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Posted in Essential Oil Basics by Rocky Mountain Oils

Cleaning House with Essential Oils: Kitchens

The kitchen of any home is a common gathering place for family members. No matter what the party is -- holidays, birthdays, etc. -- people usually congregate in the kitchen. You definitely want to keep it hospitable, clean, and smelling nice. And who doesn't want to get rid of the smell of cooked bacon and burnt toast crumbs?

As part of our series on cleaning house with essential oils, here are recipes aimed at ways of cleaning house with essential oils, especially in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Supplies to have on hand:

(This list will be the same on each of the cleaning articles)

Cleaning supplies: Equipment:
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Castile Soap, liquid and solid
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda Crystals (L-ascorbic acid powder/crystals)
  • Oil based soap (Murphy's is good)
  • Concentrated Oil Soap Paste
  • Citrus seed extract (different from the essential oil)
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Washing soda, generic name sodium carbonate
  • Powdered Milk
  • Alum
  • Vitamin C Tablets
  • Salt
  • Linseed oil
  • Turpentine
  • Cornmeal
  • Lemon Juice
  • Aloe Vera Gel and Juice
  • Natural Cat Litter
  • Plastic squirt bottles
  • Plastic spray bottles
  • Plastic containers with shaker tops
  • Coffee cans with lids
  • Glass jars with lids
  • Cotton cloths
  • Rags
  • Cellulose sponge cloth
  • Gallon size buckets
  • Mops
  • Paper towels

Which Oils to Use

Lemon, Lime, Orange, Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Pine, Spruce, Cypress, Thyme, Palmarosa, Citronella, Wintergreen, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Spearmint, Oregano, Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Sage, Petitgrain bigarade, Vetiver, Coriander, Juniper Berry

(This list contains all oils used in all the cleaning articles.)

A Few Points of Interest

  • When cleaning house with essential oils, put 2 drops of one of the above essential oilson a wet cloth. Wipe down the surface of the counter and the sink then rinse it out and let the water run down the drain.
  • For greasy dishes, add 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice to the dishwasher
  • For persistent odor in the fridge, line bottom shelf with newspaper that has been sprinkled with 10-15 drops essential oil, such as Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, or Orange. Remove after 2 or 3 days. You can also use a slice of bread on a plate to absorb many odors. Sprinkle with 2-4 drops of essential oil of choice for extra deodorizing power.
  • To get rid of scuff marks on the floor, apply 2-4 drops essential oil neat and wipe clean with a cloth. Rinse with a dash of vinegar.
  • Clean wooden cutting boards by soaking the board in a solution of 2 cups water and 15 drops of a citrus oil of choice. Then wash with mild soap and hot water.
  • Keep garbage disposals and drains fresh by dropping 4-10 drops of essential oil down the drain every night.
  • Help minimize clean-up time by lining the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil.
  • Sprinkle fresh grease spills in your oven with salt or baking soda. When the oven has cooled, wipe clean with a soft cloth.
  • Electric can openers collect a lot of gunk. Use an old, soft toothbrush dampened with 2-3 drops of a citrus oil to clean in and between the small parts. Rinse and the gunk is gone.


Here are a few ideas of some recipes you can use in your efforts to clean house with essential oils. There are many that can also be used in cleaning the bathroom so be sure to check out both pages to gather together a good list of recipes to use. (Cleaning the bathroom article is soon to come!)

Use these for cleaning your kitchen counters, floors, appliances, etc.

The Clean Kitchen Blend

  • 8 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Lemon
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops Geranium
  • 3 drops Palmarosa

Can be used to clean all kitchen surfaces, including the floor, and also in a spray around the kitchen: 8 drops of blend in 2 cups water. Keep blend in a clean, dark colored glass bottle.

Clean Room Mist Spray

Combine all ingredients in a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Liberally spritz room to clean the air. Can also use it to wipe down counters.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 teaspoon Borax
  • 1/2 teaspoon Washing Soda Crystals (L-ascorbic acid powder/crystals)
  • 2 tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 cups hot, distilled water
  • 20 drops Tea Tree oil

Mix borax, washing soda crystals, vinegar and castile soap in a large measuring cup. Slowly add hot water (just off the boil). Allow to cool before adding Tea Tree oil. Pour into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Can be used for countertops, tables, cabinets, interior and exterior of the fridge, sinks (stainless steel, enamel, and porcelain), and even your floor. This is a great all-purpose solution for cleaning house with essential oils!

Lemon Blast Cleaner

  • 1 teaspoon liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/8 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 cups Water
  • 6 drops Citrus Seed extract
  • 4 drops Lemon, Lime, Orange or Eucalyptus oil
  • 1 teaspoon Borax

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Spray generously on surface and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. Wipe dry with a cloth or towel. Use for countertops, appliances, oven tops, microwaves, refrigerators, etc.

Herbal Degreaser

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup oil based soap
  • 10 drops Rosemary, Lavender, or citrus oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray generously on appliance surface and wipe with damp cloth or sponge. Wipe dry with a cloth or towel. Use anywhere there is a greasy film you want to remove.

Ready-to-Use Kitchen Wipes

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 ounce Liquid Castile Soap
  • 6 - 8 drops favorite essential oil

In a sealable container, add formula and store multiple squares of soft cotton cloth or cellulose sponges. After use, they can be washed and returned to the container. Keep it tightly sealed in between uses.


This section has recipes for dishwasher detergent as well as for dish soap when cleaning house with essential oils.

Special Formula for Dishwashing

  • 7 drops Lime
  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Orange

Add oils to liquid dishwashing soap of your choice.

Lavender Lift Automatic Dishwasher Powder

  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 20 drops Lavender oil

Combine all ingredients, taking care to blend in the essential oil well. Store in a plastic container and keep sealed. Use 2 tablespoons per load of dishes.

Citrus Sparkle Automatic Dishwasher Powder

  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 6 tablespoons Citric Acid Powder
  • 25 drops Grapefruit oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic container or tub and mix completely. Keep sealed. Use 2 tablespoons per load of dishes.

Fruity Dishwashing Blend

  • 15 drops Citrus Blend
  • 6 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • Liquid Castile soap

Fill a clean 22 ounce plastic squirt bottle with castile soap (diluted according to directions if using a concentrate). Add the essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the liquid to the dishwasher and wash as usual. Can also use these other essential oils for a different scent.

Loosen Up Caked Food on Pots or Pans

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 drops Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Baking Soda

Boil mixture directly in the pot or pan. Allow mixture to stand until food can be scraped off easily.

Sink Scrubber for Stains

  • 1/4 cup Borax
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 8 drops Rosemary, Eucalyptus or Tea Tree
  • 3/4 cup Vinegar (for rinsing)

Combine the Borax, baking soda, and essential oil in an airtight container and shake well to blend. Keep closed and allow to sit for 24 hours. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder into the sink and scrub with a damp sponge. Rinse sink with vinegar, then run hot water for 5 minutes.

Rust Remover

  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 5 drops essential oil of choice
  • Juice of a lemon

Sprinkle baking soda directly on the rust stain. Add essential oil and sprinkle with lemon juice. (If the stain is on the side of the sink, use more baking soda to make a paste thick enough to cling to the spot.) Allow mixture to sit on stain undisturbed for several hours or overnight. Wipe away baking soda and rinse thoroughly. Another great one for cleaning house with essential oils.

Oven Cleaners

Serious Oven Cleaning Formula

  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1/4 cup Washing Soda or Borax
  • 1 (16 ounce) box Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 10 drops Thyme
  • 10 drops Lemongrass
  • 4 drops Oregano

Combine salt, washing soda, and baking soda in a plastic container or glass bowl. Add just enough water to make a paste. Remove oven racks and preheat oven to 250 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn off and leave door open. Carefully spread the paste on oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to sit for 20 - 30 minutes. Combine the vinegar and essential oils in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well. If you have a lot of baked-on grease or food splatters, you may want to use fine steel wool to scrub the areas. Use a bit more salt if necessary.

Overnight Oven Cleaner

  • 1 cup Water, divided
  • 7 drops Lemon
  • 3 drops Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup Salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 cup Baking Soda, divided
  • 2 teaspoons liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar

Block the vents in the oven floor with aluminum foil or waxed paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn off oven and leave the door open. Combine 1/4 cup water with essential oil in a plastic spray bottle and shake well. Spray oven floor and walls with pre-cleaning mixture. Combine 1/4 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture on oven floor, paying particular attention to spill areas.

Mix 1/4 cup of the water with the remaining baking soda (3/4 cup) and salt (1/4 cup), and the castile soap. Spread the mixture on the oven walls. Remove the foil/waxed paper from the vents and allow the paste to sit overnight.

In the morning, combine the remaining 1/2 cup water with the vinegar in a plastic spray bottle. Spray the oven walls and floor generously with the mixture. Wipe well, using fine steel wool to work off stubborn spots. Rinse several times to remove any residue.

Kitchen Floors

Different formulas for cleaning your kitchen floor.

Pine Fresh Floor Cleaner

  • 1 gallon hot water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons liquid Castile Soap
  • 10 drops Pine Needles oil
  • 5 drops Cypress oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bucket and mop. Rinsing isn't necessary unless floor is unusually dirty. Also, the aroma is incredible, another reason for cleaning house with essential oils!

For a Citrus scent, use the following oils instead:

  • 12 drops Orange
  • 5 drops Pink Grapefruit
  • 8 drops Lemon

Tough Dirt & Grease Formula

  • 1 gallon hot Water
  • 2 tablespoons liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus, Peppermint, or Tea Tree oil

Combine all ingredients in large bucket and mop floor. Rinsing isn't necessary unless floor is unusually dirty.

Rosemary-Geranium Floor Wipes

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 10 drops Rosemary oil
  • 8 drops Geranium oil

Cellulose cloth, cut in rectangles to fit your electrostatic mop

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stack your precut wipes on top of each other (or roll them together jelly-roll style if you're going to coil the wipes to store them) and place them in a bowl with the cleaning solution. Allow the wipes to absorb the liquid for several minutes. Immediately transfer the wipes to your storage container of choice, together with about 1/4 cup of the liquid to keep them moist, and seal well.


The main thing to remember, cleaning house with essential oils will help make your home a safer and much more enjoyable environment for all who enter. Let us know what you think in the comment section down below!

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