When it comes to DIY, few tools—vinegar and baking soda aside—are as useful as essential oils. Whether it’s making your own toiletries for a healthy smile, getting grease off the cooktop, or healing a papercut, essential oils factor into the mix. But, with so many to choose from, which ones should a DIY novice buy first?

Well, as with any upstart kit, the priority choices in the beginning center around utility. A budding essential oil collection should include selections that have multiple uses and all-around qualities that make them valuable for several and/or serious applications. Thinking of it that way, we are able to readily reduce the number of—let’s face it, rather costly—supplies necessary for dabbling in DIY.

The following collection opens doors to all sorts of DIY endeavors. We can make a full cabinet of household cleaners, hygiene products, and simple medicines from just these seven essential oils.

1. Lemon

Majestic Pure Lemon Oil

Source: Majestic Pure Lemon Oil/Amazon

Lemon, or whatever citrus really, has anti-bacterial qualities and a fresh scent that make it the perfect addition to natural, homemade cleaners. It has several properties, such as vitamins and minerals, that make it a good fit for hygiene products as well. And, lemon oil can be used medicinally for mood-lifting, stomachaches, and immunity strengthening.

2. Peppermint

Source: Dr. Josh Axe/Youtube

The most obvious reason for including mint in a DIY essential oil collection is oral hygiene. Toothpastes and mouthwashes just aren’t the same without the minty zing to go along. For that reason alone, it’s a must-have. Nevertheless, mint has other uses. It can be used as a pest deterrent. It also helps with nausea, headaches, and several other health issues. Try this Healing Solutions Peppermint Essential Oil.

3. Tea Tree

Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil

Source: Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil /Amazon

Tea tree might be the least familiar flavor amongst this list, but it is the go-to in DIY medicinal kits. Tea tree is a highly effective antiseptic for cuts and scrapes, and it helps wounds heal quicker. It can also be used for hygienic applications as well: hand sanitizer, deodorant, acne treatment, dandruff prevention, etc.

4. Lavender

Cliganic USDA Organic Lavender Essential Oil

Source: Cliganic USDA Organic Lavender Essential Oil/Amazon

Lavender is one of the most popular fragrances in household products, from laundry detergent to aromatherapy candles to shampoo. Its scent is credited for calming those who smell it. It has other medicinal properties, including acne control, wound healing, and hair loss prevention. It can be put into massage oils, homemade perfumes, cleaners, soaps, and so on. Lavender also repels many pests.

5. Citronella

Source: Sharla Snow/Youtube

Citronella is most readily associated with those patio candles we have all bought at some point to keep mosquitoes at bay. For those looking to make a DIY bug repellent, this would be the central ingredient. It can be used similarly in skin and hair products to have the same effect. It’s also an anti-inflammatory that can help with muscle pains, and it can carefully be included in detoxifying teas. Try this UpNature Citronella Essential Oil.

6. Eucalyptus

Healing Solutions Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Source: Healing Solutions Eucalyptus Essential Oil/Amazon

That wonderful instance when a stuffy nose can suddenly take in air again is usually courtesy of eucalyptus. This essential oil is absolutely essential for those prone to allergies in the spring and fall. It can also help with coughs, earaches, skin irritation, muscle pain, and headaches. Obviously, it can be a zingy addition to cleaners and shampoos as well.

7. Clove

Plant Therapy Organic Clove Bud Essential Oil

Source: Plant Therapy Organic Clove Bud Essential Oil/Amazon

Clove, usually an afterthought in autumn pie recipes, is actually really powerful stuff. To this day, dentists use clove oil to help numb toothaches. Clove oil in a DIY mouthwash provides that familiar tingle and strong anti-bacterial component. It’s also good for skin ailments, blood circulation, and cleaning metal. Oddly, clove is a big component in weed killers, and it’s a good one to include in that bug repellent mix.

With these seven essential oils, we can cover most of our DIY bases and keep ourselves and our environment clean, safe and healthy. They are all readily available online or in pharmacies. Now could be the right time for getting a little more self-reliant and making your own…everything.

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