Sort of like baking soda, essential oils are one of those seemingly innocuous things in your home that are quiet superstars. You can use them to eliminate the stink coming from your garbage can, to clean your dishes, and of course to reap aromatherapeutic effects in your beauty routine.
One of the most handy essential oils to have stocked? Tea tree oil. Sure, it has a pretty stacked resume when it comes to skin care and combatting acne, but it turns out it's got chops that make it a household legend, working wonders everywhere from your bathroom and laundry room to the great outdoors as an insect repellent. Here, the life-changing ways that you can use the essential oil at home.
Keep scrolling for the 5 home hacks you can achieve with this EO.
1. To keep your toothbrush clean
"You might not think about bacteria building up on your toothbrush, but it does," advises Jon Bresler essential oils expert, founder, and CEO of LAFCO New York. "Soak it in a cup of water with 8 drops of tea tree oil for 20 minutes. Rinse it well afterwards." To make sure you're not undoing all of your hard work, store it in a dry place, because damp environments are breeding grounds for bacteria.
2. As an insect repellent
"If you’re hesitant to douse yourself in chemical-laden bug sprays, tea tree oil is known to be a great insect repellent," Bresler says. To create your own bug spray he suggests mixing 15 drops of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, water, and witch hazel. The concoction, which is safe for adults only (because it could be too harsh on children's sensitive skin) helps to prevent bugs like ticks, chiggers, and deer flies.
3. In your laundry
Sort of like your sponge, your washing machine can wind up being a pretty bacteria-filled space. Bresler suggests adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your laundry detergent every few months. He purports that it will rid your machine of bacteria as well as get rid of unwanted odors that wind up coming out in the wash.
4. As a DIY cleaning spray
For an easy, multi-purpose disinfectant combine 10-12 drops of tea tree oil with half a cup of white wine vinegar and two cups of hot water and put it in a spray bottle. Take note: Don't use the surfaces if you have marble or granite surfaces because Bresler says that this could eat away at the stone.
5. As an immunity builder
The reason that tea tree oil is such an all-star, according to Jean Liao, certified aromatherapy practitioner at Way of Will is because of a chemical constituent named terpinen-4-ol. "When applied on the skin or inhaled, it helps to inhibit the growth of germs during flu season," he says. "It helps to boost the immune system and encourages the body to fight bacteria and viruses." To make the most of the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, Liao says to run a diffuser with 10-15 drops of tea tree essential oil for no longer than two hours a day.
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