Introduction: DIY Thieves Oil: Survive the Plague & Clean Your Home

About: Artist | Filmmaker | Writer | Educator

Give me anything natural & organic over artificial & processed anyday. Homemade? Handcrafted? Even better. Several blogs on the interwebs say all one needs to clean one’s home is: vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and water. Oh? That sounds easy. But which essential oils?

In my worldly search for all that is natural ...and disinfecting, I discover Thieves Oil.

What the frak is that?

I was intrigued by the name and the legend, fascinated by the history, and amazed by its domestic cleansing powers. My curiosity for how things are made combined with my love for DIY experimentation, inspired me to make this instructable.

Legend says thieves oil was first concocted by a consortium of 15th Century French thieves to protect themselves from the Bubonic Plague whilst burglarizing the homes and graves of those struck dead of from the Plague, thus, unburdening the late rich of their worldly possessions. And they say there's no honor amongst thieves.

Thieves oil. Whether for robbing gives or cleaning house let's make some today.

Step 1: Materials:

  • One clean and dry 1/2 oz. dark glass bottle with fitting eye dropper lid [to contain your final blend] There are many places online to purchase glass dropper bottles. My instuctable friend, vhx [who kindly let me use her supplies for this instructable], purchases her bottles wholesale online at Freund's Contatiner & Supply. However, if you're just experimenting for yourself at home and only making wee batches here & there, ordering from Amazon will do.

  • Something to label the bottle of thieves oil.

  • One clean and dry spray bottle [any dollar store or recycled container will do]

  • Optional- Latex or nitrile gloves [for those like myself with sensitive proclivities to touch]

  • One small clean rag for clean up [just in case of dribbles & spills]

Step 2: ​ Ingredients: Essential Oils

  • Eucalyptus
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon

My instructable friend gets her essential oils from her teacher & mentor who does not sell to the public. The are many sources for purchasing essential oils online. Young Living OIls seems to be the hit in my circles. They seem to be a good balance of quality and affordability. But you are encouraged to do your own research.

Step 3: ​ Safety:

  • Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid the contact of undiluted essential oils on the skin.
  • Avoid getting essential oils in the eyes.
  • Do not take Thieves Oil internally.
  • Use essential oils with caution when pregnant or breastfeeding. [Consult your healthcare provider]
  • Please note: If you are allergic to the food or the plant, you will be allergic to its corresponding essential oil.

  • More info from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

Step 4: Prep:

Make sure new, unused oil and spray bottles, dropper, and spray gun are clear of dust & particulates. If recycling an old dark glass bottle or spray bottle, clean them thoroughly in the dishwasher or by hand in the kitchen sink. Make sure the containers are cleaned of dust & grime and their insides are dried completely.

Step 5: How to Concoct the Essential Oil Blend Known As Thieves Oil

Making an essential oil blend, like thieves oil, is very easy.

Simply drop the required number of drops per oil into your dark glass bottle.

40 drops organic Clove Bud essential oil
35 drops organic Lemon essential oil
20 drops organic Cinnamon Bark essential oil
15 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops organic Rosemary essential oil

There are several recipes out there. I chose this one [from Mountain Rose Blog] because the ratio of oils seemed just right to me for concocting a household cleanser.

Step 6: Put a Cap on It

  • Once all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle, wipe bottle with clean rag in case of dribbles or spills.
  • Cap the bottle with its eye dropper lid.
  • Make sure it is sealed tight.

Step 7: Shakey! Shakey!

Step 8: Voilà! Thieves Oil!

Don't forget to label the bottle.

Step 9: Now to Make a Household Disinfectant With Your Newly Acquired Thieves Oil

Fill your spray bottle with water.

Step 10: Add 30 - 50 Drops of Thieves Oil.

Step 11: Cap the Spray Bottle Tightly.

Step 12: Shakey! Shakey!

Step 13: Now Go Disinfect the House.

Please note: Grave robbing is NOT recommended.

Step 14: Hints & Tips:

  • Always store essential oils in dark glass bottles [essential oils are volatile to plastics]
  • Store in shade. No direct sunlight.
  • Buy essential oils that come with eye droppers or invest on a few of your own eye droppers. They make transferring oils between containers easier, cleaner, and make counting drops more precise.
  • Save money on oils by purchasing sets of oils rather one at a time.

Step 15: Experiment Further

You don't have to stop with just the five ingredients in the classic blend. The last batch I made also included:

Lavender - It's my flower. I love the smell of it and it has antibacterial properties.
Lime - I wanted to up the ante on the anti infectious powers of citrus.
Frankincense - it soothing and has antimicrobial properties.

  • What scents do you like?
  • What additional immune boosting or disinfectant protection do you seek?
  • When in doubt, the nose knows.