If you allow your mind to drift back into the homes of yesterday, many decades ago, you will most likely find a box of borax either in the kitchen or the bathroom. Today, borax still has many fans for household cleaning and detergent boosting, and you will probably find the borax among the laundry. Wherever it is kept in the home, borax has a myriad of uses, some are known and others are a mystery. There is nothing thrifty homeowners love more than products that multitask, and borax is at the top of that list.
Here are a few household uses for borax you may not have heard about:
1. Insects and Rodents
Roaches and waterbugs can be a very nasty problem. They gather in any place in the home where there is food, particularly open food and water. Primarily, it helps to keep any open food in the refrigerator or well sealed in the cabinets, and keep water puddles off the sink areas. Once that is done and you still see these persistent bugs around, borax could be your superhero. Sprinkle equal parts borax and plain white sugar wherever you see the bugs; countertops, cabinets, in corners on the floors, and around the sink area. Allow the mixture to sit for a day. The bugs will eat it and will also carry it back to the nests.
2. Preserving Flowers
This is most likely one of those mystery uses for borax that many people have never heard. Everyone loves to get fresh cut flowers. They are beautiful centerpieces for the home and smell wonderfully. However, their life span is quite short, a couple days at best. Borax preserves the flowers by actually soaking up the moisture in the leaves and stalks of the flower, which is what causes fresh flowers to wilt. You can use two parts borax and one part white sand if you have access to dry sand. If you don’t have access to dry sand, you can substitute the recipe for one part borax to two parts corn meal which can be purchased from any grocery store.
3. Flea Killer
If you’ve ever had an animal that came home with fleas, you know how difficult it is to rid your animal and home of these awful biting creatures. Using borax as a solution is pretty simple. Sprinkle the borax on your carpets, floors, and anywhere your pet would be in your home. This amount of borax will kill the flea eggs, but it is not enough to harm any of your pets or yourself.
4. Refrigerator Deodorizer
The inside of the refrigerator can get a little smelly. We cook meals and then stuff the leftovers in the refrigerator only to forget about them. Borax can turn a sour smelling fridge into a fresh one. With one teaspoon of borax in a quart of warm water, you can wash away any dirt and stains inside your fridge, and the borax will also take all the sour smells with it when you’re done.
5. Cleaning Pots and Pans
Sometimes our meals can leave tough sticky messes in our cookware that a regular dish soap cannot clean. Borax comes in as the rescue to help clean those tough to clean pots and pans. Simply sprinkle borax on the cookware and clean with a sponge using warm water. Rinse well with hot water.
6. Cat Litter Deodorizer
Though we love our fur babies, cats and dogs can leave our homes filled with unpleasant odors. The litter box is one of those foul smelling odors it seems we just can’t get rid of. By mixing just a few tablespoons of borax into the litter, you will notice that it will absorb old and new odors. You and your cat will be happy about that, as cats are known for loving clean smelling litter boxes as well.
Sources: 30 Little Known Uses for Borax