The results my home scientific test on essential oils for cleaning. Do they really work? This is an unsponsored, unbiased experiment.
I’m really excited to share this post with you guys. For this post, I did a science experiment. It is not sponsored by any company. At the time of this experiment, I was not affiliated with any of these companies in any way shape or form. All products and supplies were purchased by me or a friend. My only affiliation now is affiliate links. I was not paid to do this experiment nor was a paid to share or skew the results. The experiment and results are completely unbiased.
A friend of mine sells Young Living Essential Oils. She’s been talking about how much she loves her Thieves Household Cleaner. I’ve seen several social media posts where people swear that Thieves Household Cleaner is the best. It’s natural. It has essential oils. It’s immune-boosting. It kills all the harmful bacteria. The list of good things about it goes on and on.
I decided that since I like more natural cleaners I would try it. I usually make my own. That isn’t to say that I don’t use commercial cleaners, because I have all kinds of those too. I just prefer to go more natural if I can. So I decided that I would give the Thieves Household Cleaner a try. I ordered some from her. If you want to order some you can order from her too here.
While I was waiting for my order to arrive I went to a local essential oil store, Jade Bloom, to pick up some of their immune-boosting Protect blend. It’s similar to the Thieves blend that Young Living sells. Jade Bloom is not an MLM and you can just go order from their website and get the best prices yourself.
We were battling a family cold at the time. Mine was particularly bad. I wanted anything that might help. So I purchased the Jade Bloom Protect blend and brought it home and started diffusing it.
My husband scoffed. He thinks essential oils are a waste of money. I like to joke that I have an essential oil for anything that ails him. I don’t know if essential oils actually work. But they smell nice.
When my Thieves Household Cleaner came I was so excited to try it out. I couldn’t wait to see how well it worked. Then it occurred to me that I wouldn’t know how well it worked. How do I know that the Clorox wipes I use work? How do I know if anything works? Sure the mess is gone, but what about the bacteria?
I have seen posts floating around social media about how well Thieves Household Cleaner works. How well other essential oils work. How well Norwex rags work. But all of these posts and “tests” are done by the people who sell these products. So how do I know that they didn’t skew the results in their favor? I’m always super skeptical about those things.
I decided that it was time for an experiment. So I ordered some Petri dishes from Amazon and got to work.
I had a friend come over and bring the Norwex rags that she purchased at a party. We tested cleaners on my kitchen counter with raw chicken and in my five-year-old son’s bathroom on the toilet seat.
We had ten Petri dishes so we used five in the kitchen and five in the bathroom. One went to control. So we only were able to test four cleaners in each room.
For the kitchen test, we took a piece of raw chicken and rubbed it on the counter. Then we tested the Thieves Household Cleaner, Norwex rags, Clorox wipes, and Jade Bloom protect oil. We recontaminated the counter in between each test. So there were fresh chicken germs for each cleaner.
I wouldn’t normally clean my counter with the Protect oil. I just was curious to see if it did anything to chicken bacteria. Also, I wanted to prove my husband wrong. That essential oils do work. Haha. So there was a lot riding on this test.
To test the Protect oil, I had a little one-ounce misting spray bottle that I filled with water and put five drops of oil in. Mostly I was just trying to get a good “cleaner” consistency to test and not use the straight oil.
Once those five were swabbed, labeled and taped closed as per the instructions, we headed to the bathroom.
The bathroom was disgusting. Because as I said previously we have been fighting a really bad cold, me in particular, so that bathroom hadn’t really been cleaned in a couple weeks. And it’s used by a little boy. So the seat had urine spots on it. We tested in a particularly spotted area.
We took a control sample. And then cleaned different sections of the back of the seat with Thieves Household Cleaner, Norwex rags, Clorox wipes, and we sprayed some Lysol on a paper towel to wipe it since everything else was wiped.
The instructions for the trays said that they needed to be kept very warm. Well during March here in Utah, it’s not very toasty. I kept them in the corner of the room by a heater vent, stacked up under a towel, and throughout the day I would turn on a space heater for them.
The instructions say to throw the Petri dishes out after 48 hours. But after 48 hours there wasn’t much growth. I suspected due to the cold weather. So I took the after photos after a week.
Now, since I know you’re dying to find out. I will show you the photos of the results.
Here’s the kitchen test.
Here’s the bathroom test.
I can’t say with much certainty that the bathroom test actually worked very well. Since the control of the toilet grew less than some of the cleaners.
I was so impressed with the results of the Thieves Household Cleaner, the Jade Bloom Protect essential oil and Lysol.
I don’t love the way Lysol smells. I hate using it. I probably use it once a year on doorknobs and light switches after we’ve all been really sick. But the results speak for themselves. Lysol works.
I do like the Thieves Household Cleaner. And I do think that the price isn’t too bad. It comes in a concentrated form that you water down in your spray bottle. The $30 bottle will make you 250ish ounces of cleaner. That’s less than $2 a 16-ounce bottle of cleaner. So not bad at all. It smells pretty good too. Although the main scent is cinnamon there is an undertone that reads Pine-Sol to me. If you want more info or help ordering you can contact my friend Bobbi through her blog Oily Krack Pack.
And the Jade Bloom Protect oil? Those results blew me away. The Protect blend is one of the cheaper Thieves-like blend oils I’ve purchased, so I wasn’t sure about the quality of it. This test still does not speak to the quality of the essential oil itself, but it definitely works well as a cleaner. I’ve been using the little spray bottle as my hand sanitizer.
My friend was very sad about the Norwex. She said that she’ll just continue to use them in conjunction with thieves cleaner. The Norwex must have cross-contaminated from the kitchen to the bathroom. That’s the only explanation for how much grew in there. And yes, it was a fresh clean rag that we used.
What did you think? Were you surprised? I was.
But I was glad to see that I was right about the oil. Haha.
My friend ordered a set Petri dishes. We’re going to do another test on the floors by the front and back doors.
If there’s a cleaner you would like to see tested leave a comment below and we will see if we can add it to our test.
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Check out my other cleaning posts for more ideas.
Really into oils? Check out me other essential oil posts.