Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of applications, from cleaning to scientific research. With its unique chemical properties, borax has proven to be a versatile and effective ingredient in many different products and processes.
In recent years, borax has gained renewed popularity as a natural cleaning and laundry booster, as well as for use in gardening and other household applications. Lets explore the many uses of borax, including its benefits and potential risks, and provide tips for safely and effectively incorporating it into your household routine.
Whether you are looking for a natural way to clean your home or seeking a non-toxic alternative to harsh chemicals, borax may be just what you need.
What is borax?
Borax, also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, is a naturally occurring mineral composed of boron, sodium, oxygen, and water. It is found in large deposits around the world and has been used for thousands of years in a variety of applications, including as a cleaning agent, a food preservative, and a pesticide.
In its natural state, borax appears as white or colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. It has a wide range of uses, from laundry detergent to antifreeze, and is also used in scientific research and industrial processes.
Is borax safe?
Borax is generally considered safe when used as directed and in moderation. It is commonly used in household cleaning products and has been approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
However, it is important to use caution when handling borax, as it can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, especially when it is inhaled in large quantities. Ingesting large amounts of borax can also be toxic, so it is important to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
It is important to follow the instructions on any products containing borax, and to avoid inhaling or ingesting it. Additionally, some people may be sensitive to borax and may experience allergic reactions, so it is always a good idea to test a small amount on a patch of skin before using it more widely.
Ways to use Borax
Laundry booster: Borax is sold in the laundry department because its most common use is as a laundry additive. You can use it as part of your homemade laundry detergent as well as a laundry booster for your favorite laundry detergent from the store. Add a half cup of borax to your laundry load to boost cleaning power and brighten colors.
Carpet cleaner: Mix borax with water and use as a carpet cleaner to remove stains and odors. This is a great way to boost your carpet cleaner and get a better result on tough carpet stains.
Dishwasher detergent: Borax can be used as a dishwasher detergent booster to help remove stubborn stains. Try adding 1/4 cup to your soap dispenser for cleaner dishes.
Drain cleaner: Pour a quarter cup of borax down your drain followed by hot water to help clear clogs and get rid of unwanted odors. If you have a garbage disposal add a few citrus peels and some ice down the drain.
Glass cleaner: Mix borax with water and use as a glass cleaner to remove streaks and grime. This is a great option if you do not like the smell of vinegar.
Pest control: Sprinkle borax around the perimeter of your home to help control pests like ants and roaches. This is a simple way like using Diatomaceous Earth for pest control so you do not have to worry about unwanted bugs in your home.
Weed killer: Mix borax with water and spray on weeds to kill them. This will put the Borax into your soil so do not use this in your garden where you are growing food as it can kill off plants you want to keep as well.
Rust remover: Make a paste of borax and lemon juice and use to remove rust from metal surfaces.
Toilet cleaner: Add a quarter cup of borax to your toilet bowl and let sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing. Add some lemon juice if your toilet has hard water stains.
Jewelry cleaner: Soak jewelry in a solution of borax and water to remove dirt and grime.
Fire retardant: Borax can be used as a fire retardant in fabrics and other materials. Try using some around the outer line of your fire pit to prevent fire and keep grass and weeds at bay.
Odor eliminator: Sprinkle borax in the bottom of your trash can or litter box to help control odors.
Tile and grout cleaner: Mix borax with water and use as a tile and grout cleaner to remove stains and grime.
Furniture polish: Mix borax with lemon juice and use as a furniture polish to clean and shine wood surfaces.
Soap making: Borax can be used in soap making as a natural preservative for your homemade soaps. Because borax is a cleaning booster it will improve the effects of your soap as well.
Antifungal agent: Borax can be used as an antifungal agent to treat athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
Slime maker: Borax can be used to make homemade slime with glue and water.
Toilet bowl cleaner: Mix borax with vinegar and use as a toilet bowl cleaner to remove stains and grime.
Pet urine odor remover: Mix borax with water and use to clean pet urine stains and odors. Add to your mop water or to your carpet cleaner to help get rid of pet odors.
Silverware cleaner: Soak silverware in a solution of borax and water to remove tarnish and restore shine.
Goo remover: Use borax to remove sticky residues like glue or gum. This is a great way to avoid paying the high price for Goo Gone. This is a great
Mold and mildew remover: Mix borax with water and use as a mold and mildew remover on bathroom and kitchen surfaces.
Floor cleaner: Mix borax with water and use as a floor cleaner to remove stains and grime. I like to add it to my floor cleaner to help break down build-up on our tiles.
Detergent booster: Add a half cup of borax to your detergent to boost cleaning power and help remove stains. This is great for cleaning your kitchen to remove grease from your backsplash or stove hood.
Where to buy Borax
Borax can be purchased at most grocery stores, big-box retailers, hardware stores, and online retailers. In grocery stores, borax is often found in the laundry aisle, as it is commonly used as a laundry booster and stain remover.
Look for trusted brands such as 20 Mule Team Borax, which is a popular brand of borax in the United States. Hardware stores may carry larger quantities of borax, and it can often be found in the cleaning or pest control sections. Online retailers such as Amazon also offer a variety of borax products, including bulk options.
When purchasing borax, be sure to check the label to ensure that you are buying a product that is pure borax and does not contain any additional ingredients or additives.