Deserving of the accolades generally reserved for white vinegar and baking soda, borax is so much more than just a laundry detergent booster. Used in many homes for more than 100 years, borax is a naturally-occurring mineral, a product of the seasonal evaporation of salt lakes. It is composed of boron, salt, water, and oxygen.
Extremely alkaline, the pH of borax is 9.3 and this basic quality is exactly what offers borax its excellent cleansing, decontaminating, deodorizing, and freshening powers. Since most residential water is pegged at a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5, the addition of detergents in your washing machine often means the water pH isn’t really neutral.
Water that is too alkaline or acidic will not clean your clothing well, and even worse yet, can even damage the fibers with time. By including a half cup of borax to your washing cycle together with your regular laundry cleaning agent, the water becomes softer and is brought to a more neutral pH level of about 8.
Borax is a natural, green, and safe option to bleach. Keep reading to discover other methods borax can be used around the house and garden.
Remove Clothing Stains
Best for grease, oil, and protein stains, pre-soak discolored and stained clothing and linens in the washing machine by using a half cup of borax for each gallon of warm water. Let it to soak for thirty minutes prior to adding laundry detergent and running the wash through as usual.
In lieu of Ajax and other powdered cleansers, spray some all-natural, scratch-free borax on a wet cloth and scrub away at tiles, sinks, faucets, grout, counter tops, tubs, toilets, cookware, and home appliances for clean and shiny bathroom surfaces and kitchen fixtures. Constantly wash each cleaned surface area with water when done. You can likewise pour some borax into the toilet bowl and scour with a scrub brush to clean and decontaminate.
Boost Dishwasher Detergent
Taking care after those cloudy glasses, hard water spots, and soap stains, borax not just ratchets up the cleaning power of your dishwasher detergent, it also cleans and decontaminates the interior of the dishwasher itself. Spray a cup or more of borax into the basin of the dishwashing machine, include detergent, and run the dishes through as you usually would.
An eco-friendly option to products like Febreze, make a smell neutralizing spray by dissolving a half cup of borax with 1 ½ cups of warm water and transfer to a spray bottle. Feel free to add 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to make a fresh scent.
Treat Boron Deficiencies In The Garden
If your plants are stunted, their foliage is browning at the leaf tips, or you are not able to get them to bloom (and therefore fruit), your garden soil may not have enough of the micronutrient boron. Apples, broccoli, cabbage, onions, pears, carrots, alfalfa, and corn are particularly hungry for boron and do well with a foliar spray of 5 tablespoons of borax in 5 gallons of water with a few drops of dish soap as an emulsifier, and spray the leaves and stems evenly on affected plants.
The boron in borax is fatal to bugs that groom themselves, such as ants, fleas, cockroaches, silverfish, and beetles. Use a very light dusting of borax to problem areas around the house, or make an insect bait paste by mixing borax with honey or corn syrup.
Mix borax and lemon juice to form a paste. Apply this mix to rusty objects, and let it set for a minimum of thirty minutes, and after that scour with a scrub brush. Repeat these actions if required, and always rinse clean with water when done.
Clogged sinks can be naturally cleared by pouring a half cup of borax down the drain together with 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so and flush with hot water.
Shine Windows And Mirrors
For streak-free glass, thoroughly mix 3 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of borax until it is completely dissolved. Dip a clean cloth into this mix and wipe down windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. Make a little effort to buff and shine.
Mix 1 ¼ cups of borax with 2 ½ gallons of water and transfer to a weed sprayer. Given that borax doesn’t discriminate, thoroughly douse the leaves of unwanted plants in your lawn while avoiding the ones you want to keep, and try to only spray the foliage and never the soil itself.
Eliminate Black Mold And Mildew
Deal with areas affected with mold and mildew with a combination of one cup of borax and one gallon of water. Spray or wipe the solution on to the problem area, scrubbing completely with an old toothbrush. When finished, you do not need to wash the solution away– borax will continue to decontaminate and inhibit fungal growth long after the initial treatment.
Get Rid Of Adhesive Residue
Whether it’s taking an old label off a glass jar or getting rid of a pesky price sticker from a recent purchase, you can use borax instead of commercial items like Goo Gone. Dissolve a half cup of borax in ¼ cup of warm water to quickly remove glue, gum, tar, and other sticky spots.
Clean And Spot Treat Carpets
The next time you use a steam cleaner on your carpets, include a half cup of borax for each gallon of warm water. No steam cleaner? You can likewise lightly sprinkle borax on your carpets and rugs, wait 30 minutes, and vacuum it up. For stubborn spots, mix half cup of borax with two cups of warm water and use a cloth to blot the stain thoroughly.
Maintain Fresh Flowers
Creating stunning dried flowers that do not look sad and wilted is simple, just set aside an airtight container and make a mix of one-part borax to two parts cornmeal. Add a few of this dry mix to the container, place your fresh flowers inside, and carefully cover them with the remainder of the borax cornmeal powder. Cover and store in a cool, dry location for 2 weeks.
Better Homemade Candle Wicks
For long lasting candle wicks that reduce ash and smoke when burned, try bathing heavy twine in a solution of 2 tablespoons of borax, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of boiling water, letting it to soak for 24 Hr. Hang wicks to dry for two days prior to usage.