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Borax – a mystery ingredient. You might already be familiar with borax for its use in the laundry or, more recently, for making slime. But you might not know that uses of borax go way beyond that especially in cleaning. From unclogging a drain to cleaning the toilets, borax has found its use as a versatile cleaner. And it is actively used in many cleaning products and homemade recipes.
Not only that, but borax can also be used to deodorize that smelly garbage can and even keeps ants and pests away. With a wide variety of uses around the house, borax is something which can make your life easy and is a must-have in house. Now, you might have some questions regarding borax. So, we’ll start by answering some common questions regarding borax and then move on to its amazing uses around the home.
What is Borax?
Also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, Borax is a naturally occurring powdery white mineral. It is primarily mined from evaporite deposits produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes.
A point to note here is people often get confused between boric acid and borax- which is salt of boric acid. Chemically, they are both different things as boric acid is hydrogen borate. In simple words, you just need to get Borax powder or 20 Mule Team Borax and nothing else.
Is Borax Safe?
Why not? It is a popular green cleaning ingredient in many homemade cleaners and does not contain hazardous chemicals like chlorine or phosphates. Plus, according to TOXNET’s Hazardous Substance Database (HSDB), borax is a non-carcinogenic compound.
Still, it needs saying that it is only safe as long as you use it responsibly. That includes storing it in a safe place away from pets and children, wearing gloves, using in a well- ventilated place, etc. Even though borax is non-toxic for humans, never ingest borax in any form or amount (which I’m pretty sure you already figured out).
Just like baking soda and washing soda, borax is highly alkaline which can be a cause of mild skin irritation if used undiluted. However, don’t worry about occasional indirect contact and using it in cleaning products, it’s safe.
What is it used for?
Over the decades, borax has found its use in many commercial applications, including as an active ingredient in household laundry and cleaning products, as a fire retardant, as a pH buffer in chemical laboratories, as water softening agent, to prevent wood rot in classic wood boats, and much more.
Let’s have a look at the various amazing uses of borax and start implementing them from today itself!
31 Brilliant Household Uses of Borax
1. Unclog the drain
A clogged drain is a big headache. But, here is a simple method to unclog it using borax fast and easy.
Just empty ½ a cup of borax in the drain and then pour one tablespoon lemon juice over it. After 2 minutes, pour around 1 quart of boiling water. Leave it that way for around 15 minutes and then run tap water to clean it up.
The borax reacts with the gunk and dirt which clogs up the drain to loosen it. Hot water further loosens it and carries it away. Lemon adds up to the disinfecting process of borax. On top of that, these two will also make the sink smell much better after the cleaning is finished.
So this is a very cheap and one of the easiest option to help you in dealing with a clogged drain.
2. Clean the dirty mold or mildew
A mold infestation can ruin the home so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible. And borax is perfect to get rid of that dirty mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor.
Firstly, brush off as much excess mold as possible with a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth. Now, make a solution of ½ cup borax, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. Fill it in an empty spray bottle and spray it on the mold and mildew until the area gets sufficiently wet. Leave the surface to dry completely.
3. Shine your old China Dish Set
Make your china dishes look like new using borax. Borax removes the dullness and dirt to make the dishes shiny again. To do a renovation of your dishes, just soak them in the sink or some vessel filled with warm water and a ½ cup of borax. Leave them for at least 30 minutes. Remove and then wash as usual. Your dishes will regain their former glory.
Note: Don’t scrub the dishes as it may cause scratches. Just leave and allow them to soak in water as borax knows its work very well.
4. Grout Cleaner
You can easily clean grout using borax. All you need to do is make a thick paste by using 1 part borax, to 2 part baking soda and then adding enough vinegar. Apply this to grout using a soft brush and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once done, just rinse it off and if possible, scrub lightly using a microfiber cloth for a better clean.
5. Make an all-purpose cleaner
Thanks to its cleaning properties, Borax makes a great all-purpose cleaner. All you need to do is to mix 3 Tbsp of borax and 1 cup of vinegar with 3 cups of warm water to make an all-purpose cleaner.
Both borax and vinegar are amazing cleaners and the mixture will ease cleaning the kitchens, stove, countertops, tables, and many other surfaces of the house.
You may also like: 12 Brilliant Uses of Vinegar you’ll regret not knowing
6. Effective against rust (on pans, appliances, tiles, or almost anything)
Rust and borax do not share a good bond. Borax is reactive against rust and removes it. So you can use borax to remove rust from your pans, metals, appliances, tiles or almost any other thing which has caught rust.
Mix 1 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 cup of borax. A thick paste will be formed. Apply it on the rusted area and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and then scrub away the rust with a dish sponge or in case of a stubborn rust use steel sponge. It will get off very easily.
7. Clean brushes and combs easily
Do you clean your brushes and combs the hard way? i.e Scrubbing it away using some detergent. Why go the hard way when it is actually very easy to clean your brushes and combs filled with dirt, and massive tangles of hair.
Just fill a mug or some container with warm water and add 2 Tbsp of borax and some dish soap to it. Put in the brushes and combs to be cleaned and wet them properly by shaking them and stirring them. Leave it to soak for at least 30-45 minutes. Then rinse. Your combs and brushes are shiny clean without scrubbing.
8. Cleaning the fridge
Borax is a multi-purpose cleaner and works well in cleaning your refrigerator.
Take 4-5 cups of warm water and add ½ Tbsp borax to it. Stir the solution so that borax gets dissolved in the water properly. Dip a clean cloth or sponge in this solution and wipe the shelves of the fridge. It removes any dried up food stain or any leftovers easily.
So whether you want to clean the spilled food in the refrigerator or just give it a good clean, this solution is worth trying. Another benefit of using borax is that it is a natural disinfectant. After cleaning the fridge, you probably want to organize your fridge as well.
9. Remove pencil and crayon marks from wall
So, your kid got creative on the wall again? Don’t worry, you can easily get back the old shine of your wall. All you need to do is to just mix 1 Tbsp borax with a cup of warm water and apply it on the wall to remove pencil and crayon marks.
Note: Before using it on the stain, make sure that the paint doesn’t come off by testing it on some region of the wall.
10. Give your sink a stainless shine
After reading so many hacks, you might have got a good idea about the efficiency of borax in cleaning. So wouldn’t it be very efficient in cleaning sink as well? Try it out yourself.
Make a borax paste by mixing 2 Tbsp of lemon juice in ½ a cup of borax. Scrub the stains on the sink using a cloth or sponge dipped in this paste. Rinse with warm water and get a clean and shining sink in no time.
11. Use borax to clean the windows
Borax is so amazing. Along with other household stuff, it is also a successful window cleaner.
Mix 1 Tbsp borax in a cup full of warm water. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and spray on the windows. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth on a rag. You can also clean and wipe the windows with a rag or sponge dipped in this solution. Repeat the process with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water. Wipe it dry and you will have clean windows in no time.
12. Cleaning the toilets
Cleaning the toilet is a headache. Isn’t it? But you will be surprised to see that borax makes it so easy to clean the toilet. All you need to do is to empty one cup of borax in the pot and add a ½ cup of vinegar to it. Let the solution do its work overnight. Then, scrub the toilet and flush!
Borax acts on the grime and the dirt accumulated in the toilet. It deals with all of the dirt layers and yellowish color accumulated. Vinegar assists borax in the cleaning process and improves its efficiency. The act of borax of loosening the grime becomes more vigorous and better with the action of the vinegar.
You may also like 31 all-time best house-cleaning tips that work like magic.
13. Clean showers and tubs
Take some borax in a damp cloth and scrub it on the tubs and showers. Rinse them with clean water.
To clean the interior of a shower, Make a solution by mixing 2-3 Tbsp borax in 4-5 cups of water. Fill it in a polythene bag and tie it around the shower such that it remains submerged in the solution. Leave it for around an hour and then switch on the shower to rinse it. If you need a clean bathroom, these bathroom cleaning hacks will make cleaning easy.
14. Carpet stain remover
If your expensive carpet is attacked by stain, no need to worry. Use Borax- the stain remover. Mix 4 Tbsp borax with 1 cup warm water. Dip a sponge or clean cloth in the solution and dab it on the stain.
Leave the stain in that condition for 25-30 minutes. Then vacuum that area to clean the residue and allow it to dry to get a clean and stain-free carpet.
15. Make a floor cleaner
Most floor cleaners are loaded with chemicals which are hazardous for health. Thankfully, there are so many natural alternative cleaners available. One among them is borax which makes a great natural floor cleaner for your home.
All you need is to mix 2 Tbsp borax with 4-5 Tbsp vinegar in your mop bucket. Add a pinch of dish soap to it and fill the bucket with warm water. Your cleaner is ready! Use this to clean your house floor.
You can also make it in a good quantity and store in a container for everyday use. Just mix 2 cup borax with 4 cup vinegar and add around 1 Tbsp of dish soap to it. Store it in a container. Add some of this solution to your mop bucket water for everyday cleaning.
You may also like: 31 Brilliant uses of Dawn Dish Soap to make life easy
16. Clean your Outdoor Furniture
Borax can also clean furniture easily. Just mix 2 teaspoons of borax and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap in 1 quart of water. You can fill it in a spray bottle which is more convenient to use. Spray it on the patio furniture and wipe it to clean all the dust, dirt or any grime. This cleaner is effective against all of them.
17. Homemade Dish Soap
You can make dish soap at home using these low-cost ingredients and save the money spent on readymade dish soap. Mix ½ cup borax, ½ cup finely grated soap and 10 cups of boiling water. Stir to mix it properly and allow it to cool before use. It is as efficient as the market bought dish soap, if not more.
18. Cleaning Soap Scum
Soap scum on shower doors, glass, faucets can be easily cleaned using borax. Make a paste by mixing 2-3 Tbsp borax in 1/2 a cup of water. Scrub this paste with a cloth on the area to be cleaned. Rinse with water and wipe with a clean dry cloth. You would also love these clever bathroom cleaning hacks.
19. Clean Sticky Residue
Borax makes it easy to get rid of sticky and gooey adhesive residue. Just mix borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio, and rub the mixture on the residue to clean it. Easy!
20. Clean and Deodorize Mattresses
Deodorize your mattresses by rubbing borax over it using a damp cloth. But make sure to wet the mattress before rubbing borax on it. It will even eliminate any foul smell like that of urine from your small baby’s mattress.
21. Deodorize the Smelly Garbage can
Borax can also deodorize smelly Garbage can easily. Sprinkle at least 4-5 Tbsp of borax in the garbage can and add water to it. The amount of borax to be added depends on the condition of the bin. If it has not been cleaned for a long time and is smelling really bad, then empty around a cup of borax in it.
Let the borax do its work by leaving it in for at least 15-20 minutes. Rinse and leave to dry. You can sprinkle some borax in the can before using it again, so as to minimize odor when in use.
22. Keep your Humidifier Odorless
Similar to a refrigerator, humidifier start smelling bad with time. They need to be deodorized from time to time. To keep the humidifier free of any odor, dissolve 5-6 tablespoon of borax in 3-4 quarts of water and add it to the tank. Run the humidifier for 10-15 minutes and then empty the tank. Don’t forget to rinse the tank with clean water.
Need to make your home smell good? These simple hacks will make your home smell good naturally.
23. Dealing with pests
Borax effectively deals with cockroaches, ants, bugs, mice and a few other household pests. The process is very simple. Mix equal parts of borax and sugar. Sprinkle this mixture in the corners, under the sink, behind the pieces of furniture or simply the areas where you find pests.
Are you wondering why should you mix sugar with borax? This is because sugar acts as a bait to attract the pests. When the pests are drawn towards the sugar cubes, borax deals with them. Make sure that this mixture does not reach the hands of small children or even your pet. So use it in areas that are away from the reach of children and pets.
To get rid of bed bugs, sprinkle a generous amount of borax on the mattress and in the storage hold of the bed (if any).
24. Gives a better Laundry
Borax gives a better laundry. Add 4-5 Tbsp of Borax to your laundry to get cleaner and stain-free clothes along with making the clothes smell better. It gives a natural scent to the clothes. Borax can even be used to wash the delicate fabrics.
Borax is a successful stain remover too. Stubborn stains like that of coffee can be treated using borax. Pretreat the stain by soaking it in a borax solution made by dissolving 7-8 Tbsp of borax in warm water. Allow the cloth to soak for at least 30-40 minutes before laundering. Repeat if the stain does not vanish completely.
Even hard water stains on your clothes and washing machines can be removed successfully using borax.
Quick Tip: Need an organized laundry, check out these laundry organization hacks.
25. Preserve your favorite flowers
Do you hate the withering of your favorite flowers? Borax is the solution.
Borax helps in removing moisture from the flowers and leaves which in turn helps them to prevent wilting. To remove moisture from the flowers, mix one part of white sand and two parts of borax to make a mixture. Fill some of this mixture in a box and place the flower in it. Sprinkle some mixture on the flower as well so it is properly covered with the mixture. Leave the box for seven days after sealing it with a tape. The flower will lose all of its moisture and dry out.
Now you won’t get the exact same blooming flower, but it’s way better than letting the flower just wilt and fall off. You can reuse this mixture in the future by straining out all the moisture.
Note: This method may not work on flowers bought from florists as they use a special water solution to preserve them.
26. Helping the fruit trees
Borax is not only useful for cleaning purposes but also beneficial for the fruit trees. Boron, a mineral contained in borax is required by the plants for healthy growth. Sprinkle a ½ cup of borax every 2-3 years around the base of a mature fruit tree( such as an apple tree) or 2-3 Tbsp for a younger one.
Boron is a good fertilizer, so adding borax in the right quantities to the soil helps in the better development of cell walls and roots. But be careful to use it optimally. Excessive use of borax is harmful to the plants as it is toxic.
27. Improve your homemade candles
If you make candles at home, treat the wicks by soaking them in a solution of borax and salt. To make this solution, mix equal parts of salt and borax in water. This solution reduces ash and smoke.
28. Make your clothes safe
Clothes catch fire easily. To make them resistant to flames, mix 1 cup borax and ½ cup boric acid in a gallon of water and soak the rinsed clothes in it. Then, the dry cycle.
If the clothes are not washable, then spray that solution on the clothes instead of soaking the clothes in it. Repeat the process every time you wash or dry clean your clothes. It is an amazing laundry hack to make clothes safe.
29. Instruments’ string saver
The bow hairs of musical instruments get bad as they get gummed up with rosin. Clean it by rubbing the strings with a damp toothpaste dipped in borax. Then wipe the bow hairs and re-rosin them again. Need borax? Buy it here.
30. Make slime at home
Do you wish to make your own slime at home? Borax is one of the key ingredient used in making slime. Check out the recipe here.
NOTE: Borax is HIGHLY ALKALINE and should NOT BE CONSUMED, USED ON SKIN AS A SCRUB, etc(which you might be knowing very well). However, it is SAFE AND VERY GOOD FOR CLEANING AND CAN BE VERY USEFUL IF USED PROPERLY.
Now we hope that this post was helpful for you in knowing the amazing uses of borax. If there is anything which we have not covered here or you would like to know more about, feel free to get in touch with us.
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