| |

3 Essential Oils to Avoid When Doing Laundry or Making Laundry DIYs

3 Essential Oils to Avoid When Doing Laundry or Making Laundry DIYs

Essential oils have become increasingly popular in laundry routines due to their refreshing scents and potential benefits. While most essential oils are safe for use in laundry, there are a few that should be avoided due to specific risks they pose. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three essential oils – Blue Tansy, Lemon, and Cinnamon – that you should steer clear of when doing laundry or creating laundry DIYs, along with safer alternatives to try instead.

1. Blue Tansy Essential Oil:

Blue Tansy essential oil is celebrated for its striking blue hue and its calming properties. However, it contains a high concentration of chamazulene, a compound that can stain fabrics. Using Blue Tansy oil directly in your laundry may lead to unwanted discoloration, leaving behind blue marks on your clothes, towels, or linens.

Alternative: For a similarly calming scent without the risk of staining, opt for Lavender or Roman Chamomile essential oils. These oils provide a gentle and soothing aroma that can promote relaxation and better sleep.

2. Lemon Essential Oil:

Lemon essential oil is a popular choice for its fresh and invigorating fragrance. However, it is also highly phototoxic, meaning it can cause skin irritation and discoloration when exposed to sunlight. When used in laundry, lemon oil can transfer to your skin through the fabric, increasing the risk of phototoxic reactions, especially during sunny outdoor activities.

Alternative: If you desire a citrusy scent, consider using Sweet Orange or Lime essential oils. These alternatives offer a similar uplifting aroma without the phototoxic concerns.

3. Cinnamon Essential Oil:

Cinnamon essential oil is adored for its warm and spicy scent, making it a favorite during the colder months. However, it is a potent oil that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions when applied directly to fabrics. Additionally, cinnamon oil can be challenging to dilute properly, which increases the risk of sensitization.

Alternative: Instead of cinnamon, choose Clove or Nutmeg essential oils for a cozy and comforting scent. These oils possess a warm and inviting fragrance, perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere in your home.

General Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils in Laundry:

  1. Patch Test: Before using any essential oil in your laundry, do a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area of fabric to ensure it does not cause staining or adverse reactions.
  2. Consider Your Family: If washing clothing for babies, children, or individuals with sensitive skin, avoid using essential oils altogether or use extremely mild options such as Lavender or Chamomile.
  3. Proper Storage: Store essential oils in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and out of reach of children and pets.
  4. Dryer Safety: check your oils flash point before adding it to your dryer balls


DIY Laundry Soap:

    • Ingredients:
      • 1 bar of unscented Castile soap
      • 1 cup washing soda
      • 1 cup borax
      • 20-30 drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, tea tree, lemon)
    • Instructions:
      1. Grate the bar of Castile soap finely.
      2. Mix the grated soap, washing soda, and borax in a large bowl.
      3. Add essential oils and mix thoroughly.
      4. Store in an airtight container and use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Stain Remover:

        • Ingredients:
          • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
          • 1/2 cup water
          • 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil (or another citrus oil)
        • Instructions:
          1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.
          2. Spray on stains before washing and let sit for a few minutes.
          3. Wash the fabric as usual.

Fabric Softener:

    • Ingredients:
      • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
      • 20-30 drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, chamomile, rose)
    • Instructions:
      1. Combine vinegar and essential oils in a glass jar.
      2. Shake well before each use.
      3. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of this mixture to the fabric softener compartment in your washing machine.

Dryer Ball Spray:

    • Ingredients:
      • 1/2 cup distilled water
      • 10-15 drops of essential oil (e.g. lavender or rosemary)
    • Instructions:
      1. Mix the water and essential oil in a spray bottle.
      2. Spray the mixture on wool dryer balls before adding them to the dryer.
      3. Use the dryer balls to help reduce wrinkles, static, and add a pleasant scent to your laundry.

Wrinkle Spray:

    • Ingredients:
      • 1 cup distilled water
      • 1 tablespoon of vodka (acts as a preservative)
      • 10-15 drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, rosemary, bergamot)
    • Instructions:
      1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
      2. Lightly mist clothes before ironing or hanging to release wrinkles and add a subtle fragrance.

Essential oil brands we use and love


I just launched a series of guides on essential oils and specific concerns. Think your one stop shop for all things essential oils. These guides are packed with every single thing you need to know + recipes and tons of uses. There are also some freebies in my store too.  Shop here

In conclusion, while essential oils can add a delightful touch to your laundry routine, some oils are better left out due to potential staining or skin irritation. Blue Tansy, Lemon, and Cinnamon essential oils should be avoided when doing laundry or making laundry DIYs. Instead, opt for safer alternatives like Lavender, Sweet Orange, Roman Chamomile, or Rosemary. Remember to follow safety guidelines and dilute essential oils properly to enjoy a pleasant and worry-free laundry experience!

Thanks for reading!

x, T

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *