What is Borax and Ways to Use It in Your Home Cleanzen Infographic


Borax is a white powder also known as sodium tetraborate. It is widely known as a green cleaning agent, and it has been used for decades for household cleaning as well as in various detergents and hygiene cleansers.


More than that, the powder can whiten laundry, kill insects and soften hard water. While many people continue to use borax for these purposes, the ingredient has largely been eliminated from many products now because of its known effects on human health.


What is Borax?


Borax is a combination of oxygen, boron and sodium, and it may be referred to as either sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate. The substance is found in dried up lake beds, such as in Death Valley.


Boric acid has the same chemical composition as borax, and it is also a white, powdery substance. However, boric acid is a pesticide that works by damaging insects’ nervous systems and stomachs.


Is Borax Toxic?


Despite its wide range of uses, borax has negative effects on human health. If ingested in small quantities, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. In larger quantities, kidney failure can occur. Because of the harmful effects of ingestion, borax is banned from being in food products in the United States.What is Borax and Ways to Use It in Your Home Cleanzen Image of a Box of Borax

Inhaling borax and coming in contact with it can also have adverse effects. It can cause skin rashes, eye irritation, breathing difficulties and male reproductive issues. Exposure may also cause tremors, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness and headaches.


What Was Borax Originally Used For?


For decades, borax has been used as a cleaning agent. While many cleaning products and detergents have used borax over the years, some people use straight or diluted borax for cleaning and whitening purposes around the house.


While borax has been removed from many products, it is still found in some toothpastes, lotions and skin care products. It is also still used as a ceramic and paint glaze and in herbicides. Borax is also an ingredient in homemade slime for children.


How Do You Use Borax At Home?


If you choose to use borax at home, you should wear gloves and open windows to improve ventilation. If it touches your clothing or skin, flush with water immediately. Always wash your hands after cleaning with borax, even if you wore gloves. If borax gets in your eyes, flush them with clean water for 15 minutes.


DIY Laundry Detergent



You can remove stains and odors with borax by making a paste of a quarter-cup lemon juice and a cup of borax. Apply this to the stained or smelly areas. Allow it to set for several minutes before rinsing it with clean water. You can also use borax as a laundry detergent. Combine a tablespoon of borax with two cups of hot water in a pitcher. Pour a half-cup of this mixture in each load along with your regular laundry detergent.


Treat Stains on Sinks & Laminate Countertops


If your laminate countertop or sink is stained, the stain removal properties of borax could be effective. Combine one part lemon juice with four parts borax. A thick paste will form. Apply this paste to the stained area. Allow it to sit for several minutes before scrubbing it thoroughly. When the stain is gone, flush the area with clean water.


Remove Pet Urine Stains & Odor From the Carpet


To remove pet urine stains and odors from the carpet, combine equal parts of baking soda and borax with enough water to make a loose paste. Apply this mixture to the affected area. Allow it to sit for several minutes, and then scrub it. Use a clean, wet rag to remove the mixture.


What is Borax and Ways to Use It in Your Home Cleanzen Image of a Puppy Near Puddle on Rug


To combat odors, combine a half-cup of borax, a half-cup of baking soda and 20 drops of your preferred essential oil. Sprinkle this across the carpet. After 20 minutes, vacuum your floor as usual.


Remove & Inhibit Mildew Growth


To remove existing mildew growth, combine a gallon of warm water with a cup of borax in a spray bottle. Spray the area, and allow the substance to sit on the mildew for at least 30 minutes. Wipe it off with a clean, wet cloth. You can use this same mixture to prevent future growth. Simply spray it on the surface, and allow it to dry.


Fight Bed Bugs, Repel Ants and Control Roaches


Combine one part borax with one cup of white sugar, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle this close to the infested area. The insects will consume it and die. Avoid using this method around pets and children.


Borax can be an effective and natural way to control ants. Here’s a simple recipe for making a borax ant killer:



Freshen & Unclog Kitchen Drains


If your drains are clogged or smelly, borax is an excellent cleaning product to use. Boil two cups of water and a half-cup of borax. Pour the entire solution down the drain. After 15 minutes, turn on warm water for several minutes to clear away the borax and lingering grimy residue.


Remove Water Spots


Borax is an effective solution for removing hard water stains. Sprinkle a small amount of borax directly on the water spots. Use a clean, damp cloth to scrub off the water spots. Then, rinse the area with water to remove the borax.


Treat Dog Mange


Dog mange is a parasitic infestation of mites. To treat mange, add a half-cup borax and a half-cup apple cider vinegar to bath water. Soak the dog thoroughly with the mixture. Do not rinse the dog after the bath. The substance should dry on your pet’s skin and fur.


What Should You Do If Borax Makes You Sick?


If borax makes you sick, you should discontinue use immediately. Flush the skin with water, and get fresh air. In the future, choose cleaning and whitening alternatives.


What is Borax and Ways to Use It in Your Home Cleanzen Image of a Woman Not Feeling Well While Cleaning


If an individual ingests borax or comes into contact with it in their eyes or on the skin, seek immediate advice from Poison Control. You can access assistance from Poison Control online at www.poison.org or by calling 1-800-222-1222. Both avenues are free and available 24 hours a day.


For example, baking soda can be used for everything from cleaning your teeth and laundry to deodorizing your trash can. Lemon juice can remove hard water stains and soap scum. When mixed with baking soda, it can also clean dishes. A vinegar and water mixture can clean and sanitize counters and floors.


Are you dealing with tough stains in your home? Our pros at Cleanzen know how to safely and effectively tackle those stains, and we can deliver a healthy, clean environment for you and your family. To learn more about our Boston professional cleaning services, contact us today.


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