Borax also known as sodium borate is a naturally-occurring mineral which is created by the seasonal evaporation of salt lakes. This white powdered mineral is composed of water, sodium, oxygen and boron.
In the past people have used borax as a household product and today this powder is used in making glass and ceramics, as a metallurgical flux as well as potent antiseptic.
Borax is alkaline ingredient with pH 9.3 and it possesses incredibly powerful cleaning, disinfecting, deodorizing and freshening properties.
Experts explain that most residential water has a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5, and once a detergent is added in the washing machine, it changes the environment, so it is no longer neutral. It is important to mention that too alkaline or too acidic water does not clean the clothes well and sometimes it might damage the fabric. By adding ½ cup of borax, the water will soften and this mineral will bring its pH to 8.
Borax is a potent laundry detergent booster, but in same time it is completely safe natural bleach alternative.
In addition to that, borax has wide range of uses and below we are going to present you several ways about how to use borax in the home and garden:
Remove Clothing Stains
To each gallon of warm water in the washing machine add ½ cup of borax. Leave it soak for 30 minutes and then add the laundry detergent and run the wash. With this simple method you easily will remove grease, oil, and protein stains, pre-soak discolored and soiled clothes and linens.
Boost Dishwasher Detergent
Borax is perfect for boosting the potential of the dishwasher detergent and in same time it will clean and disinfects the interior of the dishwasher. All you should do is to sprinkle 1-2 cups of borax into the basin of the dishwasher, add some detergent and finally run the dishes.
In order to unclog the drains all you need is ½ cup of borax and 2 cups of boiling water. Pour the mixture down the drain and leave it act for 15 minutes. After that, simply rinse off with hot water.
Borax is effective all-purpose cleaner and you can use it for your kitchen and bathroom as well. Simply sprinkle some Borax on a damp cloth and then rub the sinks, tiles, tubs, faucets, grout, counter tops, toilets, cookware and appliances. Once you finish, rinse off with water.
In addition to that, you can clean and disinfect the toilet bowl: first pour some borax and then scour with a scrub brush.
In 1 ½ cups of warm water add ½ cup of borax and pour the resulted mixture in a spray bottle. Then, add 5-10 drops of some essential oil by your choice and use this mixture as an odor-neutralizing spray that is natural and completely safe for use.
Mix some borax and lemon juice in order to get a paste and then apply it on rusty objects. Leave the paste to act for 30 minutes and then scour with a scrub brush. Rinse off with clean water.
Insects, including the annoying fleas, ants, cockroaches, silverfish and beetles hate the boron in borax. You can keep the pests away simply by applying some borax on the areas where you have noticed insects. Another option is to prepare an insect bait paste by mixing borax with honey or corn syrup.
Homemade Candle Wicks
Prepare a mixture of 2 tablespoons of borax, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of boiling water. Soak a heavy twine in the resulted solution and leave it for 24 hours. After that, hang the wicks for 2 days and that’s it. Now you have a candle wicks that last longer and efficiently reduce ash and smoke when are burned.
Shine Windows and Mirrors
In 3 cups of warm water add 2 tablespoons of borax and then dip a cloth in the solution. Use this mixture to wipe down your windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors.
Treat Boron Deficiencies in the Garden
If you notice that the plants in your garden are stunted, if their foliage is browning at the leaf tips or if the plants do not bloom and fruit, the reason for that might be the fact that the soil in the garden is deficient in boron. Experts explain that boron is extremely important to plants such as: cabbage, broccoli, apples, onions, corn, pears, carrots and alfalfa.
In order to solve this problem, prepare a foliar spray of 5 tablespoons of borax, 5 gallons of water, and several drops of dish soap. Use the emulsifier to spray the leaves and stems.
Remove Adhesive Residue
In ¼ cup of warm water dissolve ½ cup of borax and use the mixture to eliminate tar, glue, gum and sticky spots.
Preserve Fresh Flowers
In order to prevent drying and withering of the flowers, all you need is to prepare a mixture of one part borax to two parts cornmeal. Pour the mixture in airtight container and then put the fresh flowers within. After that, you should cover them with the borax cornmeal powder again and store the container in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks.
Borax is perfect for removing the weeds from your garden. All you should do is to add 1 ¼ cups of borax and 2 ½ gallons of water into the weed sprayer and carefully douse the leaves of the plants in the garden. Make sure to douse the foliage only, not the soil.
Clean the Carpets
With the help of borax you can clean your carpets. In the steam cleaner, add ½ cup of borax for each gallon of hot water. Another option is to sprinkle borax on the rugs and carpets, leave the powder to act for 30 minutes and then vacuum it up.
In addition to that, you can use borax to remove the stubborn stains. Simply mix ½ cup of borax and 2 cups of warm water, then dip a cloth in the mixture and clean the carpets thoroughly.
Eliminate Black Mold and Mildew
Mix 1 cup borax and a gallon of water and pour the mixture in a spray bottle. Then, spray the area with mold and mildew. After that, thoroughly scrub the area with an old toothbrush, and rinse off with water. Borax will disinfect the area and completely will eliminate the mold and mildew.