Cooktop Cove: 15 unexpected uses of borax
Borax is a common household item that often gets overlooked. This tried-and-true household cleaner has so many uses, from fighting pests to preserving flowers to removing the hardest rust stains. After reading some of the best and most creative uses, you'll never underestimate borax again!
If you don't have any borax at home, you'll want to go buy some immediately after reading this article. The best part is that it's easy to find and very affordable, so anyone can add borax to their cleaning arsenal.
1. Rid your home of roaches
If you have a cockroach problem in your home but don't want to use harsh chemicals, borax might just be the perfect solution. Try this DIY solution: 2 parts borax, 1 part powered sugar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Then, use this homemade solution around windows, entryways, and other roach-prone areas of the house.
2. Homemade laundry detergent
This recipe below makes a laundry detergent that costs just pennies per load! You might never go back to the store-bought kind.
18 oz container of Downy Unstoppables
1 Fels Naptha laundry bar
55 oz box of washing soda
65 oz box of borax
Grate the bar of soap with a fine grater. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and store in a Ziploc bag. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons for each laundry load.
3. Flea fighter
If you have a furry friend at home, you will want a flea repellent to keep those pesky little insects at bay. The recipe below is natural and easy, and it uses — you guessed it — borax!
Combine salt, baking soda, borax, and your favorite essential oils. Baking soda and borax help kill the adult eggs while salt drys them up. Sprinkle the mixture on your carpet or mattress and let rest for 24 hours before cleaning up.
4. Make an everlasting bouquet
If you're tired of constantly buying fresh flowers or you have a special bouquet you want to preserve, borax can help you out! That's right, you can make those flowers last forever with a combination of 1 part borax with 2 parts cornmeal.
Put a small amount of mixture (usually 1/2 to 1 inch) into an airtight container. This will ensure the flowers stand up in the mixture. Next, place more of the mixture around the flowers to cover. Be gentle with this process as you don't want to damage the flowers in the process. Once covered, seal the container and wait 10 days. Once the flowers are dried, they can be used for various DIYs from wreaths to potpourri.
5. Natural carpet deodorizer
Forget buying powders from the store, which come with a $5 price tag and all sorts of ingredients you can't pronounce. Instead, make your own DIY carpet deodorizer. It's natural and inexpensive, and it smells amazing!
Here's the full recipe:
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup borax
30 drops of your favorite essential oil
Combine the above in glass jar. Shake until all lumps disappear.
6. Mattress cleaner
We often neglect our mattresses because we don't know how to clean them. But they absorb skin cells and sweat and can even house bedbugs if not cleaned regularly. Simply sprinkle borax on your mattress, wait half an hour, and vacuum the powder up.
7. Get rid of ants for good
If those pesky ants keep coming back year after year, try the following trick to get rid of those annoying little pests for good, or for at least a year. First, mix 1.5 cup warm water with a half cup of sugar and 1.5 tablespoon of borax. Next, soak cotton balls into this mixture. The sugar helps attract the ants, and they will take borax back into their nest.
8. Dishwasher booster
Next time you have a full load of dishes, sprinkle 1 to 2 cups of borax in the dishwasher basin. Run the load as usual, and you'll notice your dishes will come out without those unsightly water spots. Plus, your dishwasher will be much cleaner overall.
9. All-purpose cleaner
Mix together 2 tablespoons borax with 2 cups water, and put the liquid in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner that can be used anywhere, from the kitchen to the garage!
10. Weed killer
Get rid of those stubborn weeds by sprinkling borax on top of them. Let it sit, and after a while, the weeds should die.
11. Get rid of rust and lime stains
If your tub has rust and lime, borax might be the answer to your prayers! It turns out you can rid of some seriously nasty rust and lime stains with the help of borax. Add 2 cups of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of borax for the ultimate solution. Feel free to include some drops of essential oil to mitigate any strong scents.
12. Keep fruit trees healthy
It may sound weird, but sprinkling borax at the base of fruit trees every 3 to 4 years will keep the trees healthy by adding boron to the soil. For mature trees, you can use a whole cup, while younger trees need only a few tablespoons. This is an all-natural fertilizer we can get on board with!
13. Garbage disposal cleaner
Get rid of that nasty buildup in your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour, and then rinse it down with warm water.
14. Toilet bowl cleaner
Keep your toilet clean and your home free of toxic chemicals by replacing your traditional toilet cleaner with borax. That's right, all you need to do is pour 1/2 cup into the toilet bowl and scrub away!
15. Deodorize your trash can
Garbage cans can get stinky quickly. Keep those odors at bay by cleaning out the can with a mixture of 1 cup borax and 2 cups water. Let it soak, and then dry it out.
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