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Ways to Start Using Essential Oils

Many people are interested in using essential oils. Some are just starting to explore what they are about and how they can be used. While others have just purchased their first bottle or set and are not sure what to do next.

When I got my first set I was excited to have different types of essential oils and figured I could diffuse them when I wanted, but was not sure of how to use them practically in my everyday life. It can be overwhelming trying to figure it all out, so I wanted to share a few tips on how to begin using essential oils in your everyday routines. Even if you are a seasoned essential oils user, there might be some new ideas that can help you.

There are many examples listed below that can be used with multiple essential oils, however I am focusing on the 3 most common essential oils that are also affordable: Lemon (citrus limon), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Peppermint (mentha x piperita) essential oils.

Diffuse the Essential Oils

1. Diffuse lemon, lavender or peppermint essential oil separately in any space. Or try combining 2 or 3 of the essential oils to experience a new scent and combined benefits.

Try lemon and peppermint when getting ready in the morning or around mid-afternoon for a quick pick me up. Diffuse lavender essential oil when getting ready for bed as a way to calm down and relax for a good night’s rest. Combine lemon and lavender essential oils or all 3 when feeling sick to help with respiratory support.

Diffusing intermittently provides the most benefit, usually 30-60 minutes on and then 30-60 minutes off is sufficient. Check the directions of the company you purchase essential oils from for their recommended diffusing time or contact them directly to find out. If you want to read more, check out my How to Use Essential Oils post.

General Home Use

2. Make a room or linen spray with lemon essential oil to freshen linens, rooms or closets. Or use lavender essential oil to spray in bedrooms or on sheets to help with relaxation and encourage sleep. To make: in a glass spray bottle add 15-30 drops essential oil of choice, 2 TBSP witch hazel or vodka and 1/4 cup distilled water. Shake to mix and shake before each use.

Room or Linen Spray

3. Make a carpet deodorizer with any essential oil to help eliminate odors and freshen a space. Just use 1 cup baking soda and 15 drops of essential oil, spread on carpet and let sit at least 1-2 hours (overnight is best) and then vacuum up. Can also use in stinky shoes, just sprinkle in and let sit over night and dump or vacuum out.

4. Make a natural all purpose cleaning spray. Add and shake to mix 10-20 drops of lemon essential oil with equal parts white or apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a glass spray bottle for all purpose cleaning and disinfecting. Shake to mix before each use. Use for sinks, countertops, floors and anywhere else you would use a multi-purpose disinfecting cleaner. Be careful if using on natural stone surfaces, such as granite, as the lemon essential oil can cause etching.

In the Kitchen

5. Make a fruit and vegetable spray to clean and disinfect using lemon essential oil. Add to a glass spray bottle 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup distilled water and around 10 drops of lemon essential oil. You could also create your own blend using different types of citrus essential oils, such as lemon, lime and grapefruit. It is best to store in a glass bottle since some plastic material can be disintegrated by lemon essential oil.

In the Bathroom

Using Essential Oils in the Bathroom

6. Besides cleaning your bathroom with essential oils and diffusing, you can try adding into the products you already use or make your own. To make an easy DIY lotion with essential oil, just melt 1/2 cup coconut oil and add 36 drops of essential oil. Lavender essential oil would be soothing and healing for the skin. Or you can use  your choice of essential oil diluted in any type of carrier oil to moisturize.

7. Adding a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner is an easy way to use essential oils to make your bathroom feel like a spa. I love using a few drops of lemon essential oil in my shampoo. It makes the shower smell like a burst of sunshine that is invigorating and makes my hair shiny and so soft!

8. Another easy way to use essential oils in the shower is add a few drops of essential oil to shower gel. You can add 10-40 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (or 2 TBSP) of shower gel for a 1-4% dilution.

9. You can also add essential oils to a bath, although it is recommended to dilute in a dispersing agent such as fractionated coconut oil, Castile soap, shower gel or even shampoo. This helps the essential oil mix in with the bath water and not just float on the top. Use the same recipe above for shower gel to get the essential oil to dispersing agent ratio.

In the Laundry Room

Essential Oils in the Laundry Room

10. When doing laundry, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the laundry soap dispenser after you add your laundry detergent to the washing machine. The lemon essential oil will lightly sent and freshen your laundry as well as help to keep the washing machine drum clean. Also, if  you run a load in the washing machine and forget to remove it right away, the lemon essential oil helps to prevent it from getting stinky.

11. Or you can add a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, to wool dryer balls to use when using the dryer. This will naturally lightly scent your laundry and reduce your exposure to any chemicals that might be found in dryer sheets or fabric softener. If you do not have dryer balls, try a few drops on a damp cloth that is put in the dryer with the wet laundry.

In Your Vehicle

12. Put a drop or two of essential oil on a wooden clothespin that can be clipped to the air vent or seat belt or placed in a console in your vehicle. You can also use battery operated diffusers or put a few drops on a tissue or cloth. This is an easy way to freshen the air in the vehicle. Use lemon essential oil for a burst of energy or to feel uplifted. Or try peppermint essential oil if you tend to experience motion sickness in the car.

Other Tips for Using Essential Oils

There are often times when you might come across an essential oil recipe that calls for essential oils you do not own yet and are not ready to purchase. You can try making the recipe with essential oils that you have to see how that works for your needs. If you find the recipe is not helping like you hoped it would, you  can always add in the additional essential oil later if you feel like you need to have it and purchase it.

An easy way to expand the essential oils you have access to is to share with family and friends. Sometimes I might need a few drops of a specific essential oil and one of my friends lets me have it so I don’t have to order my own bottle, and vice versa. Find out who you know who uses essential oils and who would be willing to do this. Or offer a few dollars to help cover the amount you need.

Diluting essential oils ahead of time is a great way to have them ready to go when you have a need. Using a roller bottle is a great option because it is easy to apply right away, when you need it without trying to figure out the right dilution rate. Some of my favorite roller bottles are one with lavender to use before bed or on skin issues, one with peppermint to use with colds and sinus congestion, or one with lemon to use on blemishes to quickly resolve.

Using the aromatic waters that are a by product of the essential oil distillation process, called a hydrosol, instead of distilled water in your DYI recipes is another great option to include the benefits or scent of a different plant, without using the essential oil directly. This is another variation that you can experiment with as you grow in your experience with essential oil products.

Ways to Start Using Essential Oils


There are many ways to use essential oils in your daily life to reduce harmful chemicals and to experience the benefits that essential oils offer. This list of suggestions just skims to surface of how you are able to use essential oils. Enjoy the process of trying a new essential oil or way to use a favorite essential oil every day or once a week and soon you will find you are becoming more confident and knowledgeable with essential oils.

What are some easy ways to use essential oils that you do? Please let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: For informational and educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have a health concern, a medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking any medication please consult your healthcare provider.