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If you, too, had a story-telling grandmother, you would have heard about the wonders they did with borax. It’s magical cleaning properties are no more a mystery. But most of its traditional uses revolved around laundry.
The soft colorless crystal, though, has uses in every aspect of household cleaning. Perhaps it’s the kind of DIY ingredients. After reading the 32 applications, we have listed here; you’d save yourself a lot of costs on cleaning solutions.
But before jumping on the fair uses of borax, let’s understand what the compound really is. We would also uncover the truth behind the perception that borax isn’t safe in this article.
What is Borax?
Borax is a white mineral that comes from several salt deposits. The industrial usage of borax is in making glass and ceramics.
Known by the chemical name sodium tetraborate, borax is a critical ingredient in many cleaning solutions. The gooey slime that your kids play with also contains borax.
While modern cleaners have replaced borax today, it’s still an adequate replacement in case you need one. But some people argue that it isn’t safe for use. Let’s find out the truth behind it.
Is Borax Safe?
While borax is a naturally occurring mineral, you shouldn’t assume it’s safe. A key reason why people think it’s unsafe is because of its name’s uncanny resemblance to boric acid.
While boric acid is extremely toxic if ingested, that’s not true about borax. But you still not use it as a skincare product as people have previously reported irritation because of its use.
Otherwise, the National Library of Medicine classifies it as a non-carcinogenic substance. Moreover, the FDA has banned the usage of borax as an additive in food products. You should keep it away from children and pets to avoid the risk of ingestion.
32 Brilliant Household Uses of Borax
1. Clean the Toilet
The toilet cleaner has been ditched, and once again, you guessed it, borax is to blame. Moreover, it works better than those abrasive toilet cleaners that are only so good.
You just have to give it enough time. The best way is to pour a cup full of borax in your dirty toilet bowl before bedtime. Dissolve the mixture well with a toilet brush.
Move the brush to all corners of the toilet bowl just like you’d do with a cleaner. Pull down the cover and tell everyone to use the other toilet for the night. You’ll wake up to a sparkling, odorless bowl for the ideal morning loo.
2. Clean Bathroom Tiles
You can fall over borax every your monthly bills aren’t allowing you to buy new bathroom cleaners. The stains can become hard to remove and even permanent if you wait for too long.
Just a cup of borax can do the job. Mix a quarter cup borax with two cups of warm water. Add a teaspoon of dish soap to stir the mixture.
Put it in your old cleaner spray bottle and spray it on the dirtiest areas. Use a toothbrush or scrub pad to get into the linings between the tiles. It will not only shine the tiles but also whiten them.
3. Clean the Mattress
The vacuum cleaner sometimes can’t remove the dirt and lint sticking into the mattress. Some stains can dissolve into the mattress permanently.
To prevent that from happening, add a half cup of borax into a couple of cups of lukewarm water. For fragrance and killing germs, add ten drops of lavender essential oils, lemon essential oils along with peppermint oil.
Spray it in all corners of your mattress. The deodorant not only cleans up the mattress but also kills hidden bugs, mites, and more. The lavender fragrance will also enhance your sleep quality.
4. Eliminate Rust
Rust can weaken any piece of metal and cause irreparable damage if left untreated. Instead of using expensive polishes and paints, you can just make a solution of borax.
Add a tablespoon of borax along with some lemon juice in a quart of water and heat it to warm. Immerse the metal, which is rusting in this solution for about 3-4 hours.
If the stubborn rust is still sticking, you can make a thicker paste of these ingredients. Apply it on the rusty areas and let it dry.
5. Clean the Sink
The sinks hardly get dirty, and so we don’t have a specialized cleaner. But if the utensils were too oily because of last night’s big fat dinner, you might see sticky stains there.
Borax can clean up this sticky mess quickly. Mix a quarter cup of lime juice with a cup of borax. Use your regular kitchen sponge to spread the solution and rub hard.
Once cleaned, rinse the sink properly and wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth for best results.
6. Deodorize the Fridge
The fragrance of the fridge can feel exotic, like a snack. But the strong aroma of meat and other food items can make the refrigerator stinky.
Make a quick deodorizer by mixing a tablespoon of borax with one-liter warm water. Immerse a sponge in the solution and wipe it intently all over the fridge.
Rinse it with water and let it dry to make it all fresh and Rosy again.
7. Clean Floor Tiles
Moving into your home after a month’s break can leave the floor all dusty and disgusting. Don’t spend hours removing the stubborn stains.
Instead, make a solution of half a cup of borax, a teaspoon, and mix with a gallon of hot water in your mop bucket. Use it just as you use your regular water to mop the floor well.
It might not seem right, but the solution will smoothly remove dust, stains, and eliminate bad smell. It will also bring that intoxicating borax aroma on your floor that too shoos away insects and bugs.
8. Clean Linens
Pillowcases and mattresses can become musty and have mildew accumulation if not cleaned over time. You can use a borax solution to clean it properly in the washer.
Just soak the linen into one and a half cup of borax and water solution for an hour or so. Wash it regularly afterward.
It will make your linen fragrant and remove any mustiness which can be harmful to your kids.
9. Dishwash Detergent
Ever noticed those water spots on the dishes you clean with the dishwasher? Do you feel that urge just to wash the dishes by hand because the dishwasher gets dirty too often?
Well, it’s time to fix all that using your multipurpose magic cleaner. Just sprinkle a cup or to of borax in the sink before running the dishwasher.
Now when you run the dishwasher, borax will clean up both the dishes and the dishwasher. Not only does it save your dishes from water spots, but it also makes them fragrant.
10. Clean Hair Equipment
We use some products so regularly that we fail that they can get dirty too. Think, for instance, your hairbrush, comb, or headband for that matter. But leaving them unclean can let in a lot of germs in your hair or clothes.
You can use a tablespoon of any dishwashing liquid and mix it with ¼ cup of borax. Pour the mixture in hot water and soak your hair utensils with it.
Let it clean up and remove it in an hour or two. Rinse and dry before using again, though.
11. Makes Clothes Flame Retardant
Wow, it sounds impressive, right? Well, it’s actually pretty useful for kids. It can keep your kids safe in case of accidents. You don’t have to worry about your kids trying their hand in the kitchen anymore.
To do that, just place a cup of borax with a gallon of eater and add some boric acid with it.
If you have just washed the cloth, soak it in the solution and let it dry in the machine or by rinsing. You can also spritz the mixture on the clothes. To ensure clothes are fireproof, you should do it on every washing cycle, although that can be quite a task.
12. Remove Stubborn Cloth Stains
Having kids comes with a lot of challenges. One of them is making your kids learn basic manners, like staying clean. But children being as lively as they are, can’t help getting all dirty and spilling a cold drink and all.
Treat those stubborn food stains from their clothes using borax. Mix a tablespoon of borax with two tablespoons of water and apply the paste on the stain. Let it sit for half an hour and let borax weave its magic.
Then scrub the stain using a scrub brush and wash it in the machine.
13. Homemade Febreeze
Febreeze has a refreshingly fragrant smell that can liven up your house in minutes. But it’s so expensive that people are better off using an alternative. Try borax for this one.
To make the inexpensive version of Febreeze, you need to mix ½ cup of borax in about half a liter water. Pour the mixture in your old Febreeze spray bottle or any other sprayer.
Spray it on every piece of furniture you find at your home- your rugs, carpet, curtains, pillows, or anything that smells musty. You can also add fragrant essential oils like lavender and so to enhance the smell.
14. Get Rid of Ants
Ants can be a real pain in the a**, especially if you have kids at home. Their poisonous bites can be hurt your kids and pets. But everything that talks about being a solution to it seem like a hoax.
But that’s not the case with borax. Just mix borax and sugar in equal parts. You shouldn’t sprinkle it anywhere you see ants. Instead, follow their path to see mounds from where they come from.
Attack at the root of the issue and watch them succumb. If you’re having trouble with ants in the kitchen, mix a little water and let it seep into the cracks. You can eliminate whole ant hills using this simple trick.
15. Clean Patio Furniture
Patio furniture can get dirty as a mud pie in summers. You’ll be hard done in finding a cleaner for every specific need. Try borax as your multipurpose cleaner that works well on patio furniture too.
You’d need just a teaspoon of dish wash along with a tablespoon of borax. Pour the ingredients in a quart of water.
Put the solution in a spray bottle, and you’re ready to shine your patio furniture. Spray all over the dirty corners and wipe it with a microfiber cloth for best results.
16. Clean Garbage Disposals
Garbage disposals are useful for dumping grounds to get rid of disgusting rubbish at your home. But what if the garbage disposal gets dirty?
Look no further than borax. You just have to put in about three tablespoons of borax right into the head of the drainage system.
Be patient and let it settle for an hour. Then heat some water to warm and rinse everything with it.
17. Eliminate Drain Clogs
The tiniest of the issues can cause significant problems at home. One such issue is the clogging of drains. It doesn’t seem like a big issue but can stall your work.
You don’t need to buy the drain cleaner anymore. Remove the buildup of hair, toothpaste, lotions, and whatnot from the drains using borax.
You’d also save the cost of hiring an expensive plumber. Just mix a cup of borax in boiling water. Pour it does the drain and watch it melt all the buildup with it. Within minutes you can get back to cleaning yourself up.
18. All-Purpose Cleaner
If borax has so many uses in cleaning household items, why not make an all-purpose cleaner with it? It will save you some valuable bucks and save a trip to the market too.
Just add ¼ cup of borax to about 8 cups of boiling water. Stir the solution or shake it well and let it air cool. Once cold, put it in a spray bottle and you’re good to go.
Use it on the kitchen worktop, furniture, bathroom, or anywhere else you wish. Adding essential oils like lavender, mint, and such would enhance its fragrance and make it a powerful bug repellant too.
19. Teapot Cleaner
Are you a tea lover? If you are one, you would know the value of unadulterated authentic tea. But you can’t savor the rich taste when you cook tea on a dirty teapot.
Cleaning it has just become easier, though. The trick is for only metal coffee and teapots. Mix a teaspoon of laundry detergent, a teaspoon of borax in a teapot filled with water.
Let the solution settle after stirring it. Now boil the water and rinse it thoroughly before use. You’re just a few steps away from a refreshing cup of hot beverage now.
20. Clean Metal Equipment
Metals look quite tough, but they still demand a non-abrasive cleaner to wipe their surfaces. Moreover, if you let stains stick for long on metal, they can become tough to remove.
Use a borax and eater paste to do the job quickly without ruining your tools and utensils. Scrub the metal with a soft cloth or pad after applying the paste.
Rinse it with water once you have removed the stain, and your metal object will become as good as new.
21. Urine Deodorizer
Having kids or pets at home means you are continually doing the cleaning tasks. It gets disgusting when your kid or pet hasn’t learned their urine lessons.
If they mistakenly pee on the floor or mattress, the smell can last quite long. But it won’t be long before that smell disappears after you employ this hack.
You’d need to dampen the area with water before sprinkling it generously with borax. Once the spot dries, use a vacuum cleaner or scrub it with a brush and see the smell disappear like a breeze.
22. Clean Up Old China
Your old china dishes never get old. Perhaps the older they are, the more elegant they look. But it all changes your china has a paling appearance.
And regular dish cleaners can’t instantly clean them up. You can make your china shinier with some borax, though.
Pour warm water in your sink up to halfway and add half a cup of borax into it. Soak your china in the water for about half an hour. Pick them out, rinse them, and bring back the sheen of old.
23. Deodorize Cat Litter
Cats hate to urinate in dirty areas. Moreover, their litters can smell disgusting if your cat is having indigestion.
Make the space bearable for your cat and yourself using borax. Just add a bit of borax in the litter, and you’d feel an absolute reduction in stink afterward.
Borax has a higher pH than urine and helps neutralize the disgusting odor. It works on reducing the smell of ammonia, which is the primary reason behind stink.
24. Get Rid Of Mold
Molds can make their home in your house regularly if you live in humid areas. It’s also an issue in homes where water leakage is a common problem.
They bring an array of diseases to your home and can become difficult to remove. You need something to dry out the damp environment, and borax can do the trick.
Sprinkle borax on areas of mold growth to remove humidity on which molds thrive. It’s a cheap yet effective method to remove molds from your house.
25. Remove Adhesives
Do you ever buy a jar of something like honey or so and fall in love with the bottle? It has happened to all of us. But those packaging stickers can take a hell lot of time to remove.
You want a subtle look and not that aggressive packaging. Make it possible by applying a paste of 2 tablespoon borax and a tablespoon warm water to the jar or bottle.
Every mark of the adhesive goes away, and the jar will look as new as the one you bring from the market.
26. Keep Mice Away
Mice is everyone’s worst fear, no matter how much we try not to accept. The disgusting little being can make the toughest of us scream.
And then there’s the small matter of it spreading diseases. It’s thus essential to get rid of it as soon as possible. Whenever you see a mouse, instantly find the rat hole, crack, or baseboard where they disappeared.
You can also guess the possible locations and sprinkle some borax everywhere. It won’t kill the mice, but they will leave the place because they hate the touch of borax.
27. Remove Crayon Marks From Walls
Children don’t know anything about their limits. The whole world is the canvas to paint their wild imaginations. As much as you try to stop him, your little one would draw something on the walls now and then.
Don’t worry; there’s another easy rather than repainting the wall. Just add three tablespoons of borax in a cup of warm water and soak a scrub pad or rag in it.
Scrub the walls lightly with it so that the paint doesn’t scrape off. It would take a minute or two to lighten the mark. Do it every day to make it as good as new.
27. Clean Windows
Windows act as shields and protect the house from various outside elements. They are thus bound to get dirty. Now, if you’re running out of a glass cleaner and it doesn’t work well on your windows, you can try out borax.
Pour two teaspoons of dish soap along with three teaspoons of borax in a cup of warm water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and apply it to the window.
Rub the dirty areas well with a microfiber cloth or sponge. You’ll notice fingerprint marks and smudges start to disappear. Now spray some vinegar or rubbing alcohol to put the finishing touch. Wipe it with a dry cloth, and your windows look shinier again.
28. Clean Shower Doors and Knobs
Shower doors can get quite dirty with the buildup of soap scum and grime. We touch the handles and shower knobs with our soapy hands all the time.
You can get rid of all that using a similar solution you made for the glass windows. Just apply the paste and scrub it well with a sponge. After cleaning, wipe it with a dry cloth.
29. Clean Dishes
Here’s a recipe for a DIY dish soap using the eternal household cleaner borax. Grate a cup of soap and add a cup of borax to it. Pour about twelve cups of hot water into the solution.
You can also add antibacterial essential oils of lemon or neem to it. It’s not necessary, though, but it will also enhance the fragrance. Let the solution cool down after stirring, and your DIY dish wash liquid is ready. You’d need only a small amount for a set of dishes because the soap is quite potent.
30. Clean Dish Cloths
Dishcloths are essential items in the kitchen and can easily clean up almost any stain. But they get too dirty shortly, and some of us just throw them away.
But you can make that effective dishcloth last longer with this simple method. Just boil a gallon of water and remove a quart of it as soon as it comes to boil.
Mix 2 tbsp borax to the bowl where you placed the quart of hot water. Now place the dishcloth on the larger pot of water, which is still boiling.
Boil the cloth for a minute and then soak it in the borax solution. Add about a teaspoon of greasing stripping dish to remove the sticky scum. After letting it soak for about twenty minutes, wash the cloth with your hands.
Rinse and dry it, and it’s ready to use again.
31. Clean Plastic Containers
If you can’t get over your old age Tupperware, you need an excellent way to clean it. Moreover, it is crucial if you forgot the food in your tiffin and now it smells like puke.
You can deodorize the box and eliminate the sticky grease inside using borax. Pour a quarter cup warm water, a teaspoon of borax, and a single drop of dish soap into it.
Shake it well and let it soak for an hour. Remove the solution and wash it thoroughly and woof! The odor is gone.
32. Carpet stain remover
If your expensive carpet is ruined by an accidental stain, there is absolutely no need to worry as long as you have borax. Mix 4 Tbsp borax with 1 cup warm water to make your own homemade carpet stain remover. No, dip a sponge or clean cloth in the solution and dab it on the stain for 20-30 seconds.
Leave the stain in that condition for 25-30 minutes. Now, vacuum that area to clean the residue and allow it to dry to get a clean and stain-free carpet.
These were 32 household uses of borax. You might be surprised to know there are even more uses of the mineral.
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 that 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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