Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

21 Amazing Uses For Borax Around The House

Wondering just how many uses for borax there are? It turns out there are lots! In fact, here are over 20 uses for borax all around the home – from cleaning your bathroom and kitchen to unblocking drains and more.

I use borax in some of the natural cleaning products I make. I’ve also seen borax pop up in a few homemade household cleaning recipes. However, I hadn’t appreciated just how many uses for borax there are until I came across this really handy infographic.  It shows 21 uses for borax around the house!  21!  From unclogging drains and cleaning mattresses to inhibiting mould, it seems borax does it all!

Safety First When Using Borax

Borax in a jar surrounded by lemons with blue text box that reads over 20 uses for borax to naturally clean your home.

Although it’s non-toxic and a completely natural substance, borax can be a bit of an irritant to sensitive skin.  If you do suffer from sensitive skin, skin allergies, eczema, or anything like that then I would avoid using borax on anything that’s going to come into regular contact with your skin.  Just to be on the safe side!

21 Amazing Uses for Borax

Now we’ve got the safety chat out of the way, let’s get on to the many uses for borax!


Source: eReplacementParts.com

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

To make homemade carpet cleaner, simply mix 2 cups of cornmeal (also known as polenta in the UK) with 1 cup of borax in a large jar. You can optionally add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to add a little scent.

Next, sprinkle the mixture over your carpeted area and leave for one hour. Then vacuum to enjoy a fresh, odour-free carpet.

Dishwasher Tablets

To make dishwasher tablets you will need 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda (also known as soda crystals), 1 cup of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Mix the borax and washing soda into a large bowl, breaking up any chunks with a spoon or whisk. Mix the vinegar and lemon juice into the dry ingredients and pour it mixture into ice cube moulds. Let the mixture dry for one hour, or until solid. Next, pop out the tablets and let them dry for another 30 minutes on wax paper. Store in a sealed glass jar, and use one tablet per load.

I’ve tried this recipe and it didn’t work for me – mixing borax or soda crystals with vinegar is a big no-no – so personally, I’d give this a miss and buy plastic-free dishwasher tablets. Read my guide to cleaning with white vinegar to learn more about why you shouldn’t mix borax with vinegar.

Grout Cleaner

To clean your grout, in a bucket, mix 5 litres of hot water with 1/2 a cup of borax. Dip a scrubbing brush in the water and scrub your grout. When you are done, pour water over the grout to rinse, or leave the borax solution on to help prevent further mould and mildew. If you rinse the grout, use a towel to dry the area thoroughly.

Better Homemade Candles

For longer-lasting homemade candles, treat wicks by soaking them in a solution of salt and borax to help reduce smoke and ash.

Clean Hairbrushes & Combs Naturally With Borax

To clean hairbrushes and combs, mix 1/4 cup of borax and 1 tablespoon grease-cutting washing up liquid in a bowl of warm water. Swish the brushes and combs in water, let soak, and then rinse and dry.

Clean Mattresses With Borax

To clean your mattress, simply wet your mattress and rub in some borax with a damp cloth. Leave to dry, and then vacuum off the residue for a fresh clean mattress.

Clean Cookware

For another great use for borax, did you know you can clean cookware with it? Simply sprinkle some borax on pots and pans and rub with a dishcloth, before rinsing.

Deodorising Your Bins

Fill your bin with borax and hot water. Let soak and then rinse. Once dry, sprinkle a little borax in the bottom to absorb odour-causing moisture.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Clean and sanitise your garbage disposal unit by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Leave this to sit for one hour, before flushing with warm water.

Sticky Stuff Remover

Mix borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. Then rub to get rid of adhesive residue, or see here for my top tips to remove labels from jars.

Use Borax to Kill Weeds

Sprinkle a little borax on weeds in concrete cracks. Avoid using it in your garden as it will kill your plants indiscriminately.

Clean Linens

To remove mildew and mustiness from linens you can use borax. Simply mix two cups of borax with 2 litres of water. Soak your linens for a few hours in the solution, before rinsing clean.

Use Borax to Deter Mice

Sprinkle borax on the floor and along the walls (provided you don’t have any children or pets). Apparently, mice don’t like borax on their feet so they are less likely to return.

Please note, you cannot use borax in the UK or EU for pest control – you can read on for why not. Therefore this is only an option if you live outside of the UK or EU.

Mould Inhibitor

To inhibit the growth of mould, you can mix borax and water to create a thick paste. Smear it on the mouldy area and let it sit until it is dry. Preferably overnight or longer. The next day sweep off the powder and rinse off any remaining residue.

Use Borax to Clean Outdoor Furniture

To clean your outdoor garden furniture naturally, mix one teaspoon of washing up liquid with one teaspoon of borax, and 1 litre of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto outdoor furniture and then wipe down your furniture to clean effectively and naturally.

Control Pests With Borax

Again, if you are outside of the UK or EU then you can use borax to repel ants and other creatures. Simply mix borax and sugar in a 1:1 ratio, and then sprinkle to keep away ants, roaches, and waterbugs. Again, I’d avoid this if you have pets or small children.

Deodorise Your Fridge With Borax

To deodorise your fridge, mix 1 tablespoon of borax in 1 litre of warm water. Soak a soft cloth in the solution, before wringing out. Wipe down your fridge interior, before rinsing with cold water for a clean and odour-free fridge.

Remove Rust

Create a solution using 1 litre of warm water, 1 tablespoon of borax, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. You can then apply the solution to any rust spots. After 15 minutes, rinse the paste and scrub off the rust with a wire brush. You may wish to spot test an inconspicuous area first, before treating a wider area.

Shine China

To restore the shine on your best china, fill your sink with warm water and add half a cup of borax. Soak your china in it for a little while, before rinsing well and washing as normal.

Sink Cleaner

To remove stains from both stainless steel and porcelain sinks, create a paste of 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the paste on the stain, before rinsing with warm water.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

To naturally clean your toilet bowl, pour one cup of borax into your toilet at night time. In the morning, clean with a toilet brush for a fresh clean finish.

Unclog Drains

To unclog drains, mix 1/2 a cup of borax with 2 cups of boiling water. Pour the solution down your sink, leaving it to sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run the tap for a few minutes to flush the drain. Alternatively, you can try unblocking your drain with soda crystals.

Where to Buy Borax In The UK

If you’re in the UK/EU and you want to track some borax down, please note you can only buy “borax substitute”.

The reason being is that a few years ago the EU reclassified the ‘Borate’ group of chemicals that Borax belongs to as a dangerous substance.  Thankfully, borax substitute still has all the same cleaning and laundry uses that the original borax had, so you can use it as a straight swap.

Whilst borax substitute is also pretty much identical, composition-wise, to regular borax, do note that it cannot be used for pest control.  You’ll still need to store it securely away from children, preferably up high in a childproof cupboard, and properly labelled. This is because it’s not a substance you want young children getting their hands on.

And if you’re wondering where to buy borax substitute, the good news is it’s easily accessible. I’ve seen it for sale in cardboard boxes in pound shops (in the cleaning aisle) and hardware shops for the princely sum of £2 for a 500g box.  You can also shop for borax substitute easily online.

ps: if you are worried about using borax or borax substitute in your home, then I’ve researched a post on is borax safe to help answer any questions you may have on borax safety.

Life & Style, sponsored

The Beagle Button – The Easy Way to Shop Sustainably | AD

This post on The Beagle Button is paid-for content in association with Beagle.

Worried about climate change, and the environment? You are not alone. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), three-quarters of adults in Great Britain are concerned about climate change. Meanwhile, other studies show that concern for the environment and wildlife is also at record high levels.

Most of us are concerned about the environment in some way. However, when it comes to quickly popping online to pick up the essentials that we need, then it is easy to forget these concerns. Whether it’s simply the convenience that big online stores such as Amazon offer, or perhaps the lack of time to research ethical alternatives, it is easy to opt for the most convenient option rather than the more sustainable option.

Thankfully, Beagle has stepped in to offer some gentle encouragement and product suggestions via their free The Beagle Button browser extension to help you on your sustainability journey.

What Is The Beagle Button?

beagle button demonstration

The Beagle Button is a clever browser extension that you can install free of charge on your computer’s web browser – such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge – in just two simple clicks.

You’ll know it’s installed successfully, as a small beagle icon will appear at the top of your browser to let you know it’s there. This is reassuring, as when you are browsing non-shopping sites, then you wouldn’t even know that The Beagle Button was there – it does not interfere with your browsing experience in any way.

Once installed, The Beagle Button then beavers away in the background, doing all the hard work for you by sniffing out sustainable alternatives. This means when you are shopping online for a particular product or service, then if The Beagle Button thinks it has a better alternative, it will pop up and tell you it’s found something sustainable that you might like. You can then click through to view the product, or dismiss it and carry on with what you were doing – guilt-free.

The best bit? As sustainability means different things to different people, within your account you can pick specific sustainability preferences, that The Beagle Button will prioritise when it offers alternatives to you. These include:

  • Organic
  • Plastic-Free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Long-Lasting
  • Ethically Made
  • Low-Carbon
  • Reusable
  • From Minority-Owned Organisations
  • From Female-Owned Organisations
  • Locally Made
  • Palm Oil Free
  • Saves You Money
  • Gives Back

For that extra sustainable edge, Beagle plants one tree for each new user that installs The Beagle Button. Beagle also plants one tree for each purchase made through The Beagle Button too.

How The Beagle Button Works

The alternatives that are displayed to you are not random. Instead, each product goes through a methodical research process. This ensures that the suggestions displayed are a good match for you. It also makes it as easy as possible for you to cut through greenwashing and shop sustainably.

To achieve this, first, Beagle’s dedicated team scours the internet for mission-driven brands that are committed to producing sustainable products. They then look for products that match their sustainability tags, such as the ones listed above.

Beagle then look at how sustainable these products really are. To do that, they give each product a score against their 5 sustainability pillars. These pillars are: Minimising Emissions, Reducing Waste, Supporting Workers, Protecting Animals, and Avoiding Chemicals. All of their products contribute to one or more of these pillars, with priority given to those products with low carbon emissions. Where relevant they also work with certifying bodies to test the claims that brands make.

As well as being sustainable, Beagle wants to make sure that the products they suggest are great to use. So they also look for reviews from customers who have bought the product and tried it out.

Products that pass these tests are added to their database alongside their sustainability score. When you’re browsing online, The Beagle Button quickly digs into this database to find the products that best match what you are looking at, as well as your sustainability preferences – before popping up at the side with their sustainable suggestions.

Reassuringly, their database isn’t static. Beagle is constantly re-assessing all of the products listed in their database. The team are also always searching for new products to make sure they only suggest the best alternatives they can find.

How Can It Be Free to Users – What’s The Catch?

With The Beagle Button, there’s no catch to using this free service. Rather than charging users to use the browser extension, or selling customer data, instead, Beagle takes a small commission from the sustainable retailer when you buy a suggested product. This allows them to generate income sustainably and ethically, whilst maintaining a free service for users.

This commission payment doesn’t influence the products you are shown. Beagle doesn’t accept payment from retailers who want to be listed or to be prioritised in listings. This is because their research process to find the best, most sustainable products in each category are completely independent. This means you only get results that you can trust.

Give It A Go Today

Want to make sustainable shopping easy? Download the free The Beagle Button extension today, and see how your buying power can be used for good.

Person smiling at laptop with a blue text box that says Beagle Button - an easy way to shop sustainably online | AD.