Top Antibacterial Essential Oils And How To Use Them

It is completely undeniable that essential oils can and will fight bacteria and eliminate them.

Even as far back as the middle ages, there was some awareness that essential oils kill bacteria and could be used to fight and prevent illnesses.

Keep reading to learn about some of the best antibacterial essential oils and how you can use them.

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6 Best Essential Oils for Antibacterial Benefits

Please note: All information on is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication, please consult your doctor.

Powerful Antibacterial Essential Oils

These oils can deliver some major healing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral benefits that our body needs.

Of course, there are many essential oils that are helpful but for simplicity’s sake, we will start with these 6 essential oils.

1. Oregano

2. Cinnamon

3. Tea Tree

4. Clove

5. Thyme

6. Bay Leaf 

Some recipes included in this post may contain other oils that when mixed have powerful antibacterial benefits.

Do you shop on Amazon? Check My Amazon Shop For Essential Oils

Best Premade Essential Oil Blends 

Premade blends can come in handy especially if you are new to essential oils.

These 3 premade blends are ones I have and use regularly. They contain a combination of oils similar to the popular Thieves Essential Oil by Young Living.

  1. Isagenix Defense Shield (get it here)
  2. Simply Earth Defender Immune Boost Blend (get it here)
  3. Plant Therapy Germ Fighter (get it here)

If you are new to essential oils you might enjoy the Simply Earth Subscription Box. You can read one of my reviews here.

Simply Earth Essential Oils Subscription Box

Related: DIY Lysol Recipes

1. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano oil has been found to have powerful antibacterial properties and is even effective against bacterial strains which are resistant to antibiotics, such as MRSA.

It is often referred to asnature’s antibiotic“.

The way oregano oil acts is very unique because it reduces the density of the bacterial cells, which makes them vulnerable to attack from your white blood cells.

This also means that the cell’s metabolism can be affected, making them less able to breed.

Oregano oil is highly effective in fighting yeasts and fungi due to the same mechanism, which stops them from breeding and spreading.

It is perfect for all sorts of bacterial and fungal infections, and a great preventative measure when it comes to protecting wounds from infection.

Cinnamon Essential Oil is very powerful and useful in fighting illness

2. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon has long been noted for its health benefits and is amazing as an antibacterial agent which will protect you against bacterial infections and even fight them off.

Research has found that cinnamon essential oil can heal infections in wounds, the mouth, and on the skin, making it impossible for serious infections to develop.

You will want to use food-grade cinnamon oil, as you will most likely be applying it to an open wound or the mouth, where it is very likely to enter your bloodstream.

Related: 21 Cinnamon Diffuser Blends That Smell Amazing

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the best topical antibacterial remedies nature has to offer.

It is excellent for fighting E. Coli and staph infections, as well as for preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Applying it to your skin will immediately kill almost every single bacterial and viral cell there, and will continue to suppress them for an entire day.

This means that if you are living with someone who is ill, or if it’s the middle of cold and flu season, you can reduce your risk of illness by rinsing your hands with tea tree oil and water twice a day.

What is more, as many chest colds and digestive tract infections are prolonged because we keep reinfecting ourselves as the bacteria are living on our skin, which then lets them get into our food, onto our bedding and clothes, and back into our bodies.

Tea tree will naturally kill these surface bacteria.

If we use tea tree oil to wash our hands, a few drops in our laundry or in water to spray on our bed, and to keep our fridge clean, we can reduce the amount of reinfection and help our bodies recover sooner.

Clove essential oils are powerful for helping fight illness

4. Clove Essential Oil

The clove tree, Eugenia Car, is a source of three different types of essential oils depending on where you take it from in the plant.

The flower and bud can produce the clove oil we are all quite familiar with, but the tendrils and the leaves can produce their own distinctive oils which are also excellent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal remedies.

Clove oil is actually antiparasitic too, killing off most strains of worm infection and deterring many ticks, fleas, and flies from biting us.

Clove oils can be used as a complementary form of medicine when treating lung conditions such as bronchitis, throat infections, and even severe chest infections.

Clove oil is best used in a diffuser or applied to the skin.

6. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme oil is a highly underrated essential oil probably because we tend to think of it as a mild herb and not a powerful medicine.

It is a powerful compound and should not be used directly on your skin, as this can cause sensitization and irritation.

It must first be diluted with a carrier oil (like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil) and it’s a good idea to test it on a small area first to see if you have any allergies.

Thyme oil can be used in a variety of ways as it can be inhaled, applied topically, or used as a mouthwash.

As A Relieve Pain Reliever:

Mix three drops of thyme oil with two teaspoons of coconut oil. Use this mixture as a massage oil and apply it to your abdominal area to relieve pain.

This may also be used as a massage oil to treat other types of pain, including insect and animal bites and stings.

To Promote Good Oral Health:

Use thyme oil as a mouthwash by adding one drop to a cup of warm water.

To Treat Or Protect Against Respiratory Problems:

Add two drops of thyme oil to hot water and use for steam inhalation or in a diffuser.

Bay Laurel Essential Oil Uses

7. Bay Laurel Essential Oil

Bay Laurel is highly beneficial in essential oil form and is notoriously good for fighting off viral infections.

It is primarily used topically in a massage oil or in a diffuser.

Its effects, however, may vary depending on the amount you use.

Higher amounts of Bay oil may produce a sedating effect, while smaller amounts can serve as a stimulant.

For Relief  Of  Flu Symptoms:

Diffuse 3 Drops of Bay Laurel

To Treat Dandruff:

Add  2 drops of Bay Laurel oil to your shampoo.

One of the best ways to use Essential Oils in in a diffuser

6 Ways To Use Your Essential Oils

Here I’ll go over some of the ways you can use your oils.

1. Use Essential Oils Topically  

The first and most obvious application of antibacterial essential oils is to use them topically on wounds.

Do not apply essential oils to your skin without testing them, as this can cause harm and cause irritation.

For Wounds:

Mix a few drops of essential oil into warm water and use it to lightly wipe the wound clean.

You can also use a syringe (the type without a needle!) to spray a mixture of water and essential oils into a deep wound before adding butterfly stitches or bandages.

In most cases, a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil will decrease your chances of being irritated by the oils but will not diminish their effectiveness.

Note: Most people can tolerate a couple of drops of straight tea tree oil on their skin without a problem. 

2. Disinfecting And Sanitizing With Essential Oils

If someone you know is sick then you can make sure everything is disinfected by a simple recipe of essential oils and alcohol.

Spray clothes and bedding, let dry then wash as usual.

This will allow the essential oils to work at killing bacteria, parasite eggs, fungus, or viruses before you wash them away.

You can also use essential oils for fabrics you can’t wash easily, like a mattress, carpet, or curtains.

3. DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe

This recipe can be found at Simply Earth.


2oz Aloe Vera Juice (in this Simply Earth kit)

2 tbsp rubbing alcohol, vodka, or witch hazel

30 drops essential oil (in this Simply Earth kit)


1. Add all ingredients to your 2oz spray bottle.

2. Replace the spray cap and shake well.

To use: Shake well. Spray onto hands and rub hands together until absorbed.

4. DIY Disinfectant Spray Recipe


  • 8 oz glass spray bottle
  • ½ cup alcohol (70%)
  • 9 drops of Clove essential oil
  • 9 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
  • 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil


Combine alcohol and essential oils in a glass container. Shake vigorously before use.

DIY Disinfectant Spray Recipe


5. Diffuse Your Essential Oils

You can diffuse oils in your home with a simple diffuser that is easy to find on Amazon.

I’ve purchased several for under $20 and they still work even after a year of weekly use.

Simply add a few drops of oils to your diffuser to disinfect or clean the air.

Read more about diffusing oils here.

Immune Support Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

How To Use Essential Oils For A Cold

6. Take Your Essential Oils Orally

If you purchase food-grade essential oils you can use them internally.

Some people use them for cleansing, illness, and fighting infections.

In a study tea tree oil, lavender oil, thyme oil, peppermint, and clove oil (eugenol) were used orally as an effective antiseptic solution against pathogens.

I recently used oregano to help clear up a urinary infection by putting a few drops in empty capsules.

People have been adding lemon essential oil to their water for years to aid in digestion.

Essential Oils are so powerful. Just a few drops of geranium oil has many benefits.



A Word Of Caution When Using Essential Oils

Although essential oils can be amazing for us, you still need to be careful about what you do.

First of all, never consume essential oils which are not food grade, even if the thing they are made of is something you normally eat.

For example, cinnamon oil may be safe to eat, but if it is not food grade it may be too intense to consume.

Secondly, never apply essential oils of any variety directly to the inside of the nose, urethra, vagina, or anus, as this can cause irritation.

Essential oils tend to have a powerful drying effect, which is great for removing grease from our skin and helping wounds heal.

But this same effect is disastrous if it hits a part of our body that is supposed to be always humid.

Please consider other treatments for injuries or infections in these areas.

Finally, do not buy obscure brands from the internet. 

You need to be confident that the oil you purchase is exactly what it says on the label: a pure plant extract, from that specific plant, food-grade if that is what you ordered.

Stick to brands you know and trust, and always look for certification that the oils are safe and toxic-free.

Essential Oils may be used as powerful antibacterial agents

What About You?

Do you use essential oils for fighting an illness or for building your immune system? I would love to hear from you.

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DIY Cleaning With Essential Oils
101 Ways To Use Your Essential Oils