13 Ways to Use Borax Around the House

Updated: Apr. 24, 2023

You might already know borax is great addition to your laundry, but there are plenty of other ways to use this old-school cleaner.

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Why we love borax

While you may recognize borax as Grandma’s go-to laundry product, the cleaning mineral (also known as sodium borate) is making a comeback in homes across the country—along with these old-school cleaning tips. Here are some genius uses for borax around the house.

Want to stock up on Borax? You can purchase it here.

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Dirty dishes in the sink

Clean your sink

For stainless steel and porcelain sinks, make a paste consisting of four parts borax to one part lemon juice. Scrub with the paste, rinse with warm water, watch for the shine.

Watch out for these cleaning mistakes that might be making your home dirtier.

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Taste of Home

Make slime

With just a teaspoon of borax, you can make the ooey-gooey craft your kids are always talking about. Here’s our step-by-step guide to easy homemade slime.

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Cleaning the toilet; Shutterstock ID 708918775; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Clean your toilet bowl

Pour a cup of borax powder into your toilet bowl and let it sit overnight. The next morning, you’ll easily be able to scrub any grime away.

Are you cleaning your bathroom wrong? Find out.

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Open dishwasher with clean dishes after cleaning process.

Refresh your dishwasher

Scrub the inside of your dishwasher with borax powder, or simply line the bottom of your dishwasher with a layer of borax, and run the dishes. Your dishwasher will be fresher and more effective. (And there’s always this other way to clean your dishwasher without using harsh chemicals.)

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White sugar in wood bowl; Shutterstock ID 160507631; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH
saichol chandee/Shutterstock

Put pantry pests out to pasture

Pantry pests are just…ick. But we have natural ways to get rid of them. Borax is one of them. You know how you can attract flies with honey? Well, using equal parts of borax and sugar, you can attract pantry pests, but they won’t survive for another trip to your cupboards (borax is toxic to them but only toxic to humans in large amounts).

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Golden retriever dog puppy playing with toy while lying on den

Protect your pets

Use this bug-killing powder to help get rid of those other pests—fleas—by sprinkling borax on dog beds, carpets, and other areas where you suspect the bugs might be hatching.

These pet-proofing tips help keep your furbabies safe while you’re away.

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spray bottle, best things to buy at a grocery store that aren't food

Freshen the air

Since commercial air fresheners may contain carcinogens and other toxins, consider borax as a green alternative: make a solution of three parts warm water to one part borax, transfer to a spray bottle, and add five to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray away!

These are the best homemade cleaners to use around the house.

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Baking soda on Washbasin; Shutterstock ID 1109941169; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Clear your drains

Clear clogged sinks by pouring a solution of one part borax to four parts boiling water down the drain. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then flush with hot water. Here are a few tips for making a homemade drain cleaner.

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DD Images/Shutterstock

Unclog your toilets

You can also unclog your toilet using borax. Scoop out as much water as you can from the bowl, and then add a half a cup of borax powder. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then pour 2 cups of boiling water in, and flush. Repeat as needed.

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Simon Kadula/Shutterstock

Get rid of streaks on windows and mirrors

For streak-free glass, mix three cups of warm water with two tablespoons of borax powder until it’s completely dissolved. Using a clean cloth, dip in and wipe down. Buff, shine, and be streak-free.

These cleaning secrets will make your home shine.

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Alex Nemskov/Shutterstock

Kill weeds

Kill weeds without chemical pesticides by mixing one and a quarter cups of borax powder with two and a half gallons of water. Spray ONLY on the weeds—this solution will kill any plant it touches, not just weeds. Also be sure to spray ONLY the foliage, and not the soil.

These pantry ingredients will help your garden grow.

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Cast iron skillet on rustic wood table.
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Clean cast iron

Here’s how to season your cast iron cookware. And you can keep that precious seasoning in place longer by cleaning with borax and salt, rather than soap. Use a solution of one part borax to one part salt. Scrub, rinse, and then dry thoroughly before storing away.

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Anna Berdnik/Shutterstock

Clean combs and brushes

Clean your combs and brushes by soaking them in a sink filled with warm water, a quarter cup of borax powder and a squirt of dish soap. Rinse clean!

Get to know baking soda as another non-toxic all-purpose cleaner.

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