Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray (Borax Free)

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Lemon Basil Natural All-Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray (Borax Free)

Last week, within a 24-hour period, we had 5 separate spills that caused big messes at our house. One was the shattering of a quart size jar of homemade elderberry syrup, another involved tomato sauce on a wall, and yet another involved mashed sweet potatoes painted on the side of our Berkey filter.

Needless to say, our home is very rarely clean for more than a few minutes at a time and this week was no exception. Thank goodness for natural cleaning products that actually work or I very well may have been drinking wine by early afternoon on those days.

Natural Cleaning Spray

I’ve completely transitioned to making all of my own cleaning products and I love how much cheaper it is and how we are avoiding hundreds of chemicals.

I love this homemade all-purpose cleaning spray, but there is some controversy over the use of Borax, especially around eating surfaces. Personally, I think Borax is still a really safe option, especially compared to the ingredients in most conventional cleaning products, but I wanted to make another natural cleaner that truly was safe enough to drink.

My 18-month old is at the age of wanting to “help” and this is a cleaning spray I feel completely comfortable with her using. I usually spritz this on a microfiber or a huck towel and let her “clean” the cabinets.

All of the ingredients are completely safe and even ingestible (depending on who you ask). I just used filtered water, non-GMO white vinegar and food grade lemon and basil essential oils (both generally considered safe for ingesting when diluted).

One word of caution: when using essential oils, it is important to use a glass bottle whenever possible since some oils will break down the plastic and cause it to leach chemicals into the cleaning spray. I used this glass bottle in the picture above, but I’ve also made my own out of an old vinegar bottle and a spray top.

Where to Get Natural Cleaning Supplies

Here are links to the exact ingredients I used:

Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray Recipe



  1. Combine all ingredients in glass spray bottle and use as needed for household cleaning. Works well on windows and stainless steel as well as flat surfaces like tile and counters.


Customize essential oils to your preference by adding more, less or even omitting completely. The vinegar smell will disappear once the spray dries and only a faint scent of lemon and basil will remain.

What do you use to clean? Do you let your children help?


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


44 responses to “Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray (Borax Free)”

  1. amy Avatar

    I’m not a big fan of essential oils due to their sustainability and that a lot of them aren’t that safe to use around pets and kiddos. And I love the project of just infusing different herbs into distilled white vinegar that I use for cleaning. I use fresh orange and/or grapefruit peels (I’m sure lemon would be great too), lavender, pine needles, oregano, thyme, mint etc. Making different blends can be fun and used for different purposes, or you can blend them all together. Just fill a jar 3/4 of the way full of herbs and/or citrus peels and then top off with vinegar, stir, put on a plastic cap (or put a piece of parchment paper between metal cap and the container) and let sit for 2-4 weeks. Strain.

  2. Kelly Howard Avatar
    Kelly Howard

    I have been making more natural things for my family for almost 20 years now! One thing I love in summer is to save the outer peeling from oranges and grapefruit and place them in a half gallon mason jar with a plastic lid, covering all the way over the top of the peelings. Leave in a dark place (inside a kitchen cupboard is fine) for 7-14 days. Pour this picture into your glass spray bottle and add some eucalyptus and peppermint EO’s to it and it smells and works AMAZING!

  3. Harriet Avatar

    Hi there, stumbled across your blog, and love reading your natural homemade products! Just a question about your “Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray (Borax Free)”
    The essential oil breakdown plastic and leaches chemicals into it, hench using a glass bottle. Does it matter about the glass spray bottle with the hose in the sprayer being plastic? Will it release chemicals from that?
    Mank Thanks, H

  4. Paulina Avatar

    I like this simple recipe. It is safe for me, (fighting cancer) and my dog. I have a question, is it possible to use fresh squeezed lemons and basil leaves instead of essential oils?
    Thank you!

  5. Karen Avatar

    Is regular White Vinegar really bad? $20 per bottle of organic is out of my price range 🙁

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Organic is ideal but with vinegar, regular isn’t terrible and this would still be a great alternative to cleaners with harmful chemicals.

  6. Tonya Avatar

    I love using lemon & lavendar for all my cleaning & mopping. Sometimes a drop or two of lavendar in my laundry as well.
    Thanks for all the info Katie, LOVE your page.

  7. Shelby Avatar

    Like others, I steep leftover citrus peels( and herbs) in vinegar for a couple of weeks, strain and use alike your recipe. I also like to add a couple of drops of dish liquid to mine. It cleans everything beautifully!

  8. Ginny Avatar

    I’m gonna make this up, but I won’t be using organic ingredients. I don’t have any nor do I buy them. I’ll be making this recipe with regular oils and vinegar and see how it works. Wish me luck. Oh btw, thanx for the recipe.

    1. Cynthia Avatar


      Just a curiosity, if you happened to check the box to look at responses.

      The way you worded that made me think you are perhaps against buying organic – you neither have any nor do you buy any. It’s just an impression. Am I wrong? Does someone else do the shopping or is it a money issue or anything else – you needn’t specify what of course. Just curious because if you are purposefully not buying organic I would like to know what the reason is?

      This is a subject that fascinates me very much. The whole what food is good for you and what isn’t debate? It’s a SUPER complicated issue!!! I agreed with Katie but then I saw Forks Over Knives and now I’m totally confused and really up in the air about what is the right thing to do. On both sides of the argument the science is VERY convincing!!! Makes for a situation I guess where you have to decide if you agree with one over the other – it needn’t really matter why as the science is sooo good on both sides. Choose one or keep studying until you can satisfy yourself – I’m in that camp – the still studying one. I read and read and read up on it and I just really do not know – is it better to go grain-free and eat more meat or is it better to go with healthy grains (no matter what tho, 6-11 servings is just plain wrong!) and eat less meat? Everybody does agree that vegetables are the way to go – so that’s not at issue, and that processed sugar is bad. But those are basically the only things people agree about.

      I guess the easy answer would be to go no grain, no meat – all vegis and fruit, oil (and here you run into the anti-meat problem but you MUST get enough of all kinds, but there are both vegi and meat sources of all of them), things based on vegis like vinegar, alcohol (I’m satisfied this is good in moderation) and coffee/tea (good in moderation) and of course salt (I’m as certain about this as I am about vegis despite the disagreement out there about too much salt, if you are eating healthy you need to make sure you get enough, not that you are overdoing) – and all seem to agree no processed foods.

      But that’s just too tough a regimen for me!! And then you have the whole GMO question. But until I read what you wrote here I thought everyone was in agreement that organic is definitely the way to go! So if you have a position that differs and a reason why – I’d like to hear it!!!

      Thank You


      1. Cynthia Avatar

        oh and in case you were in doubt, just because something is organic DOES NOT mean it is NON-GMO! They are two separate issues – you can get non-gmo that is organic and you can get gmo that is organic and you can get non-gmo that is not organic (although this is probably the most rare) and of course not non-gmo and not organic (and unfortunately this is probably the kind most sold). And hardly anybody labels the GMO/NON-GMO stuff anyway!!! I think the stores probably think that if they put labels on everything that in non-gmo then people would realize how much gmo stuff they are actually buying and this would be a huge turn-off as opposed to getting people to buy more of the non-gmo stuff – there’s simply not enough of it to make up the difference. People might actually start doing the worst thing and that is avoid vegetables!! lol – soooo not funny!!!

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