All-Purpose Cleaner/Disinfectant

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins

Tea tree oil and thyme essential oils are antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and are great for use in the home. As the testers pointed out, it's perfectly fine and effective if you use other essential oils with the same properties. Lemon and lavender are favorites of mine. :-) Use only essential oils.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 tablespoons borax
  • 14 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 20 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) or 20 drops thyme essential oils (Thymus vulgaris)


  1. Combine the borax and lemon juice with the water in a spray bottle.
  2. Cap and shake well to dissolve the mineral.
  3. Add the tea tree (or thyme) oil and shake again to disperse the oil.
  4. Use as you would any commercial all-purpose cleaner.


Most Helpful

This really is a great recipe. I use 10 drops tea tree, 10 drops lavendar, plus ONE drop of Red Thyme oil, because it is SO strong. I strain the lemon juice through cheesecloth so it doesn't clog up my spray bottle. I've used this in the bathroom to clean mold, to wipe down my yoga and pilates equipment, and to remove red wine stains from beige carpeting. I also removed a crusted-up old carpet stain of unknown origin. I'm consistently surprised at how good this stuff is. For people unfamiliar with Borax, it can be found in the laundry detergent aisle. The most common brand name is 20 Mule Team Borax.

spacadet December 31, 2010

This stuff works great, even on dried on junk on the counters! Cuts grease with ease thanks to the lemon juice. I used grapefruit seed oil instead of tea tree just for scent preference, but it still has the disinfectant properties. Thanks Zusie!

Three Kids Make Me Crazy January 02, 2009

I have this mixed and on standby at all times now. Since we have a grey water line that empties into nature, I was concerned about the harsh cleaners I used. No more! It works just as well or better & smells great. I used tea tree/lemon oils in the kitchen and tea tree/lavender in the bath. A+, Zusie!

Doxie Mom April 04, 2009

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