Borax is a staple of green cleaning recipes and traditional housekeeping.
The powder, also called sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is a boric mineral with preservative and cleaning properties.
While it’s considered a non-toxic ingredient, there is conflicting information about how safe it is to use. That because borax is closely related to boric acid, a poisonous substance that is most often used in pesticides.
However, the general consensus is that Borax is safe to use as long as it doesn’t come into contact with the eyes and it’s not ingested or inhaled. Borax can also be dangerous for pets and young children, so it should be stored in a safe place at all times.
15 Ways To Use Borax Around the House
To make sure you’re using a non-toxic product, pick an all-natural borax that doesn’t contain any additives or fragrance.
1. Remove Clothing Stains
Borax is perhaps best known as a natural alternative to bleach and other powerful stain-fighting solutions. The mineral fights grease, oil, and protein stains with ease. Borax is also slightly alkaline, so it can be used to protect clothing from slightly acidic tap water or detergents.
To use, pre-soak clothes in half a cup of water per gallon of water for 30 minutes. Add detergent and wash as usual.
2. All-Purpose Cleaner
Replace powdered cleanser with borax to clean tiles, sinks, faucets, grout, counter tops, tubs, toilets, cookware, and appliances. Sprinkle it on and scrub with a damp cloth. Rinse well with clean water and buff dry.
3. Dishwasher Detergent Boost
Clear away smudges, water spots, and soap stains on your dishware by sprinkling a cup or two of borax in your dishwasher before running the cycle as usual. The powder will also clean the machine as you run the cycle.
4. Neutralize Odors
Replace Febreze and other odor-fighting sprays by combining half cup of borax with 1 ½ cups of warm water in a glass spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to give it a nice scent.
5. Garden Secret
To revive dull and browning plants, or help them flower, give them a kick of the micronutrient boron by sprinkling a bit of borax on the soil. You can also combine 5 tablespoons of borax, 5 gallons of water, and a few drops of dish soap and lightly mist the leaves and stems of your plants. In particular, apples, broccoli, cabbage, onions, pears, carrots, alfalfa, and corn respond well to the treatment.