Cleaning With Borax

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.

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August 23, 2010

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.

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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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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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 23, 2010

Borax is an effective ingredient in many cleaning recipes and also is a good laundry booster.

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