What is borax? It is a natural occurring mineral (a compound of the element, Boron). Borax has lots of practical uses (some listed below) and is often purposed as an affordable, natural cleaning, odor eliminating, eco-friendly cleaner used around the home.
Where does borax come from? One of the largest deposits is located in Boron, California, home to the U.S. Borax Boron Mine, the largest borax mine in the world.
More about borax and its uses:
Borax is used in a variety of laundry and cleaning products, perhaps most famously the “20 Mule Team Borax” laundry booster.
Today there are lots and lots of cleaners and brands to choose from and many of these cleaners are marketed towards specific cleanup purposes with their unique ‘special’ formulas.
Here’s the thing… More profits are made if they convince you that you need these special cleaners – “re-formulated”, “improved”, or “advanced”, etc..
The brands are constantly reinventing themselves and offering more choices and formulations, however somehow you keep paying more and more.
Borax though (marketed as a laundry booster), has many household uses and is comparatively quite cheap (inexpensive) when making your own cleaning solutions. It cleans, disinfects, deodorizes, softens water, and even “neutralizes” ants. Lets look at a few uses for borax:
Laundry Booster (add 1/2 cup Borax to wash load for brighter, cleaner, deodorized clothes)
Floor Cleaner (1/3 cup Borax, 1 gallon warm water, squirt of dish washing detergent, splash of ammonia)
Window Cleaner for very dirty windows (1/3 cup Borax, 1 gallon warm water, wash with soft cloth, then rinse using fresh water with soft cloth before drying to minimize streaks. Squeegee works best for no streaks.)
Toilet Disinfectant and Cleaner (1/2 cup Borax added to basin water, let stand for awhile, then clean with toilet brush)
Car Wash Cleaner (1/8 cup mixed with about 1.5 gallons of water)
Eliminate Urine Odor on mattress – handy for accidents while toilet training a youngster (dampen area, sprinkle and rub in Borax, let dry and vacuum)
Ants (mix equal amounts of Borax and powdered sugar, place near ant problem area – keep away from pets)
Carpet Stains (mix Borax with water to make paste, rub into stain, let dry and vacuum)
Unclog drains (dump 1/2 cup Borax into drain, let stand for 15 minutes, then dump in hot or boiling water )
Prevent Weeds from growing in pavement cracks (sprinkle Borax in cracks)
Garbage Disposer cleaner and sanitizer (dump 1/4 cup Borax into disposer, splash in just a little water and let stand for an hour or so, rinse with hot water)
Tile and Grout Cleaner (sprinkle Borax with just enough water to paste, scrub with brush)
Carpet Powder Deodorizer (sprinkle Borax on carpet, let stand overnight and vacuum)
Flea Killer (sprinkle Borax on carpet, let stand overnight and vacuum)
Fruit Trees (Sprinkle a cup of borax around a full-sized apple tree (or a couple of tablespoons around a young tree) every 3-4 years to add boron, a trace mineral, to the soil. It is needed for good cell wall growth and for fruit and seed development.)
Tub Soap Scum Removal (2 parts baking soda, 1 part salt, 1 part borax)
Fungus (It takes very little of the chemical to utterly INTERDICT the growth of fungus’s, so you could make up a batch in warm/hot water, and apply liberally. Rose growers have known this for decades.)
Welding Flux (Use 20 Mule Team Borax for welding flux when performing a forge weld)
Bed Bugs (Sprinkle where necessary – the same as for fleas)
RV Dirty Water Holding Tanks (Use it in the dirty water holding tanks in an RV / motor-home to eliminate those unpleasant smells)
I believe that borax is an excellent “prepper staple”.
If you have your own uses for Borax, leave a comment and let the rest of us know…