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The Many Uses of Tea Tree Oil

By Sara Butler

Tea tree oil has been used for centuries by the aborigines in Australia as a treatment for everything from burns to infections. It came to America in the 1920s and has been found since then to hold many health benefits. Be warned, you should never actually ingest tea tree oil since it can be toxic, but it can still be beneficial to have around your home for many different things. Here are a few of its great uses!

Bug Repellant

If you’re turned off by the insecticides in commercial bug spray, then you can easily make your own with some tea tree oil. All you need is a glass container (the oil can corrode plastic), two teaspoons of tea tree oil and one cup of water. Combine these two ingredients in a spray bottle and apply it to your clothing or your skin. If you want to boost the repelling power of the spray, add some citronella or clove oil to the mix. You can also add tea tree oil to a diffuser to keep mosquitoes away when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors.

All-Purpose Cleaner

You can make a stellar household cleaner from two teaspoons of tea tree oil and one cup of water. If you want to kick it up a notch, then add some lavender, eucalyptus, lemon or other essential oil to the concoction for fragrance. This mix will help to eliminate bacteria and mold on the surfaces in your home.

Laundry Booster

You can use tea tree oil in your washing machine to eliminate odors from your clothes and to cleanse away bacteria that likes to take up residence in the washing machine itself. Add a few drops of the oil to your laundry in addition to the detergent you normally use.

Care for Your Hair

You’ve probably seen shampoos on the market with tea tree oil added, and that actually can help treat dandruff. You don’t have to buy the fancy stuff in order to reap the benefits, all you need to do is add a few drops of oil to your palm and mix it with your normal shampoo before washing your hair.

It can also be a good deterrent for head lice. If you’ve been exposed to head lice you can mix tea tree oil with shampoo and lather it up in your hair, leaving it for about 10 minutes. Then wash your hair and repeat it twice a day until the threat has passed. If you’ve had head lice in your home you can also use the all-purpose tea tree oil cleaner to wash your combs, and add the oil to your washing machine to help control the critters.

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