Tea Tree Oil Uses – 13 Household & Life Hacks
Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca oil or referred to as TTO, is thoroughly researched essential oil. It is derived from tea tree leaves. The shrug-like tea tee (melaleuca alternifolia) is native to Australia and typically found in swamplands or nestled near streams. Essential oils such as tea tree oil are considered to be very powerful.
In the 1920s chemist Arthur Penfold managed to isolate tea tree oil. He noted that it exhibited impressive antiseptic properties. The commercial demand for tea tree oil began shortly thereafter. Because of its versatility and effectiveness, the market for this oil continues to thrive.
Tea tree oil is most frequently applied to the skin to treat a myriad of conditions and ailments. Those with sensitive skin may find that application can be an irritant, but this is rare. Tea tree oil is also often used in baths to treat coughs, congestion, and pulmonary inflammation.
This article will explore common tea tree oil uses and applications.
It should be noted that tea tree oil is NOT for internal use. Do not swallow, it can be poisonous.
13 Uses for Tea Tree Oil
#1 – Mouth wash. An excessive amount of bacteria in the mouth is rarely a good thing. It can lead to chronic bad breath. The antibacterial qualities of tea tree oil make it an excellent tool in the battle against bad breath.
Simply combine 2 drops of tea tree oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil into a cup of water. Swill. Gargle. Rinse. Empty your mouth and make sure not to swallow this water and oil combination.
#2 – Antiseptic for cuts and abrasions. The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil make it a perfect application for minor cuts and abrasions.
First, cleanse the minor wound with soap and water. Next, combine a drop of tea tree oil with a drop of coconut oil. Apply to the cut or abrasion. Reapply daily as needed.
#3 – Fight mildew. Mildew is a fungus that often appears white on surfaces. It tends to grow on wet and warm areas. Mildew is typically easy to wipe away.
You can apply teat tree oil to surfaces that accumulate mildew. Place one cup of water and 5 to 10 drops of teat tree oil into a spray bottle. Lightly mist the surface. Allow the tea tree oil to sit for up to 5 minutes before wiping down the area.
#4 – Common cold. Struggling with a head cold? Sinus pressure from infection and inflammation can be very painful and discomforting.
Tea tree oil can be used as part of a steam bath to help relieve sinus pressure and irritation. Boil water and add in 5 or more drops of tea tree oil. Place your head close to the steaming bowl and drape a towel over your head. Breathe in and out deeply for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
#5 – Acne. Propiobacterium acnes can cause unwanted skin breakouts. Tea tree oil application not only fights these breakouts, but also works to penetrate pores, loosening oil and dirt.
Mix one or two drops of tea tree oil with a very minor amount of coconut oil. Apply with a cotton swab to the whitehead or blackhead.
#6 – Foot odor. Foot fungus and bacteria are the main cause behind foot odor. A foot soak containing tea tree oil can help.
Boil water and place it into your foot bath. Steep this water with rosemary sprigs for up to 15 minutes. Next, add in 10 to 15 drops of tea tree oil along with 2-3 tablespoons of olive or almond oil. Once the rosemary has steeped and is infused into the water, soak your feet and enjoy.
#7 – Sore throat. A sore throat is caused by inflammation of the mucous membranes. Tea tree oil can help sooth the pain of a sore throat. It can also help ward off infection, and work to prevent the escalation of a sore throat.
Place one drop of tea tree oil into warm water and gargle. Do this once per day to help prevent/relieve throat issues.
#8 – Hand sanitizer. These days it seems like everyone is slathering themselves with hand sanitizer. Instead of reaching for commercial products, try using tea tree oil. As an antimicrobial, it is a perfect choice.
Try combining 8 ounces of aloe vera gel with 25 drops of tea tree oil, 8-10 drops of lavender oil, and 8-10 drops of clove oil. Mix well and place into a hand sanitizer dispenser.
#9 – Skin cancer. Tea tree oil can help in the battle against skin cancer? Yes.
The Journal of Dermatological Sciences published a study revealing that tea tree oil helps to boost immunity and effectively battle cancerous tumors. 
#10 – Oral health. Tea tree oil works to fight bad bacteria. For this reason it’s a perfect ingredient for mouthwash and toothpaste.
To make your own toothpaste, combine baking soda with a few drops of tea tree oil and coconut oil.
#11 – Deodorant. Apocrine sweat glands are found in the armpits and genitals. They become active around puberty. Sweat secreted by these glands has a thicker consistency. When bacteria attempts to break down the sweat, it produces an odor.
Tea tree oil works to fight this bacteria and improve odor. To make a homemade deodorant, combine 15-18 drops of tea tree oil, 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1/3rd cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup corn starch.
Combine the corn starch and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Heat the coconut oil and add it along with the tea tree oil into the mixture. Seal in an airtight container.
#12 – Mildew-free garden. Tea tree oil can help in the battle against mildew – even in the garden. Simply use the mildew-fighting formula presented above and spray it on outdoor plants.
Reapply each day as needed.
#13 – Surface cleaner. Need an all-purpose surface cleaner? Tea tree oil has you covered. Set aside the chemical soup you’re spraying around your house and try this…
Combine 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar with 1/4 cup water and 20-25 drops of tea tree oil. Place in a spray bottle and shake well. Apply as needed to surfaces.
But wait, there’s more!
Tea tree oil can also be used in the following ways.
- To fight mouth and nose infections
- To prevent and relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot
- As a treatment for boils
- Can be applied to fungal nail infections
- Toothbrush or retainer cleaner
- Splinter treatment
- Garbage or diaper pail deodorant
- Fungus fighter
- Sore muscles – add it to your hot bath
- Bug repellent spray
- Relief from itchy bug bites
- Scabies treatment
- As a dryer freshener
- Clean abrasions and cuts
- To treat psoriasis
- Dandruff – dry scalp
- Hair treatment
- Salve for a stuffy nose
- Ringworm treatment
- To treat ear infections
- Washing machine deodorant
1) “Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil ) inhibits the in vitro growth of human melanoma cells,” J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Feb;122(2):349-60.