Thieves Oil Concentrate: What a Steal!



Homemade Thieves Oil Concentrate

Cold and flu season is upon us.  Runny noses, germs, viruses…  It’s not enough for me to pull out the bleach, but I do like a little extra protection.
Have you heard of Thieves Oil?   Legend has it that back in the 15th century, 4 thieves used a secret formula to protect themselves from the plague so they could rob the dying and dead.
And of course, you can make this yourself with simple, inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.  Recipes vary, but the common mixture is cinnamon, cloves, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary.  We can’t be sure that thieves actually used this mixture to protect themselves from the plague, but these ingredients are antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-infectious. So give it a go!  It smells great.

Thieves Oil Concentrate (Cost: approximately $1.25 per batch)

Zest of 1 large lemon (cut the peel off to make it easier to use again)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cinnamon sticks (buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
¼ cup whole cloves (buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil (GNC or online)


Homemade Thieves Oil Concentrate {}

  1. Fill a pot with a quart of water and add the first four ingredients.
  2. Heat on the stove top to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Or, once the mixture has boiled, turn off the heat and let it sit for 2 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture and pour the remaining liquid into a glass jar.  Glass is better than plastic for many reasons!  But in this case, the essential oils can react with plastic.
  4. Add the five drops of eucalyptus oil.


You can re-use the ingredients for another 2-3 batches. I store mine in the freezer for later use.
This concentrate can be mixed with equal parts of water and kept in a spray bottle.  I use mine as a quick disinfectant for the bathroom.  I really like the smell too.

A Quick Note On The Ingredients

Whole cloves can be super expensive in grocery stores.  Anywhere from $3 – 4 for a small bottle.  Here is where the bulk spices at Whole Foods comes in.  I purchased 2 cups of whole cloves for $6.65.  Which comes out to be about $0.83 for the ¼ cup you’ll need for this recipe.
Cinnamon sticks can be expensive too – I bought 10 good quality cinnamon sticks for $0.99 at Whole foods.  That would have cost me $5 prepackaged – maybe more.

Make sure to cut your lemon peel and not zest (grate it).  I learned this the hard way!   See my lemon zest in the picture?  It’s really difficult to get the zest back after straining to use again.


How To Use Your Thieves Oil Concentrate

Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of Thieves Of Concentrate and water.
Spray on surfaces or in the air as a disinfectant.
It love the smell as it simmers on the stove. 
This quart of concentrate will cost you about $1.25.  From this you can make 2 quarts or 2 full sized bottles of disinfectant!  Talk about saving money!  And you can trust these ingredients.

Do You Use Any Homemade Cleaners?

This post is shared at Tiny Tip Tuesday, Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Penny Pinching Party, Simply Natural Saturdays, Seasonal Celebration Sunday

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20 Responses to Thieves Oil Concentrate: What a Steal!

  1. Krystyna @ Spring Mountain Living November 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    This is a great post! I was looking for alternatives to my vinegar & TTO b/c the smell isn’t loved here. Will def give this a shot – thanks 🙂

  2. Savannah Cooper-Hughes November 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I love the picture of all the ingredients in the pot 🙂 I’d like to try this soon!

  3. Sarah @ Natures Nurture November 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Hmm, never even heard of this stuff… Well, I’ve heard the term but never knew what it was, or how easy it was to make at home! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. Enjoying the Epiphany November 9, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    This is brilliant! I am totally going to try this. HI,

    I am your newest follower and was hoping that you would follow me back!


  5. Anne November 13, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    Wow, this is probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever seen for Thieves’ Oil. I have to admit I love my YLEO Thieves’ Oil, though. Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

  6. KimH November 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Technically, this isnt an oil if its made with water.. but its a great recipe none the less & I’ll be pinning it. Thanks!! Have you tried to make it with oils?
    I think I’ll give it a go, adding it to olive oil boil gently for a few minutes and then let it steep for a good long while, maybe many weeks.

    Personally, I use a combination of 1 part white vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, & 10 parts water to clean most of the surfaces in my kitchen & bathroom.

    When I was a little kid, I lived near the Mexico boarder and a Mexican girl there told me that her aunt had a baby and it was Mexican tradition that you couldnt hold a newborn baby unless you ate 8 or 10 lemons to disinfect yourself from any germs. I was about 6 years old at the time & it just stuck with me, as did many of the other Mexican natural traditions. It was wonderful to find out many years afterwards that lemon is a natural disinfectant.

  7. Suanna November 16, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I use a mix of vinegar, water, 2-3 drops of dish soap, and a couple drops of clove oil for our bathroom cleaner. It hides the vinegar smell and works great. I also use it on the mirror, but sometimes it does seem to streak just a little.

  8. Sara Shay, Your Thriving Family November 16, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    We are surrounded my eucalyptus trees. I wonder if I could use fresh!?

  9. Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) November 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Anne – I love my YLEO Thieves’ oil too! But I like this for an alternative sometimes.

  10. Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) November 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    KimH – that is so interesting about eating the lemons before holding a baby! I love using vinegar and water as well. I usually add lemon essentail oils and haven’t yet tried actual lemons – unless I make a citrus infused vinegar.

    Let me know if you make the actual oil. That’s a great idea! I like this one with water if I’m spraying it around – wouldn’t want to be psraying olive oil 😉 But to use in other places the oil would be nice to have.

    Thanks for your addition to the conversation.

  11. Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) November 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Suanna – I love the smell of cloves. Good to know it does a good job of masking the vinegar smell.

  12. Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) November 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Sara Shay – oooh! fresh eucalyptus! Great idea. Let us know if you try it!

  13. Porters December 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    So I am thrilled with this- and just made two batches. 🙂 I have some I have already diluted with water in a spray bottle that I can use. And I have bottled the concentrate in jars of course, but should I store them in the fridge?

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) January 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      I don’t keep mine in the fridge and haven’t had a problem. But mine usually doesn’t last more than a month or so. So glad you are thrilled. I love the smell. I have been adding some to my laundry lately. Not enough to smell it in the clothes but I feel like I am doing a bit of extra sanitizing on those extra dirty loads!

  14. Dirk Garbulio January 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Made a batch of this last night…the smell is fantastic, price was wicked cheap and will be trying it out cleaning today. (would have done it sooner but had no spray bottle available). Plus it will be great to get rid of the crappy chemical cleaners we’ve sadly become so dependent on.

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) January 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      Hi Dirk! So glad you like it! Let me know how it cleans. I have been using it just to disinfect and, honestly, as an air freshener because I like the smell.

      I cannot stand chemical cleaners any more! I get a headache when I smell them now.

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