Vintage Home: 10 Uses for Borax

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You might remember Borax being a staple in your mom or grandmother's homes. Well, it's still a must-have for every home. There are so many uses, here are 10 to get you started!

Preserving Flowers

Fresh-cut flowers of many varieties may be permanently preserved. Borax removes moisture from blossoms and leaves, thereby preventing the wilting which would normally result. Two different mixtures (by weight) are recommended: two parts 20 Borax and one part dry white sand, or one part Borax and two parts corn meal.

Carpet Cleaning

Use a 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water in carpet steam cleaning machines.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. The next morning clean out the toilet bowl with a brush. The borax will loosen all the grime buildup.

“Goo Gone” Remover

Mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. Rub on to get rid of sticky, gooey, gummy adhesive residue.

Humidifiers

To help keep your humidifier free of odor, dissolve one tablespoon of borax per gallon of water and add it to the unit. Be sure to rinse out this solution before refilling your humidifier with pure water prior to use.

Pests

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

Flea Killer

Sprinkle borax on dog beds, carpets, and other areas where you suspect that fleas are hatching. Borax releases boric acid, which is a poison (note that very high doses would need to be ingested to harm a pet or human).
 

Mice 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. 

Shower, Tub & Tile

Sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching. Rinse thoroughly.

Clean Hairbrushes and Combs

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

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.

Refrigerator Deodorizer

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

Mold Inhibitor

Make a thick borax and water paste. Smear it on the moldy area. Let set until dry (overnight or longer). Sweep up the powder, and rinse off the rest.

Garbage Can Deodorizer

Deodorize your garbage pail by filling it with borax and water. Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor causing moisture.

Remove Rust

Remove rust by mixing the above solution with a tablespoon of lemon juice.

 Sink Cleaner

Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste or 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.

Kill Weeds

Useful for weeds that surface in concrete cracks and on walkways, but shouldn’t be used in the garden because it will also kill your plants.

Outdoor Furniture

Mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture.

Cat Litter Deodorizer

Minimize odor in your cat’s litter box by mixing a few tablespoons of borax in with the litter.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water.

Shine China

Make your worn china sparkle again by soaking in a sink full of warm water and a 1/2 cup of borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual.

Linens

Remove mildew and mustiness from linens by soaking them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse clean.

Unclog Drains

Unclog drains with 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out.

Clean Mattresses

Remove urine odor from a mattress. Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.
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