How to Clean With Borax

With powers to brighten and whiten, borax is a great ingredient for green cleaning recipes. Now that we know what borax is and how it cleans, what’s next?
For starters, it is always a good idea to remember to use gloves when handling any household cleaner whether it was a natural recipe that you made yourself or a store bought brand.
As a laundry aid: Add ½ cup of borax to your dirty load and it will boost the power of your regular detergent!  You can also use borax to soak linens or delicates that can’t be put in the machine.  Fill sink up with warm water and mix in ¼ cup of borax and 2 tablespoons of detergent; let soiled items soak for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly with cool water.  *TIP: To clean antique or otherwise delicate washables that are heavily soiled, mix detergent and borax together until you get a thick paste, rub paste on desired area, let set for a few minutes and then rinse clean!
As a deodorizer: Borax is great for neutralizing odors anywhere in the house.  If you have a stinky dog bed, spray with a white vinegar and water solution and sprinkle on borax.  Once it is dry vacuum it off and POOF- doggy smell is gone!  *TIP- Try sprinkling a little borax in your outdoor trash cans to combat those stinky odors especially in summertime!
As a mildew remover: Using a borax solution on moldy areas is great for bathroom cleaning, avoiding areas where the paint can be damaged.  A 1:1 solution of borax and vinegar (or 1 teaspoon borax in a quart of warm water) placed in a recycled spray bottle is a good way to zap these problem areas.  Spray mixture on desired areas and let soak for 30 minutes to an hour then wipe off with a warm wet rag.  *TIP- For extra stubborn areas, make a borax and water paste and apply directly to spot.  Once this has dried sweep up the excess powder and rinse clean.
As a toilet cleaner: Neutralizing odors in your toilet, borax also loosens up any grime that is clinging to the bowl.  Pour 1 cup of borax in the toilet and leave it overnight.  In the morning simply scrub the bowl and flush.  *TIP- As was suggested in our blog post Natural Cleaners Part I, the vinegar and baking soda toilet cleaner can be powered up by replacing the baking soda with a dash of borax and a spritz of lime; this solution is sure to take care of extra scummy messes.
Green cleaning at the home should be done with care even when using natural recipes. Be sure to test cleaning products/solutions on a small spot first to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
Always remember to exercise caution when handling any chemical even if it is baking soda or vinegar.  Wearing gloves is always a good idea!  As long as you are not ingesting large quantities of borax (duh!) and rinsing clean after each use, it is perfectly safe for at home cleaning!

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