The many uses of Borax

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Fun Facts:

Borax, found in the detergent section of your local Target or grocery store, is not just a laundry detergent or booster; it’s a household cleaner that has been around since 1891 and has been a common household product for more than 130 years.  Borax is both a reliable and economical product. You can expect to pay around $6 for a box of powdered Borax.

Borax is a compound that is found in nature and contains boron, oxygen, sodium, and water. It’s also known as sodium borax, and is mined in and around Death Valley, California.

In fact, if you dig a little deeper, you can go on YouTube and find very old commercials featuring former President and actor Ronald Reagan dressed as a miner/cowboy promoting 20-Mule-Team Borax.  It’s a hoot. 

The seemingly infinite uses:

What can you do with a box of Borax?  You can do just about everything.

  • You can remove stains, odors, and greasy spots.  Use 1 teaspoon Borax to 5 1/3 cups of water   
  • Can be used as an insect deterrent.  However, you have to spread it out near your floor baseboards, so this is not an option for families or pet owners.
  • Combined with sugar, it kills ants.
  • According to some of our readers, it deters mice, roaches, and other household pests.
  • Cn be used as a weedkiller.  Be sure to do your research.  If you are trying to attract pollinators, it may be a deterrent. Do your research beforehand.
  • Can remove carpet stains and odors.
  • Fridge freshener
  • Washing cooking pots with stubborn food stains.
  • Good for tiled surfaces such as your bathroom and kitchen
  • Inside diaper pail
  • Add it to your dish load and it will reduce spots.
  • It’s a cheap toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Can be used as a water softener in laundry as it neutralizes minerals.
  • You can make your own detergent using Borax: Use 2 parts Borax to 2 parts Baking Soda, then add shavings from your bar soap. You can buy a dedicated (cheese) grater for this task.
  • Good for unclogging stopped-up bathtubs, sinks and toilets.
  • Get rid of rust when you add lemon juice. If you live in the snow belt, this will be especially helpful.
  • Window/glass cleaner
  • Used for organic gardening.  As this is not a gardening blog, nor are we botanists, we suggest you conduct your own research for best gardening results.

Feel free to share your own Borax hacks with us!

The not-so-fun facts:

Like any other detergent or cleaning product, Borax is toxic, so handle it carefully, and not while preparing food. If there are children or pets around, be sure to store your Borax and other cleaning products in cabinets that are shoulder-level or higher and must be separated from any food products.

Do not store food and cleaners in the same cupboard.

On the off chance someone does ingest one of these cleaning agents, call your local poison control or 911 right away.  Hopefully you will never have to exercise this option!

Use gloves; it’s best practices.

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