10 Different Uses for Borax Powder

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Did you know there were so many different uses for Borax powder? I love finding multiple uses for products like these different ways to use Aquaphor.

Woman wearing gloves and cleaning counter with cloth.

Ahh Borax. If we could name a fix-all for all the little (okay, we’ll admit it, BIG) messes in our home, it would be this magic mineral in a box.

Borax has a plethora of uses around the house. You can use Borax for cleaning, stain-lifting and deodorizing purposes.

It can even be used for some very popular science experiments for kids!

Read on and we’ll show you some fantastic ways to include Borax in your daily regimen.

Before we get into different Borax powder uses around your home, let's answer a few common questions about it.

Box of 20 Mule Team Borax

What is Borax?

First, what exactly IS Borax powder?

Borax, like the kind from 20 Mule Team, is a white powder frequently used in homemade laundry detergent.

It is a natural mineral that is known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate. Borax powder is NOT the same as baking soda or washing soda.

Is Borax Safe to Use?

It's important to do your research and decide what is best for your family. From the reading I have done, borax is safe to use as intended.

The powder can be an irritant if it's undiluted and comes in contact with your skin. It's not meant to be eaten either – it can be lethal if ingested.

We always advise caution when using any commercial or homemade cleaners.

Now, it can also be an ingredient in slime and other science experiments. I strongly advise making slime for your kids or WITH your kids. Once the slime is made, the powder is diluted.

I also strongly advise doing the science activities WITH your kids as well.

Our local Children's Hospital also addressed the question is borax safe for slime. According to this article, the biggest risk is when making it.

To be safe, never leave your child unattended with a box of borax, and assist them during the process of making slime or other activities.

White laundry basket full of clothes

10 Different Ways to Use Borax

Alright, now let's talk about how to use Borax in laundry, for general cleaning, and a couple cool science experiments.

Water Softener & Laundry Booster

Did you know that approximately 85% of the United States has hard water? Hard water causes fabrics to lose softness and turn dull after just a few washes.

We have hard water and I notice this the most with our towels as they go from being soft and fluffy to… well, not soft and fluffy.

So if you have hard water issues with laundry too, you'll love this tip!

Before using this method, check with your city water ordinance to get more information about your area’s water hardness. You can also buy water hardness test kits on Amazon or even your local pet store.

In our home, we also have a water softener installed to help with our hard water issues, but this is still an excellent laundry detergent booster.

How to boost laundry detergent and soften water with borax:

Sprinkle ½ cup of borax with your regular laundry detergent and run the washing cycle as normal.

DIY Stain Remover

Not only will your fabrics be softer and more resilient to hard water, but they will look and feel sparkling clean after a good soak with Borax! 

How to remove stains with borax powder:

Rinse and pre-soak your fabrics in warm water with ½ cup of Borax per gallon of water.

Let them sit for at least 30 minutes, then wash your fabrics as normal.

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

When in doubt, Borax makes a great solution for an all-purpose cleaner that is incredibly easy to make.

You can even use Borax for cleaning toilets!  

How to make a homemade cleaner with borax:

Dilute ½ cup of Borax in 12oz of warm water until completely dissolved.

Now, clean your entire house and rave at this inexpensive and effective cleaning solution. You’re welcome.

Clean glasses and dishes in dishwasher

Shiny Dishes

We’ve all pulled out our drinking glasses from the dishwasher expecting them to be spotless. Alas, they are once again covered in those pesky water spots.

Borax will not only help your dishes come out sparkling clean but will keep your dishwasher in-check and reduce the amount of calcium build-up in your machine. 

To spot clean your dishwasher, use 2 teaspoons of Borax with 4 cups of warm water to make a cleaning solution. Use this to clean the areas with the most mineral build-up.

To make your glasses shiny and spotless, use borax as a rinse aid in your dishwasher. Pour 1/4 cup of Borax into the base of your dishwasher and run a normal wash cycle.

Person cleaning stain on carpet

DIY Carpet Cleaner

Kids are messy. Pets are messy. Heck, even adults are messy.

Spills happen, but carpet stains don’t have to! Use some Borax for fresh carpet spills and breathe a little easier.

The Twenty Mule Team has the full instructions here on using borax for new spills, spot cleaning your carpet, and steam cleaning your carpet.

Eliminate Pet Smells

We all love our pets, but sometimes, their odors can be a little… much.

Have no fear, Borax is here to sweep the smells away and leave your home smelling much better with these handy tricks.

RELATED: Best Time to Get a Small Pet for Kids

A pile of shoes in family home.

DIY Shoe Deodorizer

Are your family’s sneakers smelling like freshly baked corn chips?

Summer is the worst for smelly shoes at our house.

Save your nose and your shoes with this nifty deodorizing method. Get the directions on making homemade borax shoe deodorizer.

Homemade Slime

The crowd has asked, and we have answered your beckoning.

Yes, you can make the oh-so-popular SLIME using Borax!

Our kids went bonkers over their homemade slime concoctions and since then, we have repeated this project several times over for endless hours of entertainment.

As previously mentioned, use caution and supervise children when they are making slime and doing other activities that use borax powder as an ingredient.

RELATED: Leprechaun Slime Recipe

Eggshell Borax Crystals

Okay, this is one of the coolest projects ever. Who knew that you could grow crystals from home?

This Eggshell Geodes Crystal Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands takes a couple of days and some patience to see the results, but it makes a fantastic at-home chemistry experiment with the kids.

DIY Borax Bouncy Balls

Yay, more bouncy balls for everyone to eventually trip on in the house!

While I'm only half kidding, it is every kid’s dream to make one of the most simple and entertaining toys known to humanity.

These homemade bouncy balls from Science Bob are also easy to make big or small and in any color you kid’s heart desires.

From sparkling dishes and crystals to effective cleaning solutions, Borax is an inexpensive no-brainer for many reasons.

We hope this comprehensive list helps in your next entertaining science project and cleaning needs!

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