13 Cleaning and Body Care Recipes Using Essential Oils

I am crazy crazy crazy about using essential oils for making my own cleaning, beauty and medicinal products. They are powerful little suckers that also smell divine. Here is a roundup of most of my recipes on the blog that use essential oils, but first, we can learn what essential oils actually are and why they’re much better than toxic artificial perfumes.

20 Plus Recipes Using Essential Oils

Essential Oils 101

To see my complete class on essential oils, along with a webinar, slides and notes, click here.

So, here’s the short version…I’m sure at one time or another you’ve peeled an orange and noticed the wonderfully fragrant scent left on your fingers. That was an experience with essential oils! Orange peels are full of them. But they are far more than pretty scents, these powerful plant compounds work synergistically with our bodies to strengthen our immune systems and help our bodies heal themselves.

EO’s are natural aromatic compounds found in the raw material of plants (leaves, stems, bark, petals, etc). The oils of plants contain the essence (this is where the word “essential” comes from) or scent of that particular plant. They are extracted from the plant using steam distillation and are super concentrated, which makes them dangerous to use on or in the body without a carrier oil (like sweet almond, olive or grapeseed). It takes about 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make one ounce of oil (source)! I think the coolest fact about EO’s is that they actually help protect the plant from bacteria, fungi and critters who want to eat it, which is why they are so effective in helping to protect us as well (source)!

EO’s were commonly used long ago for their medicinal and therapeutic properties and have gained popularity today for people like me who like alternative medicine (like homeopathy) and prefer homemade non-toxic products. Many EO’s are antiseptic and antibacterial and also are mood enhancers and even aphrodisiacs!

My go-to EO’s are:

Most often, I use Lavender, Tea Tree, and Sweet Orange for their powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. My other favorites include oils like Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Cedarwood due to their woodsy and earthy tones, making them perfect basenotes to a fragrance. Ylang Ylang adds a strong flowery scent, as does lavender, and oils like orange and peppermint brighten and freshen up the fragrance. I also love blended oils from Young Living like Thieves, Stress Away, Purification and Valor, all of which can be purchased in one of their starter kits (read more about where to buy high quality essential oils!).

Here are my best and most popular recipes using essential oils:

For the Body

  1. Homemade Lip Balm Recipe – All-Natural Clove and Orange
  2. All Natural Christmas Gifts – Winter Care Gift Sampler
  3. The Oil Cleansing Method – Natural Non-Toxic Face Cleansing
  4. Homemade Moisturizing Baby Shampoo Recipe {free printable}
  5. Homemade Natural Bug Repellent Recipe
  6. DIY Homemade Green & Easy Deodorant
  7. Homemade All-Natural Peppermint Mouthwash
  8. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
  9. Natural Shampoo – Alternatives to Baking Soda
  10. Natural Conditioners – Alternatives to Apple Cider Vinegar
  11. Homemade Natural Hand Sanitizer
  12. Homemade Teething Oil and Other Natural Remedies for Teething Pain
  13. Oil Pulling with Peppermint
  14. DIY Miracle Oil for Cuts, Scrapes, Eczema, Rashes, Poison Ivy and More!

For the Home

  1. Tips for Green Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance
  2. Homemade Deodorizing Spray – Non-Toxic and Green
  3. Homemade Reusable Disinfecting Wipes – All Natural
  4. My Favorite Homemade Green Household Cleaners with Free Printables
  5. DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent – Cheap and Green {free printable}
  6. Natural Laundry Fragrance and Softener
  7. Homemade Natural Fabric Stain Remover
  8. Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Thanks so much for your post on the 13 recipes for using essential oils!!

  2. Hi, I believe I saw a recipe for natural teeth whitener here on your website, or did I? do you have one? I would greatly appreciate it . thanks, love you website 🙂

    • I don’t have a natural teeth whitener – but I have been talking about my natural toothpaste recipe that I’ve just finished. Maybe that’s what you saw? I believe activated charcoal and coconut oil (with oil pulling) can both work.

      • I recently heard you can use peppermint and lemon essential oils (this applies to doTERRA CPTG EOs, I am not sure about ones you might find at a health food store) mixed with a vegetable based oil such as olive oil or fractionated coconut oil. Apply to your tooth brush and use after you brush your teeth with your toothpaste.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Love this website, love the recipes, love it all! I’ve tried (or have printed and intend to try) just about everything and the only one that took some getting used to was the no-poo regiment. (Whew, that was a culture shock, but yay healthy hair!!)

    Thank you so much for posting all of this! It’s completely changed the way I shop, clean, function… It’s been an obsessive new hobby of mine! Can’t wait for my new patio garden to grow in and start making my own low-grade essential oils to put into all of these great recipes!! You are awesome!

    • Wow, great to hear another person jump on the hippie wagon with us! 🙂 Welcome aboard, Stephanie. It continues to be a hobby of mine, with obsessive bouts here and there. Amazing that you’re going to make your own essential oils!

  4. do you have a recipe for liquid hand soap?

  5. very good this post I did not know these essential oils, saved the blog in my favorites, thanks for the tips

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