5 surprising uses of Eau de Cologne at home

Eau de Cologne, often perceived as an outdated product, holds a treasure trove of practical uses in the modern household. Originating in 1709 from the workshop of Giovanni Maria Farina, an Italian perfumer in Cologne, this ‘Miraculous Water’ quickly became a staple in European courts. Beyond its strong scent and deodorizing power, it was also used for medicinal purposes. Today, it remains a valuable ally in home management, especially for those rediscovering its versatility.

eau de cologne

As a Disinfectant

Comprising about 85% alcohol, Eau de Cologne is highly effective in disinfecting surfaces and even hands. Its popularity surged in countries like Turkey during the health crisis, thanks to its ability to destroy the lipid membrane of viruses, including COVID-19, provided its ethyl alcohol concentration is between 70 and 90%.

Refreshing Your Laundry

To reduce the chemical footprint of your washing machine, replace fabric softener with Eau de Cologne. Simply pour two to three caps into the softener compartment of your washer. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to mist your wardrobe and linen cabinets regularly. Being colorless, it’s safe for fabrics and leaves a pleasant scent.

Home Deodorizing

Eau de Cologne is an excellent alternative to incense and scented candles, which sometimes contain questionable ingredients. Mix clear water with a few caps of Eau de Cologne in a spray bottle and spritz it on sofas, curtains, and other upholstered items to refresh your living space.

Caring for Your Plants

Surprisingly, Eau de Cologne can be used to polish and sanitize the leaves of certain plants, like Ficus elastica or Monstera deliciosa. Mix half a cap of Eau de Cologne with a liter of demineralized water. Dampen a cloth or microfiber and gently wipe each leaf, enhancing their natural shine and warding off pests like aphids, spider mites, and scale insects.

Enhancing Homemade Cleaners

For those who prefer homemade cleaning solutions, Eau de Cologne can be a game-changer. While white vinegar, baking soda, and black soap are effective, their scent (or lack thereof) can be off-putting. Adding a few caps of Eau de Cologne to your mixtures can significantly improve their fragrance, making cleaning a more pleasant experience.

Reviving Traditional Practices

Rediscovering the use of Eau de Cologne in household chores is more than just a nod to tradition. It’s about embracing sustainable, effective, and pleasant-smelling solutions that have stood the test of time. Its versatility in cleaning, deodorizing, and plant care highlights the potential of traditional products in contemporary homes.


Eau de Cologne’s journey from a perfumer’s creation to a household staple illustrates its enduring utility. Its ability to disinfect, refresh, and enhance, coupled with its pleasant scent, makes it a valuable addition to any home. As we continue to seek sustainable and effective solutions for our daily lives, the rediscovery of such traditional products can offer surprising benefits and efficiencies.