By Kim from Midlothian, TX
Borax is a cheap magic additive. First it makes the detergent more effective. The clothes will be cleaner and dust mites cannot live in it. Children and adults would eliminate dust mite allergies. But the other great attribute is that it kills 100% of mold.
In the wash cycle Borax provides a great boost to the cleaning, kills mold and dust mites and other parasites. It is about the gentle alkaline of the Borax. These bad actors just can't survive in Borax. But Borax should also be added to the last rinse.
Borax permeates the fabric and makes the fabric smell fresh, but the borax particles remaining are actually good for the skin, eliminating body odors, killing mold, parasites, fungus, and dust mites as your body contacts them. But here is the big problem. To maximize the wash Borax needs to be part of the detergent. To provide an even more protective barrier it needs to be added to the last rinse so it remains in the dry fabric after the wash.
Borax is so cheap and does so much. Why washing machine designers do not provide options to inject Borax at multiple times is something that has always perplexed me. For front loader machines Borax is an absolute "must". It prevents mold and mildew around the door seal and does so automatically. Instead of chlorine which destroys the rubber seal. Borax added to the wash and rinse would keep the front load machine fresh and clean forever with no fuss or muss.
The big question is when and how to add it? Adding it with the clothes would help, but the addition to the last rinse is the most crucial point to introduce Borax. Any feedback would be appreciated.
By old chemist from Midwest
I've used 20 Mule Team Borax in my washing machines for years with excellent results. Never a problem whatever. I use it in both the full wash cycle, then again as a final rinse.
If you have a top-loading machine, just run your laundry all the way through the complete wash and rinse cycles, then reset the control to wash, and again add about half a cup of Borax. You'll have to be able to catch it before it starts to drain though.
Switch the control to the Final Spin Cycle, and let it spin out...then into the dryer it goes.. (or out on the clotheslines). I set a timer for 10 minutes so that I never have a problem catching it in time to switch to Final Spin. The Borax really makes a lot of difference in the way your clothes feel and look and smell. If you want to, add a little bit of liquid Snuggle or Downy in with the Borax, and your clothes will be as soft and as fragrant as you could wish for.
Doing laundry is one of my favorite household chores. That and cooking or baking, and I'm luck to have our laundry room right next to the kitchen. I can do both pretty much at the same time.
Even if I have to go away before my laundry is finished, I can always come back, reset the machine to Wash...for 10 minutes with the Borax, then to Final Spin, and it's ready to go into the dryer.
You can do exactly the same thing with a Front-loading machine too. You just have to pay attention to the cycles of each machine and be ready to stop and change it.
Good Luck. Julia in Boca Raton, FL
Borax is an effective ingredient in many cleaning recipes and also is a good laundry booster. Add one tablespoon of Borax to 1 quart of water and use it as a safe all-purpose cleaner. Dissolve a 1/2 cup of borax in a sink full of water to clean delicate dishes like fine China.
Follow the directions on the box to use it as a laundry booster. If you do construction or landscaping work and have really dirty work clothes adding Borax to your laundry helps a lot.
Borax can be purchased in the laundry section at your local grocery store. Sweeten musty basement floors by sprinkling around on the concrete, let it sit for a while, then sweep up.
Editor's Note: I'm not sure why you would need to cover with newspaper. I'd be worried about the ink staining the carpet. (10/30/2007)
In a gallon of hot water, I mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of borax and stir until the borax dissolves. I put this in my carpet cleaning machine. It's amazing how clean it gets the carpets without all the chemicals and, of course, it's a lot cheaper.
If I have any of the solution left, I add a little natural soap that I make myself and use it to mop the kitchen floor! Clean, deodorize, and sanitize all in one. (04/27/2010)