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Home and Garden

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Where To Buy Borax For All Your Cleaning Needs

Are you wondering where can I buy Borax? Well, wonder no more, here is where to buy Borax for all your cleaning needs or even slime making needs.

To help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Borax is an all-round natural cleaning wonder. Seriously, Borax has so many uses around the home that I’m never without a box or two. I’ve also learned from my 10-year-old daughter that Borax is a key ingredient in slime making. The things you learn!

With the rise in interest in both natural cleaning – and slime making at the complete opposite end of the spectrum – I’ve been getting an increasing number of emails from people asking where they can buy borax. To help you out, I’ve outlined my favourite online stores, as well as places you might be able to pick it up in physical shops.

What Is Borax?

First off, you might be wondering what Borax is exactly.

Borax is a white crystalline powder commonly used in cleaning all around the home. It’s gentler than soda crystals, yet stronger than bicarbonate of soda, which makes it great at tackling grease and grime. Use it as a mild abrasive for cleaning your sink. Or pop it in your laundry. It’s great at tackling stains, softening water, and brightening your clothes. It’s also cold-water soluble, unlike soda crystals which cake in cold water. This makes it great for washing clothes at low temperatures.

You can find out more in my what is Borax guide.

Can You Buy Borax In The UK?

Strictly speaking, you can’t actually buy Borax in the UK. This is because back in 2010, the EU decided that on the balance of evidence, Borax, and other chemicals in the same borate family, could potentially be hazardous to health.

Borax was therefore banned for sale in the EU – which at that point included the UK. Brexit coming into place in 2020 hasn’t changed anything – Borax remains banned in the UK in 2022. Borax will likely continue to be banned – I can’t see the UK changing their mind on this.

Don’t worry though, Borax Substitute – also known as Sodium Sesquicarbonate – can be bought in the UK and EU. Chemically, Borax Substitute is very similar to Borax, and performs exactly the same as Borax, without the safety concerns. The only thing that differs is that, unlike Borax, Borax Substitute cannot be used for pest control – such as deterring ants.

Where To Buy Borax Powder

A wooden scoop full of borax powder with a blue text box that reads where to buy borax for all your natural cleaning needs.

I regularly get queries from Moral Fibres readers on sourcing ingredients for natural cleaning products. Specifically on where to buy Borax.

The main producer of Borax Substitute in the UK is the Derbyshire based natural cleaning company Dri-Pak. Dri-Pak branded 500 g cardboard boxes of Borax Substitute can be picked up in many hardware shops – such as Robert Dyas, Wilko and independent hardware shops – quite cheaply. However, if you are struggling to find a box locally, here are my favourite places to source this natural cleaning staple.

Ethical Superstore

Ethical Superstore stocks Dri-Pak branded Borax substitute* for less than £2 for 500 g. As the store sells many of the green cleaning supplies I need, I quite often pick up several ingredients in one go to get the most value out of the shipping cost.

What I always really appreciate is that Ethical Superstore takes environmental concerns seriously. As such, the store uses low-impact packaging materials. This includes reusing the boxes in which it receives stock from its suppliers, paper bubble wrap alternatives, and 100% recycled paper void fill.

Buy Borax At Big Green Smile

Big Green Smile also sell the Dri-Pak branded Borax* online, again for under £2. Do note that the store has a minimum order value of £20.

Amazon

Whilst I personally try to avoid Amazon on the grounds of tax avoidance, human rights issues, and environmental issues, I understand that not everyone is able to.

If Amazon is the most accessible option for you, then Amazon does sell Dri-Pak branded Borax Substitute*. Just to warn you, it is easy to get ripped off on Amazon. I’ve seen single boxes of Borax that should retail for under £2 listed for more than double the price. Instead, look for three-pack or six-pack boxes of Borax for a much better deal.

Beyond the Dri-Pak branded 500 g boxes of Borax Substitute, it’s not something that is really made or sold in the UK by other brands. Therefore, it’s not able to be bought in bulk bags, beyond buying multiple Dri-Pak cardboard boxes.

How To Store Borax To Stop It Forming Clumps

Now you know where to buy Borax. However, you now have a new set of problems to contend with. You’ll soon learn that Borax is a notoriously tricky substance to deal with!

Whilst it is great that Borax, by default, comes in a plastic-free cardboard box, it’s not the best for long term storage. This is because Borax has a tendency to clump up into rock hard lumps the moment any moisture is present. These lumps can then be an absolute devil to bash out.

My top tips for storing Borax for any length of time, to prevent these lumps, is:

  • to decant the Borax from its box into a jar or tub with an airtight light. It’s important to label this container and keep it out of reach of kids and pets.
  • keep the box in a cool dry place where moisture is low.
  • If clumping is still a problem, you could cut the end off of an old pair of tights (or similar), and add a good-sized scoop of dried rice. Tie up the end to secure the rice, and then place this makeshift bag of rice into the tub with the Borax.

Looking for more inspiration on what to do with your Borax? Do check out my full guide to natural cleaning products, for heaps of products that you can make quickly and easily using ingredients such as Borax.

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Do Just Add Water Cleaning Products Really Work? 5 Brands Reviewed

Are you intrigued by the new breed of just add water cleaning products? You might be wondering do these dissolvable cleaners actually work, and can they take on household surfaces? I’ve put several brands through their paces – here’s how I got on.

To help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Whilst I mostly make my own cleaning products, I do sometimes turn to pre-prepared eco-friendly cleaning products when life gets especially hectic. Whilst I have blogged about what, in my opinion, are the best eco-friendly cleaning products that work, things are changing a little in the eco-friendly cleaning world.

A whole host of just add water cleaning products are coming to the fore. Here, as the name implies, you simply add a sachet, tablet or bottle of concentrated cleaning product to water, and dissolve it, to create a cleaning spray or liquid.

These types of dissolvable products certainly make sense. From reducing plastic waste to reducing the carbon emissions associated with shipped products comprised predominantly of water, it is good for the environment to reduce harm where we can. But do these just add water products work? Can they really tackle grease and grime, and everything else that life has to throw at us?

The Best Just Add Water Cleaning Products – Tried and Tested

I’ve put several just add water cleaning products through their paces. Here’s how I got on!

Iron & Velvet

I love the concept of Iron & Velvet’s dissolvable cleaning products. So much so, that this was the first just add water cleaning product that I tried. I bought a starter pack of five sachets. These arrive in one little cardboard box, no bigger than what it needs to be.

Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start. The sachets arrived intact, but after a few weeks, some inexplicably burst in the box. I hoped this was a one-off, so, chalking it down to user error, I bought another box. Unfortunately, when it arrived, a sachet had already burst.

Iron and Velvet just add water cleaning products

Sadly, things continued to be tricky when I tried to make up the solution. Each sachet has a code printed on it, and you get a little key to identify what the codes mean. Because some sachets had burst, I think part of the codes must have been wiped off due to the spilt detergent. It was a bit of a puzzle to identify exactly what I was using!

Once I thought I had identified the right sachet, things were a lot more plain sailing. It was really easy to mix up the solution. Simply pop a sachet in an empty bottle, add the listed amount of lukewarm water for your specific sachet, and then shake. It did not take long for the sachet to fully dissolve.

Before and after cleaning with Iron & Velvet

The performance of Iron & Velvet’s just add water cleaning products was excellent. I couldn’t fault its cleaning power – the cleaner tackled all the dirt and grease my kitchen could throw at it.

What I will say is that the scent did surprise me. I made up the coconut and lime kitchen surface cleaner, but I could detect neither coconut nor lime. Both my partner and I thought it had a smell more reminiscent of polish. It wasn’t a bad smell, it just wasn’t what I was expecting! I’m now wondering if I perhaps made up the oven cleaner instead?!

The Verdict?

I’d rate Iron & Velvet as a 7/10. The cleaning power was faultless, and I admire their minimal packaging. Unfortunately, the packaging just wasn’t robust enough, and I lost 3 sachets worth of product, making it the least cost-effective just add water cleaning solution I tried. I’d definitely try Iron & Velvet again once they find a way to strengthen their sachets.

Buy a set of five Iron & Velvet Sachets from Social Supermarket* for £10 (£2.00 per 500 ml bottle).

Ocean Saver

Similar to Iron & Velvet’s sachets, with Ocean Saver you add a sachet to warm water and allow it to dissolve. They do seem a lot more sturdy, as even with being stored in my kitchen for a few months, the sachets are still intact.

What I would say is that Ocean Saver isn’t so minimal with its packaging. Each sachet comes in an individual box. I bought four sachets, and whilst the cardboard is recyclable, it felt like a lot of cardboard for four small sachets. That being said, each sachet makes a huge 750 ml sized bottle of cleaning product – considerably more than the other brands – so there is some efficiency there.

I got on fine with the sachets and had no problems with cleaning power. The sachets tackle household dirt and grime with ease.

The only Ocean Saver product I struggled with was the bathroom cleaner. This one comes as a solid tablet, rather than a sachet. That would have been fine, had the tablet not been too big to pass through the neck of my standard sized spray bottle. It feels like a bit of a design flaw!

Making Ocean Savers cleaning spray

I ended up using an 800 ml plastic bottle, but even that wasn’t wide enough to accommodate the tablet. To use the cleaner, I had to dissolve the tablet in a measuring jug, and then decant it into the bottle. To be honest, with this extra step, it was no quicker than making my own bathroom cleaning spray.

Whilst it had a nice fruity fragrance that doesn’t smell synthetic, of all the just add water cleaning products, Ocean Saver has the most artificial colour. The bathroom cleaner is hot pink, and for an eco-friendly cleaning product, I felt this highly artificial colour just doesn’t sit very well.

The Verdict?

I’d rate Ocean Saver as 8/10. I can’t fault the cleaning power, I loved the smell, and I love that it’s a more affordable option compared to all the other brands. However, I’d love to see them minimise their packaging a little. It would also be good if the solid bathroom cleaning tablets were a slightly more efficient shape so that they can fit in standard bottles, and perhaps less hot pink!

Buy Ocean Saver from Ethical Superstore* for £1.50 (makes a 750 ml bottle).

neat. Just Add Water Cleaning Products

neat’s dainty little glass bottles look like they contain spirits. But don’t mistake these for mini bottles of vodka or gin! These are concentrated refill cleaning products that you definitely don’t want to drink!

Super easy to use, you simply fill an empty bottle with about 95% water. Then you simply pour the entire contents of the neat. bottle into the bottle of water. Pop the nozzle on, shake, and you are good to go in seconds. It’s so fast – there’s no need to wait for anything to dissolve.

neat just add water cleaning product

I tried out the Seagrass & Lotus multi-surface cleaning spray, and it tackled most of my kitchen with ease. This particular cleaner struggled with grease near my cooker, but apart from that seemed to tackle most other areas of my home without issue.

Scent wise, it was definitely one of the stronger and synthetic scents of all the just add water cleaning products. Whilst not at all unpleasant, the Seagrass & Lotus one smelled a lot like fabric conditioner. After years and years of making my own cleaning products, I am used to more subtle smelling cleaning products, and I did find it was a bit too overbearing for me.

I did like that the refill bottles are plastic-free – right down to the recyclable metal lids. The only drawback is that whilst glass is endlessly recyclable, it can be carbon-intensive to ship glass as it is heavier, and it is carbon-intensive to recycle into new products. It would be good if it was possible for neat. to have a return and refill scheme for their bottles, to make them more eco-friendly. Or to use one larger bottle that holds multiple doses, to make it more efficient.

The Verdict?

I’d rate neat. as 7/10. I’m not convinced that transporting mini glass bottles is the most eco-friendly packaging option, although I do appreciate that the bottles are entirely plastic-free. The Seagrass & Lotus cleaning spray also had quite a strong synthetic scent that wasn’t entirely to my taste. And whilst it left most of my surfaces sparkling, I felt it didn’t take on kitchen grease as well as some of the other brands.

Buy neat. from Ethical Superstore* for £2.75 (makes a 500 ml bottle).

Spruce

Spruce just add water cleaning products

Spruce just add water cleaning products are a bit different – they arrive in powder form. My first impressions were that packaging is kept to a minimum: the packets are similar in size to sugar or coffee sachets. I also loved that once you’re done with the packet, it’s fully home compostable.

I found Spruce easy to use. Simply cut open the packet, pour the powder into a bottle, and then slowly add water. Do add the water slowly as it does tend to foam up. Pop the spray nozzle on, give it a swirl and you’re ready to clean. I used the Spruce refillable metal bottles, but you can use your own 500 ml bottles.

Cleaning wise, I was impressed. It cleaned my kitchen surfaces with ease, even the greasy bits. And I found it was great at tackling bathroom grime too. Scent-wise, I was also impressed. The kitchen cleaner has a lovely geranium scent that’s not overbearing. Meanwhile, the bathroom cleaner has a fresh natural eucalyptus scent that I loved.

cleaning with Spruce

The one drawback was the cost. If you buy a three-pack of refill sachets, it works out at £3.33 per sachet – the most expensive of all the just add water cleaning products.

The Verdict?

I’d rate Spruce 9/10. I love this product. I love the minimal packaging that’s home compostable, and I would say it smells the best out of all the just add water cleaning products I tried. There’s no compromise in cleaning power, and the kitchen cleaner in particular tackles grease with ease. I deducted a point as this product is considerably more expensive compared to all the other brands – coming in at almost £1 more expensive per refill.

Buy directly from Spruce* or via Ethical Superstore*, for £9.99 (£3.33 per 500 ml bottle).

Raindrop

Lastly, I tried out Raindrop’s multi-surface cleaning spray. My first impressions were good. I liked how three tablets came in one tiny little cardboard box – there was no excess packaging here.

I also liked that Raindrop had thought about how the product would be used. The solid rounded tablet slipped effortlessly into a standard-sized bottleneck, which I appreciated. There was no having to dissolve it in a separate jug before having to decant it.

Raindrop cleaning spray

The tablet dissolved quickly in water and was ready for use in no time. The multi-surface cleaner is supposed to be lavender-scented, but I would disagree. My partner and I found it to be more of a pine smell, not too dissimilar to furniture polish.

What about the all-important cleaning? Well, I’m pleased to report that it takes on surfaces with ease. Its biggest challenge was my daughter’s desk. It is normally covered in all sorts of sticky based gunk, but it wiped clean in seconds. I found it stood up to kitchen cleaning too, tackling surfaces with ease.

The Verdict

My rating? 9/10. I love the minimal packaging, and I can’t fault Raindrop’s cleaning power. I deducted a point as I felt the scent wasn’t entirely what I was expecting from a lavender based cleaning product, but I would buy this one again.

Buy Raindrop via Etsy*, for £6.99 for 3 tablets (£2.33 per 500 ml bottle).

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Or do you have any other just add water cleaning product recommendations? I’m all ears!

Image of natural cleaning products and equipment in a cream wool basket, with a blue text box that says do just add water cleaning products actually work?