Borax is a naturally-occurring mineral, created by the seasonal evaporation of salt lakes, and is composed of water, sodium, oxygen, and boron.
Yet, it is used for more than a century as a household product, and is a potent laundry detergent booster, as a safe, green, and natural bleach alternative.
Its cleaning, disinfecting, deodorizing, and freshening properties are due to its high alkalinity, as its pH is 9.3. Most residential water has a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5, and detergents added in the washing machine change the environment, so it is no longer neutral.
Too alkaline or too acidic water does not clean the clothes well, and might even damage them. However, if you add half a cup of borax, it will soften the water and bring its pH to 8.
Yet, you can use borax in numerous other ways in the home and garden:
- Remove Clothing Stains
Add half a cup of borax to each gallon of warm water in the washing machine, and allow it to soak for half an hour before adding laundry detergent and run the wash, to remove grease, oil, and protein stains, pre-soak discolored and soiled clothes and linens.
- Boost Dishwasher Detergent
It will boost the potential of your dishwasher detergent, and it will also clean and disinfects the interior of the dishwasher, Just sprinkle a cup or two of borax into the basin of the dishwasher, add detergent, and run the dishes through.
- Unclog Drains
Pour a half cup of borax down the drain with 2 cups of boiling water, leave thus for 15 minutes, and flush with hot water.
- All-Purpose Cleaner
To have a clean and shiny bathroom and kitchen, sprinkle some Borax on a damp cloth and scrub away at your sinks, tiles, tubs, faucets, grout, counter tops, toilets, cookware, and appliances, and rinse with water.
Moreover, to clean and disinfect the toilet bowl, pour some borax and scour with a scrub brush.
- Neutralize Odors
Dissolve a half cup of borax with 1 ½ cups of warm water, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and add 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, and you will get your safe, natural, odor-neutralizing spray.
- Rust Remover
Prepare a paste by mixing borax and lemon juice, and apply it on rusty objects. Leave it to act for half an hour, and scour with a scrub brush. Rinse with clean water.
- Pest Control
Insects like ants, fleas, cockroaches, silverfish, and beetles hate the boron in borax, so in order to destroy them and keep them at bay, apply a bit of it borax to problem areas around the home, or mix it with corn syrup or honey to make an insect bait paste.
- Homemade Candle Wicks
If you want to have candle wicks that last longer, and effectively reduce ash and smoke when burned, you should bath heavy twine in a solution of 2 tablespoons of borax, 1 tablespoon of salt, and one cup of boiling water. Leave it to soak for 24 hours, and hang the wicks for 2 days before you start using them.
- Shine Windows and Mirrors
For streak-free glass, add 2 tablespoons of borax to 3 cups of warm water, and dip a cloth in the solution. Use it to wipe down windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors.
- Treat Boron Deficiencies in the Garden
Your soil in the garden might be deficient in boron if you notice that your plants are stunted, their foliage is browning at the leaf tips, or they do not bloom and fruit.
Boron is extremely important to cabbage, broccoli, apples, onions, corn, pears, carrots, alfalfa. Therefore, you should make a foliar spray of 5 tablespoons of borax, 5 gallons of water, and a few drops of dish soap as an emulsifier. Then, use it to spray the leaves and stems.
- Remove Adhesive Residue
To easily eliminate tar, glue, gum, and sticky spots, dissolve a half cup of borax in ¼ cup of warm water.
- Preserve Fresh Flowers
To prevent the flowers from drying and withering, in an airtight container, make a mixture of one part borax to two parts cornmeal, and then put the fresh flowers within. Then, cover them with the borax cornmeal powder again, and store in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks.
- Kill Weeds
In a weed sprayer, add 1 ¼ cups of borax and 2 ½ gallons of water, and carefully douse the leaves of the plants in the garden, only the foliage, but not the soil.
- Clean the Carpets
In your steam cleaner, add a half cup of borax for each gallon of hot water to clean your carpets. You can also sprinkle borax on the rugs and carpets, wait for half an hour, and vacuum it up.
To remove the stubborn stains, mix a half cup of borax with two cups of warm water, dip a cloth in the mixture, and clean them thoroughly.
- Eliminate Black Mold and Mildew
Mix a cup of borax and a gallon of water in a spray bottle and spray onto the area with mold and mildew. Then, scrub thoroughly with an old toothbrush, and rinse with water. This will disinfect and prevent growth.