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Ode to Borax…

March 19, 2009

Oh Borax, My Borax… For quite some time now I’ve been singing the praises of Borax to my sister. Every time she mentions a problem from deodorant stains on white shirts to goopy cat eyes I reply, “Oh, Borax will work for that.” Perhaps I over-estimate the power of the product but not by much. Read on…

What is Borax: A natural mineral compound that is mined for in the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Most of what I’ve read on-line about Borax presents it as a natural and green wonder substance. However, there were enough sites urging caution with the use of this product that I would be remiss not to mention it. I urge anyone interested in picking up a box for themselves to do some independent research and decide for yourself. To get you started, you can read more here.

Now, onto the many uses of Borax:

Best known for its cleaning abilities, Borax has been used in homes since the 1800s. Once you see all the things it can tackle, I think you’ll want to give a try in your home.

  • Cleaning Window and Mirrors: Dissolve 2 T. Borax in 3 C. water. Dip sponge in solution to clean windows and mirrors. You’ll be delighted by the streak free shine.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Pour 1 C. Borax in toilet bowl and let stand over night (lid down to keep out pets). Use brush to wipe away grime the next day. Works great on hard water and rust stains.
  • Sanitize Garbage Disposals: Pour 3 tablespoons of Borax down the drain and let it sit for an hour. Turn on the disposal, flush with hot tap water. Repeat once/month.
  • Rug Stains: Dampen area, rub in Borax. Let dry and vacuum. Remember to test a small inconspicuous area of your rug first for color fastness.
  • Fresh Smelling Rugs/Carpets: Spray a fine mist of water onto your rug, sprinkle on Borax. Vacuum when dry. This method will also kill fleas on your rug.
  • Urine odor and stains: Same as rug stains, great for pet areas and toddler mattresses. Mildew on
  • Fabric: Soak a sponge in a solution of ½ C. Borax dissolved in 2 C. hot water. Rub solution into affected area. Let soak until stain disappears (several hours), rinse well.  For clothing, soak garment in solution of 2 C. Borax to 2 quarts water.
  • Fine China: Add ½ C. Borax to your dish water for clean and sparkling China.
  • Weeds: Sprinkle Borax into the cracks of your sidewalk to prevent weeds. Be careful not to get any on your desirable plants, it will eliminate them too.
  • Dishwasher: Add a tablespoon of Borax to your detergent cup to eliminate water spots on your dishes/glasses.
  • Pots and Pans: Borax and water will clean your aluminum pots & pans.
  • Pest Control: A small amount of Borax mixed with powdered sugar will act as pest control. Ants, cockroaches and other creepy crawlers who eat the substance will die as a result. (Apparently, this is not because it’s a toxic substance but rather because Borax is very sharp to an insect and will damage their exoskeleton.)
  • Drain Cleaner: Mix Borax with boiling water to pour down a blocked drain. Grease melts away.
  • Cat Litter: Borax mixed in your cat’s litter box will control odor.
  • Scouring Powder Solution: ¼ C. Borax, ¼ C. Baking Soda, ! ½ C. hot Water. Stir until mixed for a perfect Tub, Toilet and Sink Cleaner.
  • Stainless Steel/Porcelain Sinks: Combine ¼ C. Lemon juice with 1 C. Borax to form a paste that will remove stains.

Stay tuned for more on the glories of Borax. In a future post, I’ll tell all about the wondrous craft projects Borax makes possible.

– Bea

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 2:25 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the info! With three very active kids there is a lot to clean at home. I’m gonna give it a try. Have you used it as a stain remover for clothes? My twins boys play baseball and from sliding and diving the clay gets rubbed in to their jerseys, pants, and even into the layers underneath. Was wondering if it would work?
    ~ingrid

  2. March 19, 2009 2:39 pm

    Hey, I tried looking for your email to answer your question about the awards. Here’s my email addy if you want to email me…… joes1pain@hotmail.com
    ~ingrid

  3. March 19, 2009 4:46 pm

    Interesting Read! Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. March 19, 2009 4:48 pm

    Thanks for mentioning this product, I’ve never tried it!

  5. sumshay permalink
    March 20, 2009 3:24 pm

    Okay, I must admit because of you, Bea, I have become a Borax fan!!
    In fact, the other morning I had a Borax “moment”, my love for it was overwhelming.
    Anyone that has animals know that they make messes…one of which is dog drool. Dog food dishes develop a saliva scum that may be one of the worst things to clean. Borax to the rescue!! A small sprinkle of powder in the bowl, a damp rag to scrub clean, a good rinse, and …presto, sparkling bowls.
    I was so thrilled that I thought I would have to call Michelle just to share!! She would have laughed at me for my excitement about cleaning something, but oh well.
    Oh, and cannot wait for the craft ideas. Summer made “OObleck” in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday at school and happily informed me that since we have “the stuff in the green box” we can make it here at home. Yeah!?!

  6. oneordinaryday permalink
    March 20, 2009 5:44 pm

    Ingrid – I use it as a laundry booster and have used it to pre-treat occasionally. I don’t know how it would work on clay but I’d certainly give it a try. Come back and tell us if you have success. It certainly can’t hurt.
    – Bea

  7. oneordinaryday permalink
    March 20, 2009 6:54 pm

    jhoney and Irene – You are welcome! Hope it’s useful to you.

    Michelle – You are a hoot! I would have made fun of you for being giddy over Borax, but only a little. : ) Now, I’m going to have to try it on the pet dishes too! You and Bea are getting me from both sides. LOL

    – Shell

  8. Mirasol permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:54 am

    One of the simplest ways to determine a flea drawback is to examine your pets stomach area and along the inside of the back legs. The hair is thinner in this area and easier to identify fleas. You can get rid of fleas by applying borax to your pet. It’s really effective and i tried it myself.

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