How to use essential oils in the bathroom

Updated November 2021

by Alison Angold Certified Aromatherapist | CIDESCO ITEC

Essential oils are so versatile, that they can be used in any room of the house, to create a wonderful scent that compliments the space.

Using essential oils in the bathroom will ensure that the room is kept smelling fresh and clean, while also helping to keep bacterial and viral infections at bay. You can also choose oils that treat particular conditions or ailments if you need relief, by adding them to the products you would use in the bathroom.

A lady lying in a bubble bath, using essential oils in the bathroom

How to use essential oils in the bathroom

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The most effective and easiest ways to use essential oils in the bathroom are;

  • In the shower
  • In the bath
  • In your shampoo & conditioner
  • In a body wash
  • As a room spray
  • In the toilet!

How to use essential oils in the shower

The easiest way to use essential oils in the shower is to;

  • Place a few drops of your chosen oil on the shower floor and walls. Run the shower on a hot setting, to create some steam and allow the scent to be lifted with the heat and steam. The aroma from the oils will lift and surround you as you shower.
  • Put a few drops of essential oil, onto cotton wool balls and place them in the corner of the shower. The steam and heat from the shower will release the oils on the cotton.
  • Create a shower spray – another wonderful way to create amazing aromas in your shower

Essential oil shower spray recipe

  • Empty spray bottle
  • Fill with water
  • Top up with 2 tablespoons of witch hazel (or vodka)
  • Add up 40 drops of your chosen essential oils

The best essential oils to use in the shower

This set of oils is ideal to be used in the morning, to wake you up and get you ready for the day. They are also useful if you need to clear your head and focus your mind.

Any of these oils can be used together, but I would suggest just using 2 oils at a time. All these oils have fairly strong aromas, which could overpower if too many are used.

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Rosemary
  • Mandarin
  • Peppermint
  • Basil

During cold and flu season these are good oils to use. A few drops of any of these oils combined with the steam from your shower will create your very own aroma steam room. Inhaling the aromas will ease congestion in the chest and the lungs and clear blocked noses.

Eucalyptus and thyme are antiviral and anti-bacterial, so also good at keeping germs at bay within your shower. Pine is anti-bacterial too.

  • Benzoin
  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Myrrh
  • Pine
  • Thyme

How to use essential oils In the bath

If you are looking for a way to relax your body and mind, or you need to soothe a particular area of your body, then using essential oils in the bath is a good idea.

Essential oils can be added directly to the water in the bath, however, be aware that essential oils do not dissolve in water, so will sit on the surface. You will get the aroma of the oils, but perhaps not the full benefits. Instead, try the following;

  • Add drops of essential oils to a plain bath product. By doing this, the essential oil is able to disperse in the carrier liquid, so that you get the full benefits and effects.
  • Make a bath oil. Adding essential oils to a carrier oil is an ideal way to gain the therapeutic effects of the oils. Not only do you benefit from the essential oils but the carrier oils can help hydrate and moisturise your skin too. For bath oil recipes READ HERE.
  • Make your own bath salts. Add some essential oils to some bath salts, allowing these to dissolve in your bath, for a relaxing, soothing, and healing soak. Try any of the following salts.

These are great as the bags are re-sealable. You can add the essential oils, and seal the bag and the aroma will permeate the salts and release each time you use them. Alternatively, you can dispense the salts into a screw lid jar, so that you can use different essential oils, in each jar.

Add any of these oils to your plain bath product or bath salts;

  • Clary Sage – Relaxing, sedating, and a tonic for the body, soothes nervous tension
  • Frankincense – Comforting, warming, and relaxing.
  • Marjoram – Calming and soothing, good for insomnia and at times of stress
  • Patchouli – Sedating, relaxing, and soothing
  • Sandalwood – Soothes tension, helps insomnia, relaxes, and sedates
  • Ylang Ylang – Calming and soothing, relieves symptoms of depression

(Avoid Marjoram and Clary Sage during pregnancy and do not use Clary Sage before or after alcohol)

How to use essential oils in your shampoo

Add 1-2 drops of your chosen essential oil to your shampoo, just before you apply it. Try the following essential oils;

  • Chamomile – A great oil to add to your shampoo to enhance and revive blond hair
  • Grapefruit – Refreshing & cleansing for a greasy scalp or hair
  • Tea Tree – Good for itchy or flaky scalp & dandruff


How to use essential oils in your conditioner

Similarly to shampoo, add 1-2 drops of your chosen essential oil to your conditioner just before you apply it to your hair.

  • Petitgrain – A good tonic for greasy hair
  • Jasmine – Adds a wonderful scent to your conditioner, with added hydrating benefits.

(Do not use Jasmine during pregnancy)

How to use essential oils in your body wash

You can either add 1-2 drops of essential oil to your current body wash or alternatively create your very own natural body wash.

Essential oil body wash recipe

  • 100ml Castille soap
  • 10ml Sweet almond oil
  • Up to 50 drops of chosen essential oil

Castille soap is a natural vegetable-based, non-toxic soap, that makes an ideal base for essential oil products. The addition of the sweet almond oil gives it extra moisturising properties, and also gives the product itself, some extra ‘slip’.

The following essential oils are good for adding to your body wash;

  • Bergamot – Uplifting & refreshing, good for drier or irritated skin
  • Ginger – Warming & stimulating – stimulates poor circulation (use in small concentrations)
  • Mandarin – Uplifting, great for healing skin conditions such as scar tissue and stretch marks
  • Lavender – Detoxifying & uplifting. Good for treating all skin types.
  • Rosewood – Good for dry and sensitive skin

How to use essential oils for a bathroom room spray

A room spray is a really easy way to use essential oils in the bathroom. Not only will it remove or mask unpleasant smells, but can add cleansing and anti-bacterial properties too. You will need;

Fill your bottle, almost to the top with water, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of witch hazel, and then add up to 30 drops of your chosen essential oils. Shake very well before each use. Try the following oils;

Cleansing & Antibacterial

  • Lemon & Rosemary
  • Tea Tree & Bergamot
  • Chamomile & Pine


  • Pine & Rosewood

Uplifting & Refreshing

  • Grapefruit & Tea Tree
  • Orange & Lavender

How to use essential oils for Hand soap

This is very similar to creating a body wash, however, you may want a different scent or different properties for your hand soap. You can easily create a cleansing anti-bacterial soap, for use in the bathroom.

You can either add a few drops of essential oil to a plain hand soap or create your own recipe from scratch. Simply add you’re essential oils to some Castille soap.

Essential oils to add for hand soap;

  • Lime, Basil & Mandarin – beautiful, refreshing scent to emanate as certain famous fragrance!
  • Tea Tree & Lavender – cleansing and anti-bacterial
  • Chamomile & Bergamot – Refreshing, antiseptic & anti-bacterial

(Avoid Chamomile during pregnancy and direct sunlight after applying Lime, Mandarin or Bergamot)

How to use essential oils in the toilet bowl

Using essential oils is a novel way to keep the bathroom, and in particular, your toilet, smelling fresh! Adding one drop of essential oil into the toilet bowl, either before or after a flush will keep nasty odours at bay and the room smelling fresh.

Good oils to choose, from are those with stronger scents and that is antiseptic;

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree

For more self-care ideas, including how to turn your bathroom into a spa, check out this article.

How do essential oils in the bathroom work?

Using essential oils in the bathroom means that inhalation will be the main way that essential oils will work, however, there are also some ways you can use the oils topically.

Essential oils are pure oils that are extracted from flower petals, leaves, fruit, or herbs, and are so fine and pure that they have the ability to penetrate through the skin’s surface.

For inhalation, the molecules travel up the nose and penetrate through the membranes here.

Each essential oil has a different property or therapeutic action meaning that it can have an effect on the skin or the body. Essential oils that we might use for use in the bathroom may have the following properties;

  • Antidepressant – lifts the spirits and relieves symptoms of depression
  • Balancing – creates balance in emotions or balances a particular area of the body
  • Bactericidal – kills or prevents bacteria
  • Calming – has an overall calming effect
  • Cephalic – clears and focuses the mind
  • Deodorant – masks or removes unpleasant smells
  • Expectorant – fluidifies mucus on the lungs, relieving congestions, coughs and colds
  • Relaxing – has a general relaxing effect
  • Refreshing – promotes a general refreshing effect on the mind and body
  • Sedative – calms the nervous system
  • Stimulant – stimulates a particular system or the whole body
  • Uplifting – lifts emotions and helps positive thinking

My recommended oils are from GYA LABS and can be purchased here.

Essential oil products for the bathroom

Making your own essential oil products for the bathroom is easy and great fun, however, buying some ready-made products is equally as easy – and these ones are just so luxurious! (They make great gifts!)

E'spa bath & shower gel
E’spa Energising Shower Gel with Peppermint, Eucalyptus & Rosemary
Neals Yard Shower gel
Neal’s Yard Shower Gel with Geranium & Orange
Decleor bath & shower gel
Decleor shower gel with Neroli
E'spa bath oil
E’spa bath oil with Geranium, Lavender & Sweet Orange
Neals Yards bath salts
Neal’s Yard Bath Salts with Patchouli, Geranium & Frankincense

For further information on how to blend oils READ HERE

Disclaimer: I am a qualified aromatherapist. The use of these oils in small quantities is fairly safe, however, if ever in any doubt about the use of oils, please consult your local practitioner or contact me for a consultation.

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.

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