15 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil

You may know of tea tree oil as an ingredient in products from brands such as Lush and The Body Shop, but its uses go far beyond acne treatment. Tea tree oil in its pure form can be commonly found in health and natural food stores, and due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, this essential oil can be used in many ways, from house cleaning to your beauty regimen.


1. Bath oil

For a relaxing and cleansing bath oil, mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid oil (e.g. olive, grapeseed, almond). Add this mixture to your bath when it is halfway full; swish it around, and soak for 20 minutes.



2. Bath salt

To sooth your muscles, dilute 10 drops of tea tree oil in any neutral oil. Mix this oil into epsom salts, and add to your bath when it's half full.



3. Deodorant

Odour from sweat is caused from the decomposition of sweat from apocrine sweat glands by bacteria. As tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, it can help reduce the amount of sweat that's broken down, and the associated odour! Here's one recipe for homemade deodorant: http://modernhippiehousewife.com/2014/02/20/all-natural-deodorant-recipe/ - although, there are lots on the internet for you to try out!



4. Clear a sore throat or fight bad breath

Add 1 drop of tea tree oil into a glass of warm water, rinse it through your teeth, and gargle. Don't panic if you swallow a bit of this mixture, but do try to spit most of it out. To make this into a mouthwash, add another drop of tea tree oil, and a drop of peppermint oil (the water doesn't need to be warm here)!



5. Clear sinuses

Add 5-8 drops of tea tree oil into a bowl of freshly boiled water. Lean over the bowl and create a steam zone by covering your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes, twice or more daily.


6. Stuffy nose salve

If it's not a good time or place for #5, but you want something to help clear your sinuses, try this remedy. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil, 2 drops of eucalyptus oil, and 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Pour this into a small container (like an empty lip balm tin) and let it set. Apply a bit under your nose when needed.



7. Clean minor cuts/abrasions, and soothe bug bites

Mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Cleanse the affected area thoroughly with soap and water, and dab your mixture onto the cut. Rinse this clean and reapply once or twice daily if needed. Alternatively, use the mixture similar to how you might use Polysporin, smearing a bit under a bandage. This same mixture can be dabbed onto bug bites to reduce their severity and soothe itching.



8. Hand sanitizer

Click here: http://everydayroots.com/diy-hand-sanitizer for a natural alternative to store-bought sanitizers!



9. Acne treatment

Tea tree oil can help fight bacteria as well as penetrate and clear your pores. Mix a drop of the oil with a bit of coconut oil or about 10 drops of witch hazel. Apply this mixture with a cotton swab as a spot treatment.



10. Clean your retainer or toothbrush

To reduce the bacteria that are sure to build up on these moist surfaces, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water. Swish the item around in the mixture, then rinse it with clean water and let it dry. Do this every other day for a retainer, and every week for a toothbrush.



11. Pest repellent

Add about 20 drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Shake this up and spray it around potential pest entrances to your home. The smell of the oil will deter some pests!



12. Garbage deodorizer

This scented powder can make opening your garbage can a less unpleasant experience. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 1/2 cup baking soda. Mix with a fork, and pour the mixture into a shaker, if you have one (left over from parmesan, for example). Sprinkle the powder into the bottom of a fresh bag to help tame future odours.



13. All-purpose cleaner

Add 20-25 drops of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle, and shake well before using it to clean surfaces around your house.



14. Freshen up a washing machine

To mitigate bacteria and odours in a washing machine, add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil into an empty drum and run the machine on a hot cycle.



15. Freshen dryer loads

To help freshen up your dryer (and get rid of any weird mildew smells), add several drops of tea tree oil to some wool dryer balls. If you don't have these, make "dryer sheets" by cutting a 5-inch squares out of a clean piece of cotton (e.g. a t-shirt or sheet you don't want). Add 5 drops of tea tree oil to each sheet and throw one in with your clothes. Refresh this sheet with a few more drops whenever the scent seems to lose its potency.



With any of these DIY products, keep in mind that pure tea tree oil can irritate your skin (which is why it is always diluted in these "recipes"). You should also avoid ingesting it. To keep your oil potent for as long as possible, avoid exposing it to excess light, heat, and air while it's in storage.