Borax – Many Uses for this Household Problem Solver
- Also see Borax for Mold Removal
Prevent Borax from clumping by removing from the box and store in a tightly sealed container to keep moisture out. Put something in with the powder like rice or a dry crust of bread that absorbs moisture
All Purpose Cleanser: Make an all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 tablespoons borax and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. The next morning clean out the toilet bowl with a brush.
- Dishwashing Detergent Boost: Line the bottom of the dishwasher using borax and run your next load of dishes as normal.
- Cookware Cleaner: Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner that’s great for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly.
- Unclogging Drains: For help with drains use 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out.
- Garbage Can Deodorizer: Deodorize your garbage pail 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.
- Rust Remover: Use 1 tablespoon of Borax, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste with a sponge or scrubber to remove the rust from your items.
- Bathroom Cleanser: Sprinkle borax 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 the finish. Rinse thoroughly.
- Cleaning Porcelain Sinks: Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with this recipe: Make a paste with 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
- Cleaning Kitchen Surfaces: Borax provides scratch-free cleaning for counter-tops, cookware, appliances, and more. It’s perfect for removing stains, ground-in dirt, and other buildups on a multitude of surfaces, from tile to granite to stainless steel.
- Steam Cleaning Carpet: Add 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water to give the cleaning power a boost when you steam clean carpets
- Sticker Residue Remover: Get rid of sticky, gooey, and gummy adhesive residue. Simply mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio, then rub the mixture onto the residue.
- Deodorizing the Refrigerator: 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.
- Sink: Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste of 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
- Floor Cleaner: Mix 1 teaspoon of dish detergent mixed with 1/3 cup of Borax, 1 tablespoon of ammonia and a gallon of hot water makes a wonderful floor cleaner.
Using Borax for Pets and To Prevent Pests
Borax can be used to clean, but it is also great with pets and keeping unwanted bugs away.
- Insects: Keep roaches, waterbugs, and ants away by sprinkling equal parts of Borax and sugar anywhere you suspect they may be entering your home.
- Mice: Did you know that if you sprinkle Borax along the walls and doorways, you can help get rid of mice. Mice hate to have it on their feet and won’t return.
- Fleas: Does your pet have fleas? Sprinkle Borax on dog beds and crates to eliminate fleas. Also be sure to sprinkle it on carpet or anywhere else you think the fleas may be hatching.
- Cat Litter Deodorizer: Minimize odor in your cat’s litter box by mixing a few tablespoons of borax in with the litter.
Clever Ways to Use Borax
These are really cool ideas to use Borax. All of these were so surprising to me.
- Preserving Fresh Cut Flowers: To use Borax to preserve your flowers, mix two parts 20 Borax and one part dry white sand to keep those flowers from wilting quickly.
- Violin String Saver: If you play violin or an instrument with a bow, you can clean the bow hairs when they get gummed up with rosin. Just dampen an old toothbrush, dip it in borax, and gently scrub the bow hair in small sections. Avoid getting the any water or borax on the wood. When you’re done, wipe the bow hairs clean and re-rosin.
- DIY Crystal Geodes: Grow your own geodes to use for all sorts of cool things, using Borax, like this fun project on ETSY.
Remove Old Stains
Clothes with old stains might end up in the back of your closet, but you can use borax to remove them quickly. Add borax to a bucket of water and soak the stained item for at least 30 minutes before turning on the washing machine. Borax has a pH level of 9.5, so it naturally breaks down stains and buildup without damaging fabric.
3. Control Pest Problems
As the weather warms up and more pests in your home and around your yard, apply a thin layer of borax around infested areas. Bugs like roaches, ants, and fleas won’t stand a chance, because borax is also a desiccant. That means it absorbs water from its environment, preventing any pests from living where you sprinkle it. You can add honey to make borax bait or sprinkle it in your yard to kill pests, although you’ll have to reapply it if any of the powder gets wet.
RELATED: A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home
4. Feed Your Fruit Trees
If you grow fruit trees in your backyard, borax may help you get the right pH balance in your soil for optimum plant growth. Any plant needs boron to successfully grow and reproduce cells, which isn’t possible if the soil pH is low. Borax has a high pH level of 9.5, so it gently raises the acidity of your soil to help your plants bloom. Cover the base of your full-sized tree with borax to add boron to the soil. It reinforces the tree’s cells and encourages healthy seed and fruit development.
RELATED: 10 Secret Ingredients to Make Your Garden Grow
5. Preserve Fresh Flowers
You can make a bouquet last longer by preserving it with borax. Dusting it on the leaves will remove any remaining moisture so that they dry without wilting, according to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. After two weeks, you’ll have dried flowers that appear frozen in time.
6. Clean Your Cookware
Borax is great at removing dried grease and food from aluminum or porcelain cookware because of its high pH level. The alkaline that helps make borax’s acidity breaks down tough grease and stains because it’s so strong. The key to getting the best results is to rub the dry powder on the dishes with a damp washcloth before rinsing and cleaning with your preferred soap.
RELATED: 12 Smart Dish-washing Hacks No One Ever Taught You
7. Polish Your Bathroom
Tiled showers and floors in bathrooms often need cleaning to mitigate mildew and mold growth. Put borax to work here: Cover the tiles and grout in borax and scrub with a sponge or bristle brush. The mess will disappear, making your bathroom look good as new.
8. Sanitize Outdoor Furniture
Before you enjoy the outdoors from your porch or patio furniture, clean off any mold and bacteria it may be harboring. Borax will clean wood, plastic, and fabric surfaces so that your furniture is ready for use. Scrub hard surfaces with a bristle brush and borax soap mixture and clean outdoor cushions with borax soap water and a sponge. After the cushions have soaked for at least 15 minutes, you can rinse them off and air dry them before using them again.
RELATED: The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Patio Furniture
9. Unclog Your Drains
The next time your kitchen or bathroom drains clog, combine a half-cup of borax with at least 2 cups of boiling water and let the mixture sit in your drain for 15 to 20 minutes. It will break down the buildup so that liquids drain normally again, given its high acidity and ability to break down grease due to its alkalinity.
10. Freshen Your Carpets
One of the best borax uses is as a carpet freshener. Sprinkle it and let it sit for 45 minutes to one hour to absorb bacteria to remove odors. Vacuum thoroughly afterward, so the carpet is safe for kids and pets to play on.
RELATED: 7 Secrets to Keep Your Carpet Looking New
11. Get Rid of Rust
The natural 9.5 pH level of borax breaks through oxidation and removes rust from most surfaces like bikes, wrenches, and keys without the added help of powerful chemicals. Combine borax with lemon juice and scrub rust away with rags and a helpful pair of gloves.
Create a Cleaning List
Bathroom tiles, clogged drains, and moldy outdoor furniture are no match for this all-natural ingredient. There are so many borax uses to try, so it’s helpful to start with a list. Figure out how to use borax around your home by identifying what you need to repair or improve. Then, stock up accordingly! You’ll find borax online at Amazon and at most grocery stores.
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