How to Use Borax for Cleaning, Laundry, Stain Removal and More


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Every home wizard out there is surely aware of the common laundry booster – borax.

Also known as sodium borate, borax is a naturally occurring mineral that has been a trustworthy household staple for more than 100 years. However, the use of this mighty salt of boron need not be limited to the laundry room.

Composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water, borax serves well as a safe and effective all-purpose cleaner at a fraction of the cost of those upmarket commercial products.

Learn how to use borax for cleaning, laundry, stain removal, and more
Learn how to use borax for cleaning, laundry, stain removal, and more

To help you avoid unnecessary use of harsh chemicals in your home, we’ve compiled a list of 20 frugal ways to use borax for cleaning. You can also check out more ways that borax can be used around your house.

For now, read on to learn how easy it is to use borax for cleaning, laundry, stain removal, and more.

Contents

# KITCHEN

Method 1: Clean the Oven-Toaster Grill (OTG)

Use borax for cleaning your OTG
Before and after using borax to clean your OTG

For those who love their oven-toaster grill (OTG), this versatile appliance rarely gets a break from use. But all that cooking can leave food particles and oil sticking to the walls of the oven, and it eventually turns downright grimy and gunky.

A combination of borax, baking soda, and liquid dish soap will help clean your toaster oven effortlessly.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning oven-toaster grill

  • Borax (removes stains) – 2 teaspoons
  • Liquid dish soap (cleaning agent) – 2 tablespoons
  • Baking soda (abrasive agent) – ½ cup
  • Warm water – 2 cups

Step 1. Add borax, dish soap and baking soda to water

Combine borax, baking soda, liquid dish soap, and water to use borax for cleaning
Combine borax, baking soda, liquid dish soap, and water
  • Pour 2 cups of warm water into a container.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of borax to the water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap.
  • Finally, add ½ cup of baking soda to the mix.

Step 2. Mix well, pour it into a spray bottle & use

Mix thoroughly and transfer into a spray bottle to use borax for cleaning
Mix thoroughly and transfer into a spray bottle for use
  • Stir it well to dissolve all the ingredients in the water.
  • Using a funnel, pour the prepared solution into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the insides of your OTG. Make sure that you saturate the hard stains well.
  • Allow the solution to work on the stains for 30 minutes.
  • Use a kitchen sponge to scrub off the loosened stains, then wipe it dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Method 2: DIY Dishwasher Cubes

You can make your own dishwasher soap cubes using borax along with simple and nontoxic ingredients. This recipe will also take care of hard water stains that can be difficult to get rid of. In fact, this is one of the best ways to use borax for cleaning.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning to make DIY dishwasher cubes

  • Washing soda (removes grease stains) – 1 cup
  • Borax (cleaning agent) – 1 cup
  • Epsom salt (removes hard water stains) – ¼ cup
  • White vinegar (deodorizer) – ¼ cup
  • Lemongrass essential oil (antibacterial, pleasant fragrance) – 8 to 10 drops
  • Food coloring – 3 or 4 drops (optional)

Step 1. Combine the three dry ingredients

Mix washing soda, borax and Epsom salt in a bowl to use borax for cleaning
Mix washing soda, borax and Epsom salt in a bowl
  • Put 1 cup of washing soda in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 cup of borax and ¼ cup of Epsom salt to it.

Step 2. Add vinegar, essential oil and food coloring

Add white vinegar, lemongrass essential oil, and food coloring to use borax for cleaning
Add white vinegar, lemongrass essential oil, and food coloring
  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the dry ingredients.
  • Add 8 to 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
  • Optionally, you can add 3 or 4 drops of food coloring as well.

Step 3. Mix & transfer the paste to an ice cube tray; let the cubes set

Mix well and fill an ice tray with the mixture to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and fill an ice tray with the mixture to make dishwasher cubes
  • Stir the ingredients thoroughly to get a uniform mix.
  • Fill an ice cube tray with the mixture. Press the mixture down with your fingers to pack it tightly into each slot of the tray.
  • Let it sit for at least 24 hours in a dry and sunny space.

Step 4. Store the cubes in an airtight container & use 1 per load

Once set, carefully extract the dishwasher cubes to use borax for cleaning
Once set, carefully extract the dishwasher cubes and store them in an airtight container
  • Gently remove the cubes from the tray.
  • Store the dishwasher cubes in an airtight jar.
  • Use 1 cube for each load of dishes.
Use 1 DIY dishwasher cube to use borax for cleaning
Use 1 DIY dishwasher cube for each cleaning cycle

Method 3: Clean the Sink

Use borax for cleaning a white sink
Before and after cleaning with borax

It is important to clean your sink regularly to prevent food stains from setting in and also to stop any bacterial growth. A simple mix of borax, baking soda, table salt and washing soda will take care of both. This recipe works equally well for cleaning porcelain sinks and stainless steel ones as well.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning the sink

  • Borax (mild bleaching agent) – 2 teaspoons
  • Table salt (abrasive agent) – 2 tablespoons
  • Baking soda (deodorizer and disinfectant) – 2 tablespoons
  • Washing soda (cleaning agent) – 2 tablespoons

Step 1. Combine all the ingredients

Mix washing soda, baking soda, borax and salt to use borax for cleaning
Mix washing soda, baking soda, borax, and salt in a bowl
  • Put 2 tablespoons each of baking soda, table salt and washing soda in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of borax.

Step 2. Mix well & store the cleaner in an airtight jar

Mix well and store in an airtight jar to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and store in an airtight jar; use it to clean your sink as and when required
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Spoon the mixture into an airtight container.
  • Empty the sink you want to clean and sprinkle a small amount of the cleaner all over the sink.
  • Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub the surface with a kitchen sponge.
  • Thoroughly rinse the sink with water.

Method 4: Clean Delicate Dishware (Porcelain and China)

Use borax for cleaning delicate dishware
Before and after cleaning with borax

If you’ve managed to stain your prized porcelain or china dishware, don’t fret. Soaking the dish in a borax solution will take away the stains in a jiffy. This hack will also make your old china shine as bright as new.

Step 1. Soak the stained dish in a borax solution

Soak your stained porcelain or China in a borax solution to use borax for cleaning
Soak your stained porcelain or China in a borax solution
  • Put ¼ cup of borax in a large bowl.
  • Fill the bowl 3/4th of the way with water.
  • Stir well to dissolve the borax.
  • Put the stained dish in the solution and let it soak for 30 minutes.

Step 2. Rinse the dish with plain water & let it air-dry

Retrieve your dishware after 30 minutes and rinse well to use borax for cleaning
Retrieve your dishware after 30 minutes, rinse well and let it air-dry
  • Retrieve the dish from the borax solution and rinse it with plain water. Do not scrub chinaware or porcelain, as it could erode its delicate surface and dull its shine.
  • Allow the dish to air-dry completely before you use it or store it away safely.

Method 5: All-Purpose Cleaner

Use borax for cleaning-to make all-purpose cleaner
Before and after cleaning with borax

If any part of your kitchen needs some extra cleaning, prepare a solution of borax and warm water. The cleaner is safe to use on kitchen countertops and cabinets made of any material and will easily get rid of all kinds of stains.

Single-Step Method: Prepare a solution of borax and water & use as a cleaner

Mix borax and water to prepare DIY cleaning solution and use borax for cleaning
Mix borax and water to prepare DIY cleaning solution
  • Add 2 tablespoons of borax to 2 cups of hot water.
  • Mix the two well and transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Use the solution like your regular cleaner to clean your kitchen countertops and cabinets.

# LAUNDRY

Method 1: Laundry Booster

Does your laundry appear dull and dirty even after a thorough cleaning? You can use borax the old-school way to boost the cleaning power of your laundry detergent. It will also help soften hard water, deodorize your clothes, and keep your fabrics soft.

Single-Step Method: Prepare a borax solution & add it to the wash cycle

Mix borax with water to make DIY laundry booster and use borax for cleaning
Mix borax with water to make DIY laundry booster and add it to laundry before running a complete wash cycle
  • Add 1 tablespoon of borax to 2 cups of hot water.
  • Stir well and store the solution in an airtight container until needed.
  • Add the solution to your laundry and run a complete wash cycle.

Your clothes and linens will feel much softer and brighter after just one wash. 

Method 2: Stain Remover

Borax can also be used as a presoak for treating stains. It acts as a mild bleaching agent and can easily remove tough stains from clothes and linens.

Single-Step Method: Presoak tough stains in a borax solution

Presoak tough stains in a solution of borax and water to use borax for cleaning
Presoak tough stains in a solution of borax and water for stain removal
  • Prepare a solution using 1 tablespoon of borax for every 1 gallon of water.
  • Soak the stained clothing or linen in the solution for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it with water and launder it as usual.

Method 3: Soften Hard Water

Hard water not only ruins your clothes but also hampers the functioning of your appliances. A quick fix to this problem is adding borax to your laundry load. Borax helps balance out the pH level of the water, thus making it safer to wash your delicate fabrics.

Single-Step Method: Add borax to your laundry load

Add borax to your laundry load before washing to use borax for cleaning
Add borax to your laundry load before washing to soften hard water
  • Add ½ cup of borax to each laundry load and run a normal wash cycle.
  • You can use your discretion and increase the quantity to ¾ cup if your washing machine has a higher capacity and if the quality of water is really poor.

Method 4: DIY Detergent

Looking for your next DIY project? Try your hand at this easy-peasy recipe for DIY detergent and save up the money you would otherwise spend on expensive laundry products.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning to make DIY detergent

  • Castile bar soap, shredded (cleaning agent) – 1 cup
  • Baking soda (stain remover and deodorizer) – ½ cup
  • Borax (laundry booster) – ¼ cup
  • Epsom salt (water softener, keeps fabric colorfast) – ¼ cup

Step 1. Combine all the ingredients

Mix shredded soap, borax, baking soda, and Epsom salt to use borax for cleaning
Mix shredded soap, borax, baking soda, and Epsom salt
  • Put 1 cup of shredded Castile bar soap in a mixing bowl.
  • Add ¼ cup of borax to it.
  • Add ½ cup of baking soda as well.
  • Finally, add ¼ cup of Epsom salt.

Step 2. Mix well & store it in an airtight jar

Mix thoroughly and use an airtight jar for storage to use borax for cleaning
Mix thoroughly and use an airtight jar for storage
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly using a spoon.
  • Transfer the DIY detergent mix into an airtight jar and use as needed.

Use 1 tablespoon of the DIY laundry detergent for front-loaders and 2 tablespoons for top-loaders.

Make DIY laundry detergent to use borax for cleaning
Use your DIY laundry detergent to keep your clothes clean, fresh, and soft

Method 5: Brighten Whites

White fabrics can easily turn dingy with regular washes. Once in a while, they need some extra TLC. Borax along with other cleaning agents can help brighten your white clothes and linens.

Things you’ll need:  

Things needed to use borax for cleaning to brighten whites

  • Borax (bleaching agent and boosts laundry) – 1 tablespoon
  • Liquid dish soap (gentle cleaning agent) – 2 tablespoons
  • Laundry detergent (stain remover) – 2 tablespoons
  • Bleaching powder (whitening agent) – 2 tablespoons

Step 1. Combine all the ingredients

Mix borax, laundry detergent, liquid dish soap, and bleach to use borax for cleaning
Mix borax, laundry detergent, liquid dish soap, and bleach in a bowl
  • Put 1 tablespoon of borax in a bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons each of laundry detergent, bleaching powder and liquid dish soap to it.

Step 2. Mix well & store it in an airtight container

Mix well and store in an airtight container to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and store in an airtight container
  • Blend all the ingredients well.
  • Spoon the mix into an airtight jar for storage.
  • Fill up your washing machine with hot water. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mix to the water.
  • Let the whites soak in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes, then let the washer agitate for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Follow up with 2 rinse cycles.

Retrieve the clothes and hang them up to air-dry.

Use this DIY whitening solution to use borax for cleaning
Use this DIY whitening solution with borax to keep your whites bright and shining

# BATHROOM AND TOILET

Method 1: Clean a White Sink

Use borax for cleaning your white sink
Before and after cleaning with borax

Borax can also come handy to keep your sink a pristine white. It acts as mild bleach on the stains. The vinegar and dish soap used in this hack help cut through the gunk, and disinfect and deodorize the area as well.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning a white sink

  • Liquid dish soap (cleans stains) – ¼ teaspoon
  • Borax ( bleaching agent) – ¼ tablespoon
  • White vinegar (disinfects and deodorizes) – ½ cup

Step 1. Combine vinegar, borax and dish soap

Mix white vinegar, borax, and liquid dish soap to use borax for cleaning
Mix white vinegar, borax, and liquid dish soap
  • Pour ½ cup of white vinegar into a container.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of borax to it.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of liquid dish soap as well.

Step 2. Mix well, store it in a spray bottle & use

Mix well and transfer to a spray bottle to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and transfer to a spray bottle, use it to clean your white sink
  • Blend all the ingredients well.
  • Transfer the solution to a small spray bottle for ease of use.
  • Generously spray the solution over the entire sink.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub the sink with a brush or sponge, then rinse it with water.

Use it once a week to keep your sink sparkling white.

Method 2: Clean a Toilet

Similar to porcelain sinks, borax can also be used to clean your toilet. It will help cut through the grime and also make the pot whiter, due to its bleaching properties.

Single-Step Method: Leave borax in the toilet overnight

Use borax for cleaning your toilet
Use borax to clean your toilet
  • Put 1 cup of borax in the toilet pot and leave it in overnight.
  • The next morning, scrub the pot with a toilet brush and flush it to rinse it out. All the stains should be completely gone.

Method 3: Remove Mold and Mildew

The moist environment of your bathroom is the perfect place for mold and mildew to grow and flourish. However, it is not in the best interest of your health, and you need to get rid of it as soon as you spot the growth.

A simple mix of borax and bleach, diluted in water, will help kill the fungal growth safely.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning to get rid of mold and mildew

  • Borax (disinfectant) – 1 tablespoon
  • Liquid chlorine bleach (disinfectant) – ¼ cup
  • Water – 1½ cups

Single-Step Method: Mix bleach and borax in water & spray it on the fungal growth

Combine bleach, borax, and water in a spray bottle to use borax for cleaning
Combine bleach, borax, and water in a spray bottle
  • Pour 1½ cups of water into a spray bottle.
  • Add ¼ cup of liquid chlorine bleach and 1 tablespoon of borax to it.
  • Put the nozzle on securely and shake the bottle to blend all the ingredients.
  • Spray the solution on the infested area and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Use an old brush or scrubber to remove the mold or mildew, then rinse the area with water.
Use this DIY spray to use borax for cleaning
Use this DIY spray to get rid of mold or mildew

Method 4: Unclog a Drain or Toilet

Unclogging a drain or toilet is now easier than ever. All you need is a cup of borax. The borax breaks through the clogged material and a jet of hot water helps flush away the gunk.

Single-Step Method: Put borax and hot water in a clogged drain or toilet

Use borax for cleaning- to get rid of a clogged drain or toilet
Use borax and hot water to get rid of a clogged drain or toilet
  • Put ½ cup of borax into a clogged drain. Use 1 cup for a clogged toilet.
  • Pour 3 to 4 cups of boiling hot water in the drain.
  • Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run the tap water or flush the toilet to push out the loosened material and clear the pipes.

# HOUSE

Method 1: DIY All-Purpose Cleaning Wipes

Cleaning wipes come in really handy if are prone to spilling stuff. You can use borax along with rubbing alcohol and baking soda to make cost-effective, all-purpose cleaning wipes.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning-to make cleaning wipes

  • Borax (stain remover) – ¼ teaspoon
  • Baking soda (deodorizer, abrasive agent) – ½ teaspoon
  • Reusable wipes – 5 or 6
  • Water – ¾ cup
  • Rubbing alcohol (stain remover, disinfectant) – 1½ tablespoons
  • Lavender essential oil (adds fragrance) – 3 or 4 drops

Step 1. Prepare the cleaning solution

Combine borax, baking soda, lavender essential oil, and rubbing alcohol to use borax for cleaning
Combine borax, baking soda, lavender essential oil, and rubbing alcohol
  • Pour ¾ cup of water into a glass measuring cup or bowl.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of borax and ½ teaspoon of baking soda to it.
  • Pour in 1½ tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
  • Optionally, add 3 or 4 drops of lavender essential oil. You can use any other essential oil of your choice.

Step 2. Stir well & pour the solution over the cleaning wipes

Mix well and pour it over the cleaning wipes to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and pour it over the cleaning wipes
  • Stir well to mix all the ingredients.
  • Place the reusable wipes in a plastic container.
  • Pour the prepared cleaning solution over the wipes and allow them to soak up the liquid.
  • Put the lid on the container to ensure the wipes don’t dry out.

When you’ve spilled something, simply take out one wipe and use it to clean up the spill. Once all the wipes are used, wash them thoroughly and soak them again in a fresh solution.

Use your DIY cleaning wipes to use borax for cleaning
Use your DIY cleaning wipes to clean furniture and other items all over your house

Method 2: Clean and Remove Odors from Carpet

Use borax for cleaning-to remove stains from carpet
Before and after using borax to remove stains

Carpet stains can be tricky to clean, as you do not want to ruin the fabric or end up with a color bleed. This is where borax will help. It helps cut through nasty stains without being harsh on the carpet fibers and also deodorizes the area.

Single-Step Method: Mix borax in water & use it to clean the stains

Mix borax and water to remove odors and stains from carpets and use borax from cleaning
Mix borax and water to remove odors and stains from carpets
  • Add ¼ cup of borax to 1 cup of warm water.
  • Stir well until the borax dissolves completely.
  • Transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the carpet stain. Spray just enough solution to reactivate the stain without drenching the carpet.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes, then blot the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to absorb any excess solution.
  • Let the carpet air-dry.
  • Repeat the process if necessary. When you’re satisfied with the result, finish by vacuuming the area.

Method 3: Garbage Bin Deodorizer

Garbage bins can absorb all the funky smells of food scraps and leftovers. Sometimes, even several washes can fail to remove the smell completely. Borax works as an excellent deodorizer and will soak up all the musty smells from your garbage bin.

Single-Step Method: Wash the bin with borax to deodorize it

Use borax for cleaning to deodorize your garbage bin
Use borax to deodorize your garbage bin
  • Empty the garbage bin and pour 2 to 3 cups of hot water into it.
  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of borax to it.
  • Agitate the bin once and let the solution sit in it for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse it with water, and wipe it dry using paper towels.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of borax at the bottom of the bin to keep it smelling fresh at all times.

Method 4: Floor Cleaner

Use borax for cleaning floor
Before and after cleaning the floor using borax

Ditch your regular chemical-based floor cleaner and make an affordable, non-toxic cleaner using borax and white vinegar. This recipe is good enough to disinfect the floors of your rooms as well your bathrooms.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning-to make DIY floor cleaner

  • Borax (stain remover and deodorizer) – 1 tablespoon
  • White vinegar (disinfectant) – 3¼ tablespoons
  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Sandalwood essential oil (adds fragrance) – 2 or 3 drops (optional)

Step 1. Add the ingredients to hot water

Mix white vinegar, borax, and sandalwood essential oil to use borax for cleaning
Mix white vinegar, borax, and sandalwood essential oil
  • Pour 1 cup of hot water into a container.
  • Add 3¼ tablespoons of white vinegar to it.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of borax as well.
  • Optionally, you can add 2 or 3 drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. We used sandalwood oil here.

Step 2. Mix well & store the solution in a spray bottle

Mix well and store in a spray bottle to use borax for cleaning
Mix well and store in a spray bottle
  • Stir the solution well and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the floor.
  • Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes, then wipe the floor clean with a mop.

Method 5: Wall Cleaner

If you have kids in your home, you may also have samples of your child’s drawings on your walls. Getting a paint job every time a wall is ruined is not feasible. So, keep this DIY wall cleaner handy.

Borax along with baking soda can remove crayon and pencil marks from the walls without ruining the paint. This cleaner can also be used to remove wine or food spills on walls.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning walls

  • Baking soda (abrasive agent) – 1 teaspoon
  • Borax (stain remover) – ½ teaspoon
  • Hot water – ½ cup

Step 1. Mix borax in hot water

Combine borax and hot water to use borax for cleaning
Combine borax and hot water
  • Put ½ teaspoon of borax in a bowl.
  • Add ½ cup of hot water to it.
  • Stir well until the borax dissolves completely.

Step 2. Mix in the baking soda & store the solution in a spray bottle

Add baking soda and transfer to a spray bottle to use baking soda for cleaning
Add baking soda and transfer to a spray bottle
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and stir again.
  • Once the baking soda is dissolved, transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the markings on the wall.
  • Leave it for 1 minute, then scrub it lightly with a sponge.
  • Wipe the area clean with a dry cloth.

Method 6: Comb and Brush Cleaner

Use borax for cleaning your brushes and combs
Before and after cleaning with borax

Cleaning combs and hair brushes is one small task that we often procrastinate. But it is important to give them a thorough cleaning once in a while to maintain hygiene and scalp health.

You can use borax and dish soap to de-gunk your combs and brushes weekly.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to use borax for cleaning combs and brushes

  • Borax (disinfectant) – 2 tablespoons
  • Liquid dish soap (cleaning agent) – 1 teaspoon
  • Warm water – 2 to 3 cups

Step 1. Prepare the cleaning solution

Mix water, borax, and liquid dish soap to use borax for cleaning
Mix water, borax, and liquid dish soap
  • Pour 2 to 3 cups of warm water into a large bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of borax to it.
  • Squirt in about 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
  • Stir well to dissolve the ingredients in the water.

Step 2. Soak the combs in the borax bath; scrub well and rinse

Soak the combs in the cleaning solution to loosen up dirt and scrub clean to use borax for cleaning
Soak the combs in the cleaning solution to loosen up dirt and scrub clean
  • Remove all the hair from the comb before you soak it in the solution.
  • Drop the dirty comb in the cleaning bath and let it soak for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub the teeth of the comb clean.
  • Rinse it with water and let the comb air-dry.
  • Follow the same process for your hair brushes.

Tips

  • Always wear gloves when cleaning or scrubbing any area. This will prevent you from coming in contact with germs.
  • Keep the borax out of the reach of children. It can be toxic when ingested in large quantities.
  • You can also use borax as an insecticide in your garden. Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar with ½ a tablespoon of borax and sprinkle it in the planting beds.


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