I recently received a question about using homemade Thieves Oil around children, especially young children under 3 years old. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients contained in it should not be used on small children. In fact, rosemary essential oil shouldn’t really be used around kids until they are at least 5 years old. Some sources indicate that children under 18 months of age should not be exposed to clove or cinnamon essential oils while other places indicate to keep them away from your children until they are at least 3 years old (and then only recommend the oils be used in sprays and diffusers).

In the end, it all comes down to what your child’s pediatrician recommends and what you feel comfortable exposing your child to. No pure essential oils of any kind should ever be put on your child’s body or ingested. Adults should also be very careful about putting undiluted essential oils on their skin because they often burn, especially oils like clove and cinnamon.

So as an alternative for those who would like to disinfect the air but are concerned about their children in the house, here is an alternative recipe for a homemade natural spray disinfectant. This can be sprayed into the air of any room to combat germs, viruses, bacteria and on on. I have also included some variations of the recipe below which are more suitable for children under 3.

Avoid letting the droplets fall on polished wood surfaces, delicate materials or other objects and materials in the room which could be damaged by the water or other ingredients in this spray. Mixing in glass containers is best — but never metal.

This recipe and many others can be found in Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood (available at Amazon.com and Amazon.de). This is an excellent resource for parents who want to use aromatherapy and essential oil blends for their children.

If you have questions about making this, please leave me a comment below. I answer all questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible…especially when we’re dealing with children and essential oils!

Happy disinfecting!! πŸ™‚

Kid-friendly Homemade Natural Spray Disinfectant


  • 4 ounces water
  • 2 ounces alcohol (or vodka)
  • 20 drops thyme linalol
  • 5 drops cinnamon
  • 5 drops clove
  • 10 drops tea tree
  • 10 drops lemon


  1. Add all the essential oils to the alcohol and stir.
  2. Add the oil/alcohol mixture to the water and let sit for 24 hours.
  3. Pour mixture into a clean spray bottle and spray into the air as needed.

Recipe variations for children by age:

Newborn — Use of the above oils is not recommended around children that young. Instead use 25 drops of Chamomile and 25 drops of Lavender. The solution may not be as effective but Chamomile is still an antibacterial and Lavender has antibacterial as well as disinfectant properties.

2-6 months old — Use 20 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata, 10 drops Chamomile, 10 drops Tea Tree Oil and 10 drops Lavender.

7 months to 1 year old — Use 20 drops Niaouli, 10 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata, 10 drops Tea Tree Oil and 10 drops Lavender.

2-3 years old — Use 10 drops Niaouli instead of clove and cinnamon oils. Ravensara can also be substituted or 5 drops of each used to replace clove and cinnamon. Niaouli contains extra anti-parasitic properties but both have antibacterial, disinfectant and antiviral properties.

3 years old and older — All oils okay for use as long as clove and cinnamon oils are only used in diffusers and room sprays.