Cleaning & Organizing
13 Ways to Use Borax Around the House
You might already know borax is great addition to your laundry, but there are plenty of other ways to use this old-school cleaner.
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.
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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.
Photo: Taste of Home
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.
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.
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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.)
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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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Shutterstock / Arina P Habich
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.
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!
Taste of Home
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