The Top 8 Uses Of Tea Tree Oil

Top 8 Uses For Tea Tree Oil

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Tea tree essential oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, as well as the ability to stimulate the immune system and eliminate external parasites such as lice and the mites that cause scabies. Studies have indicated that tea tree oil is an excellent disinfectant, and kills more germs than the disinfectants used in hospitals. It can be used in skin care, hair care, and household cleaning, and will even prevent mildew and remove mold.

Tea tree oil should not be used full-strength on the skin, but should be diluted with a base oil. It can also be mixed with water, shaken well, and sprayed on surfaces to clean and disinfect; or sprayed on carpets, mattresses, and upholstery to get rid of bedbugs, mites, and fleas (for this last, a 50/50 mix of lavender and tea tree oils will work best, but do NOT use this if you have cats, as getting essential oils on their skin or fur can lead to liver damage and death.)

Sidenote: If you don’t own any tea tree oil but would live to take advantages of its incredible uses, then take a look at the tea tree oil we recommend. 

Tea tree oil has many uses, but here are the top 8:

Athlete’s foot: A foot bath containing one cup of epsom salt and 10 drops of tea tree oil will stop an early infection of athlete’s foot in its tracks, and repeating weekly will prevent it from coming back. For more established infections, blend 1 oz. of coconut oil with 1/4 oz of tea tree oil, and follow the foot bath by applying this twice a day for about 4 weeks.

Toenail fungus: Using a clean cotton swab, apply a drop of pure tea tree oil to the infected toenail(s) twice daily. (Be careful to only get the oil on the toenail, since the pure oil can be irritating to the skin.)

Cold sores: Mix 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil with 5 drops of tea tree oil, dip a clean cotton swab in the mixture, and apply directly to the cold sore. Store the remaining mixture in a tightly sealed glass container, and reapply several times a day until the sore is gone. Beginning this treatment at the first tingling sensation that indicates a cold sore is starting will prevent it from even getting bad enough to hurt or scab over. (Do not use tea tree oil inside the nose, and never swallow it. Swallowing even small (a few drops) doses of the oil is toxic, and larger doses can kill.)

Acne: Mix 40 drops of tea tree oil with 1 oz of coconut oil in a glass container with a tight fitting lid. Apply lightly to the acne twice a day after cleansing. (Keep well away from the eyes, and test the mixture on the inside of your forearm, waiting for at least 24 hours to make sure there is no reaction before using it on your face or other acne-prone areas.)

Want to get rid of acne? Try this Tea Tree Acne Free Essential Set.

Dandruff Using a 5% tea tree oil shampoo has been shown to reduce or eliminate mild to moderate dandruff with regular use. It’s easiest to purchase a shampoo already containing the oil, like this one, but if you prefer to make your own, you can add 40 drops of tea tree oil for each ounce of shampoo base and shake well before each use.

Further Reading: The Best Home Remedies For Dandruff – including a tea tree oil dandruff remedy.

Cleaning and disinfecting counters, tubs, and tile: Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with a bit over 1 gallon of water. Mix well, and use to wipe down kitchen counters, tables, bathtubs, tile and floors. (Remix frequently, since the oil and water will separate pretty quickly, and use rubber gloves to prevent skin irritation.)

Removing mold and mildew: Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on the moldy areas, then wipe away the mold. For heavier mold, or for mildew, you may need to use one of the sponges with the scrubber side to loosen it before wiping it away.

Laundry: Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil to a regular load of laundry to freshen and disinfect. For bedbug or mite infestations, using very hot water with the oil to wash your bedding will kill the pests.


As with all essential oils, certain precautions need to be taken to avoid serious harm. Here are the three most important cautions to take with tea tree oil.

        1. Pregnant or nursing women, or those with hormone sensitive cancers should avoid tea tree oil.
        2. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil. If you develop a rash or blisters, discontinue use immediately, and see your doctor.
        3. Do not use undiluted tea tree oil on your skin, as it can cause skin irritation, redness, blistering, or itching.
Where To Buy Tea Tree Oil

Top 8 Uses For Tea Tree OilTea tree oil is one of the most useful essential oils to have in your home for all of your health, beauty and household needs. You can pick it up in your local pharmacy, or you can buy a bottle online. I personally recommend this 30 ml bottle of Edens Garden Tea Tree Oil which you can buy on Amazon.

What are your favorite uses of tea tree oil? And what is your favorite brand? Share your tips below by leaving a comment.

If you’d like to discover dozens more ways you can use this wonderful essential oil, then pick up a copy of The Tea Tree Oil Handbook: 101 Ways To Use Tea Tree Oil.

Plus, if you enjoyed this article, you’ll probably also enjoy these from the archive…

Top 58 Weird & Wonderful Uses For Seven Essential Oils
Top 7 Natural Products To Make With Essential Oils
How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Your Hair
Top 7 Uses Of Rosemary Oil
Top 8 Uses Of Lavender Oil
How To Use Essential Oils To Fight Fat

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  1. Thanks for the fun tips! I love the versatility of essential oils. Tea Tree oil is so wonderful for so many things! We use it in combination with lavender essential oil and fractionated coconut oil in a little spray bottle as an “owie” spray for all those little cuts and scrapes the kids have. It’s great for this because of the anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities; plus it just makes the kids feel better.
    My family’s favorite brand is doTERRA because it is 100% pure and very potent. In fact, doTERRA’s essential oils are so pure that my husband is taking 3 drops of doTERRA’s Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil and 3 drops of lemongrass oil in a capsule to help lower his cholesterol. My knowledge of essential oils extends only to doTERRA’s so please DO NOT try to take other essential oils internally! Some EO’s contain fillers, preservatives, perfumes, etc and are not safe to use internally! Always read the labels before you use any essential oil.

    • I too love doterra’s oils. My first experience with melaleuca was to get rid of throat and esophageal thrush caused when I took an antibiotic for bronchitis. I had felt like nylon netting had been stuffed down my throat. One drop taken at night when I went to bed and I woke up feeling completely better. No more thrush!!! Thank you Briana for the tip of using melaleuca and lemongrass together for high cholesteral. I will try that suggestion. I have also found that tea tree oil is great to relieve the itch of poison ivy.

  2. Hi
    I love the Australian body care range, the skin wash is amazing. Try it on paper cuts! It is great for kids cuts and grazes too

  3. Hi
    Being an Aussie, it’s great for me to see this Tea Tree oil here. It sure is a very useful oil. It’s one of the best to use, diluted, to deter fleas from dogs also.
    It stops minor bleeding fairly quickly also eg shaving cut.

  4. Tea Tree Oil is also great for keloids, scars, and annoying bumps you get around piercings.

  5. I have found that tea tree oil has helped me a great deal with my eczema, as it really helps with the itching, for me fairly quickly. Applying oatmeal in a stocking helps much with any inflammation, but for me not so much with the terrible itch. I plan to try a few drops in my laundry next time, that seems like a good idea. A well written article that was easy to follow.

  6. What is the reason for the prohibition against using tea tree oil inside the nose?

    • Katie,

      Essential oils are very strong, and many can cause “chemical burns” if applied to the skin without being diluted. Although tea tree oil is one of the gentler oils, and many people can use it undiluted without a problem; mucus membranes are much more delicate. Tea tree essential oil, even diluted, applied to the mucus membrane inside the nose COULD result in severe pain and burning or scarring of the tissue. NOT an experiment I would be willing to try.

  7. I’ve been using it on ringworm that I have on my leg. I have had it for some time and recently started the Tea Tree oil with the prescribed cream. The two together seem to be making a much better impact on this relentless rash. I do use it full strength though (a drop rubbed around the area, it’s on my knee) without any irritation. It is also stopping it from spreading around the area.

  8. Darlene says:

    tea tree oil is great for ticks!! if the head is lodged in the skin, put a drop on and most times it will be out within minutes!!!

  9. T Phillips says:

    Using essential oils on animals has long been warned against, but I found a holistic vet who uses them extensively for both animals and humans. Here is a link to her very informaitve page of newsletter.
    Thanks for the continuing education!

    • Essential oils are fairly safe for dogs and horses, (and perhaps for other animals, I don’t know.) However, cats can’t process them, and can develop liver damage from direct exposure. A veterinarian has the skill, knowlege and training to know what is and isn’t safe, but without that specialized knowlege, using any essential oil on a cat could be deadly.

  10. I use coconut oil with tea tree, spearmint, and eucalyptus as a general “skin problem” salve; it has completely cleared up my husband’s dihydrous eczema and my occasional adult acne flares.

    • Dear Chandra, can you give more specific amounts of your ingredients for the general “skin problem” salve. I have eczema that is a real problem and would love something to help it.

    • Dear Chandra,
      I to would like specific amounts of your ingredients for the general skin problem salve. Eczema has plaqued several of my nieces and nephews. It saddens me to see them squirm from the itching, and lil Logan cant even stand to wear clothes. So glad I came upon this site, and found your comment.

  11. As someone else said–ringworm. We got a kitten from the Humane Society who ended up having a case of ringworm (that she gave to the kids) None of the ringworm medicine seemed to work. It just wouldn’t go away it moved around. I read online about tea tree oil (which I already had cause it’s a great lice repellent) I just used a little straight on the ringworm with a q-tip, and they were gone in a few days :)

  12. Another GREAT use for Tea Tree Oil is to not only get rid of lice but to keep it away. Add a bit to your child’s shampoo (obviously you don’t want any to get in their eyes when you wash their hair) and it will keep lice away! I’ve been using this in my daughter’s shampoo for three years after her first run in with lice that she got from school (I freaked… and stumbled across this tip) and here we are three years later, countless lice outbreaks at her school, and not a single bug on her head! To get rid of lice, add to baby oil mixture and saturate hair, cover with shower cap for as long as your child can stand it. Wash thoroughly and repeat if necessary. I did this once on my daughter’s hair AFTER using Rid (which did very little) and it worked.

  13. Tea tree oil stops poison ivy in its tracks. It’s been a life saver for me.

    • I was wondering when someone would say poison ivy. And for even better results wash the first application of tea tree oil off with dish soap and COLD water and then re-apply it.

  14. Kristine says:

    Why can’t pregnant women use tea tree oil? I have tea tree oil chapstick that I love and I love the smell of the tea tree oil shampoos.

    • It’s because tea tree oil (and lavender too, I believe) are psydoestrogens, I believe, and can alter hormones. I would say a tiny bit in a chapstick would be fine, but any application with more concentration could cause problems. They’ve shown that overexposure in kids caused early onset puberty. Not to deter anyone from using this or any other natural product, but essential oils can be very potent and should only be used under the guidance or advice of an expert.

      On the advice of a naturopath I use diluted tea tree oil rubbed around my son’s ear if he gets an ear infection (never in the ear!). Works like a charm and much more pleasant for him than my other remedy (for swimmer’s ear)- garlic clove steeped in ACV and dripped in the ear.

  15. annie sylvan says:

    Melaleuca is the company I buy tea tree oil from

  16. Sue Cauchy says:

    Melaleuca has the best and purest tea tree oil, with guaranteed medicinal potency. It will never blister or irritate the skin. That only happens with lower quality oils. They also have a full line of amazing cleaning and medicinal products based on tea tree oil. Look me up on facebook and inbox me if you are interested in the best.

  17. I also buy from Melaleuca. My favorite use is diluted in olive oil and apply for diaper rash- clears up those nasy red yeast rashes better than any baby cream!

  18. Hi, over from the Barn Hop…
    so glad to see this article.
    I found it helpful. I’ve always liked the healing properties of Tea tree oil. My youngest son had a bad yeast infection on his face –with severe acne and couldn’t used the widely popular treatment advertised on TV; so we used this and it worked great.
    My grandson also had a bad diaper rash– we used it on him too. Cleared right up. It wasn’t pure, it was bottled w/ another ingredient can’t remember right off hand.

    I did NOT know this was good for cleaning and mildew and mold treatments , thanks for posting!

    • valerie house says:

      I got some new ideas here. I have used it for a few things but did not know all these uses. Natural is better for sure

  19. valerie d says:

    I first used tea tree oil to cure a sore throat, and i was really feeling like i was coming down with something nasty. .. almost immediate relief. No problem the next day, a few drops in a little water, gargle, spit. repeat . hated the smell, the taste, but i use it often now and really don’t mind it.. ..I have since used it on scrapes, cuts, help healing, in my mouth for sour gums, on my toes for the fungus. Used it under the nails tho, wondering about that now. I will say, NEVER put it in your ear, the ache increases immensely. Love the new (to me) uses of tee tree Oil. thanks!

  20. Karen E. says:

    Tea Tree oil works to get rid of warts too. My daughter had a “ring” of warts on her knee and dr. visit after dr. didn’t work so we tried using Tea Tree oil and within a week the warts were gone!
    Our dr. was very impressed with this and said he will pass the information on to other patients with this problem.

  21. Melissa Strong says:

    Why can’t you use tea tree oil when pregnant or nursing? I’m both and have been using it in soap and for bug repellant.

  22. My daughter’s friend uses it to whiten her teeth.

  23. Tea Tree Oil saved my butt a couple of years ago. i hate Drs they freak me out always wanting to make you take something or stick something in you …. a large rock / smallish bolder hit my leg one night and ripped me up pretty good i worked on it with what i had at the time and could not kill the infection or stop the pain thought i might lose my foot or worse if i went to see a dr … this indian (native american) lady i knew came into my shop at the time and saw me limping bad asl me what was wrong and i mentioned it to her she made me she her this gouge in my leg that was about 8 in long 1/4 in deep and wide and very swollen and hot … i told her i was scared to go to the dr now cause they might cut my foot or leg off … she left and came back with tea tree oil put it on full strength and bandaged me up gave me the bottle and told me to do that again for the next several days til it stopped hurting and was healing then uncover it and let it breath … as a bonus the scar does not look that bad at all nothing like it should have from the gash that was there and i didnt have to see a dr

    • Using natural products are great. But, if you are so injured and infected that you THINK you may need amputation. Then fear of doctors or not, go to a doctor!

  24. A mixture of lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oils slowed a very aggressive infection on my daughter’s back that I’m almost sure was MRSA (or something similar) while we were traveling. When I got home, I mixed up a more potent mix of thyme, clove, and other oils (including the original 3) and applied that 3x/daily until the infection was gone. I should note that the second concoction was diluted (about 12% essential oils, the rest olive oil).

    Do not underestimate the power of these oils. Educate yourself before you go smearing yourself with them, though… the warnings about liver toxicity are real and using them undiluted repeatedly can lead to amazing visible healing while your liver inside you is being damaged from the treatments. If someone tells you their multi-level-marketing brand is so pure you can ingest it, back away quickly and find an educated source of information.

    • Dear Kim,
      I was wondering if this would work on diabetiic sores, and or skin abrasions?
      Would like to know your mixture.

  25. We use tea tree oil for lots of things but the thing I love the most is dogs hate the smell of it. So when my dogs got fixed or get a bite or an itch that they wont leave alone i dab a qtip in the oil and rub it on their stiches or the itch spot and they leave it alone. :)
    Although my husband hates the smell it healled his bad burn from a blow torch with no scar :)

  26. Thanks for the great reminder about tea tree oil and skin. I will try it on my hands.

  27. Thanks for the article on tea tree oil….I had no idea how many uses it had. When my son was an infant, he had a horrible rash on his face around his eyes and nose (like a raccoon mask) and nothing his doctor’s prescribed worked. They kept ordering higher and higher steroid ointments. My tattoo artist suggested tea tree oil and it cleared it up in less than a week!

  28. Hello! I use and recommend tea tree oil for ingrown hairs too, great if you shave/wax. My boyfriend gets ingrown hairs due to shaving which used to be really irritated, but tea tree oil calms them down, stops any potential infection and they sort themselves out without any problems now. Thanks for the blog post!

  29. I ran across Tea Tree Oil when I lived in Australia, and have used to for lots of things. My two favorite things I use it for are as a decongestant by putting several drops in a small pot of water, heating it then smelling the vapors with a towel over my head, and the other is for fungal infections, as weird as it sounds I got a yeast infection in my bellybutton after a very strong anibiotic and instead of the expensive cream I used a Qtip and Tea Tree Oil two-three times a day for approx 4 days, I could see almost an immediate improvement after the first day. The doctor said it would take at least 2 weeks for the expensive cream to clear up the yeast infection, less than a week with the tea tree oil and I was cured. Love this stuff.

  30. When I was doing laundry for my dad who is incontinent and in the nursing home, no amount of washing would get the urine smell out of his clothing. A pharmacist recommended tea tree oil in the washer. A couple drops of oil did the trick AND helped the odor that my washer was beginning to pick up.

    • Thank you for that, my father has passed, but I still have some of the bed sheets, which have an odor that just doesn’t want to go away, I will definitely give this a try, I bought them for him myself and they are still very good, but just smell, I will give this a try. thank you for your info.

      • I have since tried it with laundry, it clears any musty smell the laundry can produce it seems, thank you very much Deb for the idea :)

  31. I have found that using Tea Tree oil is effective for getting rid of throat infections and have used it to clear up tonsilitis. at the first signs of infection, I soak a cotton swab in Pure Tea Tree Oil and then swab the tonsil, or infected spot within the mouth. Usually 2 times a day, by the end of the second day it is usually completely gone.
    One drop of Tea Tree Oil on a sugar cube is also great for food poisoning, along with a dropper full of echinacea extract (glycerine based, not alcohol based), it usually gets rid of it pretty much immediately. Always use a therapeutic grade and/or medicinal grade oil to take internally. I prefer either Lorann, Medicine Flower or Other Worlds’.

  32. We use it for bee/wasp stings full strength. The kids stop crying as soon as it hits their skin!

  33. Also good for getting rid of and proventing head lice, my daughter was very pron to getting it used Tea Tree oil after reading about it on line and she has never gottin it again! and u can get a bottle of it at walmart for under 10

  34. As a nationally certified aromatherapist, we learned that Tea Tree is one of the few oils that can be used neat (directly from the bottle). A drop onto facial acne would be just fine, making sure to wash hands afterward and avoiding getting it in the eyes. We typically recommend blending at a 1% dilution for use on the face (this means 5-6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier [lotion, oil, aloe vera, etc]). The dilution suggested in this article is 8%…much too strong for the face…or even every day use on the body. It would be more appropriate for a slow-healing wound or something of that nature. I wrote 2 blogs dedicated to Tea Tree after taking a webinar with Robert Tisserand on this essential oil. You can read them at my website, if you’d like to learn more! :)

  35. Unless there are some real nasties in one’s laundry, 2 tsp of tea tree oil in the wash seems like an awful lot to me. For regular loads, I just use a few drops in the wash water, white vinegar to rinse and the clothes come out smelling fresh and lightly scented.

    And I agree with Mindy about the concentration one should use on one’s face (especially for children and babies). While tea tree is one of the more forgiving oils, essential oils are phenomenally concentrated and therefore exert powerful effects on the body, and should be used with great care and knowledge.

  36. I used it to zap skin tags. Just a little on each skin tag twice a day for a couple of weeks until it dries off! Awesome!

  37. My favorite is for head lice.. kills the bugs and eggs on the spot!!

  38. Scabies, if you have ever been unlucky enough to get scabies, tea tree oil mixed with sulfur cream and vasoline. works better than the rx from the doctor. And tea tree oil helps with the itch! I would just put it on my legs straight when the itch was bad (but the brand I was using was not 100% pure so not so potent).

  39. I love tea tree oil! I use this for my acne. I used to always use the store bought acne medication with benzoyl peroxide and sacilyc acid and all that did was dry out my skin and make it worse. Then I switched to tea tree oil and it has been amazing! Love going the natural route!

  40. I can verify that it works well for dandruff – both as a shampoo (I like JSon or Aveda) or as a direct oil on the scalp.

    It also works amazingly well for psoriasis breakouts on the scalp. It works for both my daughter and I. I put it on straight with a cotton swab.

  41. Another thing I have learned that Tea tree oil is GREAT for is something that was very embarrassing for me this past summer,in fact I was so embarrassed I wouldn’t even talk to my Dr. about it, I had an odor coming from under my breasts it was very sour and noticeable I wouldn’t go anywhere, and it just didn’t seem to want to go away no matter how much I washed. I read in a magazine that tea tree oil applied full strength directly to the area twice a day for 7 days would get rid of the smell,( it is caused by a fungus ) and to my excitement it worked like a charm, I was so happy I have been telling all my girlfriends about it, it is still an embarrassing subject but now that I know what it is and what can be done to get rid of it I don’t have as much problem letting other women know. just to keep it away, periodically I will apply it before bed. So now instead of 8 uses you have 9. :)

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