15 Ways to Clean Your Home with Borax
Did you know that you can use borax in several ways? It’s a great product to have at home because it works wonders at cleaning all kinds of things. If you’re not sure how to clean your home with borax, look at this list of the 15 ways to do so with ease!
15 Ways to Clean Your Home with Borax
You can purchase Borax at your local grocery stores or on Amazon. Borax Detergent Booster Many of us have heard of 20 Mule Team Borax from the TV ads from years ago. It is a popular and proven product that can be used as an all-purpose cleaner.
What is Borax?
I quote Wikipedia: “Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve in water.”
How do I store Borax, if I live where it’s humid?
This is actually a really good question because humidity causes havoc with borax since over time it will become clumpy or even like a total brick. I highly recommend you store your borax in an airtight container as shown below.
These are the ones I use to store my borax: 32-Ounce Mason Canister Jars I used a Stainless Steel Wide-mouth Funnel to fill them. These are the same ones I use for my brown sugar storage to try and keep it from getting too hard. I love them!
15 Ways to Clean Your Home with Borax
1. Use It to Clear Clogged Drains
Are you dealing with a clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom? Take care of it before it gets any worse. You can use borax to clear clogged drains by pouring a cup of it into the drain.
Once you’ve added it to the drain, add two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of vinegar into the drain, leaving the concoction to sit for 30-60 minutes. After allowing it to sit for a bit, run hot water down the drain to clear anything that might’ve been stuck.
It also helps keep the smell out of your kitchen garbage disposal-based sinks. You just sprinkle a little in the disposal, after cleaning the rubber “ring” in the drain and the smell is gone.
2. Add It to Your Laundry in the Washing Machine
Borax is an incredible addition to your typical laundry routine. When adding it to white clothes, it leaves them looking whiter than before. However, you can add it to the washing machine full of clothes of any color.
It works great to get rid of odors and help to remove stains. If you have children who often get stains on their clothes, borax is a must-have.
I used it as one of the main ingredients for a DIY laundry detergent too (see below). That product was fairly easy to make, and we had fun doing so. Besides making a great laundry product, it was cheaper to make and went a long way. I really love using it in my high-efficiency washing machine.
3. Include Borax as Your Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
If you’d like to make cleaning products that are safer to use around the home, combine a cup of water with a cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of borax, and a teaspoon of your favorite dish soap detergent. Mix well, add to a spray bottle, and use it as an all-purpose cleaning solution for any room in the home.
A good thing is you don’t have to rely on those gritty scrub products that can scratch various surfaces. Grab a clean sponge or a clean damp rag and go after those surface stains, hot drink surface marks, and other tough-to-remove nuisances.
4. Make a Paste to Clean Your Grout
Combine equal parts of borax with baking soda and water to create a paste that works well at getting rid of dirt and grime on your grout. Apply the solution on the grout, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and then scrub away with a scrub brush of your choice. Your grout will look even better than you can imagine without dangerous chemicals and lots of hard work!
5. Add It to the Water in Your Mop Bucket
Add two tablespoons of borax to your hot mop water. You don’t need harsh chemicals or fancy products to clean your floors. It works well to get rid of the dirt that accumulates on the floor over time. It is also less likely to leave troublesome streaks on the floor when the sun shines on it.
6. Make a Window Cleaner
Would you like your windows to shine? If you’d like to get rid of streaks and spots on your windows, add two tablespoons of borax to two cups of warm water. Use a gentle cloth, dip it into the solution, and then wipe the windows with a dry cloth and work from top to bottom.
7. Clean the Woodwork
If you have wood furniture in your home, such as dresser drawers and nightstands, you can dust them and then give them a thorough cleaning using warm water and borax. It’s a simple way to ensure that the furniture looks its best without using any products that could potentially damage the furniture and strip it of its paint.
Don’t forget to get your outdoor furniture ready for a busy spring and summer of BBQs and pool parties. It is known as an effective cleaner when you need to remove rust that often shows up on metal outdoor tables, chairs, and other items left out in the weather.
8. Create the Perfect Solution for Your Carpets
When you don’t want to use harsh products that leave strong odors in the home while cleaning the carpets, use borax and water. If you have a carpet shampooer, add hot water and two tablespoons of borax to the chamber and get started. The solution works wonders to lift dirt, leaving the carpeted floor looking its best and odor free.
9. Scrub the Toilet
Get rid of those hard water stains and any mold that you might notice in your toilet by sprinkling a bit of borax inside the toilet bowl. Allow the borax to sit in the toilet for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing away with your toilet bowl brush.
10. Clean the Walls of Your Home
Remove dirt and other markings from the walls of your home using borax. You’ll add two cups of hot water to a bucket, along with two tablespoons of borax and two tablespoons of your favorite dish detergent. Mix well and then dip a mop into the solution, using it to wipe the walls down.
Depending on how dirty the walls are, you might need to wipe the walls down afterward with some clean rags or towels. Borax is also useful to remove those crayons and pencil marks kids like to leave on the wall when they feel creative. No reason to get mad, just let them help you get those marks off and learn a lesson at the same time.
11. Get Your Washing Machine Clean
After washing so many clothes in the washing machine, there will come a time when you need to clean the machine to get rid of any dirt or other residue left behind. Sprinkle borax and distilled white vinegar into the washing machine and allow it to run a complete cycle to clean it out. Don’t put clothes in it during this time!
Rather than waiting to see scum in the washer or noticing it smells bad, I suggest you put a “clean the washer” note in your calendar every month so you’ll remember. Maybe if you just make it a habit to do this step on the 1st or 15th of each month that will work too.
12. Remove Soap Scum and More from the Bathtub
If you’ve got soap scum, hard water stains, and other dirt marks in your bathtub, use borax to tackle the problem. Sprinkle the borax inside the tub, pour two tablespoons of vinegar on top, and allow the mixture to sit for 15-30 minutes before using a scrub brush to scrub away all the dirt and scum.
Rinse off the borax and the scum with fresh water and that tub will look like new again.
13. Clean Brass Fixtures
If you have any brass fixtures in your home, you can get them clean by combining vinegar and borax to create a paste. Apply the paste to these fixtures, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently rub it off. Your brass will shine! Please check your manufacturer to be sure it is safe on your particular brass.
The same holds true for your chrome fixtures as you find used in faucets. The borax is much safer than gritty cleaning pads that can leave scratches on metal surfaces.
Porcelain sinks and tubs are pretty common and borax is a great solution to help keep them clean and sanitary.
You can also try making a “paste” with borax and water to remove the mildew around the bathtub grout.
14. Get Rid of Couch Odors
Do you feel like your couch has an unpleasant smell to it? It’s something that can happen over time, especially if you have pets in the home. You can sprinkle borax on the couch cushions, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuum it. Borax is an effective deodorizer.
If you have leather couches be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper cleaning.
15. Make Your Cabinets Look New Again
Add two tablespoons of borax to a gallon of hot water, dip a microfiber cloth into the solution, and use it to wipe away any dirt and grime on your cabinets. By the time you finish, the cabinets will look new again.
While you’re in your kitchen cleaning those cabinets, take some time to clean the outside of the various appliances found in the kitchen. I’m moving stuff in and out and from shelf to shelf in my refrigerator all the time. The shelves in your fridge need a good cleaning from time to time, so use your borax solution to keep them clean and odor free.
Is Borax Safe?
The short answer to this question is yes. However, borax must be used responsibly. Many chemicals used today contain carcinogens. According to the Harmful Substances Database, borax is not one of those chemicals. It has not been classifiable as a human carcinogen.
Although borax is considered safe by the HSDB, it is important to note that like other household substances, borax can have a mildly irritating effect on your skin, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Items such as baking soda and washing soda will have the same effect. It can also be toxic to adults if ingested in LARGE amounts. It can be fatal to children if ingested in SMALL amounts, so always keep borax and other cleaning products out of the reach of young children.
This means that borax is perfectly safe as long as you don’t plan to ingest it and keep it away from children just like any other household cleaning product.
Can I Feed My Fruit Trees?
If you’re into being prepared, you may have fruit trees on your property. If there is a disaster, you may not be able to find fruit tree food. Instead, you can sprinkle a cup of borax around a full-sized apple tree every 3-4 years. This will add the mineral boron to the soil which is what your fruit trees need for good cell wall growth and seed development.
Can I Use It To Get Rid Of Pests?
From cockroaches, roaches, and ants to water bugs, borax works great at getting rid of household pests. Sprinkle equal parts of borax and sugar wherever you think the bugs are entering your home. You can also use this in your shed or garage.
If your animals have fleas, you can use borax to kill them. Sprinkle borax on the animal beds, carpets, and wherever you think the fleas are hatching. Leave it to sit for an hour then vacuum.
Cleaning Ratios You May Want To Try
In addition to using borax for laundry, you can use it to clean other things as well. Here are some cleaners you can make using borax:
- Shower tile cleaner: To make shower tile cleaner, mix ¼ cup of borax with one gallon of water. Spray on your shower tile and rinse.
- Scouring powder: You can make a liquid version of Comet by mixing ¼ cup of borax with ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 ½ cups of hot water.
- Floor/wall cleaner: Mix ¼ cup of borax with one gallon of water to make a great solution for washing your floors and walls. *Be sure to check your floor type before using*
- Urine cleaner: In addition to baking soda, you can use borax to clean and deodorize urine in couches and on mattresses. Dampen the mattress with water, sprinkle borax over the area, rub it in, and let it dry. When dry, vacuum.
- Disinfectant: Borax can also be a powerful disinfectant. To disinfect garbage cans and other “nasty” items, use 1 cup of borax to 1 gallon of water.
- Dish cleaner: Because borax has a gentle cleansing effect, it is perfect for porcelain and aluminum dishes. Sprinkle it onto your pots and pans and rub it with a damp washcloth. Rinse well.
- Toilet cleaner: Pour ¼ cup of borax into your toilet and swish around for a sanitary toilet cleaner.
How Much Borax Should I Store?
Because borax is so versatile, it should be something you stock up on in case of a disaster. From cleaning to feeding your fruit trees, this is something you want to have around. But, how much should you store?
Depending on your family size, I would suggest stocking at least 5 boxes of borax at any given time. If you plan to use borax for all your household cleaning, laundry, and other household chores, you may want to store more.
If you live where it’s humid, you must store this product in an airtight glass container or it becomes a brick, literally from the moisture in the air.
How Do I Make Fun “Slime” for the Kids?
Ok, I know this isn’t really a “use,” but it’s fun. If you have no power, which means no TV, this is a great activity that will keep the kiddos occupied for a while. Here is an easy way to make slime with borax:
- 4 ounces of school glue
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Food coloring
- 1 tsp borax
- Combine glue, 1/2 cup of water, and food coloring in a bowl.
- Stir the ingredients together.
- In a separate bowl combine borax and 1 cup of warm water.
- Stir until dissolved.
- Pour the bowls together. Knead the “slime” until it feels smooth like slime should.
- Drain excess water and continue to knead.
Have you tried my Laundry Detergent Recipe?
In case you missed this post, DIY Laundry Detergent. It’s really one of the best laundry booster products around. If you have a cloth with a stubborn stain soak it in some borax and water and keep checking it to see if the stain is gone.
Now that you know 15 ways to clean your home with borax, it’s an excellent time to stock up on this essential household item that you can put to good use. So which cleaning solution do you think you’ll try first? Tell us about your experience with borax, we love to share ideas. May God Bless this world, Linda.
10 thoughts on “15 Ways to Clean Your Home with Borax”
Hi Linda. I love this! I keep Borax on hand at all times. It’s great. I did use some with cornmeal for ants in the yard. I don’t know if it killed them, but the mound is empty. I’ll be using it for more ant mounds. Here’s hoping they all go away one way or another. Borax and sugar are good for ants in the house as well as other unwanted bugs.
Hi Deborah, oh ants are the worst. Well, mice are bad too! LOL! Great tip on the cornmeal! Love it! Linda
A couple years ago, we were on a cross country trip and traveling in our RV. We decided to spend the night in Boron, CA. This is where the open pit mine is and Borax. They have a really lovely visitors center at the mine site and beautiful displays with information. It was amazing to see the list of products that Borax is used in.
The docent at the museum had worked at the mine for nearly 40 years and had many stories. We really enjoyed it. AND found a really cute tshirt at the gift shop.
It is a great product and I have been using your recipe for home made laundry detergent and have been using that for many years.
If you have a little extra time, it is well worth a visit.
Hi Laura, oh, now I want to go visit that visitor center!!! Thanks for the heads up! I will look this one up! Linda
I have read Borax can be toxic to dogs, so please use caution in areas they stay in!
Hi Gwen, a great reminder for our dogs, thank you!! Linda
I LOVE the laundry soap! I bought an inexpensive food processor and blender strictly for making the laundry detergent. I didn’t want to chance getting my good appliances with that soapy flavor. Best decision I ever made. I only use a scant tablespoon and the batch I make (double) lasts me almost a year! Even my 13 yr old grandson only wants this laundry detergent. It’s so inexpensive compared to commercial detergent. Awesome!
Hi Robbie, oh I love hearing this! It’s inexpensive and works great! The bonus is you use very little and it lasts a year!!! Yay! Linda
What a great post. Boron is one of those micronutrients essential to healthy plant growth and in particular to development of seeds. In my apocalyptic novels “The Dying Time Impact” and “After the Dying Time” the lack of boron severely impacts the astronauts who have taken up residence on the moon because the heirloom seeds they save from each generation of crops are losing potency. Meaning each successive generation of plants grows less productive. Unless they can solve that problem they face starvation.
HI Ray, that makes sense, they would lose potency. Great comment, Linda