Can Essential Oils Be Used In A Steam Cleaner

Steam Cleaning With Essential Oils: How to Do It (And NOT Damage Your Steamer)

*As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. The price to you remains the same.

So, you’re not a fan of conventional toxic chemicals. (Don’t worry, neither am I.)

And you’ve probably thought to yourself: can I steam clean with essential oils?

Also, how much should I use? Is it safe to do?

Don’t worry, in this article I’ll be giving you all the answers to these questions and more. (And hopefully not bore you in the process.)

First off: You can use essential oils in a steam mop, the amount of which will vary depending on the type of oil. It’s safe when used correctly, but can damage your steam cleaner if you don’t know what you’re doing!

How to Properly Use Essential Oils With a Steam Cleaner

Whether you use the essential oils in a Shark or a Bissel steam mop, the essential advice for essential oils (pun not intended!) is the same: 

Put a few drops of essential oil onto the backside of a steam mop pad. This acts as a diffuser. 

Do not add essential oils directly into the water tank as this can damage or clog the machine. Also, be careful when you use the oils on the mop pad as it can also irreparably ruin fabrics and other materials. 

Additionally, consider another piece of advice from the good doctor, Dr. Axe:

“You should only stick to a handful of essential oils.”

In essence: keep it simple. (And out of your carpets and rugs.)

If you’re looking for a calming oil, use lavender. If you want something to help remove grease, try citrus.

You could also go for the doctor’s advice: when in doubt, frankincense. (Frankincense is supportive for your health and has anti-inflammatory properties).

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Do your research to determine what you want from your oils, and buy accordingly from reputable sellers.

Pros of Steam Cleaning With Essential Oils

Person With A Steam Mop

Steam cleaning with essential oils significantly boosts your cleaning power.


Because essential oils boast disinfectant as well as anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Yes, steam cleaning on its own has very similar benefits, but essential oils do offer that added oomph. The germophobe in you will rejoice.

Death to fleas and their larvae!

Not only this. (If I’m starting to sound like a cheesy salesman, forgive me.) 

Essential oils also help by incorporating a fresh smell with a very safe and natural oil. 

You also get the bonus of cleaning in such a very eco-friendly way. 

Plus these benefits:

  • Eliminated pet odors.
  • Much fewer chemicals.
  • Easier to reach crevices and cracks.
  • Effectively removes dirt buildup and residue. (More on that in our article on how steam cleaning removes stains.)
  • Mold-busting properties.

Always start with a modest amount of essential oil and adjust accordingly. In rare cases, using too much essential oil can prove harmful, but this is unlikely.

Even so, I think this is important to cover.

Possible Dangers of Essential Oils

Okay, so maybe my word choice is a little bit dramatic. 

These natural and plant-based oils can have negative effects IF overused and IF you are pregnant, or have animals in the house.

But don’t close this article just yet! 90% of the time, you have nothing to worry about.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic suggests using certain essential oils during pregnancy, including peppermint, lavender, and rose. 

Generally speaking, when essential oils are used aromatically, and not topically or internally, there’s little to worry about. 

The issue is that there just isn’t enough research, and so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Protect Your Animals

Dog Rolling On A Wood Floor

Animals react to things differently, we all know and agree to this. 

Think about how that nourishing and food-coma-inducing dark chocolate turns into a deadly poison of mass destruction for our dogs. 

That same logic should be applied to essential oils. 

Dr. Axe, a certified natural medicine doctor, says to be careful when using these oils around pets:

(This is not a complete list, head over here for more information.)

  • Birch oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Camphor oil
  • Oregano oil 
  • Clove oil
  • Thyme oil

Best Essential Oils to Use

Don’t waste money on essential oils that either have shady or no research, or which shouldn’t be called essential oils in the first place!

Many oils are actually fake synthetic copies or are sprayed with pesticides.

This contradicts our ultimate goal of steering away from harmful chemicals.

When buying an oil, always look out for:

  • A label saying it’s 100 percent pure.
  • Whether it’s organic or not.
  • Whether it’s made up of pure plant essences or not. 

(In essence, look out for frauds.)

Used for over 3000 years in both Chinese and ayurvedic medicine, these oils can provide many cleaning as well as health benefits, if the TRUE oils are purchased.

So once you’ve determined that you have a supplier with real oils, here are a few you should consider buying:

Lavender Oil

If you struggle with anxiety, lavender oil’s for you. Known to promote calm, this oil is great for those stressful periods of life. 

It also boasts the added benefit of having anti-allergy properties.

Add a great smell to boot and you’ve got an excellent steam-cleaning buddy. 

Citrus Oils

No essential oil acts as a better degreaser than citrus oils. You can opt for:

  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin

The list goes on! 

You also get the bonus of some antioxidant protection, toxin removal, and respiratory aid. (And the lovely smell of orange peels!)

Eucalyptus Oil

Great at removing mold and mildew, eucalyptus oil is a must in any essential oil toolkit. (purses work fine too.)

This oil also helps with congestion issues: chronic sinusitis sufferers, take note!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put lavender oil in my steam mop? 

Yes, in fact, lavender is a great choice if you’re looking for an emotionally soothing and gentle-smelling oil. However, you should never put it IN your steam mop’s tank. Instead, pour a few droplets on the mop pad. Fun fact: it’s the most commonly used essential oil in North America!

What is the best essential oil to steam with? 

The answer is: it’s subjective. It depends what you’re hoping to achieve. Different essential oils have different benefits. Lemon oil, for instance, is great for digestive aid.

Can you put eucalyptus oil in a steam mop? 

Of course, it’s a great mold-buster choice! Just be careful when using it around your pets as this oil has been known to be very toxic if used improperly and in incorrect amounts.

Top Picks