My dearest essential oils –

Oh how I love thee, my sweet (sometimes spicy) essential oils. It’s hard to believe we’ve only been together for three short years. You are the peanut butter to my jelly. The Kleenex to my boogers. Whether my nose is runny, my vacuum is stinky, or my muscles are achey, I know I can always count on you to come through for me. Remember that one time I put lavender on my tongue and almost died from the taste of what can only be described as licking a dumpster? Our trust was shaken, and it was touch and go there for awhile. But I knew I could never leave you. My heart is forever bound to your magical ability to make my garbage disposal smell like an orchard of oranges on fridge-cleaning day. Basically, you da real MVP, essential oils. 

Love your guts …. Elizabeth

I know it’s not ideal to start the new year out holding a grudge, but y’all, Santa brought me an ear infection for Christmas and I’ve been pissed at him ever since.

I actually get ear infections pretty frequently (my left ear is a drama queen). My go-to trifecta consists of my trusty rice sock, garlic drops, and essential oils. Since I’ve been walking around with a fist full of little brown bottles all week, I thought I’d do a quick round-up of the most common ways we use essential oils in our home.

I primarily use Plant Therapy essential oils, and I’ve linked to all of the individual oils below that I use in these recipes.

Note: If you don’t already use essential oils or you don’t know a lot about them, Katie over at WellnessMama does an amazing job of summarizing a ton of information about oil safety and using oils around kiddos. Check out her post here.

Cough, Cold and Congestion Remedies

Eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary are my go-to trifecta when I start to feel anything “upper-respiratory” coming on like a cold, sinus infection, congestion, or ear infection. All three of those oils will open the nasal passages to loosen the gunk pretty quickly. These oils are not safe for infants and children, though, so I’ve included a great kid-safe blend to use if you’re making these recipes for your little one!


If you don’t have a diffuser, this is the one that I most recently purchased. It’s super lightweight and my kiddo loves the colors.

I also make my own homemade vapor rub balm (similar to Vicks VapoRub but without synthetic fragrances and ingredients better suited for a car engine):

Vapor Rub

  1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil at half power in the microwave in 15-second intervals until melted.
  2. Add the essential oils.
  3. Stir until well mixed and pour into some type of container with a lid to store (I use tiny mason jars from the craft store or empty prescription medicine bottles).
  4. Use as needed below nose, on chest or bottoms of feet to help reduce coughing and congestion.
  5. Alternative lazy busy mom instructions: grab a glob of coconut oil in your hand, add a few drops of each oil, rub your hands together, and then rub your chest like Monica in the Friends episode where she’s convincing Chandler she’s in the prime of life.

Personal Care Products

I love, love, love taking epsom or mineral salt baths for my joints. I have Hashimoto’s, which causes super wicked joint pain in my knees, so I usually distract the toddler with an episode of Mickey and soak a few times a week.

For salt baths, I’m going to be real with y’all, I don’t bother making fancy pre-made blends. I just scoop out a cup of salt with a mason jar, add about 10-15 drops of any essential oil blend to the salt, put a lid on, shake it up, and pour it under the running water.

My go-to blends for baths are usually Plant Therapy’s Energy, Tranquil or Relax. Bonus relaxation points if the Mickey episode ends and your kid brings 17 cars to throw in your bath because no bath is truly complete without the equivalent of a parking garage of Hot Wheels floating above your lady bits.

Household Cleaners

This is where essential oils are my legit besties. I make most of our own household cleaners. Although I firmly believe that homemade household cleaners are infinitely healthier and safer than chemical-laden store-bought cleaners, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my #1 motivation is that it saves our family quite a bit of money. But the health benefits are a massive upside.

All of the recipes below can be mixed together and stored in any bottle – I use glass spray bottles because some essential oils can wear down plastic quickly.

Antibacterial Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaner
  • 1 and 1/2 cups distilled water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil

Bathtub Scrub Cleaner
  • 2 tbsp Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp distilled water (enough to make a paste)
  • 15 drops grapefruit essential oil (any citrus oil is fine)

Glass Cleaner
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 10 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Carpet Deodorizer (for vacuuming)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil (you can substitute any of your favorite oils here – I also love the citrus burst blend)

Linen Spray
  • 1 oz vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 3 oz distilled water
  • 1 tsp essential oil (100 drops) of your choice (I usually use lavender)


Yes, I said boo-boos. I have a three-year-old. This is just who I am now.

There are tons of great uses for essential oils to replace products that you would normally buy at the pharmacy. Much like cleaning recipes, I use these recipes because they’re inexpensive and convenient. I don’t usually have to buy specialty products at the pharmacy anymore, because I can grab my bag of oils and fix pretty much any boo-boo that comes my way.

I use these little amber roller-balls that I get from Amazon for my boo-boo blends.

Bug Bite Itch Relief (in place of Benadryl ointment)

Muscle/Joint Pain Relief (in place of Icy Hot)

Antibacterial Ointment (in place of Neosporin)

So what about y’all? What are your favorite ways to use essential oils? Do you have a specific blend you love? Share in the comments or join the conversation on the Coffee, Crayons and Chaos Facebook page!

(Y’all know the drill. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. The information on this site is not intended to be construed as medical advice, and therefore should not be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.)

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