When I first heard all the buzz around essential oils, I was super skeptical. It seemed as if these plant-based little bottles of oils were a cure-all for anything. Cleaning solution? There’s an oil for that. Scars or cuts? There’s an oil for that. Feeling sick? Yep, there’s an oil for that too.
Finally, after months of researching and deliberating, I got a starter kit of essential oils.
The more I researched, the more I realized that many everyday products in our home were full of chemicals… Chemicals that I didn’t want to expose myself to — or our (at the time) newborn baby. Who knew that things like candles or wipes or hand soap are full of so many chemicals?
I used the Think Dirty app (an app that rates products based on their ingredients) to search many of our household products and the results surprised me. Many of the products that I had used my whole life had ingredients that rated poorly or were unsafe.
This has WHAT in it?!
So many of the products that I thought were ‘all natural’ or ‘safe and gentle’ contained potentially harmful chemicals.
These products may have had bottles that looked ‘organic’ or ‘healthy,’ but their labels were misleading… I realized that I had made many buying decisions for our home based on the appearance of products, instead of checking their ingredients.
There’s an Oil for Everything
My hope in sharing this list is to give you realistic ideas for ways that you can incorporate essential oils into your home.
And in the process, maybe you’ll also find some products that you can switch out for these plant based little bottles. There really is an oil for everything.
8 Ways We Use Essential Oils in Our Home
One of the most fun uses for essential oils is in cooking!
Essential oils can be used to add flavoring or a nutritious kick to a meal. The trick to using essential oils in cooking is to dilute them — one drop goes a long way. Here’s just a few examples of how different essential oils can be used in cooking:
- Lemon: add a zesty kick to your meal
- Orange: add to a smoothie for extra citrus flavor
- Peppermint: add to a chocolate dessert for a refreshing aftertaste
- Ginger: add to a stir fry & skip peeling/chopping ginger root
- Cinnamon: add to french toast for scrumptious breakfast
Cleaning is where essential oils have had the most impact in our home.
For someone who has always bought large, name-brand cleaning products this has also been the most challenging switch to make.
For our main all-purpose cleaning solution, we now use a water, vinegar, and essential oil mix in a glass bottle (note: you’ll want to store all of your essential oil solutions in glass, not plastic). The mix contains both Lemon and Citrus Fresh essential oils — Lemon for it’s cleansing properties and Citrus Fresh to make the area I’m cleaning smell good. Here’s the exact recipe:
All-Purpose Cleaning Solution:
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- 5 drops Lemon essential oil
- 10 drops Citrus fresh essential oil
- Fill the rest of your spray bottle (16 oz) with water
- Glass spray bottle: this is the one we use (comes with cute chalk labels)
The Benefits of Cleaning with Essential Oils
The ways that essential oils can be used to clean are many, but this simple all-purpose cleaning solution has been the biggest change for us. It’s also a money saver: I used to buy different cleaning products for different areas of our home, but now we save by making our own all-purpose cleaner. Other benefits: it’s gentle on our house (which has lots of exposed wood) and it’s safe to use around the baby.
This is my favorite use for essential oils. We’ve swapped out our candles for a diffuser and it makes the cabin smell heavenly. Diffusing a few drops of an oil is enough to fill our entire home with a scent — and you’d be surprised how much different scents can impact your mood.
It’s also a lot of fun to try different combinations of oils in the diffuser. I like this better than my former candle buying habit — not just because the oils are chemical free — but because I can switch up my scents more often.
Here’s a few of my favorite oils to diffuse:
- Lavender: peace, calming, stress relief
- Cedarwood: helps promote good sleep
- Cinnamon Bark + Orange: heavenly smell, especially in the mornings
- Thieves: a warm cinnamon & clove scent that I love to diffuse in the colder months
- Northern Lights Black Spruce: smells like Christmas! But I diffuse it year-round 🙂
This is an area that I’m still learning about, as there’s a wide variety of essential oils that have skincare benefits. BUT there is one essential oil that’s made a big difference in my skincare routine with just a small change:
- Add a couple drops of Frankincense essential oil to your daily face moisturizer. This helps create even-tone/soft/radiant skin.
This is the first example of skincare that I usually recommend because it’s a simple change that you can make to your daily routine.
For a long time before trying essential oils, I had stopped buying most face care products because I was unsure of their ingredients. I didn’t know if they were actually good for me so I stopped buying them all together. But this mix of Frankincense and moisturizer gives the best of both worlds: it’s a healthy but effective skin care solution.
The best way I’ve found to incorporate essential oils into my haircare routine has been to add a couple drops of Rosemary essential oil to my shampoo a couple times per week.
I have thin/fine hair and most haircare products are gunky or leave a weird texture in my hair. Using Rosemary essential oil as a treatment has the following benefits but doesn’t leave any extra residue:
Rosemary essential oil hair treatment:
- 1 – 2 drops of oil for a quarter sized amount of shampoo
- Promotes: strong, healthy hair; hair growth
If you know me, you know I have a real coffee obsession! Which is why I’m happy that there’s an essential oil + coffee use. When I’m craving some flavored coffee, I add a drop of Thieves essential oil to my cup. This adds a warm, cinnamon flavor.
The best part: it satisfies my flavored coffee craving and saves a trip to Starbucks.
7. Insect Repellant
One of the downsides to our beautiful Wyoming summers are the pesky invaders that find their way into the cabin: bugs.
I’ve found that diffusing Citronella or Lavender helps keep our bug visitors at bay. We need all the help we can get with deterring bugs, and this is one of the many tools in our arsenal.
8. Wrists + Neck
There’s 2 oils that I love to dab on my wrists and neck for a soothing effect: Stress Away and Peppermint. Peppermint has a soothing effect and I find that it helps if I get a headache. Stress Away is an oil blend that is calming and generally smells amazing.
Because I love the relaxing way that both of these smell, I find myself in the habit of dabbing them on my wrists or neck a few times a week.
Getting Started With Essential Oils
The uses for oils are endless — these are just the ways that we’ve naturally incorporated them into our home so far. The more I learn about them, the more items in our house I’ve been switching out for oil-based solutions.
With so many cleaning, beauty, and health products on the market, it’s hard to know what’s right for your home. Especially when products that claim to be ‘natural’ or ‘healthy’ have ingredients that you might not want to expose yourself to.
Essential oils have become the biggest toolbox in our home: they’re useful, convenient, and are saving us money. Despite my skepticisms at first, I’m incredibly glad that we gave them a try.
If you’re interested in getting started with essential oils, here’s the kit that I bought (it’s a diffuser + 12 oils):
This link is to get the Premium Starter Kit (+ 2 Bonus Oils: Stress Away & Peace and Calming) from Young Living. The link will ask you if you want to become a member or buy the kit as a regular customer: you can do either! If you think you’ll buy more oils in the future, I’d recommend becoming a member because you get a few perks:
- Wholesale price on all items
- Earn points for your purchases (these points can then be used to buy more things)
- Opportunity to earn commission for sharing Young Living
There’s no minimum monthly order or fee, so the perks of the ‘member’ option are what I recommend.
Also, it’s worth mentioning: if you choose to participate in the ‘business’ side of Young Living (earning commission from people you refer) there are SO many resources to help you along the way. This has been one of my favorite parts of signing up — I’ve met new friends and been introduced to an amazing community. It’s cheesy to say it, but the the team I’m on has had a really positive influence on my life! I have to mention this because I wish someone would have told me about this aspect before I signed up 🙂
Again, I was really skeptical about all this starting out! There’s tons of resources out there on essential oils & also signing up with Young Living. If you’re like me, you’ll want to do a ton of research before making any decisions.
If you have questions or want to hear more about my experience so far, my inbox is always open: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is not intended to be medical advice; always seek help from a medical professional for health conditions.