Essential Oils for Beginners (What we use and why)


I don't know very much about essential oils, but I've used a few basic ones around my house for the past few years. We're running low (only have tea tree oil and a little camphor left, not my favorite smells) so I'm getting ready to put an order in through Mountain Rose Herbs and I thought I'd share what we use, when, and why.

I'll be honest, a lot of my 'why' has to do with because it smells good.  I know a lot of these have some powerful antibacterial/microbial qualities too.  Of course, if using essential oils on skin you'll always want to dilute them.  I usually buy 1 oz size, for me that lasts plenty long and is affordable.

  • Lavender- I like adding this to my laundry.  I put a couple drops in the rinse if I catch the washer in the rinse cycle, or I'll add about 5 drops to a damp washcloth and put it in the dryer with the laundry.
  • Tea Tree- Treatment topically for mastitis, when we lived in the country I'd put a drop on the head of a tick that was embedded in the dog, and it would pull out really easily a minute later.  Note: Our Walmart has tea tree oil too, which I've bought and thought it worked fine.  Of course it's ideal to not support huge questionably-ethical companies, but sometimes you want to try something without paying for shipping.
  • Eucalyptus- In the humidifier, clears sinuses.  I'll add a couple drops to the kids' bath if they're stuffed up too, or in the bottom of the shower before showering.
  • Camphor - In the humidifier, cough suppressant. It's also found in Vicks Vaporub.  It's toxic when ingested, so be sure to use caution when using this and all essential oils (I feel silly writing that, but really, it's important to be careful when dealing with them because they're super concentrated).
  • Orange/Lemon/Tangerine- I like the way these smell for my cleaning. I put a couple drops on the mop pad when mopping, put a couple drops in the canister of our bagless vacuum (that's the one we have, I think it's great, and I've tried more expensive vacuums too.  I got this one at Target) before vacuuming, and on the dust rag.  Like lemon-Pledge, but without the chemicals.  I generally just go with what's cheapest since they all smell similar to me, and I'm buying more than an ounce this time since I use the most of this.
  • Peppermint- a nice wake-up scent.  Sometimes I'll use this for cleaning. Kind of reminds me of the Tilex my-bathroom's-clean smell.
  • Rosemary- Used in my homemade deodorant.  I like this scent the best for deodorant.  I usually get just 1/2 oz of this because I don't use it a whole lot.  I'll add a couple drops of this to the diaper pail (cloth) too to keep stinkies at bay til I wash.
  • Clove Oil- Can be used for dental pain, it has a numbing effect. I don't like the way it tastes, but it's worth it for an on-hand fix for emergency dental pain. I know some people dilute it and rub on their teething baby's gums, but I haven't ever done this personally.

What do you use essential oils for? Are there any other basics that belong in my medicine cabinet?

Note: I do get a referral fee if you place your Mountain Rose Herbs order by clicking from my site. Even if I didn't, I'd still send you over there. They have the best quality for a reasonable price that I've found, and I have ordered through them multiple times before I was their affiliate.

Now you've seen what I do with essential oils, how about What Do You Do With Coconut Oil?

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