How to use essential oils for bad smells | simple diffuser blends & recipes

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

Bad odours around the home can linger – whether its from cooking, your pet, or just a damp musky smell – essential oils can be the natural way to eliminate these odours and keep your house smelling wonderful!

The best essential oils for bad smells are;

  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Black pepper
  • Cedarwood
  • Clove
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Ylang Ylang

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Essential oils for odour elimination sitting a white shelf with a white background

So, you would automatically imagine that all essential oils are good at getting rid of bad odours, and that, to a certain extent, is true, as most essential oils have pleasant smells that make your space smell fresher, cleaner, and more pleasant.

However, some oils do the job more effectively and rather than just mask the odours around your home, actually work to neutralise and get rid of them.

Many of the oils that are used for odour elimination are middle or base notes, meaning that their aroma and fragrance hang around a lot longer than some other aromas. 

We will also look at some of the lighter, fresher, top-note oils that have such a fresh potent fragrance, that they make very effective odour-eliminating oils.

How to use essential oils for bad smells

The most common way of using essential oils for odour elimination is to diffuse or burn the oils.  This ensures a consistent flow of aromas to gently fragrance your area and gets rid of bad smells.  Plus a diffuser or burner can be used in most areas of your house.

Other ways to use essential oil to get rid of bad smells is to create a room spray or make a blend that can be used to clean hard surfaces.

The best essential oils for bad smells in the kitchen

Heavy and strong cooking smells can hang around in the kitchen, long after the meal has been cooked and enjoyed! 

Burnt or fried food, can linger for longer than you would like and while the smell of garlic cooking is delicious, it’s not so nice when you come down for breakfast the next day! 

In the kitchen, you want to create a clean fresh scent and not necessarily have a heavy scent or floral aromas.

The best essential oils to use in the kitchen are;

  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Black pepper
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

You will notice that these oils are all derived from herbs or fruit.  These make ideal odour eliminators for the kitchen as they are fresh and light and not out of place in this room.

A diffuser on a wooden table with a bottle of lime essential oil in front

How to use essential oils for odour elimination in the kitchen

Any of the above oils can be used in a diffuser or burner to help rid of cooking smells, however, the following combinations work well. 

You will notice that a citrus oil has mostly been paired with herb oil.  The citrus oils are generally top-note oils, which means that while they give a fresh potent scent, they evaporate more quickly.

The herb oils will generally be middle-note oils, which means the scent is stronger and lasts longer in a blend.

The pairings are ideal to create a blend that lasts, is distinctive, and eliminates the odours.

Basil & Bergamot

Bergamot & Rosemary

Lemon & Peppermint

Black pepper, Orange & Rosemary

Grapefruit & Thyme

Black pepper, Grapefruit & Rosemary

Peppermint, Grapefruit & Orange

TOP TIP – when you cook strong foods in your microwave, such as curry or garlic, the smells can linger.  To clean the microwave of the smell, simply place half a fresh lemon in a bowl of water and ‘cook’ for a minute or 2!

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The best essential oils for bad smells in the bathroom

In the bathroom, we want to use oils that not only keep the area, fresh and clean smelling but also create an atmosphere of relaxation too.  

We want the oils that we use to be able to reduce and eliminate odours but also to have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial benefits too so that we can ensure a clean bathroom.  Add to this the ‘relaxing’ effect that we want also to achieve, then we are asking a lot from our oils!

The best essential oils to use in the bathroom;

  • Pine
  • Bergamot
  • Lavender
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood
  • Geranium

How to use essential oils for odour elimination in the bathroom

Again a burner or a diffuser is an ideal way of using essential oils in the bathroom, however, a burner is an ideal way as you do not need to plug this in.  A burner will gently warm the oils to release the aromas.

Another way to use essential oils for odour elimination in the bathroom is to create a room spray.  A room spray can not only help the area smell more pleasant but can also add anti-bacterial and antiseptic benefits to the area, keeping it fresh and clean.

Diffuser blends for odour elimination in the bathroom

Pine, Lemon & Lavender

Grapefruit, Peppermint & Geranium

Pine, Grapefruit & Cedarwood

Antiseptic odour eliminating room spray

Mix the ingredients together and store them in an amber, glass spray bottle. This ensures the oils are kept stabilised and not affected by light or heat.

Pine essential oil is one of the main oils that actually removes odours, rather than masking them.

Lemon essential oils also help to neutralise bad smells. The addition of lavender and grapefruit, gives this blend a light, refreshing, not overpowering scent.

  • 500 ml Water
  • 100 ml Witchazel (or vodka!)
  • 40 drops Pine
  • 40 drops Lavender
  • 30 drops Lemon
  • 30 drops Grapefruit

You may also like: How to use essential oils in the bathroom. More simple ways to use oils in your bathroom and create a clean, spa-like atmosphere!

The best essential oils for stale odours and smoke

Use this blend, either in a diffuser or burner, or create a room spray. Pine is one of the best natural deodorisers and actually helps to neutralise bad odours, rather than just masking them.

Lemon, Lime, Tea Tree & Pine

Stale odour & smoke deodorising spray

Mix this blend and store it in an amber, glass spray bottle.

  • 500ml Water
  • 50ml White vinegar
  • 50ml Witch hazel
  • 40 drops Lemon
  • 40 drops Lime
  • 30 drops Tea Tree
  • 20 drops Pine

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About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.