Preparedness blog

Many Uses of Borax

By Jeff and Amy Davis
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Borax is the industry name borate, a mineral that occurs naturally. It is an affordable alternative cleaner that has countless uses around the house. Because it does not go bad and has many different uses – including cleaning and stain removal – Borax is an excellent item to have on hand in case of a survival emergency. In the meantime, using Borax instead of expensive special purpose cleaners can save you a lot of money.

flour-791840_1920These specialized cleaners typically advertise as having “new” or “advanced” formulas for very specific uses, but the truth is that you don’t need them. In order to stay profitable, brand-name cleaning products are constantly remaking themselves, but you can use traditional cleaners that work just as well if not better.

With Borax, you can make your own cleaning products that will easily remove stains and take care of most cleaning jobs around the house. Borax can be used to get whiter clothes from the laundry, disinfect and deodorize, and get rid of many different kinds of bugs.

Borax Uses and Recipes

Floor Wash - made by dissolving ½ cup of Borax in 1 gallon hot water and add a splash of ammonia. Mop floors normally.

Window Cleaner  - for even the grimiest windows: dissolve ½ cup of Borax in 1 gallon of warm water. Wash the windows with the Borax solution, and rinse off with regular water. Dry with newspaper to reduce streaking.

Disinfect and clean toilets by adding ½ a cup of Borax to the standing water in the basin. Let it stand for a few hours (even better, overnight) and clean with a toilet brush normally.

Car Wash Detergent - can be made by mixing ¼ cup of Borax into 2 gallons of warm water.

Remove Odors from Mattresses  - dampen the affected area with a wet cloth, sprinkling Borax and rub it into the mattress. Let the area dry and vacuum it to remove the Borax. This is particularly useful when you have young children who are not toilet trained.

Remove Carpet Stains - make a paste with Borax and warm water. Rub the paste into the stain, let the area dry and vacuum it to remove the Borax.
Unclog drains by pouring ½ a cup into the drain. Let it stand for up to an hour and then pour boiling water down the drain. Repeat as necessary until the drain is unclogged.

Ants - can be exterminated by mixing equal parts Borax and confectioner’s sugar and sprinkling it near the problem area. The ants will ingest the Borax and die. Keep pets and small children away while you are treating the area.

Kill Fleas in Carpets - sprinkle Borax on the carpet and leaving it overnight; then vacuum to remove Borax. Keep pets and small children away from the carpet while you are treating it.
Deodorize Carpets using the same method.

Clean and Sanitize Garbage Disposals - pour ½ cup of Borax into disposal. Add 1/8 cup of warm water and let stand for 1-2 hours. Rinse with hot tap water.

Clean Tile and Grout - make a dry paste with Borax and water. Scrub tile and grout with paste and a stiff-bristled brush.

Make Laundry Brighter, Cleaner, and Deodorized - add ½ cup of Borax to each load.

Prevent Weeds - from gaining a foothold in sidewalk and driveway cracks by sprinkling Borax into them.

Other Uses for Borax

You can also use Borax to clean:

Counter tops and baseboards – add ½ cup Borax to 1 gallon hot water and mix to dissolve. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray liberally and wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth.
Clean china until it sparkles with ½ cup of Borax added to 1 gallon warm water. Soak the china in the solution overnight, rinse well with cold water and dry.

Deodorize the dish washing machine - sprinkle Borax liberally on the bottom. Let it sit overnight and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove excess Borax. Run the next load of dishes as you would normally.

Clean pots and pans - scrub them with Borax and a damp sponge. Rinse them well and dry.

Independence from consumer cleaning products is an important way to stay prepared for emergencies, save money and be more environmentally friendly in the home. Borax is a great multipurpose tool for doing all of this and more.

If you have any other uses of Borax that you have found effective, we would love to hear about them. Please post your comments below in the comment section.

8 years ago
6 years ago at 6:14 PM
Where can you buy Borax besides Wal-Mart?
6 years ago at 12:47 PM
Any grocery store (and others) around where I live. It's in the laundry soap / cleaning isle. and It's cheap!
6 years ago at 9:42 AM
Believe it or not borate in a neutron killer and it is used in some nuclear power plants in emergencies when a reactor is heading to super-critical.
4 years ago at 11:15 PM
Is Borax the same as Boric Acid? I'm used to have some around when I was younger, but it (Boric Acid) is hard to find. Anybody got any sources?