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Eucalyptus: The Essential Oil of Spring Cleaning

Jennifer Burcke from 1840 Farm shares with us her favorite uses for eucalyptus oil.

I like to keep a toolbox of essential oils for mixing up homemade cleaning solutions to freshen up our home. Among my favorites are eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass and peppermint. Each of them has a distinct and refreshing scent, helping to infuse the farmhouse with a pleasant, light aroma. They pair wonderfully together, allowing me to use a combination of oils to keep our home clean all year long.

Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful antiseptic. It’s harvested from the fresh leaves of the evergreen eucalyptus tree, native to Australia. The main active ingredient is cineole, also called eucalyptol, which gives the oil its distinct aroma. The scent is unique and quite powerful. Eucalyptol is often used medicinally in over-the-counter inhalers, liniments, decongestants and mouthwashes.

In the kitchen, I use eucalyptus oil in my homemade scrub for cleaning the kitchen sink and the wood balm I make to condition our butcher green eucalyptus branchesblock counter tops. In the bathroom, I use eucalyptus oil to clean the sinks and bathtubs, leaving them sparkling clean without any harsh chemicals.

To replace chemically-laden dryer sheets and fabric softener, I apply eucalyptus oil to my handmade wool dryer balls. I place a single drop of eucalyptus oil and a drop or two of lavender oil on the balls, which tumble with our laundry leaving everything smelling fresh and clean.

I also use eucalyptus oil to remove those pesky price stickers from new treasures I’ve brought home. Apply a drop or two of eucalyptus oil to saturate the adhesive, which should allow you to remove the label without damaging the surface beneath it.

When it comes to eucalyptus oil, a little goes a long way. A few drops can fill an entire room with a fresh, clean scent reminiscent of peppermint mixed with spicy pine. Once you discover how useful this powerful oil is, you’ll find that it can be used in many creative ways in your home.

Beeswax Wood Balm with Eucalyptus Oil

I use this conditioning balm on the butcher block countertops, which leaves them looking beautiful without leaving behind an oily residue.

I also make a version of this balm without any essential oils to keep our wooden cutting boards, spoons and other wooden cooking implements conditioned without adding any scent or flavor to our favorite recipes

1 ounce beeswax (approximately 2 Tablespoons, grated)
2 ounces coconut oil (4 Tablespoons)
4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
Half-pint mason jar or glass or tin container of your choice

  1. Place the beeswax and coconut oil in the container of your choosing. Grating or chopping the beeswax will hasten its melting.
  2. Place the glass jar in the top of a double boiler to prevent the container from making direct contact with the heating element.
  3. Bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a simmer.
  4. As the wax and oil begin to melt, use a Popsicle stick, bamboo skewer or the handle of a wooden kitchen spoon to stir gently.
  5. When the mixture is completely melted, remove the jar carefully from the heat. Add the essential oils and stir to combine.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, at which point ut will be semi-solid.
  7. When the mixture has cooled completely, cover the jar with a lid for long-term storage.

To use the balm, dip a piece of dry cloth or tea towel into the jar and apply the balm liberally to the wood surface, working it into the wood before using a dry cloth to buff the surface. Apply as needed or once a month.

Eucalyptus Sink and Tub Scrub

Our white farmhouse kitchen sink is prone to showing signs of whatever has been washed in it, leaving it anything but gleaming white. The baking soda removes the day’s grime for a sparkling clean, and the scent of the eucalyptus freshens the kitchen. The same goes for the bathroom tubs.

I find that the baking soda needs very little essential oil to be deeply scented. You can use your favorite essential oil or combination of oils to scent your scrub, adding the oil a few drops at a time until it is scented to your liking.

1 pound box baking soda
2-4 drops eucalyptus essential oil

  1. Transfer the contents of a 16-ounce box of baking soda to the container of your choice. I use a plastic container with a shaker style top, making it easy to add the powder to sinks or tubs liberally without accidentally using too much.
  2. Add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to the container, replace the lid and shake to distribute the essential oil.

Use this scrub as needed. In the bathroom, I use a sponge to work the scrub in liberally to the surfaces of the sinks and tub before rinsing it clean. In the kitchen, I use half of a fresh lemon to work the scrub into the bottom and sides of the sink. The acidity from the lemon causes the baking soda to bubble up gently. Rinse off the scrub for a clean sink and fresh-smelling kitchen.

Jennifer spends her days living and writing at 1840 Farm with three generations of her family and their dogs, chickens, ducks, goats, and rabbit. She loves to create homegrown recipes in their farmhouse kitchen and dream up new handmade products for their Etsy shop. You can follow their daily adventures on Facebook and enjoy a collection of homemade recipes on their blog.