Are essential oils flammable? People tend to use them on anything and everything, from their skin to their kitchen floors, as they have a very wide range of functionalities. With how commonly used essential oils are, you would not think that there is a possibility that they could be potentially dangerous. So again, the question is asked, are essential oils flammable?
Essential oils are highly flammable and are even classified as a fire hazard in some countries. Certain essential oils are more flammable than others, though, such as tea tree oil and frankincense oil, and extra precaution should be taken when working with them.
With how flammable essential oils actually are, far more precautions should be taken when it comes to dealing with them. Since most people do not realize these oils can be dangerous, they are used in ways they probably should not be. Let us look at how flammable essential oils actually are.
Are Essential Oils A Fire Hazard?
Even though essential oils are quite flammable, being a fire hazard is a completely different thing. Are essential oils flammable enough to be considered a fire hazard?
Essential oils, if mishandled, can be classified as a fire hazard. A few years back, a town in the USA declared essential oils as a fire hazard after a rise in house fires started after more women in the area started purchasing essential oils.
Since essential oils are a natural product, and you will usually only use a few drops at a time, a lot of people underestimate how dangerous they can be when exposed to high levels of heat.
If you do not understand the potential risk of something, you often will not treat it with the due diligence it should be treated with; that is when things can get dangerous.
If you are not aware of how flammable these oils are, they are definitively an even higher fire hazard, as people often put them on fabrics and materials that could start a fire quickly.
For example, people putting pine essential oil on their pine Christmas tree to increase the pine scent in their house may seem like a good idea to get you in the holiday spirit.
However, keeping a Christmas tree indoors on their own is already a fire hazard, and pine essential oil on its own is already one of the most flammable essential oils you can get, so putting the two together is an extremely dangerous thing to do, and most people are not even aware of the risk.
In some countries, old essential oil bottles are even considered hazardous waste, and you can not recycle the bottles unless they have been thoroughly cleaned out of all oil, as they are considered that much of a fire risk.
So, unfortunately, yes, essential oils are flammable enough to be considered a fire hazard, and a lot of essential oil companies have now started putting fire risk warning labels on the back of their bottles because of this.
Which Essential Oils Are Most Flammable?
All essential oils are flammable and need to be treated with caution; however, there are some essential oils that are considered highly flammable and need to be dealt with in an extra cautious manner.
These essential oils include:
- Tea tree essential oil – tea tree essential oil is usually used on your skin to aid in skin issues such as cuts, burns, acne, fungal infections such as athletes foot and more. Since it is used directly on your skin, it would be best to avoid standing close to an open flame when it is on you.
- Lavender essential oil – Lavender essential oil is also often used on the skin, but because of its beautiful fragrance, it is also used in many home and beauty products. Be extra cautious about the surfaces it is used on and how close it may be to heat and/or open flames.
- Clove essential oil – clove oil is generally of lower risk, as it is usually ingested rather than applied topically. It is still extremely flammable, though, and should be stored somewhere cool and away from flames, especially if it is kept in the kitchen.
- Lemon essential oil – Lemon essential oil is one that is used very often. Due to its fresh aromatic fragrance, it is often used all over the house and even on furniture outdoors. This could be very dangerous, so it is best to deal with this oil with great care.
- Frankincense essential oil – Frankincense is a less used oil, as it is a more precious and expensive oil to have. This is even more reason to be diligent when using it, as you would not want to lose this oil to a fire.
- Peppermint essential oil – Peppermint essential oil, like lemon essential oil, is a regularly used oil. Its beautiful smell is loved by most, so it is sprayed on every countertop and used in oil burners in many homes and stores. As much as it smells amazing, it may be best to rather keep this oil away from the oil burner as it can be extremely flammable if it were to be bumped by someone walking past.
- Eucalyptus essential oil – Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that is often carried around with you, as people generally use it for a cold and for nasal congestion. While you carry this oil with you, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from any high heat or open flames.
Is To Safe To Add Essential Oils To Candles?
Since essential oils are so flammable, is it safe to use them in candles?
Surprisingly, yes, it is completely fine to use essential oils in the making of candles. Essential oils on their own are highly flammable, but when they are mixed in with wax and other ingredients, they will not be dangerous or flammable.
Read more about Best Essential Oils for Candle Making.
However, essential oils are only safe when they have been mixed in with the wax in the actual making of the candle, do not try adding essential oils into a candle that is already burning as this will catch fire.
Are Essential Oils Flammable In A Dryer?
Is it still okay to use essential oils in the dryer even though they are flammable?
Very often, people will use essential oils in their laundry dryer to add a fresh smell to their clothes or blankets. The oils are either put into the dryer with the laundry as they are, with one or two drops being sprinkled in before hitting start, or they are put into a dryer ball that is then put in with the laundry.
As it turns out, this is a major fire hazard. All dryers apply heat to speed up the drying process in the clothes, and some dryers even use gas to do this.
Adding an extremely flammable liquid to high levels of heat was already a huge fire hazard; however, if you have a dryer that uses gas to heat up the machine when you are adding essential oils to that mixture, it could quite possibly cause an explosion in your house, not just a fire.
If you really still want your clothes to have a beautiful essential oil scent, you may consider making or purchasing a misting spray that you can use on your clothes afterward as you fold and pack them away, instead of putting any oils in your dryer.
Using a misting spray on your clothes after taking them out of the dryer will not wet your clothes again at all, given that you only use one spray per item and do not overdo it.
Using this mist afterward instead of using the oils in the dryer will leave that lovely smell on your clothes that you were after without any risk of a fire.
Essential oils may seem small and harmless since they are a natural product and are used so frequently on our skin, clothes, and household surfaces; however, they are extremely flammable and still need to be treated and handled with great caution.
When you have worked with essential oils, be sure to properly clean up any spills afterward and pack them away somewhere safe and ideally somewhere dark and cool.
You should not be worried about using essential oils on you, your skin, or your house, as they are not a harmful substance at all. They are simply a flammable substance which means it needs to be treated with care and caution.