The last two days I had the privilege of teaching classes at Pinner’s Conference in Salt Lake City. I talked about my “love affair” with making my own homemade cleaning products and taught how to make the 10 cleaning recipes on my website that have been pinned the most times on Pinterest.
As I looked at my demonstration table, it wasn’t hard to see that BORAX plays a big part in many of these recipes. I rarely am without a box or 2 (or more!) in my laundry and cleaning cupboards.
When I got home last night and sat down to do my post, I got to thinking about the uses for borax that I might not have tried and an idea for a NEW post was born. :-)
Before I proceed however, I will direct those of you who are concerned about whether Borax is “safe” to a post I did about this subject back in April of 2012. In a nutshell, that post says this:
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral also known as sodium borate. It doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment.
People have been using borax for over 100 years to clean their home and for use in their laundry and I personally have no problem using it in my homemade products.
That being said…….here are 30 ideas I have on my list to try!
Use a 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water in carpet steam cleaning machines.
Sprinkle a cup of borax around a full-sized apple tree (or a couple of tablespoons around a young tree) every 3-4 years to add boron, a trace mineral, to the soil. It is needed for good cell wall growth and for fruit and seed development.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. The next morning clean out the toilet bowl with a brush. The borax will loosen all the grime buildup.
Keep roaches, waterbugs, and ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar.
Sprinkle borax on dog beds, carpets, and other areas where you suspect that fleas are hatching. Borax releases boric acid, which is a poison (note that very high doses would need to be ingested to harm a pet or human).
Sprinkle borax on the floor along the walls (mice like to run along the side of walls). They don’t like getting the borax on their feet, so they are less likely to return to that area of the house.
Fresh-cut flowers of many varieties may be permanently preserved. Borax removes moisture from blossoms and leaves, thereby preventing the wilting which would normally result. Two different mixtures (by weight) are recommended: two parts 20 Borax and one part dry white sand, or one part Borax and two parts corn meal.
Violin String Saver
If you play violin or an instrument with a bow, when the hairs get gummed with rosin, instead of having it rehaired, dampen a toothbrush, dip it in borax, and scrub the bow hair in small sections. Try not to get the soap on the wood. Wipe clean and then re-rosin.
“Goo Gone” Remover
Mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. Rub on to get rid of sticky, gooey, gummy adhesive residue.
Better Homemade Candles
If you make your own candles, treat the wicks by soaking them in a solution of salt and borax to help reduce ash and eliminate smoke problems.
Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly.
Spilled food can be washed away with a sponge or soft cloth using a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Rinse with cold water.
To help keep your humidifier free of odor, dissolve one tablespoon of borax per gallon of water and add it to the unit. Be sure to rinse out this solution before refilling your humidifier with pure water prior to use.
Shower, Tub & Tile
Sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching. Rinse thoroughly.
Remove rust by mixing the above solution with a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste or 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
Mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture
Cat Litter Deodorizer
Minimize odor in your cat’s litter box by mixing a few tablespoons of borax in with the litter
Garbage Disposal Cleaner
Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water.
Remove mildew and mustiness from linens by soaking them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse clean.
Unclog drains with 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out.
Remove urine odor from a mattress. Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.
Garbage Can Deodorizer
Deodorize your garbage pail by filling it with borax and water. Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor causing moisture.
Useful for weeds that surface in concrete cracks and on walkways, but shouldn’t be used in the garden because it will also kill your plants.
Make your worn china sparkle again by soaking in a sink full of warm water and a 1/2 cup of borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual.
Clean Hairbrushes and Combs
Mix a quarter cup borax and a tablespoon of a grease cutting dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) in a basin of warm water. Swish brushes in the sudsy water, let soak, rinse, and let dry.
Make a thick borax and water paste. Smear it on the moldy area. Let set until dry (overnight or longer). Sweep up the powder, and rinse off the rest.
Make Clothing Flame Retardant
Mix together a cup of borax and 1/2 a cup of boric acid in one gallon water. If the article is washable, soak in the solution after final rinsing, then dry. If the garment is not washable, spray with the solution. This solution, recommended by fire departments, may wash out of clothing and should be used after each washing or dry cleaning.
I would love to hear the different ways that YOU use Borax!