Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
I have hardwood and tile floors. I tried everything to make them shine. One day I was in a hurry. I grabbed a bucket, put in about 1/2 cup of borax, filled it with hot water, and mopped all the floors. When they were dry, it looked like I waxed and buffed them! So simple and so cheap! No more Mop and Glo!
If I was stranded on a desert island I would want a box of Borax (maybe a little food and water). My island would be very clean and odor free. Love Borax! I use Borateem or 20 Mule Team Borax whichever is cheaper. It is the only thing that will get rid of the scent of male cat urine. I put 1/3 cup in my frontloader and it gets rid of nearly every odor.
Hi, I have seen some tips about using borax for many different things from cleaning to pest control. I looked every where for borax to no avail, but I did find a 12 oz. can (looks similar to a can of comet, just a little smaller) of Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap. It is absolutely fabulous! It works great on tough laundry stains. I had clothes that my husband owned that I thought were ruined but after using Boraxo the stains are gone. I have had several people ask me how I get his jeans to look so good considering the kind of work he does, and I tell them about the 12 oz. can of $2 Boraxo that works wonders. It is also good at getting rid of roaches.
By Melissa from Cullman, AL
I discovered this by accident since I am trying to go chemical free and organic. My young boys love blueberries, and one got them all over a white shirt. I decided to put the shirt in a big bowl of water with about 1/8 cup of borax and left it in the sink overnight. The next morning you could not tell it ever had blueberries on it! I have done this with another type stain (something red), and it worked on it too.
By Kim from Midlothian, TX
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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 agree Borax is wonderful, but I thought front loaders can only use liquid cleaners. I just cleaned under the tray that holds the detergents, and it was awful covered in mold.
Thanks for posting this info!
Interesting but leaves me a couple of questions. First, HOW MUCH borax do you suggest adding per wash load?
I don't have a front loader. Do they have a liquid fabric softener dispenser? Dissolve some borax in a little hot water (like 1/3 cup), put it in the dispenser and see how that works.
I'm out of Borax at the moment but look on your box.Does it list a web site you can log onto? Or maybe google Borax. It is the greatest booster though.
I have an LG front loader. I put about 1/4 cup of borax and baking soda (that I have already premixed) into the prewash cup, and then add white vinegar to it and to the softener cup.
So far so good. I have had the machine for three years with no problems yet. I have also wiped out the rubber gasket inside the machine as that is where the old detergent seems to collect and get slimy, and I leave the door open and pull out the detergent drawer when the machine is not in use.
Can you use it with clothes? I clean my Maytag HE frontloader with 'tide' washing machine cleaner, without clothes as instructed on the box.
I have used Borax in my front loader for 2 years. I use it in every wash by putting 1/3 cup in with the liquid detergent. It is a powder of course, but has never caused a problem. I have never had a problem with mold smells or slimy buildup. My wash smells very fresh. I have never used it in the final rinse but can't imagine why that would be a problem.
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
I have a 17 month old daughter who has a heart defect, allergies to wheat and dairy, and is asthmatic. My landlord is currently wishing to send Rentokil to my home to treat woodworm which is rampant throughout the timbers of my home. Rentokil wishs to use borax and boric acid in order to treat the problem (Control Fluid SB). My concern is for my daughter who, as I have listed out above, may come to harm. Can you advise please?
By Julie E.
Julie, I think you should be asking your daughter's pediatrician or specialist about this. Surely they can give you better advice than us. I imagine they have a nurse who will speak to you. If the nurse cannot answer your question, s/he will check with the doctor and call you back. Best of luck, and I hope your daughter is doing well!
Can somebody tell me if I can substitute bicarbonate of soda (easily available here) instead of borax (non-existent here) when I make up my own homemade washing powder?
I'm using plain soap (grated) and washing soda as my ingredients but I feel I need a bit more boosting to the mix. Something to brighten and whiten clothes would help but i don't know what to add. any suggestions please?
P.S. I use vinegar as a fabric softener in my final rinse, too.
You can also buy super washing soda for your laundry. just google it. It's available online if you can't find it at your local super market.
It depends what you are wanting to use the Borax for ---- 'bi carb' aka "baking soda" and/or washing soda are similar for softening hard water and thus allowing detergents to work better at cleaning clothes however Borax is a fabric 'friendly' bleach alternative - in Canada we have a product which promotes as the 'bleach for unbleachables' usually used on colored fabrics or those which bleach can harm! Sunlight itself also is a wonderful 'bleach alternative' you might try it!
from wat i can gather, best substitute for borax is clothes bleach. i can get that here so it wont be a problem to substitute. tks for all the suggestions.
No, it is not the same...Borax contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate.....(I copied it off the Box I have)....I found a 800 telephone number you can call to ask questions about it....perhaps you can call that number and find out where you can get it in your area.....Tele. #...1-800-457-8739
Borax is a brand name for washing soda which you referred to in your post.
I'm pretty sure bicarbonate of soda is baking soda. I wouldn't use it if you are also using vinegar-- the chemical reaction might create a foamy mess.
Can anyone tell me what borax is? I see it used for many things and it does not seem to exist in my country. is there a substitute for it or is it a brand name? i live in Malta, Europe. Is there anyone out there who can help?
I don't know of a brand name that is sold in Europe, but Borax is "a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water." Where I grew up, we always used it as a water softener when doing the laundry. In the US it's sold in the laundry/cleaning supply aisle at the super markets. I hope this helps you locate Borax or an equivalent in Malta.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Borax, also called sodium borate, or sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.
Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fibreglass, as an insecticide, as a flux in metallurgy, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.
The term borax is used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content, but usually refers to the decahydrate. Commercially sold borax is usually partially dehydrated.
I read on another site that in Australia, they call Borax "washing powder."
I just bought a 7kg front-load washer. I expect to use 1/2 cup borax per load. However, we normally wash in cold. Does borax dissolve effectively in cold water?
By CJ Hinke
I recently saw your video on youtube about cleaning mold with borax. The problem is I live in Holland and I can't find it at local stores.
Is bicarbonate sodium a good subtitute for cleaning mold out of my bedroom?
By Jamylle Vuyk
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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.
That was really interesting. (07/15/2005)
I love borax, been using it all over the house since my first baby with cloth diapers (only lasted 2 months, but loved the laundry/deodorizing results!) I use it as the base for homemade laundry soap, to boost store detergent (and extend it); to clean greasy messes; and take care of any other cleaning when my baking soda runs out! I never have to use bleach on my clothes! (03/25/2006)
The only problem with borax is the skull and crossbones. It's there for a reason. It's dangerous. It's great for laundry, but I'd stay away from putting (sprinkling) it anywhere where a child or pet could be exposed. Go for something biodegradable or organic. (07/14/2007)
Use 1 cup of Borax two teaspoons of Palmolive with Oxy *dish soap* and 1 cup hot water to clean deep dug in dirt in carpets. Allow to sit in carpet for an hour. Cover with a newspaper and dry. Thats one clean carpet!
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)
I am a big Borax user. We use it with our dish detergent whenever we wash. It really gives a clean rinse on the dishes and, especially the greasy pans! I also use it as a ceramic stove top cleaner. Just sprinkle some on a wet rag, and rub together to make a paste. Rub on all those stains and burned on spills. It's really great. I too use it in the laundry. With dark clothes, I put it into the water on a small load setting until it starts to agitate. That way you make sure that it is dissolved in the cold water. Then add the rest of the water and soap, clothes, and wash away. The clothes really come out fresh, and well rinsed. It works really well as a suds enhancer and rinse agent. I may try it in the water the next time I wash my car (probably next Spring). (11/11/2009)
By Sue Cox
I use it for carpet cleaning. Borax will also kill fleas in the carpet and with 4 dogs who love to be outside, this has the added side effect of keeping an infestation from occurring.
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)