12 Every Day Uses for Tea Tree Essential Oil

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Uses For Tea Tree Oil

There are many great uses for tea tree oil and we use it ALL THE TIME. Here are 12 simple ways to use it for natural cleaning, beauty, and general health.

Tea tree essential oil was one of the first essential oils I started using. When I began researching ways to save money, I soon found that I could cut costs by making my own cleaners at home. Almost every recipe I found called for tea tree essential oil because it’s a great disinfectant.

Now, I use it for much more than cleaning. Because essential oils are so complex, they can be used for a number of different purposes and tea tree essential oil is no exception.

How to Use Tea Tree Essential Oil


Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin either neat (undiluted) or diluted. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend diluting tea tree oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil. If you’re using it with kids, I also recommend diluting the oil and using it on the bottoms of their feet.

When using essential oils topically, it’s a great idea to:

Use a carrier oil: I’ve learned that just by adding a tiny amount of carrier oil, you increase the absorption rate of essential oils because of how the carrier oil can penetrate the skin.

Heat up the area: When I apply essential oil to my skin, I make sure to also rub it in to create a heat exchange. This increases blood flow to the area, which helps the essential oils go through your body faster.


Tea tree oil is a great essential oil to diffuse aromatically (unless you have cats – keep them away from tea tree oil). This is a great way to purify the air because of its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.


Always do a spot test to make sure you aren’t sensitive to tea tree essential oil. If you are, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil. Also, make sure you’re using 100% pure essential oils, avoiding additives/chemicals/carrier oils found in some brands which can cause irritation.

Do not use it with cats as most brands can be harmful. Dilute with children and make sure they do not consume tea tree essential oil.

For more information on using essential oils, check out our frequently asked questions on essential oils.

12 Uses for Tea Tree Essential Oil

1. Ear Infections

Tea tree essential oil is my favorite way to treat ear infections naturally. We have few ear infections in our home now, but when they occur, I rub 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil all around the base of the ear every 2-3 hours.

2. Fungal Skin Infections

Tea tree essential oil is a powerful antifungal and can be used as a natural remedy for fungal skin infections, like ringworm and Candida. Dilute 5-6 drops in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for added antifungal power and rub onto the infection a few times per day. (However, I would not use this in the genital area for yeast infections as it can burn quite badly.)

3. Acne

Rub a drop of the tea tree essential oil onto problem areas 2-3 times per day to make acne clear up faster.

4. Disinfecting

Tea tree essential oil is antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic, making it a great addition to homemade cleaner recipes.

5. Toothaches

Tea tree oil is also analgesic, meaning it reduces pain. For a toothache, try mixing 1 drop of tea tree essential oil in 4 oz of warm water and swish in the mouth a few times per day. (For added pain killing power, add 1 drop of clove essential oil.) Do not swallow.

6. Athlete’s Foot

Use tea tree essential oil by itself or make an athlete’s foot blend. You can apply the essential oil undiluted to the feet but I think that mixing 5-6 drops in 1 tablespoon of antifungal coconut oil would be better. Massage into clean feet when you wake up and before you go to bed.

7. Canker Sores/Cold Sores

Mix 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and dab onto the sore several times a day.

8. Eczema

To soothe the skin, try diluting 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and massage onto the affected area a couple of times a day.

9. Nail Fungus

I recommend a mix of dietary changes (avoiding chemical-laden processed food and eating limited amounts of natural sweeteners) and essential oils for getting rid of nail fungus.

Tea tree essential oil is a great antifungal that can be applied topically to combat nail fungus. Apply one drop on the affected nail(s) and rub in the essential oil. It may be easiest to do this when you wake up and before you go to bed.

10. Warts

Because warts can be so tough to get rid of, I recommend applying a drop of tea tree essential oil to the wart (undiluted if possible) several times a day until the wart is gone.

11. Rashes

Having dealt with a strange rash most of my life (which I eventually found out was caused by my food allergies) I have plenty of experience with using tea tree oil for rashes.

Before I found the cause of my rash and began healing my body with diet, I used a lot of topical creams to get it under control. Nothing helped. That is until I started using tea tree oil.

Dabbing a drop of tea tree essential oil on said rash would soothe the itching and after a few applications, make it fade quite a bit. I recommend applying a drop (dilute in coconut oil if you have sensitive skin) every 3-4 hours.

12. Coughs

Tea tree essential oil is also an expectorant, making it great for coughs and congestion. Use it to make this DIY vapor rub.

Where can you get high-quality tea tree oil?

Tea tree essential oil is becoming more widely available due to its versatility and consumer demand for natural remedies. You can find it at most health food stores or online. (Beware of the tea tree oil available in drug stores – it’s likely to be cut with additives, chemicals, or carrier oils.) Get 100% pure organic tea tree oil online here.

What uses do you have for melaleuca essential oil?


About Nina Nelson

Nina is a writer, student midwife, and mama of four. She blogs regularly at Shalom Mama and loves helping others create wellness through simple living. Check out her website for more simple wellness tips.

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  1. Cat says

    I can vouch for many of the above listed uses – in our house it has been used for athletes food, disinfecting, mouthwash and, yes it does sting, to halt thrush in its tracks. I currently using it for a rash that I believe is fungal (next to my underarm) but I stumbled across a new use while I was using it – I decided yo not wear any deodorant so wiped some tea tree oil over my armpits. The tea tree is a strongish smell but 15 hours later, I was still clean smelling and fresh – its been 37 degrees here but not a hint of sweaty smell – I was using olive oil as an underarm deo which was effective but had a limit (I had to reapply after dome time, depending on heat etc) – a combination of the two may be just the answer for me!

  2. fran says

    OK now reading more about the cats I have wort’s and skin tags I swear I get 10 new ones a day. getting old stinks…lol I was excited to see this as a remedy for them but the warning for cats now has me scared. My Arthur sleeps on me at night and for wort’s and skin tags it says use full strength, they are on my hands neck chest face legs…….What can I do?? I have wanted them gone forever but not at the coast of my baby boys life. I also see above people use it on cats ears, god knows my boy digs his ears all the time even now while I type this, how can I do that as well?? Thank you so much!!! you are wonderful!!

    • Anne says

      Fran, I’ve put a drop of tea tree oil on a bandage to cover warts. We leave it on all night long and the warts are gone in two weeks. Maybe the bandaids would help with the cats. I’d look into the symptoms and try a small amount under a bandaid and see if the symptoms appear. Perhaps it won’t be a problem for your if you get a good quality oil. Good luck!

  3. fran says

    I have had a bottle of tea tree oil for years, i worked in a shelter and they had a ringworm out break, after that my kids seem to get it all the time. this was a way better less costly cure, works great for them unfortunately not so good on me, it turned 1 ringworm into 56. I knew it had to be good for other things as well Thank you so much for this, I see i was right. I have a friend with Eczema can not wait to tell her about this. I do have a questions tho…… you say to dilute it with coconut oil do I get that at the same place I got my tea tree oil? is that the only way to dilute it?? above some just say to dilute others say use coconut oil just want to be sure.. Again Thank you so much for this!!

    • Anne says

      I’ve used olive oil and jojoba oil successfully and Betsy Jabs has recommended aloe vera gel as a carrier as well.

  4. Shelly says

    What will happen to my cat’s if I use tea tree oil as a aromatically?
    You said not to use it if you have cat’s.

  5. Kimiko says

    I have found great uses for tea tree oil…it will clean off the mold from your bathroom tub, sinks, etc. and makes a great shower spray too.

    However, I do have 2 questions:

    1. Can spilled tea tree oil (melaleuca) be cleaned out of carpet? Do I use tea tree oil to do this?

    2. Can the tea tree oil be used on cat ear infections? My vet said my cat has itchy ears, but the stuff he’s given me is not working (a cream) or the cat manages to rub it off his ears. CAN I safely try to rub a drop or two around his ears?


    • Michelle says

      Kimiko – I have used it to treat ear mites and itchy ears on my cats for 16 years and for also treating occasional mild wounds that they get – never had any issue with it personally, not sure personally why the caution, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one, lol. I just put on my finger and lightly rub on the outside of the ears and at the base, like you treat a human ear ache, I use a swab or something to dab with on a wound….use it on my horses too, even make their skin care sprays and fly sprays from it as a few of them have sensitive skin and I can’t use commercial products on them (one is the pampered show horse). I can heal up a cut or scrape on a horse and get hair back in that matches the coat instead of white hair in a flash with this stuff. And it repels ticks – woohoo for where we live! Tea tree oil has been in vet care and animal products for years, just, as mentioned earlier, be aware of the grade and where you purchase it to get the best quality. Tea tree oil rocks!

      • Kimiko says

        Thank you, Michelle. The brand I have is Melaleuca oil and also I found some at Trader Joes, altho I’m not sure about that quality. I will definitely try it for my cat. THANKS AGAIN 🙂

        • Dawn says

          If you have cats, I would be apprehensive about using the Trader Joe’s brand on them. The Trader Joe’s stores around here (PA) all have signs up about tea tree oil being toxic to cats.

        • Mary says

          I use many of the Melaleuca products because they are natural & safe! Do you use the Melaleuca oil (without diluting with water) on you cat’s ears?


  6. Dawn says

    Sadly, I only use it my hand sanitizer, because we have 3 cats. I’m so paranoid about using this at home. They lick everything 🙂