Written by contributor Krissa Jeldy of More Than Mundane.

For the last year and a half I’ve been diving head first into the world of essential oils. I am by no means an expert, but as I’ve been integrating essential oils into my daily life I have learned a lot about how versatile they are and have had fun trying them out in a wide variety of ways.

Quality essential oils can be a bit pricey and I’ve had friends who are interested in using essential oils but seem a little unsure about where to begin. There are a handful of essential oils that I use most often and that I would recommend as basics if you’re just getting started.

The Basics

Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Eucalyptus are some of the essential oils that I use most.

Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically, or taken internally. However, especially for topical and internal use, it’s important to make sure you are using high quality, pure essential oils. Many of the essential oils on the market are produced solely for their aromatic quality and so are not of high enough quality to be used on your skin or in your body.

Always make sure you do your research before using essential oils as they are extremely powerful and some are not recommended in certain circumstances (such as while pregnant).

A little goes a long way and they keep for a long time. Most uses require only a few drops of essential oil. Store essential oils in a cool, dark place and they will keep for years.

If you’re wondering how to use essential oils, I’ve compiled a list of some of the ways you can use them, but this is only a start!

Personal/Body Care Uses

  • Sugar Scrub. To make a sugar scrub, mix 1 cup sugar with 1/4-1/2 cup carrier oil (Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, etc.) and add 8-10 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Try my favorite Lemon Lime Sugar Scrub.
  • Salt Scrub. Same concept as a sugar scrub, except using salt. I love using eucalyptus and peppermint.
  • Body Oils. Mix 1 cup carrier oil with 30-60 drops essential oil. Use as a moisturizer after a shower or add to a bath. Try one of these recipes from Crunchy Betty.
  • Body Butter. Make your own body butter and scent it using your favorite essential oils. Or for especially dry patches, try this Simple Lavender Salve.
  • Lip Balm. Use essential oil to scent your homemade lip balm. Try one of these 3 Simple Homemade Lip Balms.
  • Deodorant. Try this deodorant using Melaleuca (tea tree) and lavender essential oils. {Melaleuca, Lavender}
  • Toothpaste. You can make your own toothpaste using coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint essential oil. You can also add stevia to sweeten it, as in this recipe.
  • Mouthwash. In November, Nicole shared how to make your own mouthwash using peppermint essential oil.
  • Blemish Remover. Put a drop of Melaleuca (tea tree) oil on a blemish and watch it disappear.
  • Oil pulling. If you read Stephanie’s article on oil pulling a few weeks ago, she mentioned adding essential oils while oil pulling. I also like using a few drops of essential oil in water to swish with if I don’t have time to oil pull for 20 minutes. {Oregano, Clove, Peppermint}

Around the House Uses

  • Linen Spray/Room Spray. Fill a small glass spray bottle with distilled water and add essential oil until the mixture reaches the potency desired. I find that 25-30 drops in a 4 oz. bottle is a good amount. I like using Lavender for a linen spray to promote relaxation. Or try one of these recipes.
  • Air Freshener. Fill a jar about 1/2 full of baking soda along with 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Using a hammer and nail, poke holes in the lid and place somewhere your air needs freshening. {Lavender, Lemon}
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar for an all purpose cleaner.
  • Floor Cleaner. If you’re looking for a simple and fresh citrus floor cleaner, try this one using only water, castile soap, and essential oils. {Sweet orange, lemon}
  • Laundry. If you make your own laundry detergent, you can add essential oil to scent it or you can add 3-5 drops of essential oil to your detergent before each load.
  • Removing Stickers (replacement for Goo-Be-Gone). Use several drops of lemon essential oil or other citrus based oil to remove sticker gunk, such as when you want to get a label off of a jar.
  • Clean your mattress. Add several drops of essential oil to a cup of baking soda and sprinkle over mattress. Leave for an hour and then vacuum up.

Home Remedies/First Aid Uses

  • DIY Vapo-Rub. To make your own Vapo-Rub, just add an essential oil such as eucalyptus to a carrier oil and rub on chest, back and the bottoms of feet to relieve congestion and coughing. Try this recipe.
  • First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes. Combine Lavender or Melaleuca (tea tree) oil with a carrier oil and apply to cuts and scrapes. {Lavender, Melaleuca}
  • Insect/Bug Bites (Itching). Add 2-3 drops lavender essential oil to 1 TBSP carrier oil and apply to location.
  • Cold Sores and Canker Sores. Dilute Melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil and apply 1-2 drops directly to cold sore.
  • Sunburn. Fill a 4 oz. glass spray bottle with distilled water and add 10 drops lavender essential oil. Spray on burnt area to relieve pain and promote healing.
  • Headaches. Apply 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil to temples, forehead, and back of neck. Dilute with carrier oil for sensitive skin.
Photo by ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga

For Babies and Kids

*Important Note: Since essential oils are very strong and extremely powerful, use caution when using them on infants and children. For more specifics, read Essential Oils for Babies.

  • Aromatherapy Playdough. If you make your own playdough, add just a few drops of essential oil at the end of the process and mix well. {Lemon, Lavender, Lime, Grapefruit}
  • Massage Oil. Giving baby a massage before bedtime can be a great way to ensure a good night’s rest for everyone. Try this Massage Oil for Baby.


Do you use essential oils? What are some of your favorite uses for them?