My 12 favorite everyday uses for essential oils

Check back often as I’ll add to this list when I discover new uses that help our family! I’ve added affiliate links for your convenience; disclosure policy available here.

1. Getting smells out of laundry
My husband and I do hot yoga a few times a week and let me tell you, those towels are sweeaaaty! Detergent alone isn’t always enough to knock out odors, so for extra dirty loads I add 4-5 drops of “Purify” essential oil blend from DoTERRA. (Lemon essential oil also works). Afterwards, laundry smells fresh with a hint of citrus. No harsh chemicals required!

2. Post-workout relaxation
You’ve never felt total relaxation until you’ve tried the “Serenity towel,” as I call it. A few months ago I tried a yoga class that incorporated essential oils. At the end of the class, the instructor passed out chilled, damp washcloths that had been spritzed with DoTERRA’s “Serenity” oil blend. PURE BLISS!!

3. Calm-down bath for kids
My girls love their evening bath. However, sometimes I found that with all the playing and splashing, bath time riled them up more than it calmed them down!

To make bath time a more calming experience, I started adding few drops of essential oils to the bath water. We dubbed this the “relax bath” and it’s now part of our everyday routine. (The girls love it and it really works!) Read my recipe for a calming bath for kids here.

4. Soothe upset tummies
When I get stressed, I feel it most in my stomach. I’ve tried a lot of over-the-counter remedies, but what’s worked the best for me is an essential oil blend in capsule form called “DigestZen.” This blend incorporates ginger, fennel, and coriander to help ease discomfort, gas, and bloating.

I take one capsule before I leave the house to avoid any uncomfortable or embarrassing situations. I also make sure to pack a bottle when I travel, because traveling can mess with even the most stoic of stomachs!

5. Ease congestion and open sinuses instantly
When seasonal allergies hit, it can be pretty miserable trying to fall asleep at night. Over the years I’ve tried both prescription and over-the-counter allergy medicines. For me, they’re either ineffective or if they work, the make me feel jittery, so not ideal for nighttime. However, I finally found a solution that’s simple, safe, and works instantly.

To relieve congestion and open sinuses immediately:

Apply 1-2 drops peppermint essential oil to palms
Place palms close to face and inhale deeply 5 times
You can also add 2-3 drops to your bath or shower for a similar effect!

DoTERRA also offers a roll-on “Breathe” blend that I love and is smoother-smelling than pure peppermint oil.

6. Boost flavor in recipes
My husband is the chef in our family, and essential oils are one of his “little secrets” to amp up the flavor when cooking. For example, he added a couple drops of lemon essential oil to the batter of this Lemon Curd Layer Cake and it is my new favorite dessert!

Popular essential oils for cooking:

Note: Essential oils are more concentrated then their source, so you won’t need to add more than 1-2 drops to a recipe. Read more about cooking safely with essential oils here.

7. Promote restful sleep
Lavender has been used for centuries to promote sleep and relaxation. Recent studies show that lavender helps combat anxiety and insomnia, as well as increases periods of deep sleep (where your body rests and recharges).

Here are two simple ways to use lavender essential oil to sleep more soundly:

Add 3-4 drops to a diffuser (we use one in the girls’ bedroom because it doubles as a nightlight)
Add 1-2 drops to your pillow (under the pillowcase)
TIP: We bought two of these LED aroma diffusers and love them! Great price and easy to use!

Save money and extend the life of your yoga equipment with this homemade all-natural yoga mat cleaner. Easy to make, antibacterial & anti fungal.

8. Yoga mat cleaner
Sweaty yoga mats are a prime breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and all sorts of yucky stuff, so you definitely want to keep them clean!

Manufacturers usually say to avoid soap and water, and store-bought yoga mat cleaners can be pretty pricey, so I made my own based on the recipe my yoga studio uses.

Click here for my simple homemade yoga mat cleaner recipe.

9. Calm-down blend for kids
This is a trick my friend taught me, and it’s worked wonders in our house!

First, I helped each of my girls create their own special oil blend. When they feel upset, I ask if they’d like to use their “calm-down” oil and the answer is usually yes.

All they do is roll a bit of the oil blend onto their palms, then take 5 deep breaths. It’s not necessarily the oils that do the work, but the action of deep breathing and removing themselves from the situation that upset them. In either case, this is a quick way to diffuse tantrums!

How to make your own “calm down” oil blend for kids:

Fill an empty oil roller most of the way with fractionated coconut oil (a common base for diluting pure essential oils for topical use).
Choose 2-3 of your favorite essential oils and add 2-3 drops of each to the roller with a plastic dropper. (Lavender and frankincense are both helpful for their soothing properties).
Replace the top of your roller and use as needed.
This kit includes everything you need to make your own oil blends (minus the oils themselves) – including rollers and a dropper.

10. Fabric fragrance
Essential oils make a wonderful alternative to chemical-based fabric softeners and fragrances.

I will add 3-4 drops of lavender oil to Woolzies dryer balls, toss them in the dryer, and dry clothes as usual. You won’t believe how amazing your laundry will smell afterwards! I always do this when I wash bedsheets and blankets for extra restful sleep.

We also use essential oils in our apple pie scented DIY carpet deodorizer to remove odors from carpets, rugs, etc. and leave them smelling like a delicious treat!

11. Ease cramps
If you’re like me, and that time of the month is pretty painful, essential oils can help. I don’t like to take pain relievers often, even over-the-counter. Clary Sage oil has been used for generations to relieve monthly discomfort.

12. Sooth headaches
I don’t get headaches often, but my husband does periodically. Both peppermint oil and rosemary oil can help relieve headache symptoms quickly.