How to use Citronella Essential Oil

An uplifting essential oil with anti bacterial qualities.

Citronella Plant

Cymbopogon Nardus

Citronella is an uplifting essential oil with a sweet lemon top note which is crisp and refreshing. Citronella essential oil is revered for its insect repelling, antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities, and is a useful oil to be added to any EO collection.

Citronella is a close relative of Lemongrass and you may detect similarities between the scent, but the plants are fundamentally different and because of this the oils that they produce have different properties.

Where have I smelt Citronella before?

Citronella Candles
Citronella is used as an insect repellent. You may have used citronella candles to keep pests away while you enjoy long summer days, the great thing about citronella is that it is an effective natural plant based alternative to chemical pesticides that repels rather that kills pests while giving off a pleasing scent.

citronella candles

Some man made insect repellents have a lot of harmful ingredients so as an alternative you can use this natural oil, instead of a man made chemical insecticide, to help protect your family and the environment if you are being plagued by annoying critters.

Citronella oil insect repellent
Take your Citronella oil when you’re travelling to safely repel mosquitoes, flies and bugs. When you're out and about you can use Citronella diluted in a carrier oil massaged into your skin for a layer of protection against bugs or alternatively for a quick hack, add a couple of drops of the oil into your sunscreen lotion.

Adding citronella essential oil to sunscreen to ward off bugs

It’s a great addition to take on a camping expedition or your summer holidays. A spray bottle with water and Citronella oil can also provide a quick fix for deterring creepy crawlies. In the home diffuse the oil in water to keep pests at bay.

Citronella oil in the garden
If you're a keen gardener mix Citronella with water in a spray bottle and spray vegetation that is at risk or is being attacked by an aphid infestation.

Blending with other essential oils that have insecticidal properties will give you an all round bug repellent.

Try blending with Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass and Peppermint. These oils are all very strong, so you won’t need much of the oils to get the desired effects.

gardening with essential oils

Citronella oil for household cleaning
Citronella can be added to water and vinegar to create an antibacterial and anti-fungal spray cleaner for glass, shower doors and general household cleaning.

By mixing with other essential oils that have antibacterial properties you can create a solution that suits your sense of smell, is an effective cleaner and is less harmful to the environment than a chemical based cleaner.

Citronella Essential oil recipes

Citronella essential oil diffuser blend
Use Citronella EO by itself for a diffuser blend that will smell crisp and clean, lift your spirits and deter bugs.

3 drops of Citronella, 5 drops of Peppermint and 1 drop of Lemongrass will create a blend that will make your brain tingle and focus the mind on any tasks at hand that need your concentration.

Citronella household cleaner spray
Combine 10 drops of Citronella & 10 drops of Lavender with half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water to a spray bottle. Give the solution a good shake before using. This will add a pleasing aromatic scent to your cleaning tasks which will lift your mood while you clean. And who doesn’t need a mood lift when there is cleaning to be done!

Citronella essential oil blends well with:
Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint and Rosemary.

Citronella essential oil side effects

Citronella oil so should not be applied directly to your skin. It is a strong oil and without dilution it can cause irritation. Make sure to dilute it in a base oil before application.

Don’t ingest Citronella oil and keep it out of the reach of children. If you are pregnant or nursing avoid use unless a qualified aromatherapist or a Doctor has recommended you use it.