Inside: Learn how to harness the cleaning power of borax and learn the 17 best borax uses for your home today.

Borax, like your favorite detergent, is a cleaning powerhouse. But it’s not just for laundry. Borax can be used in so many ways around the home to keep things clean and smelling fresh.

Keep reading to find out the over 17 borax uses and how it can help you tackle household tasks from scrubbing shoes and unclogging drains to natural pest control.

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Is Borax Harmful to Humans?

Many people worry about using Borax due to wondering whether or not it is harmful or toxic. There are a few factors to consider when it comes to wondering whether or not borax is harmful to humans.

For one, people often confuse Borax with boric acid, which is far more toxic, but Borax is sodium tetraborate. It should be handled carefully because of its potentially harmful side effects if ingested in large quantities.

Regardless, many environmentally-conscious consumers still purchase this product for not containing phosphates or chlorine and just being the natural thing – even though there are some risks involved.

While borax may be natural, that doesn’t mean it is completely safe. It often comes in a box with a caution label warning about possible health risks associated with prolonged exposure and inhalation of the chemical dust released from using this substance around your home.

The National Institutes of Health list various side effects of borax exposure here.

17 Best Borax Uses for Around the Home

Grab your box of Borax and get busy with these best borax tips for around the home and yard.

1. Clean Mold & Mildew

Don’t let mold take over your home, simply mix up a solution of one cup borax and 1 quart hot water to create an awesome, all-natural cleaner.

Spray on infested areas with mildew or mold until they’re thoroughly saturated, then wait several hours before rinsing the area completely clean and watch the mold and mildew disappear.

2. Clean Mirrors and Windows

A teaspoon of borax powder dissolved into 10 ounces warm water mixed will make enough cleaner for all those fancy glass items around the house like shower doors, mirrors, bathroom fixtures – anything where there is moisture involved.

3. Unclog Drains

The borax remedy for clogged drains is one of the most simple solutions to a big problem. With 3.5 oz of borax and 13.5 fl oz of boiling water, you can easily unclog a drain. Repeat the process as many times as possible till the drain clears and follow up with several cups of water each round.

4. Remove Rust

You can get rid of rust by making a borax paste from borax, warm water, and lemon juice. Apply the paste to the rusty area for fast results.

5. Clean Tiles, Showers, and Tubs

While not as well known or popularized for cleaning purposes as it once was in the past, Borax is still a great and cost-effective household cleaner.

It effectively removes tough dirt from surfaces like bathtubs and showers with ease, thanks to its gentle abrasive properties, Borax eats through grime without marking surfaces up. You can use it as an all-purpose cleaner by sprinkling borax on your favorite cleaning tool: either a sponge or cloth you squeezed out in clean water.

6. Clean the Toilet Bowl

When you are looking to clean your toilet bowl, borax is a great way of doing so. Borax contains sodium borate, which will help break down any stains that might be in there, and it also kills bacteria too. All you need to do is pour Borax into the toilet before bedtime for an overnight solution, then simply scrub with water afterward when ready.

7. Cleaning the Carpet

For anyone who has a child, borax is no stranger to their cleaning routine. Borax cleans the carpet and can be used as an aid when using your carpet machine for deep cleaning. Add 1/2 cup of borax sodium tetraborate to one gallon of water to create a solution that will help remove any stains on your rug or flooring while giving it a fresh scent at the same time.

8. Cleaning Dishes

Borax is an odorless and safe chemical that can make pots, pans, knives, and other kitchen utensils sparkle. Sprinkle a tablespoon of borax on the bottom or sides of any pot, so it’s completely covered in powder. Rub gently with your dishrag to remove stains or stubborn dirt from tough areas like between tines on forks before rinsing clean.

Ways to Use Borax in the Yard

9. Stimulate the Development of Seeds and Fruit

You can use borax for a range of purposes, including the maintenance and promotion of fruit trees. Boron, which is a key ingredient in borax, is an essential mineral that plants need to grow, so spraying some borax onto your apple tree every few years will ensure it’s in peak condition. 

Just mix ten parts water with 1 part borax powder (make sure not to get any on yourself), then spray this solution around the base of your plant once every few years. Be sure to use the correct dosage for your specific plant/tree to avoid damage due to too much boron.

10. Pest Control

Borax is an all-natural, environmentally friendly way to control pests like ants and cockroaches.

To use it as pest control, just sprinkle borax over equal parts of sugar in a small dish and place it where you think the bugs are present. You can also decide to create a perimeter out of bug traps by sprinkling some on the ground around your home.

11. Preserve Freshly Cut Flowers

In need of some fresh flowers to brighten up your home but can’t seem to find the time? With borax, you’ll have a verdant arrangement for weeks.

Borax is the secret to keeping your flowers fresh and vibrant for longer than ever. Simply add a tablespoon of borax into 1-liter water, then submerge cut stems halfway down in this solution. This will help preserve them from wilting or drying up too quickly.

12. Weed Killer

Are you looking for something to kill all those pesky plants along your sidewalk, driveway, and garden beds effectively? Try borax. It’s an effective weed killer that will kill not only the plant’s leaves but also the roots. Just don’t try it on your garden.

DIY Borax Uses

These DIY Borax uses have been tried over time, but you should always seek a medical professional’s opinion before using borax on or in your body.

13. Treat Pink Eye

Borax is versatile enough to even treat pink eye. If you’ve been trying home remedies but nothing seems to work, then one of the best solutions is using borax. Make a solution from 1/8 tsp Mule Team Borax and 1 – 2 cups warm distilled water. Add 2 or 3 drops of the mixture into each offending eye and watch as those red spots disappear.

* A more common, and possibly safer, method for treating pink eye is to use boric acid ophthalmic. Always talk to your doctor before using borax to treat pink eye.

14. Treat Athletes Foot

One of the best ways to fight stubborn fungal infections such as athlete’s foot is with borax. To do this, you need a solution of hydrogen peroxide and borax. The latter is the main ingredient, and the former is only required in small amounts.

To make the solution, dissolve 1 part hydrogen peroxide in water to 1%. Then add borax to the solution while stirring continuously until it can no longer dissolve. Clean your feet, then dissolve your feet using about three quarts of the solution.

15. Pain Reliever

Borax is a natural treatment for arthritis. Many people with joint pain find relief after taking small doses of borax every day, and it has been used to treat osteoporosis in the past as well.

* Always talk to your doctor before using borax for pain relief.

16. Get Rid of Odors

a) In The Fridge

Borax is an excellent solution to the age-old problem of refrigerator odor. By mixing up 1 quart of warm water with just one tablespoon of borax, you can clean all those stains and spills that have accumulated in your fridge over time! Not only will it get rid of odors inside your fridge, but it will leave behind a fresh scent as well.

b) On a Mattress

Deodorizing your own bed is not an easy task. You may think that you can simply vacuum the offending spots, but urine and sweat odors are difficult to remove with just vacuuming alone. The best way to combat these smells is by sprinkling borax over the area where they accumulate most heavily – usually on top of or near one pillow at night and rubbing using a damp cloth. Let it dry completely before running your vacuum cleaner over the powdery substance left behind.

c) From the Trash Can

Don’t you hate when your garbage can smell up in the room? The solution is surprisingly natural too. Borax is an inexpensive, natural product that will eliminate bad smells and eliminate bugs from the trash can.

Fill a smelly garbage receptacle with water and add about one cup of borax powder for best results. Leave it for an hour before rinsing well enough to leave no residue on the outside surface of your can. Dry completely after soaking, so there’s nothing left behind but freshness.

You can spread some more around at the bottom as you rinse out any leftover traces if desired.

Let dry completely before sprinkling another layer or two on top of the bottom as needed throughout the year to keep away bugs and absorb moisture that causes odors when you put food scraps down there too.

d) In The Humidifier

You can prevent humidifier odor by adding an easy-to-make solution: One part borax dissolved in 4 parts warm or hot tap water. Add this mixture to your evaporative cooler’s top tray just before turn on time so that it is absorbed into any air blown onto you during operation, and run it for about 15 minutes.

e) Smelly Shoes

Borax is the solution to your smelly shoe problem! When combined with water and shaken thoroughly in a spray bottle or for about 15 minutes on its own, this chemical compound will leave them smelling fresh.

To freshen up those nasty-smelling shoes of yours, combine two tablespoons of borax plus one liter of warm water into an empty container such as a clean spray bottle. Shake it vigorously until all crystals have dissolved completely; now shake well more than once before using so that any borax residue settles at the bottom. 

Spray onto inside surfaces like soles and insides, then let sit anywhere between five to 20 minutes depending on how bad they smell initially. Scrub away grimy areas with some soap, rinse, and let them dry out overnight, so they smell great tomorrow.

How to Use Borax in Laundry

17. Make Laundry Detergent

To make a borax laundry detergent, you’ll need;

  • A laundry bar
  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Baking soda
  • A versatile stain remover
  • Purex Crystals


In a small can, chop the laundry bar into small pieces so that they’ll dissolve easily in your laundry. Next is to add the stain remover. Mix the solution with the remaining ingredients and store it in an airtight container.

Adding borax to your laundry routine can not only make clothes whiter but also remove the musty odors from towels and sheets. Mix it with water in a bucket or tub before adding soiled linens for an hour soaking on delicate cycles of cold water.

Borax Uses FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions for when it comes to borax uses to round out our borax uses article to help you get the most efficient use out of your borax.

Is Borax the same as baking soda?

Borax and baking soda are two different compounds. Borax is sodium tetraborate, while baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. The two are excellent cleaners because of their alkaline and abrasive properties. They also have the same appearance; crystalline and odorless, white powders, with their only difference being that baking soda is used as an ingredient when baking to raise flour while borax is lethal on consumption.

– How to Use Borax to Get Rid of Ants

Borax is an excellent pest control and can eliminate ants around your home. Once you spot them, mix sugar and borax in equal quantities and spread the mixture along their trail. They’ll vanish in minutes.

– Borax Uses for Health

Sodium borate is a naturally occurring chemical made up of three elements: hydrogen, sodium, and oxygen plus one other element – this last one being called “boron.” While consuming any amount of sodium borates isn’t healthy (due to possible toxicity), there are early – but not necessarily reputable – indicators suggesting these compounds could offer some positive outcomes.

Boron has been linked with supporting bone health by absorbing calcium in the bloodstream through cell membranes. It also provides relief from inflammations throughout the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties which help regulate hormones like estrogen and testosterone levels.

– What is Borax and How Does it Work?

Borax is a chemical compound created from boron, oxygen, and sodium.  It has many different uses, including cleaning, pest control, cleaning stubborn stains in laundry, washing dishes, and so much more.