19 Surprising Uses for Borax Around Your Home

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Borax is known mostly used for boosting laundry, but did you know you can use it in many ways. Here are 18 frugal uses for Borax around your home and yard. Tips for using Borax include cleaning tips and ways to use Borax to get rid of pests.

Amazing Ways to use borax in your home

19 Surprising Uses for Borax Around Your Home

People have been using borax for over 100 years to clean their homes 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 of 19 Awesome Uses for Borax that I know you will love.

What is Borax?

Borax, also 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 very much like having an all purpose cleaner. 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 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 (because of 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. 

Read More Home Keeping Tips From Inspiring Savings

20 Mule Team Borax Uses

spray bottle in hand cleaning carpet

Flea & Pest Killer

Sprinkle on DRY carpets and in corners, letting it sit for at least 7 hours and, if possible, as long as a day.  The further you can get it into the carpet, the better. A stiff push broom might help really get 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 the important aspects of how to best get rid of ants.

Borax Carpet Cleaner

Always spot-test first in an area that is hidden. Blot with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Blotting lifts the stain and helps stop it from spreading. 

Spray the area with ice-cold water. Warm or hot water will set the stain in. Sprinkle borax over the spot. Place a damp cloth over the spot. Press into the carpet and set 45 minutes to 1 hour. Press the borax one more time into the carpet.

Remove the cloth and let sit until the borax is dry. Vacuum. You can repeat this process until all the stain has been lifted.

Urine/Mess Eliminator

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.

Grout Cleaner

Make into a paste with warm water and equal parts baking soda. You can also use borax and distilled white vinegar. Both combos work well and leave grout looking new. Use a scrub brush.

Laundry Additive

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 on the bottom. This is also good if you have a flea infestation.

You Use Borax to Kill Ants

Borax has a long-running reputation as being lethal to quite a few different kinds of indoor and outdoor insects. Borax is especially known to be a very effective ant killer!

Mix the borax powder with confectioner’s sugar, and then sprinkle it around your lawn, yard, near ant mounds, and ant trails. Ants will not eat borax by itself, you have to make it temptingly sweet.

Sprinkler around perimeters of the garage, house, etc. Please do note that borax will kill your grass, so be strategic when sprinkling.

Dishwasher Additive

Sprinkle into your sponge to help get the tough, cooked on junk off easier. You can even make yourself homemade dishwasher soap with it.

Garbage Disposal

Plus, you can freshen up your garbage disposal with a few tablespoons of Borax too. Sprinkle, run the water, and turn on your disposal. It is a quick and great way to remove smelly odors. You can even drop in a few of your favorite essential oils down the drain too.


Mix 1 ½ cups with a gallon of vinegar and mist on the 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. Spreading 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.

Borax to Kill Mold

The power of borax is in its ability to change the ph of mold.  Applying borax to mold creates an environment that is not suitable for additional mold growth.

In many cases, borax kills mold spores by turning up the pH levels and making their environment inhospitable. Please do not, that if mold is really bad, it may not remove it all.

How to kill mold with borax

  • Mix 1 cup of borax in one gallon of water (Very hot water)
  • Stir until dissolved
  • Place in a spray bottle and spray area. (do not use on unfinished wood or unfinished dry wood – as these materials are very porous in nature)
  • Scrub with a brush until the mold is removed
  • Wipe clean with a dry or damp rag

Rust Removal

Mixing 1 cup of Borax with 2 cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice works wonders on rust leave 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 for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.

Bouncy Balls

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, your bounce will also lose its bounce and eventually stop altogether. Still fun to do nonetheless. 

Mattress Freshener

Not only does Borax kill bedbugs, 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. Uses for borax are endless and can be fun.

Laundry Detergent

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 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 for every single wash. It truly does make a big difference.


Another amazing kid-friendly craft. Cheap, and fun, 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 changed its 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 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?

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  1. Borax powder will also kill fire ants, and the mound will never come back. Fire ants love to nest under the ground at the base of your trees, so be sure to check at the bottom of your trees and plants.

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