Isn’t it nice to walk into a spotless, lovely smelling kitchen? The kitchen is the heart of the home.
With lots of cooking and two little boys who contribute to messy counters, tables and floors, I have to be on top of my game when it comes to keeping the kitchen clean.
Because of my boys, I’ve been gradually switching from harsh chemicals to more natural alternatives and wanted to share some of the essential oil recipes for cleaning that I’ve found really work for us.
This post will focus on cleaning with essential oils in the kitchen area.
Who really wants to keep switching between different cleaners? An all-purpose cleaner should be used as much as possible for the surfaces in the kitchen.
For non-stone countertops, the sink, and the surfaces of kitchen appliances–I’m talking about you, Mister Microwave/Fridge/Stovetop/Dishwasher–I found this recipe by Dr. Axe to be very effective.
I like this cleaning spray with essential oils because it has only 4 ingredients. The oils help mask the vinegar smell–something my husband hates.
Lemon and tea tree are the essential oils used in this cleaner, and there’s some research to back up their antimicrobial properties.
This 2019 study researched how lemon essential oil contained anti-microbial effects on foodborne pathogens and certain spoilage bacteria.
Additionally, this 2006 study reviewed studies involving the benefits of tea tree oil with its antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activities.
Lemon essential oil is often used to remove sticky residue and grease.
Dr. Axe’s recipe is very basic:
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of vinegar
- 15 drops of lemon or orange essential oil
- 10-15 drops of tea tree oil (Dr. Axe uses 15, but I reduce it to 10 because the smell of tea tree was initially too strong for me.
Mix all the ingredients together in a glass spray bottle. Make sure to use glass and not plastic since lemon essential oil can corrode plastic.
Here’s a picture of my refrigerator doors after using the spray. The spray makes it pretty shiny in real life!
You can use this mixture to clean inside the fridge and microwave as well. The antimicrobial properties of the lemon and tea tree essential oils make them ideal for those areas.
In addition to wiping the outside surface with an all-purpose spray containing oils, here’s a hack to quickly clean inside the dishwasher superficially or get rid of water spots on your dishes.
Add a few drops of lemon essential oil into a cup of vinegar, place it on the top rack next to dirty dishes, and run the dishwasher.
Your glasses and dishes should come out sparkling! You can use it with an empty dishwasher if you want to focus more on cleaning the inside.
Here’s a quick hack if you have a stinky garbage disposal.
Drop in a handful of ice cubes, add a few drops of lemon or other essential oil, and then turn it on. Your garbage disposal will smell sooo good! I found this only lasts temporarily, however.
Even if you cover your food while heating it up, spills and splatters happen.
The inside of my microwave is made out of a material that seems to keep food from sticking to it, so I usually just wipe it with a damp sponge or use the all-purpose spray on the inside if some food scents are lingering too long in there.
If your microwave is more stubborn with its food stains, you can steam the inside to loosen the food particles that are stuck on the walls, partying like it’s 1999.
Below is a good steamer recipe. You can eliminate the vinegar if you can’t stand the smell of heated vinegar.
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil
Place the ingredients in a heat-safe bowl and microwave it for 3-5 minutes. The oils and water will loosen the debris and make it easy to wipe away afterward.
Grante, marble, or quartz countertops
These stone countertops are tricky. Counter experts caution against using vinegar and citric acids such as lemon juice. The acidity can cause etching, discoloration, and deterioration.
A simple solution of dishwash soap and water mixed together is safe for granite, marble, and quartz countertops.
If you really enjoy cleaning with essential oils and want to try them on your stone countertops, here’s a popular, non-vinegar recipe detailed by the author of This Grandma is Fun.
I just couldn’t pass up reading the blog because the name is so fun.
The recipe calls for for following:
- ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops of dishwashing liquid
- 2 cups of water
- 5-6 drops of essential oil
Mix together in a glass spray bottle, shake, and you’re good to go to town on those beautiful stone counters.
I had to save my most dreaded appliance to clean for last. You can call it my nemesis. Does anybody truly love cleaning inside their oven?
I needed a tough solution, so I tried out two of them. They ended up being the same in terms of effectiveness, so I’ll list both of them here. One uses vinegar and one does not, so that may be a deciding factor for you.
This method is adapted from my mom, who usually sprinkles baking soda on the area she wants to clean and then scrubs the baking soda into the surface with real lemon slices.
This adaptation is very simple.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the area to be cleaned
- Spray with Dr. Axe’s all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. (If you’re into listening for it, the vinegar and baking soda will make a satisfying fizz.)
- Use a sponge to massage the cleaner and baking soda together into the surface until the area is clean. I won’t lie, it’ll take some patience.
- Wipe away the mixture with a cloth or sponge.
After this deep cleaning, I usually follow up with the all-purpose cleaner to wipe away any remnants or baking soda left behind in the cracks or crevices.
For those who dislike vinegar, this second method from Recipes with Essential Oils doesn’t use it.
This method requires making a paste with the following ingredients:
- ¾ cup of baking soda
- 15 drops of lemon or orange essential oil
- 15 drops of pine essential oil
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 3-5 tablespoons of water (I found 4 tablespoons of water to be the perfect amount for me)
Mix the ingredients into a paste and apply it in the oven wherever you need to get rid of grease, food remains and residue.
Like the first method, let it sit for a bit (I was impatient and waited only 5 minutes). Use a sponge to gently massage the paste into the area.
Wipe away with a clean cloth and follow up with the all-purpose cleaner. Enjoy your (finally!) clean oven.
While cleaning isn’t the most exciting chore, it becomes a little bit more fun when you use less harsh, more natural ingredients. I enjoy the smell of the essential oils.
My husband even complimented the smell when I was cleaning out the oven, so I consider that a win (he tends to favor the harsh chemical sprays).
What are your favorite recipes or hacks to use for cleaning with essential oils in the kitchen? Share and comment below!