There are a few items we all know, by now, that we should always have in our homes no matter what: Baking soda. Lemons. Hydrogen peroxide. But the more we learn about homemade cleaners and DIY solutions, the more it’s become clear that there’s one item that more than deserves to join those must-have ranks: Borax! This mineral – also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate – can do SO Much, and we had no idea! What about you? Did you know you can use Borax to . . .
- Clean Baseball CapsOWN
Those beloved baseball caps need cleaning, too, and Borax is just the thing to do it. All you have to do is put the hats in the top rack of your dishwasher, fill the detergent cup with Borax, and run a regular cycle.
- Save Violin Stringsdigoarpi via Deposit Photos
Family more about the music than the sports? Borax can still help! Instead of rehairing the strings of your violin or other string instruments, use a dampened toothbrush and Borax to gently wipe away any built-up gumming or rosin.
- Brighten Whitestoocan via Deposit Photos
Even if your clothing isn’t stained and you’re super careful about care, your whites will yellow over time. Bring them back to brightness with a super-powered cleaning solution made of Borax, very hot water, bleach, dish detergent, and your favorite laundry detergent.
- Whiten PillowsDollar Photo Club
Our clothing isn’t the only thing that can yellow and grow dingy-looking over time; our pillows do it, too! Since we all sleep better on a pillow that looks and feels clean, whiten yours with a Borax solution like the one you used on your clothes.
- Get Rid Of AntsYale
Borax is the main ingredient in tons of ant-killing products, so of course you can use it to make your own overnight ant-infestation solution. Just combine it with warm water and sugar (or honey), soak up the mixture with cotton balls, and leave the balls around your home where you notice the ants.
- Deter Micekontur-vid via Deposit Photos
Ants aren’t the only creatures who hate Borax. Mice don’t like getting it on their feet, so if you sprinkle it along the walls where they like to run, it’ll keep them from coming back!
- Make DIY Dishwasher TabletsTheCouponPrepper
Love the convenience of dishwasher tablets but hate the price-inflated expense? Make your own with an ice cube tray and a DIY solution featuring, of course, Borax.
- Make Your Own Laundry DetergentHappy Hooligans
It’s not just dishes you can clean with a DIY detergent. This homemade solution features Borax, costs less than $15 to whip up, and makes enough to do your laundry for a whole year!
- Shine Stainless SteelOne Good Thing by Jillee
Borax is also just the thing to bring the shine back to your stainless steel. Just mix it into a paste with some baking soda, lemon juice and club soda, then scrub away.
- Clean CookwareClean My Space
Stainless steel isn’t the only thing that can benefit from Borax! You can also use it as a cleaner for your cookware . . .
- Restore ChinaDidriks via Flickr
. . . and mixed with warm water to form a soak to renew china!
- Clean Car Upholsterybadheartbull via Flickr
No need to go spend a ton of money at the car wash or in the car care aisle. You have Borax on your side! Just clean your upholstery with a homemade cleaner made of this versatile ingredient and some water and grated soap.
- Play With PuttyPaging Fun Mums
Borax is obviously a super-powered cleaning ingredient, but you can have kid-friendly fun with it, too! Believe it or not, it’s actually a prime ingredient in homemade silly putty . . .
- Have Fun With FlubberJollyMom
. . . in a copycat, DIY version of “flubber,” after the family-friendly classic comedy . . .
- Scare Up Some SlimeDaveHax
. . . and, come Halloween time, some spider-covered slime that even glows in the dark!
- Grow Some SnowflakesAbout.com
Less into the fall holidays and more about winter? Borax can help you out there, too! When you mix it with boiling water, put it in a jar, and then insert a pipe cleaner mold, Borax crystals will actually grow overnight and make a crazy cool snowflake shape.
- Nurture PlantsXalanx via Deposit Photos
Borax doesn’t only grow itself, it can help the plants you’re growing, too! Sprinkle it around the base of your fruit trees every three or four years to add boron to the soil and encourage growth, or mix it with white sand or corn meal to preserve cut flowers you want to keep forever.
- Clean Up After PetsClean My Space
We love our fur babies, but there’s no doubt that they can be both messy and pretty stinky sometimes. Borax can help! Make a pet bed cleaning spray by mixing ⅓ cup of it with about 8 ounces of water. You can also use it to clean up any accidents and “presents.” Just sprinkle some Borax on the damp spot, let dry, and vacuum it up.
- Deodorize Trash Canmonkeybusiness via Deposit Photos
Of course, our pets aren’t nearly the only thing bringing some stench into our homes. More often than not, the garbage will do that! Clean it up by mixing some Borax and water in the bottom, then rinse. After than, sprinkle some more Borax in the bottom to keep bugs and smells from coming back.
- De-Stench Fridgeolesiabilkei via Deposit Photos
The other place smells like to hang out? The refrigerator! Wipe up spilled food with Borax and water.
- Remove Sink StainsClean My Space
It doesn’t matter if your sink is stainless steel or porcelain, it will eventually stain— and Borax WILL take care of them. Just mix a cup of it with ¼ cup of lemon juice, make a paste, and scrub away.
- Kill Weedsamyinlondon via Deposit Photos
You don’t need to take a trip to the gardening center to stop the weed invasion. Just make your own herbicide by mixing 10 ounces of Borax with 2 ½ gallons of water. Aim carefully – you don’t want to hit the plants you like! – and spray away.
- Clean Hair BrushesClean My Space
We should be cleaning our hair brushes about once a week. Get into the habit of soaking yours in a mixture of Borax and gentle dishwashing liquid.
- Refresh RoomsClean My Space
Want to renew the fresh scent in any room in your house but don’t want to waste money on something like Febreeze? Make your own refreshing spray by mixing ½ cup of Borax with 12 ounces of warm water and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Quick Clean ToiletsClean My Space
You can use Borax to clean your toilet bowl overnight! Just sprinkle some all over before you go to bed. In the morning, hit it with a scrub brush, and flush. Everything will have loosened-up during the night, and you’ll be left with a sparkling toilet the quick and easy way.
Who knew that this humble mineral could do SO much? We’re definitely making sure it’s ALWAYS in our pantries from now on. You too? Check out these guides from One Good Thing By Jillee and Clean My Space for even MORE ways to use it, and tell us about your own go-to methods.