Top Ten Uses for BORAX
You might never have thought about having a box of borax in your home but perhaps it is time to think again because this natural and even old-fashioned home help has so much to offer.
With a history going back some one hundred years, borax is a 100% naturally occurring mineral. It is formed by the seasonal evaporation of salt lakes. Borax is made up of boron, sodium, water and oxygen.
Does borax have special powers?
Borax is highly alkaline with a pH of 9.3 which helps borax to be so effective at cleaning, disinfecting, deodorizing and freshening powers.
The water that is piped into our homes will usually have a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5. When detergents are added to the water in your washing machine it can indicate that the water pH is not neutral, meaning that your clothing will not come through as clean as it could. In fact, water that is too alkaline or acidic can even damage the fibers over time.
By adding a half cup of borax to your washing cycle along with your regular laundry detergent, the water becomes softer and is brought to a more neutral pH level of about 8.
Borax is a natural, green, and safe alternative to bleach. But that is not all! There are lots of other benefits to be had when you use borax around the home.
1. Remove clothing stains
You can deal with grease, oil and protein stains by pre-soaking discolored and soiled clothes and linens in the washing machine by using a half cup of borax for each gallon of warm water. Allow it to soak for thirty minutes before adding laundry detergent and running the wash cycle through in the usual way.
2. Borax as an all-purpose cleaner
Instead of using commercial chemical powdered cleansers, sprinkle some all-natural, scratch-free borax on a damp cloth and scrub away at tiles, sinks, faucets, grout, countertops, tubs, toilets, cookware and appliances for clean and shiny bathroom surfaces and kitchen fixtures.
Always rinse each cleaned surface with water when done. You can also pour some borax into the toilet bowl and scour with a scrub brush to clean and disinfect.
3. Borax as a boost to dishwasher detergent
While taking care of those cloudy glasses, hard water spots and soap stains, borax not only improves the cleaning power of your dishwasher detergent, but it also cleans and disinfects the interior of the dishwasher itself.
Sprinkle one or two cups of borax into the dishwasher, add detergent, and run the dishes through as you normally would.
4. Borax for neutralizing unwanted odors
An eco-friendly alternative to those artificial and often harmful fragrances, make an odor neutralizing spray by dissolving half a cup of borax with 1 ½ cups of warm water and transfer to a spray bottle.
In addition, you can add five to ten drops of your favorite essential oil to create a fresh fragrance.
5. Use for treating boron deficiencies in the garden as well as getting rid of weeds
If your plants are stunted, their foliage is browning at the leaf tips or you are unable to get them to bloom and fruit, your garden soil may not have enough of the micronutrient "boron".
Apples, broccoli, cabbage, onions, pears, carrots, alfalfa and corn are especially hungry for boron and do well with a foliar spray of five tablespoons of borax in five gallons of water with a few drops of dish soap as an emulsifier. Then spray the leaves and stems evenly on any affected plants.
For getting rid of weeds, mix 1 ¼ cups of borax with 2 ½ gallons of water and transfer to a weed sprayer. Just be careful only to spray the leaves of unwanted plants in your yard while avoiding the ones you wish to keep. In addition, only spray the foliage and never the soil itself.
6. Pest control
The boron in borax is fatal to insects that groom themselves, such as fleas, cockroaches and silverfish.
Apply a very light dusting of borax to problem areas around the home or make an insect bait paste by mixing borax with honey or corn syrup.
7. Borax for removing rust
Combine together borax and lemon juice to form a paste. Apply this mix to rusty objects, allowing it to set for at least thirty minutes, and then scour with a scrubbing brush. Repeat these steps if necessary, remembering to always rinse clean with water when finished.
8. The easiest way to unblock drains
Clogged sinks can be naturally cleared by pouring a half cup of borax down the drain along with two cups of boiling water. Let it sit for fifteen minutes before flushing with hot water.
9. Another way to shine windows and mirrors
For streak-free glass, thoroughly mix three cups of warm water with two tablespoons of borax until it is completely dissolved. Dip a clean cloth into this mixture and wipe down windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors. Keep buffing with the cloth for an extra shine.
10. Eliminate black mold and mildew
Treat those areas affected with any mold or 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 thoroughly with an old toothbrush.
When finished, you don’t need to rinse the solution away – borax will continue to disinfect and inhibit fungal growth long after the initial treatment.