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Borax is a versatile product used as a laundry booster and a common ingredient in homemade, nontoxic cleaning products. It can also be used as a pesticide, preservative and so much more. Borax is generally considered low in toxicity, but you should always take care when using any chemical or product. Give these Borax-based tips a try, and you can eliminate many costly, as well as toxic, chemicals from your home!
Borax is most commonly found sold under the brand name of 20 Mule Team and can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of pretty much any store that sells laundry detergent. I have had no problem finding borax at my local grocery store or my local Walmart.
All Purpose Cleaner
Make your own homemade cleaner by mixing 2 tablespoons borax with 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle. This is a great solution for cleaning the stovetop, cleaning outside of the refrigerator, wiping down cabinets, etc.
Baby Clothes and Cloth Diapers
Add borax to the wash cycle, along with your detergent, when washing baby’s laundry. It will help the laundry detergent clean soiled clothes much more thoroughly. It will keep the whites brighter while disinfecting the clothing. It is GREAT for eliminating urine and feces odors!
Cat Litter Deodorizer
Minimize odor in your cat’s litter box by mixing a few tablespoons of borax in with the litter.
Use a 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water in carpet steam cleaning machines.
Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly.
Clean Hairbrushes and Combs
Mix a quarter cup borax and a tablespoon of a grease cutting dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) in a basin of warm water. Swish brushes in the sudsy water, let soak, rinse, and let dry.
Sprinkle borax on pet bedding, carpets, and other areas where you suspect that fleas may be hatching. Borax releases boric acid, which is a poison.
NOTE: VERY high doses would need to be ingested to be harmful to pets or people.
Freshen Up Linens
Remove mildew and mustiness from linens by soaking them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse clean.
Sprinkle 1 cup of borax around a full-sized apple tree, or just a couple of tablespoons around a young tree, every 3-4 years. By doing this, you will be adding the trace mineral, boron, to the soil. Boron is needed for good cell wall growth of the fruit, as well as promotes seed development.
Garbage Can Deodorizer
Deodorize your garbage can by filling it with borax and water. Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor causing moisture.
Garbage Disposal Cleaner
Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water.
Help keep humidifiers free of odor by dissolve one tablespoon of borax per gallon of water and add it to the unit while not in use. Be sure to rinse out this solution before refilling your humidifier with pure water prior to use.
Improve Homemade Candle Wicks
When making your own candles, treat the wicks by soaking them in a solution of salt and borax to help reduce ash and eliminate smoke problems.
Borax is great for adding to the wash cycle because it can whiten your whites, soften hard water, remove soap residue from your clothing, neutralize any laundry odors, disinfect clothing, as well as increase the stain-removal ability of your detergent.
Sprinkle borax on the floor along the walls where mice like to run. The mice don’t like getting the borax on their feet, so they are less likely to return to that area of the house.
Make a thick borax and water paste. Smear the paste on the moldy area. Let it set until dry, overnight or longer. Sweep up the powder, and rinse off the rest.
Outdoor Furniture Cleaner
Mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture.
Keep roaches, water bugs, and ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar along baseboards, in drawers and cabinets. Also, put some under the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink. Replace with a fresh batch every 6 to 8 weeks, or if the mix gets wet. Since this is not a harsh chemical, it most likely will take at least a couple of weeks of use before you will notice a drop in insect activity.
Fresh-cut flowers of many varieties may be permanently preserved. Borax removes moisture from blossoms and leaves, thereby preventing the wilting which would normally result. Two different mixtures (by weight) are recommended: two parts 20 Borax and one part dry white sand, or one part Borax and two parts corn meal.
Spilled food can be washed away with a sponge or soft cloth using a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Rinse with cold water. This will help to deodorize the refrigerator, as well!
Remove Odors from a Mattresses
Remove urine odor from a mattress. Lightly wet the mattress and rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.
Make a paste by mixing 1 cup of Borax with 2 cups of warm water plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Use the paste on old pots and pans that are rusted. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse and then just scrub the rust away. You can use it to remove rust from anything metal such as appliances and patio furniture. If you find that the rust is a bit stubborn, apply a second coating and allow it to sit for another 15 to 20 minutes before cleaning off with clear water and a scrubbing sponge.
Remove Sticky Residue
Mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. Rub on to get rid of sticky, gooey, gummy adhesive residue.
Make your dull china sparkle like new again by soaking it in a sink full of warm water with a ½ cup of dissolved borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual.
Shower, Tub & Tile Cleaner
Sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching. Rinse thoroughly.
Remove rust stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste or 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to bed. The next morning, clean out the toilet bowl with a brush. The borax will loosen all the grime buildup.
NOTE: If you have pets that might drink the water from the toilet bowl, be sure to put the lid down after you put in the borax!
Pour ½ cup of borax into the drain followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with clear water for a few minutes to flush it out. No more need for chemical laden drain openers!
Violin String Saver
If you play the violin, or any instrument that uses a bow, when the hairs get gummed with rosin, instead of having it rehaired, dampen a toothbrush, dip it in borax, and scrub the bow hair in small sections. Try not to get the soap on the wood. Wipe clean and then re-rosin.
Dissolve 10 ounces of borax in 4 ounces of warm water. Once the borax is well dissolved, add 2 1/2 gallons of water and mix thoroughly. This amount should treat a 1000 square feet. Adjust the recipe as needed. Do NOT use in the garden or near plants that you do not want to kill. Use mixture immediately! Do NOT store any unused portion! Please, safely discard any unused portion.