Is Oregano Oil Really A Good Alternative To Harsh Household Cleaners?

Commercial household products tend to get the job done, in part due to their strong chemical contents. From the floors to the countertops, they're designed to cut through dirt and tackle germs effectively. However, there can also be a harshness to chemical cleaners. This is why people tend to seek out more gentle and natural cleaning alternatives like lemons and essential oils. Oregano oil is one essential oil that became popular because of its antibacterial properties, but we've found that it is more efficient when mixed with other substances.

In an article in the 2023 issue of Pathogens, the researchers found that oregano oil was effective at breaking up salmonella and E. coli bacteria on stainless-steel surfaces when compared to conventional disinfectant treatments like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and benzalkonium chloride. The oregano oil also didn't damage the surfaces. However, in the authors' words, "It proved insufficient as a standalone disinfection strategy" (via MDPI). Because of this, oregano oil is a good alternative to harsh household cleaners but shouldn't be used on its own.

It is a good alternative...with conditions

A mix of oregano oil and water may come in handy when you need to eradicate moths or banish cockroaches from your home, but this combination won't be strong enough to leave surfaces truly clean. For a more effective cleaning solution, mix oregano oil with liquid castile soap or other essential oils like peppermint, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, and orange. You'll also need any other oils or soaps you want to add, water or vinegar, and a glass spray bottle. It's important to use a glass bottle instead of a plastic one because plastic has its own chemicals that can interfere with the cleaning solution. A bottle of 100% pure oregano essential oil costs around $37 at dōTERRA.

The DIY process is as simple as combining 10 to 20 drops of oregano oil, 2 teaspoons of liquid castile soap or some drops of other oils, and a cup of water or vinegar in the glass spray bottle. Be careful during the mixing process because the undiluted oil shouldn't come in contact with pregnant women, children, or people with a mint allergy. Next, shake the mix in the bottle well, and it's ready. To maintain the mix's efficacy, keep the bottle airtight and store it away from light and heat.