Five Great Uses for Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella is one of the essential oils that most people have heard of. Associated with bugs and summer, it’s a favorite for keeping us unbitten during the outdoor season via candles, sprays, and lotions. What’s funny is that I actually grew up hating the smell of citronella, which is odd because I typically love citrus aromas. So when I got this as a free oil with my latest monthly wellness box, I went on a mission to figure out what on earth I could use it for (and tolerate the smell). In this post I share the results of my research with ten great uses for this amazing oil, from tried and true to unique! I must say that I have a whole new appreciation for this oil.
But first, let’s get to know Citronella as an essential oil.
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a refreshing and uplifting citrus scent. Citronella oil is steam distilled from the leafy parts of the citronella plant. It is related to 70 other oil-containing grasses (such as lemongrass) and is native to subtropical and tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Australia. A powerful antioxidant, it is used by various cultures to do everything from sanitizing surfaces to treating intestinal parasites. 
Want to make great use of your citronella essential oil? Try these picks:
  • Mix up some chemical-free insect repellant. Combine with Cedarwood or complementary oils such as Geranium, Lavender, or Tea Tree to create an all natural bug spray. Of course I have to start out with the predictable one! I found a lot of recipes online and found this one to be the easiest and most effective (and I could tolerate the smell, finally!). Fill a glass spray bottle with witch hazel, leaving enough room for about 30 drops Citronella. Shake well before use. *If you’re adding additional oils, stay away from any of the photosensitive citrus oils which would not be a good idea on a sunny day.
  • Create an eye-catching floating candle bowl for your next outdoor gathering. This was too cute a DIY not to include. Straight from the Young Living blog, you can’t mess this one up even if you’re not the crafty type. However, I am sure all my creative friends can kick this one up a notch?!!? Send me your pics when you do. 😂
  • Mix up a toxin-free kitchen spray to keep your space smelling fresh and deter those bugs (or use these oils in your kitchen diffuser if you have one). Add chosen essential oils to a 4oz glass spray bottle. Next fill the bottle ¾ of the way full with distilled water. Fill the remainder of the bottle with witch hazel. Shake well before each use to get the oils mixed back up with the water. Blends citronella with oils such as Lime, Eucalyptus, Peppermint or go straight for the YL Blend Purification which is specifically blended to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. This blend is made up of six essential oils for the ultimate weapon against odors: Citronella, Lavandin, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Myrtle, and Tea Tree.
  • Repel head lice. Yup… if you have kids in school you can relate on this one! If you add a few drops to your kid’s shampoo and it can help significantly decrease the risk you child will come home with friends.
  • Invite the outdoors in with YL suggested diffuser blends reminiscent of the outdoors.
    • ‘Wildflower Wanderlust’ 🌺 4 drops Citronella + 3 drops Lavender + 2 drops Patchouli + 1 drop Geranium
    • ‘Beach Bonfire’ 🔥 3 drops Cedarwood +2 drops Rosemary + 2 drops Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood + 1 drop Citronella
    • ‘Go Getter’ 🎨3 drops Dream Catcher + 3 drops Citronella + 2 drops Spearmint. Supports an atmosphere of inspiration, innovation, and artistry. The YL blend Dream Catcher is said to to create an environment of spiritual and emotional grounding. ✔️You know I love this one with a description like that!
While it took me some time to explore these all, I do hope you now know a bit more about Citronella. If you have some favorites, please send them along!
I encourage you to reach out with any questions you have on oils or getting started (DM me on Inst @groundedplace or send me a note here). If you’re interested in exploring how to use oils in your life or if you’re looking to switch out your chemical-based cleaners, I’m more than honored to help.  Check out some of my other blog posts on oils here!