Borax is known mostly used for boosting laundry, but did you know you can use in many different ways. Here are 18 frugal uses for Borax around your home and yard. Tips for using Borax including cleaning tips and ways to use Borax to get rid of pests.
18 Awesome Uses for Borax
People have been using borax for over 100 years to clean their home and for use in their laundry. Known most commonly as Mule Team Borax, you can find this powder at most grocery stores, Wal-Mart and many online shops. It is relatively inexpensive which makes it a great choice for many household jobs.
I put together a list on 18 Awesome Uses for Borax that I know you will love.
What is Borax?
Borax also is known as sodium borate; is white and consists of small tiny crystals. Is a natural cleaner. By far Borax is very versatile and cheap. It is not harmful to the environment and is a household pantry staple of ours. I use Borax almost daily in my home and really you should be too.
First, let me start by stating that some of these uses are NOT endorsed by 20 Mule Team Borax, but I can attest that I have personally used Borax for everything mentioned below. Please use common sense and caution – don’t ingest, put in eyes or any other area of the body, beware of allergic reactions, etc.
Borax is a natural product, but so is arsenic, so again PLEASE be careful and read the warnings! Have fun!
Also, just a quick note: If your Borax gets rock hard (due to moisture), simply add some white rice in an old knee-high stocking and keep it in the box. The moisture will go to the rice and your Borax will remain granular. This happens often if you keep your borax in the laundry room where moisture is often found while doing laundry.
Uses for Borax
Flea & Pest Killer
Sprinkle on DRY carpets and in corners, letting it sit at least 7 hours and if possible, as long as a day. The further you can get it into the carpet, the better. A push broom might help really getting the powder down. Vacuum thoroughly and repeat if pest problems persist. Try to keep everyone off of the carpet while it sits.
**Keep in mind that you will also need to wash clothes, sheets, etc. and treat animals. Do NOT apply Borax directly to animals.
You can also use it to get rid of ants. Here is a great article that covers 8 natural ant remedies and all important aspects of how to best get rid of ants.
Use the same way as the flea & pest killer above.
Apply liberally to the soiled area and let dry (soak up what you can with a paper towel prior). Vacuum thoroughly. This is especially helpful with dog or cat urine and you can barely spot it once it’s vacuumed.
Make into a paste with warm water and equal part baking soda. You can also use Borax and distilled vinegar. Both combos work well and leave grout looking new. Use a scrub brush.
This acts as an oxidizing bleach and is gentle on clothes, thus it will lighten/brighten clothes. Also, this raises the pH of the wash, so fatty/oily stains are also removed.
Cat Box Freshener
You do not want to use a lot, but sprinkle a tablespoon or two in the bottom. This is also good if you have a flea infestation.
Sprinkler around perimeters of the garage, house, etc. Pests will not like the feel (or it will kill insects) and will not try to enter the perimeter.
Sprinkle into your sponge to help get the tough, cooked-on junk off easier.
Mix 1 ½ cups with a gallon of vinegar and mist on leaves of weeds. This will kill ALL plants, so avoid the ones you don’t want to kill. You can also sprinkle it dry where you’ve seen weeds. Spread the powder down heavily will prevent weeds from even popping up.
Be sure not to apply it when you are expecting rain because this could result in runoff and damage to your other plants.
Put a cup or two in a small box or tin, poking holes in the top. Leave in the refrigerator, closet, etc. and it will keep it smelling fresh.
Mixing 1 cup of Borax with 2 cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice works wonders on rust leave on for 15 minutes… This works well on things other than dishes, too. You can use it to remove rust from appliances and virtually anything metal. Stubborn rust spots leave on an additional 15 – 20 minutes.
Such a fun craft to do with the kids. We have made these before. There are tons of recipes out there, but this is the easiest.
The “bounce” does last more than a week. As the ball loses moisture, you bounce will also lose hit and eventually stop altogether. Still fun to do nonetheless.
Not only does Borax kill bed bugs, but it can revive an old mattress. Sprinkle on the mattress and let it sit for 7 hours, and vacuum off.
Help Trees Grow
Adding Borax (boron) to your soil in the right amounts will deliver healthier plants and healthier food. You do need to be careful not to overuse the product as it can be toxic.
Keep in mind that it can kill weeds, and it can also kill desirable plants in small amounts. Sprinkle around the base of a tree sprinkle a tablespoon. Only do this once a year. Again, too much will do the opposite and kill your tree.
Borax Crystals or Snowflakes
A kid-friendly Science experiment, read more here.
Do your clothes come out of the wash looking less than clean? You are going to want to use borax to your wash as an added booster. When making my own laundry detergent I use Borax.
Did you know that Borax converts some of the water molecules to hydrogen peroxide, which is a whitening agent. It also Neutralizes laundry odors. I hope I have you convinced to add to your next load of wash. I do this one to every single wash. It truly does make a big difference.
Another amazing kid-friendly craft. Cheap, fun and this activity does keep my kids entertained for hours. Beware: Keep away from carpeted areas. From experience, (oops) doesn’t remove easily. See our recipe here.
Please be mindful as this recipe is old. In fact, flubber has since changes name to the famous slime. I like to think that we were making this recipe before it became “cool”.
Filter Cleaner for your Stove Hood
Take 1/4 cup Borax and fill the sink with about a gallon of very hot water. Soak Hood Filter until clean. You will start to see the grease to float to the top of your water. Just watch the grease come off.
Now if you are looking to clean your cabinet, let me tell you. I personally came up with this mixture and it has become the biggest hit in cleaning. In fact, it is my highest rated post on Inspiring Savings. You can view this recipe here and get started cleaning. How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets And Degrease All Naturally
There are all Fun uses for Borax. Do you use borax in a different way, please share?