I love to simplify. Now my kitchen has just one cleaner. It’s in my bathroom too. And the medicine cabinet. And the first-aid kit. Yep, my go-to non-toxic pharmaceutical. It’s my ONE EVERYTHING REMEDY for cleaning, prevention, healing, beauty, and body care. Yes, amazing TEA TREE OIL! Even better, research shows that a simple diffuser with tea tree oil can purify the air in your home of bacteria and viruses in a few minutes.
Tea Tree Oil is one of the world’s most useful essential oils. What’s tea tree oil good for? Well, I like it because it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, non-toxic, mild, and it can be used directly on the skin. Here are 20 practical uses for tea tree oil. Hope it is helpful! Jane
- Homemade All-purpose Cleaner: Combine 20 drops tea tree oil, 3/4 cup water, and a 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well. Spray directly onto surfaces and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Shake well each time you use it.
- Vegetable Wash – Tea tree oil fights the growth of mold on fruits and vegetables. Adding tea tree oil to water when rinsing produce may help produce remain mold-free.
- Athlete’s foot, toe fungus, ringworm – Wash the skin with soap and water. Apply tea tree oil twice a day.
- Public Areas cleaning, Disinfect athletic equipment. Spray and wipe with a mixture of tea tree oil, vinegar and water.
- Acne, Skin mites, Psoriasis – Wash the skin and apply to affected areas twice a day. The unwanted critters vanish.
- Toothpaste, antibacterial breath and mouth freshener – add 3-6 drops of tea tree oil to your toothbrush before brushing.
- Mouthwash – Tea tree fights bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. After brushing your teeth, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 6 drops tea tree oil. Swish the oil for 10-20 minutes. This is called “oil pulling”. The coconut oil clears bacteria from between teeth, and the tea tree oil eliminates the bacteria on contact. Great gum care and breath freshening.
- Insect repellant – Tea tree oil can repel mosquitoes and most insects better than DEET, the most common active ingredient in commercial insect repellents
- Treat bug bites, like fleas, chiggers, mosquitoes, bedbugs. Put a drop of tea tree oil directly on the inflamed bug bite, and the bugs will drop away.
- Tick removal with tea tree oil is NOT recommended. Ticks can carry disease. There is a risk that the tick will regurgitate bacteria into the skin. Instead use a “Tick Twister” or special tick removal tool.
- Soothe Irritated Nostrils – Apply tea tree oil either full strength or mixed with coconut oil, to sore spots just below your nose. The cooling and soothing properties of tea tree oil can help to speed your recovery.
- Dandruff or itchy, flaky scalp. Add a few drops tea tree oil to your shampoo.
- Antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes: Clean the cut thoroughly with plain soap and water. Mix one drop of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply a small amount to the injury and cover with a bandage. Repeat 2x a day until a scab forms.
- Remove Skin Tags – Clean and dry the skin tag. Pour a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton ball. Rub skin tag with the tea tree oil. Cover the tea tree-soaked cotton ball over the skin tag with a small band-aid. This will quicken the removal of the skin tag. Repeat several times a day until the skin tag loosens and falls off.
- Hand Sanitizer – I find Tea tree oil can be used directly on the skin as a hand sanitizer when I’m out and about.
- Laundry Freshener – Tea tree oil works on musty or even moldy laundry. Simply add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree to your laundry detergent.
- Spot-clean fabric, curtains, carpets, upholstery – use a mixture of tea tree oil, vinegar and water.
- Virus inflammation or break-outs – Tea tree oil is a good topical application for virus infections including herpes simplex, influenza virus subtype H1N1, and human papilloma virus.
- Prevent Virus and Respiratory Tract Infections – Use to prevent congestion, coughs, flu, and the common cold. Use a few drops of tea tree oil as an inhalant in your diffuser or through steam inhalation. Steam inhalation especially clears the congested nasal passages and kills bacteria. This can prevent many nasty respiratory tract infections. Go easy, as inhaling too much pure tea tree oil may lead to a headache.
- Purify the Air of Viruses and Bacteria – Hooray! A great preventative measure is to vaporize the Tea tree oil in the home or office. Use an electric diffuser to which you can add water and a few drops of tea tree oil. The percentage of dilution of essential oils is generally 2-3%, so three drops of tea tree oil per 100 ml of water are more than enough.
It is interesting to note that Tea Tree oil inhibits airborne viruses by preventing intracellular processing of the viral particle. Test show that when introduced into cell culture media, tea tree oil prevented viral un-coating by interfering with the acidification of the endosomes and membrane fusion. Tea tree oil, when actively diffused with a nebulizer for two seconds, cleared nearly all airborne IAV at 10 minutes, and showed zero virus at 15 minutes post nebulizer treatment (Usachev et al 2013). Blue mallee (Eucalyptus polybractea) oil showed zero virus at 15 minutes following a 15 second period of active diffusion with a nebulizer (Table 3) (Usachev et al 2013). Amazing!
Although tea tree oil is generally safe when used on adults’ skin, be advised that allergic reactions may occur in some people, young children, pregnant mothers, and pets. So go easy. You can always test by putting a little on your skin. I have zero irritation from it directly on my skin. Tea tree oil should never be applied to open eyes or mucous membranes. If you are in question, you can always dilute it with coconut oil. Enjoy!