10 Uses for Tea Tree Oil for Your Health and House
By JULIE FIDLER
Americans are scooping up bottles of essential oils, lured by their amazing scents, household uses, and health benefits. They’re natural medicines that are highly concentrated, which means they last forever (depending on how often you use them, of course) because – as the saying goes – “a little dab’ll do ya.”
Preppers love essential oils because they know that if society were to crumble and picking up Tylenol at the drugstore wasn’t an option, essential oils would be there to often save the day.
Tea tree oil is a favorite among consumers who know their essential oils because of its seemingly endless uses. Also known as melaleuca oil, this natural cleaner/remedy is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant, native to Australia.
People used to crush the leaves and apply them directly to any number of skin conditions. Sometimes they inhaled the oils from the crushed leaves to relieve colds and coughs. These days, tea tree oil is distilled to a clear or very pale golden or yellow color and sold in dark-colored bottles. 
There are dozens and dozens of uses for tea tree oil; here are 5 medicinal uses, and 5 household uses that should convince you to pick up a bottle, if you’re not stocked up already.
Around the House
1. Toothbrush Cleaner
There’s really no such thing as a “clean” toothbrush. Every time you flush the toilet, bacteria gets spewed through the air in all directions. Even if you make an effort to keep your toothbrush as far away from your toilet as possible, it still isn’t 100% protected. Those pathogens travel! And even if you didn’t have the toilet to worry about it, you’re still using your toothbrush to scrape crud off your teeth, making it a bacterial breeding ground.
One little drop of tea tree oil can disinfect your entire toothbrush. You can soak it in vinegar, too, but tea tree oil is faster, you use less of it, and it’s more potent.
2. Chemical-Free Household Disinfectant
Your house doesn’t have to smell like Pine-Sol to smell clean. You can clean up moldy areas of the house by mixing one drop of tea tree oil with a cup of water, spraying it on the mold and then wiping it clean. To disinfect your kitchen or bathroom, simply sprinkle a few drops along with baking soda on the surface you wish to clean, and give it a gentle scrub.
3. Sanitize Your Hands
Most over-the-counter hand sanitizers contain alcohol or harsh, drying chemicals such as triclosan. Triclosan has been under fire by health experts in recent years over fears that they may contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” Plus, hand sanitizers are loaded with parabens that have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation.
In fact, health regulators have found no health benefits associated with triclosan – only dangers.
All you really need is one to two drops of tea tree oil mixed into a bit of hand lotion to get your hands clean and feeling soft, since tea tree oil contains both antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
4. Keep Laundry Smelling Fresh and Kill off Germs in the Washer
Like any other warm, moist place, washers can get moldy and harbor bacteria. Wet towels can get pretty nasty, too. Pour in ½ teaspoon of tea tree oil to get rid of the mold on your laundry, as well as in your machine.
5. Air Freshener
Apply some tea tree oil to a cotton ball or two. When confronted with musty smells or other unwanted odors, take out the cotton balls and allow the tea tree oil to act as a natural air freshener.
For the Body
6. Heal Laryngitis
Be careful about this one! Tea tree oil can soothe an inflamed throat, but swallowing tea tree oil can be hazardous to your health. Add 5-10 drops and a pinch of sea salt to 1 cup of warm water, and gargle 2-3 times a day. Repeat: DO NOT SWALLOW.
7. Fight Yeast Infections
Over-the-counter vaginal yeast treatments can be pricey, and they often make symptoms worse before they get better. Prescription drugs like fluconazole (brand name: Diflucan) work, but if you get yeast infections frequently, taking too much of the drug can harm your liver and kidneys. It’s always good to have alternatives.
Some ladies try applying coconut oil, olive oil, or a natural lubricant to a tampon, and then add a few drops of tea tree oil to the tampon and insert. The oil/lubricant prevents the tampon from absorbing the oil. They leave it in for about an hour, and repeat 3 to 5 days in a row, if needed.
8. Repel Insects
Don’t spray chemical bug repellents that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Just ad 15 drops of tea tree oil to a quart of water and spray it on your body where bugs seem to always attack you.
9. Treat Gum Disease
A strong-tasting-but-effective mouthwash can be made to fight gum disease by adding 1 drop of peppermint oil and 1 drop of tea tree oil to purified water.
10. Soothe Ear Aches and Infections
Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of warm olive oil. Drop a small drop of the mixture into the aching ear, and then tilt your head to the side for a moment. Soak up the oil using a cotton swab. Repeat 2-3 times a day, as needed.