5 DIY Essential Oil Recipes: Cleaning With Essential Oils

We talk about cleaning with essential oils quite a bit here at Clean My Space, and for good reason. They smell amazing, and they have a lot of wonderful properties, and there are so many ways you can use them! 

If you’re new to essential oils, definitely read Everything You Need to Know About Essential Oils. I break down what they are, how to dilute them, how to choose the right brands, and so much more. But today, we’re talking essential oil hacks. These are my five favorite essential oil hacks for cleaning with essential oils and more! 

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1. Eliminate Shoe Stink

If you have stinky shoes, don’t be embarrassed, it’s part of the human condition, and there is a great way to eliminate smelly shoes. 

Take a couple of cotton balls and your favorite essential oil (or a mix of your favorites) and dash about 10 to 15 drops on each cotton ball. Then, place the cotton balls in your shoes and leave them overnight. In the morning, take the cotton balls out, and your shoes will smell like fresh essential oils… and nothing else!

2. Insect Repellent

No one likes bug bites, end of story. But chemical-smelling, toxic insect repellent isn’t much better. Use this natural recipe instead. 

Get yourself a cloth or a bandana (something you don’t care about) and put up to 10 drops of these essential oils (or a combination of more than one): tea tree, lemon, lavender, or peppermint. By wearing the cloth or bandana, you’ll repel those annoying bugs for good! So, the next time you’re camping, hiking, or just sitting out on your patio, make yourself a DIY insect repellent and watch the bugs buzz off.

3. Poo Pourri Spray!

One of the things that unites us as a human race is that we all go in the bathroom. But even though we all do it, that doesn’t mean we want our bathrooms to smell like… doo doo. 

Luckily, there’s a solution for making it smell a little bit better, and that solution is my DIY Poo Pourri spray. Mix 20 – 30 drops of food coloring (blue or green is best), 3 tbsp vegetable glycerin, 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol, 40 drops essential oils, and 1/2 cup water in a small spray bottle. Voila! Poo-be-gone. 

4. Car Air Freshener

If you want to take the wonders of essential oils with you on the road, there’s an easy way to bring them into your car. All you need is a raw wood clothespin; that means no varnish and no paint. 

Take your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend, and place a few drops on your clothespin. Just two or three drops will do; you don’t want the scent to be overwhelming. Clip the pin onto one of your air vents and crank the A/C! The next thing you know, you’ll be driving, listening to great music, and smelling your favorite essential oil.

Melissa in her car looking into the mirror

5. Nail Strengthener

If you find that your nails are brittle, weak and you can never quite grow them, essential oils might be able to help. Tea tree and lavender oil are both strengtheners, so you can use one of them or a combination of the two. Blend 20 drops of your chosen essential oil with one cup of jojoba oil.

Then, on a clean nail bed, simply apply one drop of your oil blend onto each cuticle and rub it in gently, working the oil up your nail. Make sure to place the drop on your cuticle to help stimulate future nail growth. This will, of course, take time, you don’t just sprout nails overnight, but you’ll start to see stronger, healthier nails, all thanks to your favorite essential oil.

Essential Oils and You

With essential oils comes one small caveat. You need to check with your health care provider or your vet if you’re a pet parent to ensure that they are safe for you. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, if you have a certain illness or you are on a certain medication, they might not be best for you. Just make sure that you check it out before you start getting heavily involved in the EO movement.

And when you try these recipes, please share them with us! Leave a comment below or tag @cleanmyspace on Instagram so we can see what amazing essential oil recipes you use in your home. Happy scenting!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I don’t know what brand of Essential Oil to buy. I notice I can find all prices’s. Is the cheap just as good as the other?

  2. Hi, Melissa and Chad! Melissa, I hope you are feeling well during your pregnancy. This isn’t a cleaning question, but I know you’ll have an answer! What can I do, hopefully with essential oils, to get rid of gnats, fruit flies, whatever those irritating flying bugs are called? My garbage disposal is clean, but there’s always at least one flying around my kitchen!! Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Sarah,
      You can make a homemade fruit fly trap by mixing a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 5 or 6 drops of dish soap. Mix it up well in the bottom of a glass and leave it out next to your sink. The flies smell the vinegar and land in it but get stuck (because of the soap) and cannot fly out.

      Also, the reason most kitchens have fruit fly problems is not due to having fresh fruits and veggies lying around. It’s because the flies can breed in the sink drain.

      There are two things you can do to reduce the fruit flies you might have hanging out in there. 1) pour boiling water down your sink. And 2) keep the plug in the drain to stop them from possibly flying back into your kitchen. It might seem like a pain to keep the sink plugged and only unplug it when you need to, but it does work.

      Best of luck,

      • Wow! Thanks, Melissa. I also occasionally have one or two fruit flys flying around my kitchen. Now I know how to get rid of them! I love your YouTube channel, by the way. Thanks for all the great cleaning tips. You actually make cleaning fun. πŸ™‚

  3. Hi melissa my two year old son loves drawing and latley he has been been drawing on the walls. I have managed to get the crayons and pencil marks off but im having trouble with the pen marks.

  4. Hi Melissa,
    My daughter spilt clear nail polish on our new synthetic carpet. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might remove it please?
    Thank you for your help and great tips!

    Kind regards Audrey


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