In my quest for earth-friendly and inexpensive cleaning supplies I have found another favorite product… 20 Mule Team Borax.
I might be tempted to like it just for it’s name. It really sounds like it “pulls it’s weight” in the cleaning department. It’s not new-fangled… my grandmother used it and loved it (and probably her mother too.)
Did I mention it is a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water? Very cool. And it won’t hurt the environment. Here are a few ways I have used it:
- Cleaning toilets- Just sprinkle 1/4 cup into the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes or overnight (I can’t leave it overnight, someone always gets up to go the bathroom!) Scrub with a toilet brush. It does a great job getting rid of stains and making the toilet smell fresh.
- Getting rid of ants: My mom had an invasion of ants this Spring. An exterminator wanted $60 to come get rid of them. She “Made it Do” by using Borax instead– No chemicals and no waste of money! Mix equal parts of Borax and jam. Cut an index card into 4 pieces. Place a small amount of the Borax/jam solution on the index cards and place cards everywhere you are seeing the ants. It took just a few days and the ants were totally GONE. My Mom felt like superwoman… then she went out and spent that $60 she saved on fabric! (Just a note if you have pets… Borax can be toxic if ingested, so don’t leave those little cards around where your pet might eat them.)
- Cleaning my tile floors- It worked awesome for cleaning my bathroom tile floors. Mix together one to two gallons of warm water with 1/3rd cup borax, a teaspoon of liquid dish soap. For serious grout cleaning: Combine 1/2-cup baking soda, 1/4-cup borax and hot water to form a thin paste. Pour over the tile, scrub and rinse. If it leaves a residue on the grout after rinsing, dip a clean cloth in white vinegar and wipe the tile down again. It even removed a few stains in the grout that had been there for a while.
- As a laundry booster- I have used it in loads of stinky laundry (ie. my husbands workout clothes) and it worked great at removing odors. I just added 1/2 cup in with my regular detergent.
- Deodorizing mattresses- I sprinkled Borax on the kid’s mattresses and rubbed it with a damp towel. I let it dry and vacuumed it up.
- Cleaning the garbage can- I poured about 1/4 cup of borax into the garbage can and then used a sponge dipped in warm water and scrubbed. It cleaned nicely and really removed odors. Once the can is dry, you can leave a little Borax at the bottom to absorb odors.
- Cleaning floor boards- I sprinkled a little Borax on a soft damp cloth and wiped the floor boards down.
These are just a few of the many uses of Borax. I feel like I have just scratched the surface of what it can do. Have you ever been excited to clean? I am right now. Is that Spring Fever talking or what… I just need about 5 more hours in the day to do it!