The many virtues of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil + water

Tea Tree Oil + water

I’m on this whole make-my-own-stuff-from-original-ingredients kick. Probably because I’m cheap. Probably because I want to be more eco-friendly. And probably because part of me wants to stick it to The Man. Haha.

I bought a bottle of Tea Tree oil online when I wanted to make my own mat cleaning solution. And the more I read about the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil, the more uses I was finding for it around my house.

A little 4 fluid ounce bottle is lasting us a really long time. We’re barely a centimeter into the bottle since all the applications use a drop or two here and there. If you haven’t tried tea tree oil just yet, here are other ways you can make the most of the cost of a bottle.

Acne: Take a q-tip, drip 2 drops on it, then dip it in some water (I turn on the faucet and barely get it wet). Gently swab on zits. It tingles! From what I’ve read, it has the same effectiveness as benzoyl peroxide.

Mosquito bites (or any annoying bug bites): As soon as it gets above 80 degrees around here, the mosquitoes come out to find me and bite me. I won’t even pretend that I don’t scratch the bites because I do. Furiously. I do the same thing with 2 drops of tea tree oil + water on a q-tip as with acne treatment and apply to mosquito bites.

Congestion: Heat water in a bowl, add a couple drops of tea tree oil, place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam water. It helps open up sinus congestion. I’ve also read you can add a few drops into your neti pot solution to treat a sinus infection. **TEA TREE OIL SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED ORALLY.** I haven’t done the neti pot one because I’m worried about accidentally swallowing some, so use with caution!

Cuts and burns: 2 drops + water on a q-tip and apply to minor cuts and burns. The antiseptic properties will help keep the wound clean.

All-purpose cleaning solution: I can take the spray bottle version (2 tsp of tea tree oil for 2 cups of water) that I did to clean my mat and use it as an all-purpose cleaner around the house. I’ve seen some recipes that add a few drops to some Murphy’s oil soap.

Insect repellent: I definitely want to try this one out. Add 15 drops to a quart of water. I wonder if it would be effective to spray this around the perimeter of where you’ll be instead of leaving it sitting out. Someone try this out and let me know!

I’ve heard that some people are sensitive to tea tree oil, so don’t go overboard with the number of drops you add. It can irritate the skin or dry it out if you use too much at once. And absolutely do not ingest it.

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  1. Yung says

    Superlike. I used tea tree oil awhile back and liked it, but just forgot to repurchase it. Right now, I’m sticking it to the man by only using different combos of vinegar, limes, baking soda and water to clean our home. Also, instead of buying dry shampoo, I make my own with cornstarch and lime essential oil. I also make a refreshing face spray (to use in the middle of the day if I’m on the run or don’t have time to wash my face/hair between errands. I do a mix of bottled water and lavender and lime oil. Way to go, Terri! I gotta get back into tea tree oil.

    • Terri says

      those sound like amazing homemade gift items! i haven’t gotten on board the make my own shampoo yet. i picture myself mixing stuff up wrong and ending up bald or with gunk in my hair that won’t wash out.

  2. Brett says

    We use two drops in our cloth wipes “solution” with about half a wipes-container of water. Dunk the cloth wipes in and squeeze out the excess for homemade pre-moistened reusable baby wipes! This was recommended by our local cloth diaper store as a way to prevent mildew from forming on the moistened wipes. Has worked really well for us.

    • Terri says

      nice! i bet it’s cooling on her little tush too. i like to call it the tea tree tingle. 🙂

  3. Tammy Bieri says

    Thanks for a couple new ideas! Our household standard cleaning solution is, in a 12 oz spray bottle, add 3 T liquid castile soap (i.e. Dr. Bronners), 20-30 drops tea tree oil, and fill with water. Safe for little hands and though on germs, not to mention CHEAP!

    To use in neti, start with just one drop. Try more as you feel comfortable with. I accidentally got three in once and super-cleansed my sinuses… I love it in the neti.

    • Terri says

      is it better than alkalol in the neti pot? have you tried it yet?

      • Tammy Bieri says

        Maybe… Alkalol is pretty gentle in comparison.

  4. zoa says

    Great tips …
    Tea tree oil is superb. there is another good thing to use for:
    If u have herpes simplex and it has already broken out the stuff from the pharmacy won’t help. Instead u put a few drops of tea tree oil on a q-tip and dab it on the herpes a few times a day. It immediately gets better and vanishes after a few days.

    • Terri says

      i’ve read it can be used for athlete’s foot and pretty much any other affliction to the skin. the possibilities are endless!!!

        • Marion says

          Yes indeed!
          You can make a mix with some half castor oil/ half sweet almond + tea tree oil for instance. rub it on your feet and they’ll stay smooth and heartly !

          Also great in a bath!

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