When it comes to botanical wonders, one of the best ingredients you can have lying around your home is tea tree oil. This plant-based powerhouse is inherently cleansing and clarifying, replete with beautifying benefits for your skin, hair and home. That’s right — we said home! Here’s everything you need to know about tea tree oil and its versatile household applications. 

What Is Tea Tree Oil?

Let’s first break down what tea tree oil is. Tea tree oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Indigenous Australians have long used the clear, potent oil of the tea tree plant for its inherently cleansing benefits. Today, tea tree oil is an essential oil beloved in personal care. 

But what is tea tree oil used for? Tea tree oil is a botanical beautifier with multipurpose benefits, from calming blemishes to treating the scalp for excess hair oil. And guess what? Its deep cleansing properties can transfer over to house chores, too. 

The Most Common Tea Tree Oil Uses

Tea tree oil can be quite handy when you're sprucing up your home. Luckily, whipping up a tea tree oil solution isn’t tricky. If you’re wondering how to use tea tree oil, we’ll break down easy recipes as we cover its household uses below. 

    1. Cleaning Surfaces

Tea tree oil can be a helpful multipurpose cleaner which is known for its antiseptic properties. It’s great for counter surfaces, windows and tiles for a lovely refresh — plus, it can keep scummy soap buildup from forming in your shower, too! Simply mix one teaspoon of oil with a gallon of water. Add the solution to a sprayer and spray away. 

   2. Boosting Laundry

For a chemical-free boost of freshness, infuse tea tree oil into your laundry. Simply add a few drops to a regular wash cycle. For a heavy load, you can up the ante with six to eight drops. For extra soothing freshness, try our Organic Lavender Tea Tree Oil as a calming in-wash scent booster. 

   3. Rounding Out Your First Aid Kit

Tea tree oil is a versatile first-aid tool that is know for its antiseptic properties. You can use it to soothe skin irritation and itching from bug bites and stings. To use tea tree oil for bug bites, add one to two drops to a wet cotton ball. For a ready-to-use product, pick up Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick, which blends pure Australian tea tree oil, chamomile and lavender to relieve minor skin irritations. 

    4. Deterring Pests 

In addition to treating skin irritation from bug bites, tea tree oil is a must-have for deterring bugs. No one wants to deal with pesky ants or other pests, and one great preventative solution is using tea tree oil at entry points in your home — ants dislike powerful scents, so tea tree oil can keep them at bay. You can mix five to ten drops of tea tree oil with two cups of water, then wipe down outdoor surfaces near doors and windows. 

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oils

At Desert Essence, we carry a variety of tea tree oils that are steam-distilled, grown sustainably and standardized for quality. Desert Essence 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil is grown and harvested so that the process of producing it abides by the thorough standards set by the Australian Tea Tree Oil Environmental Alliance. Desert Essence Organic Tea Tree Oil, on the other hand, follows USDA-certified organic guidelines. While not certified organic, Desert Essence Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil is grown by a federation of plantation owners who follow similar sustainable practices. 

Shop Desert Essence’s tea tree oil collection for cleansing and clarifying goodness that can help everything from the surface of your skin to that of your kitchen counter