeping unwanted germs away from your home or business space where you need them least. Certainly a top five of the best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils!


  • Keep toilets and kitchen counters sparkling clean and germ-free by adding Lemon oil to your natural all-purpose cleaner. 
  • Polish wood floors or furniture. Combine 10 drops of Lemon oil with 1/2 cup of olive oil for a natural polish. We share an additional wood polish recipe below.
  • Cut through grease and stubborn gunk on stove tops or in other areas around the house with a few drops of Lemon oil. 
  •  Remove sticky residue from stickers on appliances, walls or even clothing.
  • Brighten up white floors and tiles by adding a few drops of Lemon oil to a gallon of mop water. 
  • Brighten white clothes by adding a drop or two of Lemon oil to your laundry detergent. 
  • Deodorize a stinky trash can. Add 2 drops of Lemon oil on a cotton ball, and place it at the bottom of your smelly receptacle for an extra fresh scent! You can add 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil for an extra freshening boost. 
  • Remove crayon marking on the wall. Add a few drops of Lemon oil to a paper or cleaning towel, and gently rub off the markings. 
  • Loosen up tough stains in the microwave. Add 4 drops of Lemon and 1 cup of water to a microwave safe bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave for 4 minutes. Remove the bowl, and wipe the inside of the microwave clean.

3. Orange Essential Oil

Orange essential oil is a great way to keep your immune system healthy and fight off infection. The vitamin C enzymes in oranges work similar to lemons, as they both contain an acidic ingredient that eats away at harmful bacteria while also providing freshness for the body!


  • Cut through grease and other residue with just a drop or two. 
  • Use as with or as an addition to Lemon essential oil. 
  • Wipe down cutting boards to kill bacteria without leaving behind an unwanted cleaning solution taste. 
  • Freshen the air and eliminate odors with an Orange oil and water spray. (see our great room freshener recipes below)
  • Keep your bathroom smelling great by adding a drop or two of Orange oil to the inside of the toilet paper roll. 

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil 

Eucalyptus oil (you can use either Eucalyptus Radiata or Globulus) has a menthol-like aroma that can open up the airways, making it an excellent choice for helping with congestion. But did you know this highly effective plant also cleans? Eucalyptic’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties make it great at removing yucky substances from homes such as mold or mildew buildup!

When you diffuse Eucalyptus essential oil or add it to a room spray, the natural scent can help purify the air. Studies have shown that adding eucalyptus essential oils helps fight against bacteria which causes pneumonia and other infectious diseases. So keep your home clean naturally by using this amazing solution of just two drops per cleaning job!


  • Give your bathroom and hard surfaces a deep clean to fight off bacteria. Combine 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup of natural dish soap, 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 3/4 cup of distilled water, and 30 drops of Eucalyptus oil in a squeeze bottle. Scrub the mixture into dirty surfaces with a brush, and let stand for 20 minutes before rinsing. 
  • Mix with water in a spray bottle, and spray around the home to ward off dust mites and rodents. 
  • Add to your natural all-purpose cleaner to fight against mold and mildew buildup. 
  • Deep clean your mattress or stuffed animals. Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus oil with baking soda for a dry wash, or add a few drops to your laundry detergent. 
Do you want to use natural cleaning products in your home? We share 9 amazing Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils plus 12 bonus DIY cleaning recipes! Read on!  Click To Tweet

5. Peppermint Essential Oil 

This cool, refreshing oil not only makes your home smell great but it also keeps you and your family safe from germs and pesky bugs. Peppermint essential oil has been proven time after time as being antibacterial which means they will keep away harmful bacteria.

This product has many applications from deterring pests like roaches or ants to keeping moths at bay so no one gets eaten alive.


  • Clean mirrors, windows, and stainless steel with Peppermint oil for streak-free results. Combine 3 cups of distilled water, 1/4 cup of witch hazel or vodka, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 20 drops of Peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Use the spray and a microfiber cloth or paper towel to clean glass surfaces. (see our miracle glass and window cleaner recipe below)
  • Add a few drops of Peppermint oil to your all-purpose cleaner to give the surfaces in your home an added layer of protection. This is great for kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Eliminate odors by diffusing Peppermint oil or using it in a room spray. 
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6. Lavender Essential Oil 

Lavender is not just for aromatherapy; it’s also a must-have natural cleaner. Lavender oil contains the plant’s antibacterial and anti odor properties which can help keep your home free of bacteria while keeping its smells fresh with you throughout every day!


  • Spray linens for a fresh and clean smell. Combine 1/4 cup distilled water, 3 Tbsp of witch hazel, and 20-30 drops of Lavender oil to a small spritzer bottle. You can also add about 10 drops of Peppermint oil for an extra crisp aroma. (we have another great linen spray below!)
  • Freshen up your laundry by adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil to your detergent to prevent musty smells from building up in the washer.
  • Deodorize smelly clothes by adding Lavender oil to your wool dryer balls. 
  • Give your natural cleaners an extra boost. Add 4-5 drops of Lavender oil to your homemade cleaners. Lavender pairs particularly well with vinegar. 
  • Help the whole room smell fresh by adding 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil to your vacuum bag. 

7. Pine Essential Oil

The natural scent of Pine is so refreshing and clean. It’s one of those scents that just smells good! Not only does this sweet smell help you feel refreshed when your nose detects its fragrance from a distance away; it also has powerful antibacterial properties against germs including mold, mildew , yeast spores, E coli and more . This one just has to be included on a list of the best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.


  • Purify the air in your home and eliminate airborne bacteria by diffusing Pine oil or using it in a room spray. 
  • Cleanse larger surfaces in your home, such as floors, walls, and counters, by adding a few drops of Pine oil to your all-purpose cleaner or floor cleaner.
  • Eliminate bathroom mold or mildew by wiping down surfaces with Pine oil. 
  • Remove dirt and grime from walls. Combine 1 cup of distilled water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 10 drops of Tea Tree oil, and 10 drops of Pine oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the affected area and wipe clean with a damp sponge. Rinse with water and dry. 

8. Cinnamon Essential Oil 

The cinnamon plant is a natural cleaner and protector, with the oil having antibacterial properties. Plus it freshens your home’s air while removing odors! If you’re looking to keep harmful bacteria away from family members all year round then this is just what they need in their life


  • Avoid mold or mildew buildup by spraying Cinnamon oil in areas around the house. Combine 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 20 drops of Cinnamon oil, 10 drops of Rosemary oil, and 10 drops of Lemon oil together in a spray bottle, and spray around the house. 
  • Keep pests and bugs away from the house. Mix Cinnamon oil with water, and spray in areas where you see pests. You can also add a few drops of undiluted Cinnamon oil to a cotton ball and swab around the area or leave on windowsills.
  • Deodorize the air by diffusing Cinnamon oil or using it in a room spray. 

9. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is a spice that you can find in your kitchen cupboard, but it should also be an essential oil used on counters. The thyme plant has powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties; this fact ensures the benefits are harnessed by using its essential oils specifically for fighting off food-borne bacteria! Studies have shown how strong enough Thyme Oil truly was against salmonella or E Coli virus with only one drop per day applied to surfaces such as worktops where these organisms commonly thrive – now isn’t THAT something we want protecting our homes from? Does it surprise you to find Thyme on the list of the best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils?


  • Make your dishes even clear and kill lingering germs. Combine 1 cup of distilled water, 10 drops of dish soap, and 20 drops of Thyme oil together in a squeeze bottle. Use the mixture to give your dishes a deep clean. 
  • Add a few drops to your all-natural kitchen cleaner to wipe away dirt and grime, and to add an extra layer of protection against bacteria. 
  • Wipe down cutting boards, particularly those used to cut raw meat. Just add a drop of Thyme oil to your dish soap before washing the cutting board. 

12 Amazing DIY Recipes Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils

I love to make DIY cleaning recipes to use in our home containing cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.  I have three full baths and with a hubby, 3 sons (and a daughter) plus 4 grandkids who visit, our bathrooms and the rest of the home are always needing a good cleaning.

(See below for a free downloadable set of labels for your new DIY Recipes using cleaning and disinfecting essential oils)

Did you know that some cleaning products contain hidden toxic chemicals that don’t appear on labels but are linked to cancer, birth defects, fertility problems, asthma, hormone disruption and more?

You would be amazed at the amount of toxins in store-bought cleaners – and many of them aren’t even regulated by the FDA as the manufacturer’s label them as “fragrance”, which is considered proprietary and not regulated!

When I started to learn just how many toxins are in the cleaners we had in our home, we immediately began the switch to all-natural solutions using cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.

As a cancer survivor, I do all I can to remove toxins from our home by switching to DIY cleaning recipes and personal care products, eating healthy and reducing the chances of a recurrence. By switching from commercial cleaners with harmful ingredients to solutions with cleaning and disinfecting essential oils, we have reduced the amount of chemicals in our home greatly.

Thieves® Household Cleaner is my go-to, use for everything cleaner and we love it. If you don’t love it yet, you will after your cleaning is transformed by its strength and versatility. It contains many of the cleaning and disinfecting essential oils above and is a fabulous, non-toxic cleaner that will help you not only get a clean home, but save money, too.

Check out this video on how to get 29 cleaners from one bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner!

This powerful, ultra-concentrated, plant-based solution is a helpful and naturally derived chore companion—helping you clean everything from wood floors to shower doors. And the best part? It doesn’t have any of the harsh chemicals you’ve removed from your lifestyle. That’s right, you don’t have to worry about what’s in Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s perfect to use around everyone in your whole family including pets.

Before we dive into some DIY cleaning recipes using cleaning and disinfecting essential oils, let’s answer some questions you may have.

DIY All-Natural Recipes with Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils FAQs:

Q: What if I don’t have a certain oil called for in one of the recipes?

A: I’ve shared my favorite essential oils for each recipe, but you can swap out oils or substitute with your favorites or what you have on hand. See the list above of the best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils. Try different blends to find your favorite.

Q: Do I have to use glass bottles for my mixes?

A: It’s a widely known fact that citrus essential oils can degrade plastic. For this reason, it is generally recommended to only store oils and DIY cleaning recipes using essential oils in glass. However, I’ve never had a problem mixing/storing my cleaning recipes in regular plastic spray bottles that do not use citrus oils. Here are my go-to bottles: glass and plastic.

Q. Why can’t I use castile soap in some of these recipes?

A: If the recipe calls for vinegar, you’ll want to avoid adding castile soap to the mix, as the two substances will react and form a gloppy, slimy mess. That’s why I simply use Thieves all-natural dish soap when a recipe calls for vinegar AND dish soap.

Q: Which essential oils do you use?

A: There are new essential oil companies popping up regularly, but I will only use Young Living due to their high quality, extensive testing and seed to seal guarantee. The oils are third-party tested for purity, ethically sourced around the globe on farms owned by Young Living, and I’m proud to be associated with a company that actively works with charities to stop human trafficking,  provide jobs for the impoverished, support the health and education of children and much more. I’m happy to personally help you get these oils in your home, too– click here to see how you can connect with me.

Q. Why do you list distilled water instead of tap water in the below recipes?

A. Ordinary tap water contains minerals (thus the faucet buildup that happens) as well as a minute amount of bacteria and, in some cities, fluoride. Fluoride, despite being added to tap water for many years, has been linked to cancer. Distilled water is a type of purified water that has had both contaminants and minerals removed.

Tips for using Thieves Household Cleaner

  • Thieves Household Cleaner is safe to use at a 15:1 dilution or higher for most non-porous surfaces. One capful of Thieves Household Cleaner is equal to approximately ½ tablespoon, so ½ cup of water mixed with one capful of cleaner yields a 15:1 dilution.
  • Most cleaning applications use 30 parts water to 1-part Thieves Household Cleaner—more concentrated dilutions may be necessary for some uses.
  • For best results, mix only the amount of cleaner that you will need to use right away.
  • Before using Thieves Household Cleaner, do a small spot test in an inconspicuous location, especially on wood, plastic, fabric, and granite.
  • Do not use this product on soft plastics or vinyl. (although we have used it on vinyl floors and it worked beautifully without damaging the floor, I would not use it on vinyl-covered furniture without first testing an inconspicuous area).

Here are Twelve Fantastic DIY All-Natural Cleaning Recipes using cleaning and disinfecting essential oils that I use in my home.

12 DIY All-Natural Cleaning Solutions Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Essential Oils

Soft scrub for bathtubs, toilets, and sinks!

In a bowl or spray bottle, mix the following:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • ½ capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 3 drops Lemon essential oil

To use: Apply the mixture with a damp cloth or brush and scrub away.

Here’s another great one we use alternatively with the one above, especially during the holidays, but it smells great year-round.

Christmas Spirit Soft Scrub

If you are obsessed with the Christmas Spirit hand soap, like I am – then you need to try this DIY cleaning recipe.


  • 2 cups Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 1/4 cup Christmas Spirit Hand Soap
  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil (great degreaser)
  • 10 drops Christmas Spirit essential oil
  • 5 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil (optional)

DIY Bathroom Cleaning “Fizzies”

Remove buildup from toilet bowls and stubborn shower floors!

These cleaning Fizzies are so good at cleaning toilet bowls and shower floors that we make them every few months to keep on hand.


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 40 drops Lemon essential oil or Thieves or Citrus Fresh essential oil blends
  • 3 teaspoons V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex (or other carrier oil, such as olive oil or fractionated coconut oil)
  • Ice cube tray or candy mold


1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix evenly.

2. In a separate bowl, combine water, essential oils or blends, and V-6.

3. Pour liquids into a large bowl and whisk together until combined.

4. Use mixture to fill an ice cube tray or candy mold about three fourths full. If the mixture expands and spills over the mold, gently replace it into the mold.

5. Let sit overnight to dry in room temperature area. When dry, pop tablets out and store in a glass jar or other airtight container.

6. When needed, put a tablet in the toilet bowl, hard-to-clean bottles, or sink full of dishes to help clean and deodorize. Let the tablet sit in a bowl, bottle, or sink for 20-30 minutes to fizz and dissolve. Once dissolved, flush or rinse out.

Shower Soap Scum Daily Spray

Use after each shower to get rid of water droplets and prevent soap scum build up.

In a spray bottle, mix the following:

  • ½ capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  • 4 cups water

Spray shower walls and doors daily.

Squeegee excess off.

Incredible DIY Toilet Scrub for Deep Cleaning

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup Thieves dish soap
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3/4 cup water

Mix all in a spray bottle and store in shower.

Showerhead and Faucet Cleaner

This DIY bathroom cleaning recipe is one you’ll definitely want to have on hand.  Have you ever noticed that your faucet or showerhead starts to spray wonky or not as much?  This cleaner will do the trick to remove gunk and mineral buildup.

In a plastic bag, mix the following:

  • 1 teaspoon Thieves Household Cleaner
  • ¾ cup white vinegar

Attach the full bag to faucets and fixtures with rubber bands.

Leave for several hours.

Scrub with a coarse brush if needed to remove hard water stains.

Rinse well.

Shower Door Deep-Clean DIY Bathroom Cleaning Recipe (with cleaning and disinfecting essential oils)

While the daily shower door cleaner recipe above will help prevent water droplets and soap scum, when you need a deep clean for your shower doors, this one is the best, hands-down!

In a spray bottle, mix the following:

  • ½ capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Thieves Dish Soap
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 drop each Lemon and Grapefruit essential oils

Spray liberally onto the surface and scrub with a sponge to remove spots.

Rinse well and dry.

Fresh Mint Miracle Mirror and Glass Cleaner

This one is also fantastic for mirrors and other bathroom glass – I won’t use anything else, anymore!

  • 3 cups distilled water
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, vodka or witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 20 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil

WOW Wood Cabinet Polish

Wherever you have wood cabinets in your home, you’ll also want to whip up this DIY wood cleaner with cleaning and disinfecting essential oils.  We use it in every room of our house from kitchen cabinets, to coffee tables.  It is AMAZING for eliminating buildup and for a fantastic wood shine – it also smells soooo good!

In a spray bottle or bowl, mix the following:

  • 5-10 drops Pine essential oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ capful Thieves Household Cleaner

Apply evenly to cabinets with a damp cloth.

If cabinets have heavy buildup, extra scrubbing may be required.

Fresh Linen Spray

Keep your towels smelling fresh and clean long after they are out of the wash with this easy and gorgeous-smelling linen spray.

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 3 tablespoons witch hazel or vodka
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops frankincense essential oil

Add all ingredients to a small spritzer or spray bottle, shake well, and spray on sheets, pillowcases, and linens.

The last of the DIY All-Natural Cleaning Recipes that use cleaning and disinfecting essential oils I’m sharing today is for tackling yucky bathroom and other nasty home odors.  Instead of Febreze with toxins, try one of these DIY air fresheners.

Sweet Lavender Air Freshener

  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, witch hazel or real vanilla extract
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil

Combine in an 8 oz spray bottle, shake to combine. Spray throughout the house to eliminate odors or stale smells.  We keep one in each bathroom plus the kitchen.

Lemon-Basil Air Freshener

This air freshener has a fresh and clean scent, perfect for a light and bright home. Lemon essential oil is said to nourish the skin while the basil balances with its earthy tones.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or witch hazel
  • 5 or 6 drops of basil essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Combine in an 8 oz spray bottle, shake to combine

Orange Rose Air Freshener

This combination is romantic and revitalizing, great for a soft, feminine atmosphere or anyone who needs a mood boost.  Orange boosts energy and adds a lovely citrus scent while rose is said to Decreases anxiety and stress, act as an antibacterial and antifungal, stimulate sex drive and ease depressive symptoms.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or witch hazel
  • 7 drops of orange essential oil
  • 7 drops of rose essential oil

Combine in an 8 oz spray bottle, shake to combine

Click below for a free downloadable set of labels for your new DIY cleaning recipes with cleaning and disinfecting essential oils)

Which DIY natural cleaning recipe with cleaning and disinfecting essential oils are you going to try first? 

You may be surprised to find out that some of the best cleaning and disinfecting essential oils you can use on your counters, floors, and more are also all-natural. With the simple addition of a few drops of an essential oil, you can turn your ordinary cleaning products into something much more powerful. The nine oils we’ve shared in this post are our favorites to use for everyday household tasks like washing dishes or scrubbing floors.Plus, we’ve given you 12 DIY natural recipes for simple ways to clean and deodorize with a variety of plant-based ingredients including essential oils and vinegar. Which essential oil is one of your favorites? What do you think about these DIY cleaners?

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