12 Toxic Household items replaced with Essential Oils

On the search to reduce my family’s exposure to chemicals I have found ways to replace highly processed commercial products with simple, effective, organic recipes. Below are my favorite uses for essential oils.

Toxic household items replaced with essential oils

  1. Toothpaste


Peppermint (to preferred taste) + 1t turmeric + 1T virgin coconut oil


Add a pea size amount to your toothbrush and brush teeth and gums as usual. I also swish the turmeric/coconut oil toothpaste for a minute to take advantage of oil pulling benefits. I make a batch up and store it in a canning jar next to my sink in the bathroom. A batch typically lasts about a month.


Note: Turmeric stains everything yellow. I recommend not brushing your teeth with clothes on, spitting carefully into the sink to prevent messy clean ups, and wipe your mouth off on a paper towel to prevent stains on linens. Your toothbrush will turn yellow as well. The coconut oil will turn to liquid in your mouth (or when exposed to temperatures above 74 degrees Fahrenheit).


  1. Fabric Softener Sheets


Wool balls + 1 cup white vinegar + 30 drops of your favorite scent (doTerra’s Citrus Bliss)

Combine the vinegar and essential oil. Dip wool balls into mixture being sure only to dampen, not soak. Allow the wool balls to air dry completely. Repeat this process once a month.


Wool balls naturally fluff and soften laundry as it dries. The white vinegar helps reduce static electricity while the essential oil offers an enjoyable, fresh scent.


Other scents I have tried and enjoyed are:

  • Lavender + lemon
  • Grapefruit + lime
  • Sandalwood + bergamot
  • Patchouli + peppermint
  • doTERRA Holiday Joy blend


Note: A ½ cup of white vinegar can be used in the rinse cycle when washing the clothes eliminating liquid fabric softener as well.


  1. Candles/Wax Tarts


Diffuser + water +a few drops of your favorite essential oil (my favorites vary with the season)



  • doTERRA Holiday Joy blend
  • Peppermint
  • Wild orange + cinnamon + cardamom
  • Cinnamon + ginger + clove + cardamom



  • doTERRA Citrus Bliss blend
  • lemon + lime + grapefruit + wild orange (or any of these by themselves)
  • lemon + lime


Special Situations

  • Concentration: peppermint + rosemary
  • Calming: lavender + lemon


  1. Over the Counter Medicines


Cold medicines

Oregano applied to the bottom of feet. Oregano is one of the best oils to have on hand for illnesses. It is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emenagogue and anti-allergenic.


A drop or two of peppermint in a hot shower will help open and clear airways.

Diffuse doTERRA Breathe blend or peppermint to ease congestion.


Headache medicine

Apply a drop of peppermint or doTERRA deep blue blend to the temples or where the headache is felt.


Sore Muscle Reliever

doTERRA deep blue rub applied to the tender area. The rub works so well I keep a tube at home, at work, and in my bag. In a pinch you can use this rub for nearly anything (muscle aches, tension headaches, congestion, menstrual cramps).


Note: Be sure to wash hands with soap and water before touching any area around your eyes after handling any oil, especially deep blue.



  1. Fabric Refresher


Water + favorite scent + spray bottle


Be cautious of using dark oils on light fabrics. Test spray in an inconspicuous area before applying liberally.


Lemon is a natural deodorizer and a clear oil.


Note: Lemon does require a glass bottle because the acid will eat through plastic. The more essential oil drops added, the stronger the scent.


  1. Bathroom Fragrance Spray


Water + favorite scent + spray bottle


Note: Water and oil that falls to the floor can create a slippery condition.


  1. Bug repellent

Fractionated coconut oil + lemongrass or vetiver


Lemongrass and vetiver are natural bug repellent and as a bonus, they smell pleasant. Lemongrass is reminiscent of fruity pebbles while vetiver is more of a woodsy, masculine scent. You can mix in a canning jar and apply with your hands or mix in a spray bottle and apply by spraying. Spray application is much cleaner.


  1. Dusting spray

damp cloth + a few drops of lemon (or any other favorite scent)


The damp cloth collects the dust while the lemon disinfects, shines, and smells fresh.


  1. Bathroom and kitchen disinfectant

damp cloth + a few drops of grapefruit (or any other citrus scent)


Any citrus essential oil will disinfect.


Other great disinfecting oil combinations:

  • peppermint and tea tree
  • lemongrass and lavender
  • lavender and rosemary
  • geranium and lime
  • grapefruit, lemon, and lavender
  • tea tree and orange


  1. Tame bed head + scalp health

water + melaleuca (tea tree) + lemon (or other favorite scent) + water bottle


My two boys use this mixture in the morning to fix crazy bed head. They enjoy trying different scents.


Other great essential oils for hair

  • Lavender helps soothe dry, flaky scalp
  • Vetiver cools and soothes acne
  • Rosemary promotes blood flow helping with dandruff, itchiness, scalp irritation and oily skin
  • Chamomile helps treat dry scaly scalp, dandruff, eczema, and scalp acne
  • Ylang ylang balances oily scalp by helping to normalize sebum production


  1. Mood stabilizer


A drop of Vetiver on my son’s chest every morning helps to keep his emotions balanced. Sometimes he has intense emotions related to ADHD. Vetiver is a masculine, woodsy smell that also doubles as a lovely cologne.


  1. Feet spa Treatments


Foot soak: water + ½ cup Epsom salt + 10 drops of essential oil(s) of your choice

To invigorate feet add peppermint

To relax try lavender or patchouli

To detox be sure to soak for a minimum of 40 minutes, increase to 1 cup of Epsom salts and use water as warm as you can tolerate. Try lavender + melaleuca + eucalyptus + chamomile.

To fight athlete’s feet or toe fungus add Melaleuca, Oregano, Lavender, Lemon, Patchouli and/or        Geranium


Foot scrub: 1 cup sugar or salt + 20 drops of your favorite oils + ½ cup coconut oil


Combine ingredients, mix, and store in a cool, dry area. Use 1T for each foot paying extra attention to any rough areas, like the heels. Rinse feet well and pat dry.


Peppermint Lavender scrub-cools and relaxes tired feet

10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil


Candy Corn scrub

5 drops cinnamon

5 drops clove

5 drops cardamom

5 drops ginger


These few simple changes have really helped keep my family healthier by reducing our exposure to harsh chemicals. I have seen an improvement in my son’s asthma. You can find more essential oil recipes here. If you have found other ways to use essential oils, please share.


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