Cleaning Your Car with Essential Oils

Cleaning Your Car with Essential Oils

858507_cleaning_tools_4When I was researching for our series on Cleaning House With Essential Oils, I discovered a whole section on how to clean your car with essential oils. Even your car can be taken care of naturally, just like your home. These recipes can be used in any vehicle, car truck, camper, or RV. So here we go.

Supplies to have on hand:


Cleaning supplies: Equipment:
  • Castile Soap, liquid and solid
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda Crystals (L-ascorbic acid powder/crystals)
  • Oil based soap (Murphy’s is good)
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Washing soda, generic name sodium carbonate
  • Linseed oil
  • Lemon Juice


  • Plastic squirt bottles
  • Plastic spray bottles
  • Coffee cans with lids
  • Glass jars with lids
  • Cotton cloths
  • Rags
  • Cellulose sponge cloth
  • Gallon size buckets
  • Paper Towels
  • Protective gloves



What oils to use

Lemon, Lavender, Orange, Eucalyptus Globulus, Cedarwood, Pine, Tea Tree, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Spearmint,


Here are some good recipes to try on your car. For glass cleaners, you can go to some of the articles in our Cleaning House With Essential Oils series like The Basics and Bathrooms. Use protective gloves with these cleaners.

Clear Musty Air

  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 4-6 drops essential oil(s) of choice
  • 1 slice of bread

Fill a small bowl with vinegar and essential oils. Add a piece of bread on top of liquid and place inside the vehicle to absorb odors. Remove after 24 hours. (7)

car-cleaningEasy Citrus Car Wash

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup Castile Soap
  • 10 drops Lemon or Orange oil

Fill a bucket with the water and soap, stir until mixed and then add the essential oil and stir again. Using a soft cloth or sponge, wash the exterior of your car from top down, one section at a time. Rinse each area well with clean water before the soap has a chance to dry. (7)

Tough-to-Get Dirt

  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
  • 6 drops Eucalyptus Globulus or Mint oil
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap
  • 3 tablespoons Baking Soda

Mix water, lemon juice, essential oil(s), and soap in a bucket and stir in baking soda until blended. With a soft cloth or sponge, wash the exterior of your car from the top down, working in sections. Rinse each area well with clean water before the soap dries. (7)

Washing tiresTire Wash

  • 2 cups Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 cups Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • 5 drops Lemon, Lime, or Orange oil

Combine baking soda, water, and soap in a bucket or other container. Add the vinegar and essential oil(s) and mix well. Apply with a brush to get in between the tire treads. Wash one tire at a time, rinsing each before moving on to the next. (7)

Headlight Scrub

  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Liquid Castile Soap
  • 8 drops Eucalyptus Radiata or Black Pine oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bowl and mix well. Dip a cloth, brush, or sponge in the wash and scrub each headlight. Rinse several times with a wet cloth or sponge or with a garden hose. (7)

beeswaxHerbal Car Wax

  • 3 tablespoons Beeswax
  • 3 tablespoons Carnauba Wax
  • 1 cup Linseed oil
  • 6 drops Orange or Lemon oil
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice

Melt waxes and linseed oil together in a double boiler, stirring often. Add the essential oil(s), stir once, and immediately remove from heat.

Pour mixture into a clean coffee can. (Note: the can will become hot.)  Using gloves or a potholder, place the coffee can in a place where it will be undisturbed for a few days.

When the wax has completely hardened, tap the sides of the can until the wax breaks free. Turn out the wax and rub it directly into your car.

Dip a soft cloth into the lemon juice and squeeze dry. Polish the waxed car with the lemon-soaked cloth, then buff to a shine with a dry cloth. (7)

Lavender Leather Upholstery Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup Soap Flakes
  • 1 cup Hot Water
  • 6 drops Lavender oil

Dissolve soap flakes in hot water. Add essential oil and blend well. Apply formula with a soft brush, using gentle downward strokes. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Buff dry with a towel. Follow with he Upholstery Conditioner (down below)

Fragrant Leather Upholstery Conditioner
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup strong Rosemary Tea
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle and shake well before every use. Lightly spray onto upholstery and buff with a dry cloth. (7)

Lemon slicesFor Cloth Upholstery

  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 1 cup Washing Soda Crystals
  • 3 drops Lemon

Combine ingredients in a plastic container. Wet a clean rag in the water and gently dab away at any stains. (5)

Carpet Upholstery Deodorizer

  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 10 drops Lavender oil (or oil of your choice)

Add oils to baking soda and mix well with a fork. Break up oil clumps to insure the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle liberally over your carpets and upholstery. Leave for a half hour. Vacuum off. When you vacuum your caret, move the vacuum very slowly, going with the grain of the carpet. (5)

Cleaning dashboardDashboard Restorer

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup oil based soap
  • 10 drops Cedarwood oil

Combine all ingredients in a small plastic spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto dashboard and wipe clean with a soft cloth. (7)

Mat and Carpet Cleaner

  • 1/2 gallon Hot Water
  • 1/2 cup Liquid Soap
  • 12 drops Wintergreen or Peppermint oil

Combine all ingredients in a bucket or pail. Stir thoroughly to mix.

Vacuum loose dirt from carpeting and mats. Remove mats from the car and clean by dipping a brush into the cleaning solution and rubbing into the carpet fibers. Rinse the mats with a hose and allow them to dry in the sun.

Clean the carpeting on the floor of the car by dipping brush into the cleaning solution and rubbing into the carpet. Wipe with a dry towel. Vacuum again when completely dry. (7)

Distilled-White-VinegarEngine Degreaser

  • 1/4 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 25 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 20 drops Citrus oil of choice

Pour washing soda into a plastic jug or pitcher, one with a tight fitting cap and preferably a pour spout.

Bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add to the pitcher. Cap the pitcher and shake to dissolve the washing soda. (Careful It will be hot.) Add the essential oils and shake some more.

Slowly pour the solution over a cool engine (one that has not been run for at least an hour.) Use a stiff brush to loosen oil and grease. Rinse with a garden hose or pour clean water over the engine several times. Leave the engine exposed to the air until completely dry. (7)

Battery Terminal Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 4 drops Lime or Orange oil
  • Water, to make a paste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or cup and blend well, using only enough water to make a paste or medium thickness. Apply the paste to battery terminals with an old toothbrush and scrub until clean.  Wipe the terminals clean with a slightly damp cloth, then wipe again with a dry cloth. (7)

And finally,

Here you go with something new to do for your car. What has worked for you? Please share with all of us in the comment section down below. Now go and have some fun!



  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
  3. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  4. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller and David Schiller
  5. Do It Gorgeously: How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products, by Sophie Uliano
  6. DIY Natural Household Cleaners: How To Make Your Own Cleaners Naturally, by Matt & Betsy Jabs
  7. The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning, by Karyn Siegel-Maier

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Cedarwood oil ate away at my dashboard now I've got these rough chalky white patches all over it. Thanks...