Uses for Borax

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral also known as sodium tetraborate. It is not harmful to the environment. But even though it’s natural, it can still be harmful. Use gloves when handling it and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Borax has been a household product for well over 100 years. The brand I like to use is 20 Mule Team Borax. It can be found easily at major retailers and local supermarkets.

Borax has many uses. Here are 20 uses for Borax.

Uses for Borax


Add 1 cup borax to every load of laundry as a booster or pre-soak laundry in 1/2 cup of borax and a splash of white vinegar for 1 hour prior to washing. For stains, mix borax and water to make a thick paste, work into the stain, allow to sit for 1 – 3 hours, rinse. Use Borax to hand-wash delicates, too. Soak delicates in 1/3 cup borax and 2 tablespoons mild laundry detergent, rinse.

Scented Laundry Detergent

1 large plastic cat litter tub
2 boxes Borax
2 boxes washing soda
8 pounds baking soda
6 bars Fels-Naptha soap, fine ground in food processor, or use a grater
1 bottle Purex scent crystals, 32-load size. (You can use Downy Unstopables, too.)
1 small box Gain powder, optional

Pour ingredients in layers into plastic tub and mix.

Carpet Cleaning:

Use a 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water in carpet steam cleaning machines. For carpet Stains, wipe stain, then mix borax with water to make a paste, blot into carpet, allow to sit till dry, vacuum

Unclog or deodorize:

Pour about 1/2 cup Borax down your drain and then follow up with boiling water to unclog and/or deodorize it (helpful for smelly garbage disposal drains, too). If you’re using it to unclog the drain, let the mixture set for 15 minutes and flush thoroughly with more hot water. Sprinkle some Borax into the bottom of your indoor and outdoor trash cans to keep them from smelling. Clean them out by rinsing the Borax out with a hose and drying them. Then add more Borax to redeodorize. It’s a good product to use on pet “accidents” and spilled milk on carpets, too. Blot the spill with a cloth. Pour Borax onto it and let it absorb and deodorize. Then vacuum. Test an inconspicuous area of your carpet beforehand.

Clean sink:

Use salt and lemon. I use regular liquid dishwashing detergent with baking soda, washing soda or Borax and a bristled dish brush to scrub. For shine, use furniture polish, baby oil or lemon oil, or wipe down with Windex. You might like the results from using Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend, too.

Uses for Borax

Source: 20 Mule Team

Wash Windows:

Combine a couple of tablespoons Borax and 3 cups water. Apply with a cloth to wash and wipe dry with a dry cloth.


Create a fun craft activity for kids.

1/2 cup Elmer’s white glue
2/3 cup warm water
food coloring
1 teaspoon Borax
2 glass bowls

In a small glass bowl, mix together glue, 1/3 cup warm water and food coloring (add enough drop until desired color). In another glass bowl, mix Borax and 1/3 cup warm water. Pour glue solution into bowl containing Borax mixture, gently stir together. It will be wet, and within a few minutes it will set.

Toilet Cleaner:

Sprinkle Borax around the bowl. Spray vinegar and scrub with a toilet brush. Flush to rinse.

Uses for Borax

Rodent Deterrent:

Sprinkle borax on the floor along the walls (mice like to run along the side of walls). They don’t like getting the borax on their feet, so they are less likely to return to that area of the house.


Using Borax as an ingredient, you can make “crystal” ornaments. Twist a pipe cleaner together to form a shape, such as a heart, spiral, circle or star. Tie a piece of string (about 6 inches long) to the pipe cleaner and the other end of the string to a pencil. Suspend in a large, wide-mouth glass jar. Check to see that the pipe cleaner doesn’t touch the bottom or sides of the jar. Adjust as needed. Set the pipe cleaner aside for a moment. Fill the jar three-quarters full with boiling water. Next, add 3 tablespoons Borax per cup of water. Add a tablespoon of Borax at a time and stir to dissolve each tablespoon of Borax added. You’ll see the water start to clear after you stir. When the water stops clearing after being stirred, stop. Place the pipe cleaner shape back into the jar. The pencil rests across the top of the jar. Let “crystal” ornament set aside (undisturbed) overnight. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water for added color or use colored pipe cleaners.

Uses for Borax

Cleaning Cookware:

Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly.

Clean Your Actual Dishwasher:

Mix equal parts 1/4 cup Borax and 1/4 cup baking soda into empty dishwasher and run using the hottest water setting.

For Dishes:

1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Kosher or coarse salt
4 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix, lemonade flavor (DO NOT use any other flavor, as lemon has the most dirt-busting citric acid) or Lemi-Shine

Combine all ingredients in a jar or plastic container with a lid. Place lid on container and shake several times to mix ingredients thoroughly. Use 1 tablespoon per load. If load is heavily soiled, use 2 tablespoons. Yields up to 40 loads.


Keep roaches, water bugs ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar.


Refrigerator Deodorizer:

Spilled food can be cleaned easily with a sponge or soft cloth and using a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Rinse.

Shower, Tub and Tile:

Sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use like powdered cleanser. This can be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching, too. Rinse thoroughly.

Car Wash:

Mix 1/8 cup borax and 1 1/4 gallons of warm water.

Clean Hairbrushes and Combs:

Mix a quarter cup borax and a tablespoon of a grease cutting dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) and vinegar in a sink of warm water. Swish brushes in the sudsy water, let soak, rinse, and let dry.