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How Sweet It Is! Everything I Love About Sweet Orange Oil

"That which we call an orange by any other name would smell as sweet."

Jill Nystul • May 20, 2022

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023


Of all the essential oils in my collection, there’s a clear winner for the title of “most enticing,” and that’s sweet orange essential oil. With a scent like freshly squeezed orange juice, it’s hard to feel down when you’re around such a sweet and sunny aroma!

It’s one of my favorite essential oils to use in my diffuser, because it makes my whole house smell amazing and it never fails to improve my mood. Today’s post is all about sweet orange essential oil, and I hope that by the time you’re finished reading it, it will have become a favorite of yours as well!

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sweet orange essential oil, including how it’s made, what benefits it offers, and some great ways to use it in your day-to-day life. So enough chit-chat—let’s get down to business! ;-)


What Is Orange Essential Oil (AKA Sweet Orange Oil)?

Sweet orange essential oil (which is sometimes shortened to just “orange”) is extracted from the rind of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) via cold press processing. The oil bears the same sweet citrus aroma as the fruit it comes from, offering a natural air freshening quality that makes it a favorite for diffusing.

But sweet orange oil can do much more than just make your house smell nice. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the benefits of sweet orange oil, including antimicrobial properties, mental health support, and more.

Benefits Of Orange Essential Oil


Kills Bacteria And Fungi

Orange essential oil has been shown to possess powerful antimicrobial properties, particularly when used against bacteria and fungi. A 2012 study found that orange essential oil inhibited the growth of E. coli samples recovered from beef, while a 2018 study found that it effectively protected potato slices against four fungal species that are known to contribute to food spoilage.

Reduces Anxiety And Depression

When used in aromatherapy, the cheerful aroma of sweet orange essential oil shows promise as a natural treatment for conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as means of relief from everyday stress. One 2015 study found that orange essential oil reduced anxiety levels in women experiencing one of life’s most anxiety-provoking events: childbirth.

And in a 2019 study, researchers observing the effects of inhalation of orange essential oil on mice found that it improved their depression-like symptoms. The results of animal studies like these can’t always be extrapolated directly to humans, but it does suggest the depression-alleviating qualities of orange oil deserve further study.

There is also reason to believe the scent of sweet orange essential oil can help us navigate stressful situations. Visiting the dentist can be stressful for adults and children alike, but in a 2013 study, children who were exposed to the smell of orange essential oil during a dental procedure showed less measurable stress than those in the control group.

Relieves Pain

Sweet orange essential oil may also be able to provide some amount of pain relief. A 2017 study of emergency ward patients with fractured limbs found that those who inhaled orange essential oil reported feeling less pain than those in the control group.


Kills Pests

Plagued by houseflies? Sweet orange essential oil may be able to help! A 2012 study found that sweet orange essential oil showed insecticidal activity against housefly larvae and pupae, and suggested that it could one day be used as an effective and eco-friendly method of pest control for houseflies.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s go-to response to injury, irritation, and external threats, but sometimes it turns into more of a hindrance than a help. But this 2017 study found that sweet orange oil may help reduce problematic inflammation both internally and externally, which could have far-reaching effects considering the vast number of health conditions related to inflammation.

Improves Acne

Thanks to its potent combination of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, sweet orange oil used topically may also prove useful for treating acne. Researchers behind a 2020 hamster study suggest that sweet orange oil may be an effective acne treatment by reducing swelling and suppressing acne-causing bacteria.

Note: Other sources online have claimed that orange oil can help regulate blood pressure. But as far as I can tell, there isn’t much (if any) research out there that would support such a claim, which is why I haven’t included it here.

7 Uses For Sweet Orange Essential Oil


1. Boost Your Mood

There are several easy ways to take advantage of the mood-boosting effect of sweet orange oil. For at work or on the go, whip up this simple essential oil spray so that a better mood is always just a spritz away! When you’re at home, loading a few drops of sweet orange oil into your diffuser will do double-duty by lifting your spirits and making your home smell like a fresh bowl of oranges.


2. Remove Sticky Residues

Citrus oils like sweet orange are excellent at cutting through sticky or greasy messes, which can really come in handy when you’re trying to remove the adhesive residue left behind by a stubborn sticker or label. Just place a couple of drops of sweet orange oil on the sticker gunk, let it soak in for a few minutes, then scrape away the loosened residue.


3. Eliminate Odors

Use sweet orange essential oil to eliminate unpleasant odors wherever they may be lurking. Add a drop or two of sweet orange to a cotton ball, and tuck it into a smelly shoe, a musty closet, or anywhere that odors are giving you grief.


4. Make A Pain Relief Stick

Take advantage of the pain relieving effects of sweet orange oil by making your own easy pain relief stick. Fill a 10 ml glass roller bottle with a carrier oil of your choosing, then add 12 drops of sweet orange oil. Replace the roller top, give it a shake, then swipe it over aches and pains for relief and to help reduce inflammation.


5. Clean Your House

Sweet orange oil can be used as a great addition to a homemade all-purpose spray cleaner. It’ll give the cleaning spray a boost of germ-killing power and leave your home smelling clean and fresh every time you use it.


6. Kill Pests

Keep spiders, mice, and other pests at bay with the help of sweet orange oil. Fill a small spray bottle with water, add 10-15 drops of sweet orange oil, then replace the spray top and shake to mix. Spritz over cracks, gaps, or anywhere you’ve spotted pests around the house.


7. Treat Skin Issues

Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet orange oil can help treat skin issues like acne, dermatitis, and more. Add 5 drops of sweet orange oil to a teaspoon of rosehip oil and apply the mixture to affected areas daily until symptoms improve.


Tips About Safety And Quality

The biggest safety concern with sweet orange essential oil is its phototoxicity, a trait shared by most expressed citrus oils. Phototoxic oils applied to the skin can produce painful skin reactions (and even burns) if exposed to sunlight, although sweet orange oil is considered to have a lower phototoxicity risk than other citrus oils.

But you should still exercise caution when using orange essential oil and other citrus oils for topical application, and avoid doing so if you’re going to be out in the sun. Here are few other precautions you should take, not only when using sweet orange oil, but with any essential oil you choose to use:

  • Always dilute essential oils before putting them on your skin.
  • Keep them away from your eyes.
  • Store oils out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Use essential oils in well ventilated spaces.
  • Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription drugs.
  • Don’t use aromatherapy products around reptiles, birds, rodents, and other small pets.
  • If you use a diffuser and have cats or dogs at home, always ensure that they can leave the area and access fresh air at any time.

Another part of using essential oils safely is making sure you’re buying high quality oils. So here are here are a few things to look if you’re in the market for orange oil:

  • Look for the scientific name Citrus sinensis on the label. (If you see the name Citrus aurantium, that’s bitter orange oil, which is quite different.)
  • Look for pure, 100% orange essential oil that’s free of additives and adulterants.
  • Make sure it’s in a dark-colored bottle, which will protect the oil inside from degrading due to sunlight exposure.

What Blends Well With Sweet Orange Oil?

If you’re looking to whip up your own essential oil blend or mix and match oils in your diffuser, you might be wondering which oils pair well with sweet orange. The good news is that you have a lot of great options!

As you might expect, sweet orange oil pairs nicely with other citrus oils, such as lemon oil. It also blends well with “woodsy” oils like cedarwood, sandalwood, and balsam fir. (For a pre-blended option, check out Simple Clean, a blend of citrus and woodsy oils that’s ideal for cleaning and freshening your whole home!)

Do you have a favorite use for sweet orange essential oil?