Cedarwood essential oil has long been appreciated for its aromatic, woodsy smell, but what you may not know is that it has antiseptic and preservative properties.
If you’re a homesteader, or are just looking for a great, easy-to-find oil to help you address multiple challenges in and around your home, this is a great oil to have readily on hand.
Whether you’re putting a few drops behind your ears to help you fall asleep, or cleaning and restoring an old bureau you bought at a flea market, here are 15 great ways to use cedarwood essential oil in your household to lift the spirits and keep a wonderful smelling home.
What is Cedarwood Oil?
Cedarwood essential oil is extracted by distilling the leaves, bark, or needles of several cedar tree varieties. The smell is known for its woodsy, grounding fragrance, and the unique properties of the tree make cedarwood oil a highly versatile commodity within the household.
Cedarwood has been a go-to oil for many rituals dating back to the Egyptians’ time; it was long been valued for its ability to preserve, a use that is still important even today.
Additionally, like cedar chips and cedarwood, this oil has often been kept on hand due to its ability to repel insects and bugs as well.
However, as time has gone on, people have found more and more uses for this versatile, aromatic oil, making it a powerhouse worthy of shelf space on any homestead.
15 ways to use cedar essential oils around your house quick view:
- Reviving untreated wooden utensils or furniture
- Beard shampoo or men’s soap
- Treating fleas or ticks and repelling insects
- Combatting mildew
- Skin treatment for an at-home spa retreat
- Wiping down kitchen counters or dust
- DIY dish soap that fights germs
- Treating warts or skin problems
- Cough Relief
- Neutralizing odors
- Creating a workspace of focus and motivation with cedarwood
- Eliminating sleepless nights
- Hand sanitizer alternative
- Soothing achy muscles
Combat Anxiety and Stress
Let’s face it, after a year of the coronavirus pandemic and all that social distancing, we are all a little stressed out. Fortunately, cedar oil, with its woodsy, earthy, sweet aroma, offers a relaxing and therapeutic option for those suffering from anxiety or stress.
Studies have indicated that cedarwood oil can help treat anxiety when diffused at home, in your car, or with aromatherapy jewelry. This essential oil is also reputed to promote invigorating and powerful thoughts, the perfect remedy for those stressful workdays.
Overall, cedarwood oil’s aromatherapy benefits offer grounding and centering by introducing the senses to nature’s peace and calming effects.
Restore and Preserve Wood
Revive small wooden surfaces with cedarwood oil and enjoy all that this natural oil offers with color restoration, aroma, but most importantly, antifungal properties. Treat your wooden cutting board, utensils or even smaller surfaces like your dresser or wooden jewelry boxes.
The oil’s woodsy smell is perfect to revive, dust and repel bugs or insects, while keeping your valuables safe.
When working with wood items, you can use cedarwood essential oil directly (in small amounts) or add it to a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba or coconut. If you are familiar with Murphy’s oil soap, you know the power of keeping wood well treated, and how easy smells are absorbed.
The next time you are wiping down furniture, add a few drops in your washing water for a fragrant treat.
Cedarwood Oil as a Men’s Shampoo or Beard Soap
The earthy, woodsy smell makes cedarwood oil ideal for use as an additive to men’s shampoo or beard shampoo options because of the fresh cut lumber smell and reputed hair growth properties.
Cedarwood oil will also stimulate beard growth, filling in any empty patches, so you can grow the full beard you always wanted, while leaving behind the smell of a fresh-cut cedar log! Just add a few drops to your current shampoo and enjoy the benefits of a thicker, healthier beard. Alternatively, you can look for brands that include the essential oils of cedarwood.
Treating Fleas or Ticks and Repelling Bugs
Cedar has long been known to repel insects, hence its use in wardrobes and clothing chests to keep the moths at bay. Not surprisingly, cedarwood oil has these same properties as well.
You can treat and prevent fleas, ticks, or any creepy crawlers by adding a few drops of cedarwood oil to the corners of your kitchen pantry, or any rooms suffering from bug infestation. Rest assured knowing bugs are not entering a barrier made with cedar!
Before kids or pets head outside, you can add a drop or two of this essential oil on their necks and arms to keep ticks or mosquitoes away. Be sure to apply to troublesome areas that are prone to insect bites, such as ankles, arms, or necks. For pets, just give their collar a few drops and enjoy an all-natural bug treatment that will keep pets protected for a few months at a time.
Here is a video that shows the immediate impact that cedarwood oil (in the form of a spray) has when ticks come into contact with it:
Help Prevent Mildew
Cedarwood oil has long been used in many Egyptian preserving practices, and has long been valued for its ability to reduce the development of mildew because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can definitely put the oil to use in your kitchen for this same purpose.
For example, wooden utensils that have been through the dishwasher often get dingy and grey looking, which leads to cracking. Exposure to a dishwasher’s hot temperatures can cause the wood pores in these utensils to open up and soak in water.
You can keep those wooden utensils and cutting boards safe from bacteria and mildew by coating them with a few drops of cedarwood essential oil spread on with a warm, wet washcloth. After treatment, these wood items will be less prone to mildew, smell great and last a lot longer.
Treat Your Skin at Home
Luxury skincare doesn’t have to mean expensive. Instead, you can treat troublesome areas such as acne, bug bites or even eczema in the comfort of your own home with cedarwood essential oil.
For sensitive skin, you can start light with a warmed-up wet towel that has a few drops of cedar wood oil; just lay the towel on your face after a shower for a luxurious facial steam. Additionally, for those troublesome areas, apply cedarwood oil directly onto skin so long as there are no open cuts or blemishes.
You should always use a carrier oil with a few drops of cedar wood oil in it to avoid breakouts or sensitive skin reactions when applying it to your skin. You could also add a few drops of cedarwood directly to your facial moisturizer, or toner, for quick moisturizing and acne-treating natural beauty as well.
Dust with Cedarwood Oil-infused Brooms and Mops
Cedarwood is an excellent fragrance for any season that also stimulates positivity and powerfulness.
Next time you’re dusting add a few drops of cedarwood oil to your microfiber, Swiffer or even your broom and keep your house clean and your floors smelling fresh and woodsy.
Cedarwood Oil Antifungal Hand Soap
Proper hand washing is not just about how long you wash, but what type of soap you use. Not all soaps fight germs, so be sure to use soaps that are antibacterial properties to keep them at bay. Cedarwood essential oil is great for this.
Simply add a few drops of the essential oil to your current liquid soap, or make your own using castile liquid soap, or unscented hand soaps. Castile liquid soap is a concentrate you can dilute depending on the level of impurities, and exposure to sensitive skin areas.
When making your own dish or hand soap you can utilize cedarwood’s antibacterial agents, but also add in fresh scents like lavender, mint, or lemon.
This process to make your own liquid soap is really rather simple. Just mix a one-to-one ratio of water and castile soap, then add in cedarwood and any other oils, and mix.
Use Against Warts or Calluses
Cedarwood essential oil is great for treating skin ailments that require an antifungal and bacterial agent. Alleviate conditions like warts, calluses, or athlete’s foot with a kid-safe, natural method by applying cedar to the affected area.
Because cedarwood is safe to go directly on the skin, you can treat small children without crying since many over-the-counter products induce a hot, burning sensation.
Add a drop or two of cedarwood directly onto the affected area and let it soak in. You can cover it with a bandage, or just let air dry and enjoy the anti-stress aroma the oil gives off.
Get Some Cough Relief
If you’ve had a bad cough or chest cold in the recent past, chances are you used some sort of vapor rub on your chest to relieve your discomfort and get some respite from your coughing fits.
Well, if you have a bottle of cedarwood oil in your home, you can put it to good use helping to relieve your cough in a similar manner as well. Just one or two drops of cedarwood essential oil mixed well with a carrier oil is all you need to ease your coughing and get some rest.
Just rub that oil mixture thoroughly on your chest and throat, as well as your upper lip, and the oils should start to ease your discomfort so the coughing stops, and you can get some much-needed sleep through the night.
No matter how you may try to combat odors in the kitchen or laundry room, sometimes they still linger despite your best effort. If everything you’ve tried to make your home smell better has failed, you can treat areas that hold onto odors by making use of cedar oil’s antifungal properties and sweet, forest-smelling fragrances.
Overall, the oil is excellent at absorbing and deodorizing smells, making it a household staple for eliminating smells.
So, ditch the scented trash bags and save yourself some money by adding a drop or two of this essential oil to a cotton ball, and then place it in the bottom of your trash can.
If you have a high school athlete in the house, you can deodorize gym bags and other sports gear with baking soda and a few drops of cedar wood to ensure fresh smelling equipment.
You can even treat stinky shoes with cedarwood oil by adding baking soda and cedarwood essential oil inside a coffee filter shoe bomb.
Just place one to two tablespoons of baking soda in the center of a coffee filter and add a few drops of essential oil. Then, tie the top with a string or a rubber band. Place the baking soda bombs in shoes for an overnight sweat and odor treatment.
Finally, don’t forget about laundry, either. If you want to get those clothes smelling great, add a few drops of cedarwood oil to your laundry soap or wool dryer balls to freshen towels or linens.
Improve Focus and Motivation
Diffusing cedarwood is an excellent way to promote positivity and productivity when it comes to your home office or school environment.
While cedarwood is excellent for treating anxiety, it’s also great for promoting a positive environment and enhanced mental focus, which is how you can combat depression or anxiety so you can leave work or school stress behind you.
Diffusing is the most common aromatherapy method. Just add 2-4 drops to your diffuser depending on your level of sensitivity to fragrances, remember cedarwood has a strong aroma.
You could also add a drop or two to your hands and then activate the oil by rubbing your hands together. As you’re working, you’ll be able to smell the aroma and feel the positivity promoting motivation throughout your workday.
Using cedarwood oil in this manner is also great for classrooms or in an academic environment, like when you’re preparing for a difficult test!
Add a drop to kids’ hands or the back of their neck on big test days to help calm anxiety and promote focus; alternatively, you can diffuse the cedarwood oil in the car on the way to drop off your kids to combat academic jitters as well.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential, but many suffer from restless nights, while others have a hard time turning their brain off and staying asleep throughout the night.
Cedarwood oil yet again offers a solution to the sleep-deprived new parent, the people stressed out from their hectic job, or anyone else needing some help getting to sleep. This great essential oil can help you get to sleep without ever having to reach for chemical sleep aids or pills.
Rub a few drops of cedarwood oil on the bottoms of your feet before going to bed, diffuse by your bed or add a few drops of the essential oil behind your ears.
This oil also pairs with lavender really well, which is a common essential oil that induces a relaxed state and aids in a good night’s sleep.
Using Cedarwood Oil as a Hand Sanitizer
Cedarwood’s antifungal fighting properties make it a great impromptu hand sanitizer that can be kept in your purse, car, or wallet, without the risk of the container swelling in the heat. Add a few drops to your hands and rub together to ensure well-covered hands.
Enjoy the smell and germ-fighting abilities without having to prepare any recipes or liquid solutions by adding cedarwood essential oil travel size to your car’s emergency kit.
Soothe Achy Muscles
Cedarwood offers so many benefits as massage oil treatment for sore joints, muscles, spasms, and even tension headaches.
Make your own massage oil with almond oil and a few drops of cedarwood for a full-body treatment. Use the oil for post-workout soreness, neck stiffness or joint discomfort.
Parting Thoughts: An Essential Oil for Every Homestead
If you haven’t got a bottle of cedarwood essential oil on hand, you should buy one as soon as you get the chance.
This great oil has so many different uses that just keeping a bottle in your pantry or medicine cabinet might even eliminate the need for other cleaning, preserving, and healthcare products. So, do a little more research, and put cedarwood essential oil to use on your homestead today!
When Tom Harkins is not busy doing emergency repairs to his 200 year-old New England home, he tries to send all of his time gardening, home brewing, foraging, and taking care of his ever-growing flock of chickens, turkey and geese.