Cleaning With Borax

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Borax has many uses when it comes to cleaning. Not only is it a great stain remover it also works well as a deodorizer. This is a page about cleaning with borax.


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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!

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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.


A neighbor brought some clothes over in a box so I could go through them and see if any would fit my grand children. Not long after that, I saw a few roaches. I have never had roaches before, so I freaked out. I fogged part of the house and used some Boric Acid but I was very concerned about what to use in the kitchen until I found out that you could use the Boraxo. I tried it and it worked fantastically. It is safe around food because, like I said it is a hand soap, and so you can put a little in each drawer and in each cabinet. It has several more uses; it is a wonderful little $2 can of possibilities!

By Melissa from Cullman, AL

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August 23, 2010

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

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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.

July 11, 2011

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?

Thank you.

By Julie E.


July 11, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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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.


September 24, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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By janbou (Guest Post)
September 24, 20070 found this helpful

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!

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September 25, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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By suzin (Guest Post)
September 26, 20070 found this helpful

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

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
September 27, 20070 found this helpful

Borax is a brand name for washing soda which you referred to in your post.

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November 1, 20071 found this helpful

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.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

I had difficulty finding borax in the UK. Turns out they stopped making it in the summer and have now released a new thing called borax substitute.


If you google it you should be able to buy it online. Hope that helps.

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June 11, 20170 found this helpful

no borax isnt a brand name for washing soda,2 entirley different chemicals all together

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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?



April 27, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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By marmagmar (Guest Post)
April 27, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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June 10, 20070 found this helpful

I read on another site that in Australia, they call Borax "washing powder."

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June 20, 20140 found this helpful

Yes, Borax is a must to have around the house. Unfortunately it is not easily accessible in Malta. Certainly not in any laundry section or at hardware stores. I looked for it recently to get rid of an invasion of tiny black ants in my backyard which were making their way to my kitchen!
Well, luckily I managed to get hold of it from Levi Laboratory supplies. Perhaps you can find their address on the yellow pages.
I do hope this is help full.

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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

Borax is a natural chemical that contains the element, boron. It kills mold - and smells associated with mold - and mites, such as dust mites. It's also an effective fabric softener and boosts the cleaning power of laundry detergents. For these reasons it is used in the wash and/or rinse cycles of automatic clothes washers. It is commonly marketed in the US under the trade name of Boraxo. It is also widely used in making pottery. If you can't find it in a local store you might be able to get it at a pottery supply house.

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November 26, 2014

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


December 5, 20170 found this helpful

Yes. I wash almost everything in cold water and use borax on my husbands grimy work and farm clothing.

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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

It does. Its cheap and effective

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November 18, 2014

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

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November 19, 2019

Powdered borax has long been used to improve the cleaning power of laundry detergents.

A box of 20 Mule Team Borax detergent booster.

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August 23, 2010

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.


Cleaning With Borax

That was really interesting. (07/15/2005)

By nmcl

Cleaning With Borax

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)

By Kelly

Cleaning With Borax

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)

By Brandie

Cleaning With Borax

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)

By Cd

Cleaning With Borax

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

Cleaning With Borax

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)

By Randy

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