With hundreds of ways to use them, it’s no wonder that everyone loves essential oils. We’ve already covered a lot of the more common everyday means by which these incredible natural distillates can improve your health and your life, but what about some of their less-obvious and more creative applications? The following are 41 of the weirdest uses for essential oils which you may not have heard of, but you have to try!
In The Kitchen
Enhance Liquid Soaps
Add a drop or two of tea tree oil to your liquid dish soap to give it extra germ-fighting power. For hand soaps, try a drop or two of your favorite essential oils for a fresh scent every time you wash.
Make Dishes Shine
Drop lemon essential oil in with your dishwasher detergent to make your clean dishes sparkle and prevent streaking.
Revive Your Dish Sponge
Add a drop or two of lemon oil to your dirty dish sponge and toss in on the top rack of your dishwasher to shine your dishes and revitalize the sponge at the same time.
Clean Wax & Chemicals From Fruit
Grapefruit essential oil is great for cutting through and removing wax or other unwanted chemicals from the rinds of fresh produce. Dilute a few drops in a small glass spray bottle and use it wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. (Remember to shake well before each use.)
Clear Fishy Odors From the Air
One of the incredibly handy secret superpowers of lemon essential oil is the ability to neutralize fishy odors. Use it to clear the air after preparing a particularly pungent meal.
Wash Away Fishy Smells From Skin
You can also use hand soap infused with lemon oil to cleanse the lingering fish or shrimp smell from your hands after preparing these foods.
Remember, lemon oil is phototoxic. Avoid UV exposure (natural or artificial) on any areas of skin which have come into contact with lemon oil for at least 12 hours after application.
Around the House
Liven up your cozy fire by sprinkling essential oils on a dry log. When the wood heats up, it will infuse the room with your chosen aroma.
Scent Your Floral Arrangements
They already look real. Why not make them smell real, too? Add floral essential oils to your faux floral arrangements to liven them up!
Cleanse & Deodorize Air Ducts
Add a few drops of anti-microbial essential oils like tea tree or eucalyptus to your fresh air filters before installing them to simultaneously cleanse the air of stale odors and kill any pathogens which may be living in your home’s air ducts.
Remove Glue, Sap and Other Sticky Substances
Lemon essential oil makes a great solvent for dissolving sticky substances like glue and sap without using harsh synthetic chemicals.
Wash Away Permanent Marker
Lemon oil is also perfect for removing unwanted permanent marker ink from surfaces like counter tops and wood furniture.
Clear Stubborn Ink From a White Board
Just like it can remove permanent marker, lemon essential oil can also be used to clear the stray bits of dry-erase ink from a white board.
Neutralize Paint Odor
Add 10 ml of peppermint oil to a fresh gallon of paint to neutralize that icky paint smell.
Remove Lingering Cigarette Funk
Great for rental cars, hotel rooms and other places where you need to cut through the smell of old cigarettes, mix four drops each of rosemary, tea tree and eucalyptus oils with 1 ounce of water in a small glass spray bottle. Shake well and spray as needed to cleanse away the smell.
Freshen Bathroom Air, Subtly
While you could always run a diffuser to do the trick, there is a more clever and subtle way to deodorize your bathroom. Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil inside the cardboard tube of a fresh toilet paper roll before putting it on the roller. Every time someone removes paper from the roll, the agitation will release some of the oil scent.
Un-Stink Your Trash Bins
Sprinkle baking soda and few drops of essential oil into the bottom of your trash bins before putting in the bag to absorb odors and add a more pleasant aroma to the area.
For Home Pest Control
Dispatch Fleas As You Vacuum
After vacuuming an infested area, it is common for fleas to jump back out of the vacuum bag or canister before they can be properly disposed of. Add 2 – 3 drops each of tea tree, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils to the bag or canister before vacuuming an area where fleas are present to dispatch the bugs and prevent them from escaping.
Keep Vermin Out of the Pantry
Repel mice and insects by soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and placing them inside your pantry or any other areas where food is stored
Get Rid of Fruit Flies
If you’ve ever had a fruit fly infestation in your home, then you know how pesky these little bugs can be. Use essential oils to keep them at bay by mixing 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil in 2 ounces of hot water. Shake well then spray around windows and doorways. Fruit flies are small enough to fit through the tiny holes in window screens, so you’ll want to spray these down as well if you plan to leave your windows open for any length of time.
Clear Mites or Aphids From Houseplants
Diffuse peppermint essential oil near houseplant which are infested with mites or aphids to get rid of the bugs.
(Alternately, you can try treated affected plants with Neem oil or any of these other natural methods.)
In The Laundry
Disinfect & Deodorize Your Gym Bag
Add two drops of tea tree or lavender oil to one or more cotton balls and toss them into the bottom of your gym bag to remove odors and prevent microbial growth.
Disinfect & Deodorize Your Shoes
Place a cotton ball infused with two drops of tea tree oil into each of your shoes to remove odors and cleanse them of harmful bacteria or fungi.
Get Rid of That Musty Washer Smell
Front-load washing machines tend to harbour microbial growth, particularly around the door gasket. Add a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil to your detergent the next time you do laundry to kick them out and remove that funky smell.
Protect Leather Garments From Drying & Cracking
Moisten a clean cloth with diluted lemon essential oil and use it to clean leather garments. This will moisturize the leather and prevent cracking.
Scent Your Laundry
Add a drop or two of essential oil to a damp cloth and toss it in the dryer with towels or linens to infuse them with your favorite scents.
Personal Care Products
Extract Gum From Hair
Put away the scissors. Instead, use a drop of lemon essential oil to loosen gum (or other sticky substances) and painlessly extract them from hair.
Clean & Soothe Ear Piercings
Use a drop of tea tree oil diluted in a small amount of coconut or other carrier oil to cleanse and soothe inflammation around piercings.
Steam-Clean Your Pores
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a pot of steaming water. With a towel draped across the back of your head to trap the steam, lower your face over the water and let the steam permeate your face for up to 10 minutes to open and cleanse your pores
Create Natural Highlights In Your Hair
Add lemon essential oil to your daily styling products to increase the bleaching effects of sun exposure on your hair. The more time you spend outdoors, the lighter your natural highlights will appear.
Read more about how to use natural ingredients in lieu of harsh synthetic chemicals to color your hair in this excellent article!
Moisturize and Speed Healing of New Tattoos
Dilute tea tree oil in a carrier such as coconut oil and apply to new tattoos. This will prevent infection and keep inked skin moisturized to speed the healing process.
Give Ordinary Shampoo Anti-Dandruff Superpowers
Add a drop of tea tree oil to your daily dollop of shampoo in order to combat the villain known as dandruff!
Pedicure Protection For Your Toe Nails
Massage a drop or two of tea tree oil onto your toes and toe nails before getting a pedicure to protect your tootsies from any communal microbes that may be hovering about in public places.
Soothe Swollen Lymph Nodes
Dilute lavender essential oil in a carrier such as olive or coconut oil and massage over swollen lymph glands to ease discomfort and reduce inflammation.
Put a Stop to Dessert Cravings
When your sweet tooth starts acting up, try diffusing sweet-scented essential oils like ginger or vanilla then eat or drink something healthy. The smell of the oils combined with the added volume inside your stomach will trick your brain into thinking you’ve fulfilled your desire for dessert without the unhealthy side-effects.
Want to learn more awesome and effective ways to naturally curb cravings? Read up on these 12 genius tricks! Plus, if you’d like to discover how you can use essential oils to aid weight loss, read this brilliant article.
On The Go
Personal Portable Aromatherapy
Infuse a few cotton balls or a small cloth with your favorite essential oils and stuff them inside an empty film canister. Secure the lid and take your personal portable aromatherapy cartridge with you everywhere you go. When the mood strikes, pop open the lid for a few seconds and inhale your private aromatherapy goodness.
Homemade Travel Hand-Sanitizer
Make your own homemade hand-sanitizer and protect yourself from nasty germs while you’re out and about using tea tree, lavender and clove oils mixed in witch hazel and aloe vera gel. You can find the recipe here.
Disinfect & Deodorize a Hotel Room
Add a few drops each of lavender and tea tree oil to a small glass spray bottle and take it with you when you travel. Shake well and spray around hotel rooms – especially the bedding and bathroom – to kill microbes.
Pick up 10 more tips for using essential oils to ward off illnesses in this great article.
Keep Bugs Out of Your Tent While Camping
Create your own insect-repellent camping spray by diluting 10 – 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil in 2 ounces of water. Shake well and treat the inside of your tent, as well as any other areas where you want to enjoy the great outdoors without being bothered by bugs.
Check out these 11 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes for more all-natural ways to keeping biting insects at bay.
Create a D-I-Y Auto Air Freshener
Clip a cotton ball infused with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil in front of one of the air vents inside your car. Alternately, you can infuse a hanging object like a used tea bag (or a cut-out of a pine tree if you have one) with essential oils and suspend your D-I-Y auto air freshener from the rear-view mirror. So stylish!
Now For Something Completely Different
Create the Illusion That You’ve Been Cleaning
Friends or relatives popping a surprise visit on you, but you don’t have time to clean the whole house and yourself before they arrive? Not a problem! Create the illusion that you’ve been cleaning by straightening up what you can, flight of the bumblebee style. Then strategically place items such a bottle of cleaner with an obligatory rag draped over the top, the vacuum, broom, steam mop, regular mop, swiffer, etc. around the house and spritz or diffuse lemon essential oil into the air to make it seem like they caught you in the act.
When your guests arrive, you can convincingly tell them, “Sorry about the mess / my appearance. You caught me in the middle of cleaning.”
Raking your carpet also helps to enhance this illusion…
Train Your Cat
If you’ve ever been told that “There is no such thing as cat-repellent”, you probably didn’t question the statement. However, cats hate the smell of basil (tested and confirmed by accident while preparing fresh herbs to hang-dry.) If your cat has decided to show you the love by jumping up onto every surface where you don’t want him or her to walk, try wiping around the problem areas with diluted basil essential oil. Keep an eye on your furry friend and see if he or she shies away from the smell.
(This may come across as a joke to all of you cat-lovers, but it can actually work. I say “can” because some felines are more stubborn than others and yours may very well prove me wrong. Also, always remember that you should never ever put essential oils directly on your cat as they are ultra-sensitive to distillates and can be seriously harmed by them. Also, because they clean themselves by licking, anything that goes on kitty will eventually end up inside.)
Hungry for more essential oil goodness?
Learn how to deter bugs from entering your home, remove odors from the fridge and freezer, bolster your immune system and much much more in 50 Surprising Uses For Essential Oils That Will Blow Your Mind!
Where To Get Essential Oils
You can find all of the essential oils needed for the above usual uses and more conveniently located here.
If you’re new to essential oils, but now you’re ready to dive in head-first, check out this Ultimate Aromatherapy Set consisting of 32 different distillates, the Supreme set of 64 oils to really get your essential oil fix with style, or the die-hard “I want it all!” Complete Set of 128 essential oils for all of your aromatherapy needs and more!