Eucalyptus Essential Oil Added to the Laundry
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA, LMT
As a massage therapist, a common issue I have is oil staining my work sheets and clothes with massage lotions. I am lucky if my yoga pants and work sheets last a year before I have to throw them out! Many commercial stain removers are expensive and have toxic ingredients. I want a safe method to clean laundry that will also save me money because I will not have to buy new clothes and sheets as often. I designed a stain removal recipe with the following ingredients, chosen because they are effective, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic:
- Vinegar is very acidic, aiding in the break down of grease and killing germs. It is also biodegradable.
- Hydrogen peroxide is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and fights mold. It is also non-toxic.
- E. globulus (eucalyptus) is a disinfectant, acts as a degreaser to removes stains, and pleasantly deodorizes.
- Dawn dish detergent is an effective emulsifier, degreaser, and stain remover.
- Baking soda is an abrasive that can gently scrub away stains.
Most clothing and sheets are made of microfiber, cotton, flannel, or blends. Over time, these materials can get ruined with grease stains from massage lotions. I needed something safe but effective to fight grease stains. I searched the internet for home-made grease stain removal recipes and found the following ingredients mentioned over and over again: vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, eucalyptus essential oil, dawn dish detergent, baking soda, and ammonia. I wanted a safe, environmentally friendly stain removal blend, so the ammonia was not included in the recipe. Below is my stain remover recipe. Pre-treat clothes with a few sprays before tossing in the washing machine.
Using this recipe, I have noticed a reduction in stains and the clothes smell clean and feel softer! Plus, this was very inexpensive and super easy to make with common household ingredients that I found just as effective as harsh chemical stain removers.
Caution: hydrogen peroxide can cause bleaching / whitening of colored clothes.
Stain Pre-Treat Recipe Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil:
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil*
- 2 teaspoons of Dawn brand dish soap
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
Wear gloves. Mix ingredients together in a large bucket in the sink. This is because, when you mix baking soda and vinegar, it can bubble up a bit. Then, pour the recipe into spray bottle. Pre-treat stains by spraying needed area before washing clothes.
*For added aromatic delight, use one teaspoon of eucalyptus and one teaspoon of lemon essential oil. Niaouli essential oil could also be used instead of eucalyptus.
 Petersen, D. (2015). Aromatherapy materia medica. Essential oil monographs. American College of Healthcare Sciences
 Proctor & Gamble. (n.d.). Using Dawn as a laundry pre-treater. Retrieved in December, 2015, Retrieved from http://dawn-dish.com/en-us/solutions-tips/beyond-the-sink/laundry-stain-remover
 Arm and Hammer. (n.d.). Simple solutions for cleaning laundry. Retrieved in December, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.armandhammer.com/solutions/solution-74/Cleaner-Laundry.aspx
Learn More About Getting Stains Out of Clothing
Clark, J. (2019). How to get Stains out of Cloths. Retrieved in May, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-get-oil-stains-out-of-clothes/