The Five Best Essential Oils for Kitchen Use

Words by Louise Miller

Photography by Rebecca Benoit

Many kitchen cleaning products contain harsh chemicals and toxins that aren’t the best for our skin or food. Essential oils are an easy and safe alternative to synthetic cleaners and can be used throughout your kitchen to disinfect, help fight odours, and more.

Sweet Orange Essential Oil

To clean your dishes the natural way, add 15-20 drops of Sweet Orange to your pots and pans and then sprinkle with a thin layer of warm water. Allow the dishes to sit for approximately five minutes (or as long as you can spare), and and then wash away the grease.

Boost Essential Oil Blend

An energizing mix of Bergamot, Grapefruit, Juniper, and Lime, Boost Essential Oil Blend is a wonderful scent for the kitchen, giving your whole space an uplifting, happy vibe. Whether you are doing the dishes or mixing cocktails, 20 drops of Boost in your diffuser will help set the mood.

Lemon Essential Oil

The oil is extracted from lemon skin and has natural antiseptic properties. Often a synthetic reproduction of this oil is added to chemical-containing kitchen products to create the “lemon-fresh” aroma we associate with cleanliness. To keep your fridge smelling fresh the natural way, add 30 drops of 100% pure Lemon Essential Oil to 1 cup of baking soda and store it in an open tin or jar.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

To create your own countertop cleaning spray, combine 30 drops of Tea Tree, 20 drops of Grapefruit, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 2 cups of distilled water in a spray bottle. Kitchen faucets and sinks can be some of the dirtiest areas of a house, so cleaning them naturally is great place to start. (However, if you want something stronger for high-contaminant areas, the National Sanitation Foundation suggests a stronger mixture of bleach and water (one tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water; do not mix in anything else with this solution). The NSF also suggests keeping vinegar mixtures off of natural stone, waxed wood, and aluminum, and cast iron surfaces.

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit oil has antimicrobial effects that help reduce or eliminate bacteria. Keep your trash can fresh by adding 20-30 drops of Grapefruit to a half-cup of baking soda. Sprinkle this in the bottom of your trash bin and then add a garbage bag overtop. The baking soda helps absorb odours and the Grapefruit kills bacteria.

Cleaning the kitchen is almost fun when it smells this good.