Borax*, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring substance and an eco-friendly solution for many things around the house.
Clean your toilet: Dissolve 1/2 cup of borax with 1 gallon of water. Scrub the toilet with a strong brush, let it sit and flush to rinse. This non-abrasive cleaner can also be used in the bathtub or on counters.
Make your own floor and wall cleaner: Mix 1/3 cup borax, 1 tablespoon ammonia and 1 teaspoon dish detergent into 1 gallon of water.
Deodorize your garbage pail: Fill 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.
Unclog drains: Use 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.
Clean or remove urine odor from a mattress: Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue. Spray with a vinegar and water solution.
Remove carpet stains: Dampen the stain and rub some borax on it. Vacuum it, then finish it off with a vinegar and water solution. Let it dry and repeat if necessary.
Scrub dirty pots and pans: Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon of borax and warm water. Because borax is non-abrasive, it will work on the grime without damaging the surface material.
Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks: Make a paste with 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
Clean your garbage disposal: Put 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water. This will sanitize it, taking care of any smelly bacteria.
Deodorize and clean your fridge: Wash it with a borax and water solution.
Bring life back to your worn china: Soak it in a sink full of warm water and a 1/2 cup of borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual.
Use as a laundry detergent: Add one cup of borax to each load and significantly boost your cleaning power.
Remove stubborn stains: Mix 1 cup of borax with 2 cups of warm water and apply the paste directly to the stain. Let it sit, then launder as usual.
Soften your water: When doing laundry add borax to the load.
Remove mildew and mustiness from linens: Soak them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse them clean.
Remove rust: Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water.
Remove oxidation from metals: Make a Paste using ¼ cup of Borax and a small amount of water. Apply the paste using a brush, let this mixture sit on the aluminum item for at least 10 minutes. More intense stains may need as long as an hour of soaking before coming off. Use a damp cloth to remove any excess paste that has been left behind. Finish by thoroughly drying the item with a dry cloth.
Clean outdoor furniture: Wash it with this mildew-zapping solution: In a spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water.
Kill weeds: Sprinkle borax where you’ve seen weeds previously appear. This is 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. Sprinkle some borax around the perimeter of the house too and you’ll be free from ants and other intruding insects.
Kill fleas: Sprinkle borax on your carpet. Leave it for an hour and vacuum it up thoroughly.
Keep roaches and ants away: Sprinkle a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar.
Keep mice out: Sprinkle borax on the floor along the wall.
Get rid of bed bugs: Sprinkle borax on your mattress. Let it sit and vacuum it up.
* Warning * Although borax is natural, it can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Wear gloves while handling borax, protect the eyes with safety goggles, and avoid inhaling powdered borax or the steam it emits when mixed with hot water. Provide adequate ventilation, and follow product label instructions for further safety precautions and recommendations. If unsure of the color fastness of any material or surface, test the following solutions in an inconspicuous area first. Exercise commonsense, and keep borax away from children and pets. * Use Caution *