Do Essential Oils Damage Washing Machines? The Truth!

By - Rajib Ahmed

Updated -

Essential oils are special aromatic liquids that have different medicinal and therapeutic uses. These oils go back to ancient times. They are stress relievers and have antifungal properties.

Recently, people have begun using essential oils for their laundry.

However, there are some concerns about the safety of essential oils in washing machines.

Since essential oils are highly volatile and flammable, they bring a place for caution when using them.

 It’s best to be safe when working with volatile liquids.

Essential oils cannot damage washing machines when you use them correctly. A few drops in the water will suffice. Although they are volatile and flammable, they do not pose such a threat. However, you must be cautious when using them for laundry. The smaller the quantity of oil you use, the safer it is for you.

In this article, you will know if essential oils damage washing machines or if they are safe.

By the end, you will understand if they’re not advisable to use or if they add fragrance to your laundry.

Is It Okay to Use Essential Oils in a Washing Machine?

Do Essential Oils Damage Washing Machines

Yes, using essential oils in a washing machine is not a bad idea. It is a recent trend that is healthy and therapeutic to join.

However, you must be mindful of how you use them because they have high concentration and can become overwhelming if too much.

Essential oils are great stress relievers, contain antifungal properties, and produce sweet fragrances.

One thing to note is that you cannot use essential oils instead of laundry detergents. Although they combat grease and help to remove stains, they are not foaming agents.

Another disadvantage of using too many essential oils in the washing machine is that it could cause some skin reactions.

Consequently, using at most three drops for a full washer is best.

Also, you should add essential oils to your laundry in certain ways. There is a method that is safe and one that is not advisable.

Here are the steps to adding essential oils to your washing machine:

  • First, sort your dirty clothes and towels into different batches. It’s best to wash towels and bathrobes separately, undergarments, and other wear separately.
  • Next, load the washing machine with the clothes you wish to wash.
  • Add water to the washing machine and ensure it is completely submerged.
  • Afterward, pour some unscented laundry detergent and add at most three drops of essential oil to the water.
  • Finally, you can choose your wash cycle and then allow it to complete the cycle.
  • When it finishes, it’s best to air-dry your clothes before ironing. Afterward, repeat the cycle for the remaining clothes.

Are Essential Oils Flammable in Washing Machines?

No, essential oils are not flammable in washing machines. One significant reason for this is that the water ratio is usually greater than the essential oils.

For instance, you can use at least two gallons of water in a washing machine and just three drops of essential oil.

However, one must be wary of the essential oil you put in your washing machine. Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable. 

However, they can combust with oxygen and a heat source. When the washing machine spins, it does so continuously and for a long time.

Therefore, the water becomes hot, and the clothes can dry faster. Since the pressure and temperature of the washer are high during its cycle, it’s advisable to be safe.

Consequently, avoiding too much essential oils in the washing machine is best. However, there are other reasons why washing machines cause fire outbreaks in the home.

Here are a few reasons why the washing machine can cause a fire outbreak in a home:

  • Overcrowded lint trap
  • Wrong wiring
  • Overuse
  • General electrical problem

If you avoid doing these things or check your washing machine regularly, you’ll hardly encounter these things.

You can do a few things to prevent a fire outbreak in your house. If you follow them diligently, you’ll be safe.

Here are a few ways to prevent a fire outbreak in your house:

  • Enter diagnostic mode whenever you see an error code or codes.
  • When you discover the problem, fix it immediately. You can also get help if you don’t know what to do.
  • Try cleaning your lint trap occasionally, at least once every three months.
  • Clean your washing machine immediately after each use or at least once a week.
  • Turn the washing machine off when it is not in use.
  • Service it occasionally and regularly, at least once every three months.
  • Only get a technician to fix your washer when it is malfunctioning.
  • Replace parts that are malfunctioning.
  • Use only within the warranty period.

If you do these things, it’ll be unlikely for a fire to start without your knowledge.

Can You Mix Vinegar with Essential Oils In a Washing Machine?

Yes, you can mix vinegar and essential oils in a washing machine. However, this combination is best for cleaning the washer.

Over time, your washing machine may smell damp or moist because of the water, dirt from clothes, and constant use.

Ultimately, it’ll be best if you clean your washing machine occasionally. The vinegar and essential oil mixture with some baking soda is perfect for this.

To create this mixture, you’ll need the following materials and ingredients:

  1. 2 cups of vinegar
  2. 1 tbsp of baking soda
  3. Lavender oil ( or any essential oil of your choice)
  4. Towel or washcloth

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and set aside.

Next, here are the steps to cleaning your washing machine with this mixture:

  • Please turn off your washing machine and ensure that it is empty.
  • Please leave it to rest for a while.
  • Spray the washer in sections and wipe with the towel.
  • The vinegar will break down the dirt molecules, and the essential oil will help with the grease and fragrance.

Here is a table showing a few types of essential oils and if you can combine them with detergent.

Essential OilsCompatibility
Lavender oilYes
Tea treeYes
Lemon oilYes

Do Essential Oils in Washers Add Fragrance to Your Laundry?

Yes, essential oils add fragrance to your laundry. If there is one notable thing about essential oils, it is that they can produce sweet fragrances.

It is one of the major reasons you can add them to your laundry. Most times, other laundry detergents contain artificial fragrances.

Unfortunately, these fragrances are unfriendly and harmful to your health. For instance, they could be too harsh and cause some irritation.

Therefore, it’s best to use unscented laundry detergent if you’re asthmatic or have a sensitive nose.

Another thing you can do is add some essential oils to the unscented laundry detergent. This way, you add fragrance to the detergent, and there will be no need to add directly to the water.

This method is preferable and advisable. The reason is that the essential oils mix with the laundry detergent and harmonize more.

If you’re unsure how to add the essential oils to your laundry detergent, I’ll be happy to help.

You can add essential oil to your unscented laundry detergent by following these steps:

  • First, purchase unscented laundry detergent and your choice of essential oil. You can get more than one; it depends on your preference.
  • Open the detergent and add a few drops of essential oil. If you put a little, close the lid and shake it.
  • Continue to shake after each drop until it homogenizes. 
  • Please leave it to sit for a few hours, and it’s ready for use.

This way, you don’t need to add more essential oil to the washing machine. The laundry detergent already contains it; you can use the now-scented detergent.

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