It doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment. People have been using borax for over 100 years to clean their homes and for use in their laundry. It is also used in agriculture, and to keep away pests. It is alsow used as a flux in welding, to help the weld flow neatly.
Using borax around the home can also cut down on rubbish in our landfill as it can replace many of the cleaning products which we use on a daily basis that come in plastic containers. This article provides a few ideas for what you can do with borax.
Sprinkle a cup of borax around fruit trees (or a couple of tablespoons around a young tree) every three or four years to add boron, a trace mineral, to the soil. It is needed for good cell wall growth and for fruit and seed development. Check with Agriculture to see if it is suitable for your trees.
Keep roaches and ants away by sprinkling equal parts of borax and sugar anywhere you suspect they may be entering your home.
As a toilet bowl cleaner. Pour one cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. In the morning, give the toilet a good scrub with your toilet brush. The borax will loosen any grime or deposits and make it easier to scrub away!
Get rid of sticky, gooey, and gummy adhesive residue, eg. when you take price stickers off new plates etc. Simply mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio, then rub the mixture onto the residue.
Cleaning cookware. Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner that’s great for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly.
Refrigerator deodoriser. Spilled food can be washed away with a sponge or soft cloth using a solution of 1quart warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Rinse with cold water.
Shower, tub and tiles: Sprinkle borax on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching the finish. Rinse thoroughly.
Sink cleaner: Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste of 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
Cleaning outdoor furniture: Mix 1 teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture.
Unclog drains with half a cup of borax followed by two cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush out the borax and any clogs.
Clean mattresses: Remove urine odour from a mattress. Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.
Use a sprinkle of borax to kill weeds that surface in concrete cracks and on walkways. (Borax shouldn’t be used in the garden because it will also kill your plants!)
Make your worn china crockery sparkle again by soaking in a sink full of warm water and a 1/2 cup of borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual.
OK, so now you know some of the things you can use borax for. The bad news is that after a quick look around town, borax does not appear to be available here at present (apart from small quantities sold by the CITC Pharmacy).
In New Zealand it sells for around $10 to $15 per 1 kg. container
So if you think you may like to use this eco-friendly alternative, talk to your shopkeepers and ask them to bring some in!