Essential oils are finally starting to get some of the focus they deserve, and we couldn’t be happier about it around here. We fell in love with essential oils—and in particular tea tree oil—years ago, and we’re thrilled others are finally catching on to just how useful these oils are.
Study after study has confirmed what tea tree oil fans have known for years, and that is that this unassuming oil is a powerful germ-killing machine, capable of tackling marauding microbes from head to toe.
Following are just eight of the many uses for versatile tea tree oil around your home.
Tea tree oil for your body
From battling pimples to helping heal cuts, ugly bugs don’t stand a chance against tea tree oil.
1. End acne:
Skip the store-bought acne products and try tea tree oil to tackle your troublesome pimples, instead. According to a study out of Australia, tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but not nearly as drying.
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with 30 drops of witch hazel and dab on pimples twice a day using a cotton ball or cotton swab. Still too drying for your sensitive skin? Try making a gentle anti-acne mask instead by mixing together five drops of tea tree with two teaspoons of raw honey. Gently spread the mask over your trouble spots, let sit for a minute, then rinse.
2. Reverse dandruff:
Tea tree oil shampoo can help relieve dandruff, dry scalp and itching. Best of all you don’t even have to switch from your normal product. Simply add tea tree to your favorite shampoo.
Add one drop of the oil to the bottle for every ounce of shampoo. Close and shake vigorously to thoroughly combine. Use as normal to tackle flakes and itching and speed healing.
3. Soothe eczema and psoriasis:
Tea tree can help drive away eczema and calm psoriasis flares, without drying your surrounding skin. Simply combine five drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil, whichever you prefer. Massage it into your affected skin just like your regular lotion.
4. Tackle foot issues:
Most foot issues including ugly toenail fungus, itchy athlete’s foot and embarrassing foot odor are caused by bacteria. Which means bacterial battling tea tree oil is the perfect natural solution for managing them.
For toenail fungus, studies show applying tea tree oil directly to the affected toe nails twice a day for at least two months can be just as effective as over-the-counter creams. And to get rid of athlete’s foot try adding several drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of witch hazel, and dabbing it onto your feet with a cotton ball three times a day until the infection clears.
To eliminate foot odor and refresh sore, tired feet try a soothing footbath. Mix together ten drops of tea tree oil and two tablespoons of a liquid oil such as almond, olive of grapeseed. Fill a basin with warm water and stir the tea tree oil mix in. Soak your feet for about 15 minutes, giving the water a light stir every once in a while to redistribute the oils. Gently pat your feet dry after.
5. Heal minor cuts and abrasions:
You can protect minor wounds, and help speed up healing with tea tree oil, rather than a triple antibiotic cream from the drugstore.
Mix together a drop of tea tree oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the cut dab a bit of the mix directly to the wound and cover (you can add a dab to the cotton on your bandage too). Reapply once or twice day for a steady layer of protection against infection, to help you heal faster.
Tea tree oil for your home
Tea tree oil doesn’t just tackle germs on your body. It’s great around the house, too.
6. Clean surfaces:
Throw out the harsh chemical cleaners that are making you and your family sick. Combine tea tree oil with water and vinegar for an all-natural cleaner that cuts grease, kills germs, helps tackle mold and leaves surfaces squeaky clean.
Mix together around 20 drops of tea tree oil with one quarter cup of water and one half cup of white vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Shake vigorously (the oil and water will separate, shaking will help you get a more even distribution), spray directly onto the surface you want to clean and wipe down with a clean cloth.
7. Clean your washing machine:
Your hardworking washing machine could use a cleaning of its own every once in a while and tea-tree oil can help. To tackle bacteria and mold and leave your machine smelling fresh simply add 15 to 20 drops to the empty drum and run it through a hot cycle.
8. Freshen laundry:
To give your laundry an extra jolt of freshness mix a few drops of tea tree oil to your laundry detergent before dumping it into your washing machine. (Just be careful with delicates, of course.)
These are just eight of the many ways you can use tea tree oil around your home. We bet you’ll come up with even more when you pick up a bottle of this hardworking oil of your own. Once you do (or if you’re already a tea tree fan) please share your tea tree oil ideas with the rest of us below.