Use Borax in the Bathroom

Edited by Sarah Maloney, Eng, Alma

If you've read any of my articles on Borax and crafts Make Slime with Borax, Make Bouncy Ball Paint Art, Make A Giant Bouncy Ball Using Silly Putty you won't be surprised to hear that I am a bit of a Borax devotee and I try to get as many converts as possible.

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While at the grocery store a couple weeks ago I was grabbing a box and the lady next to me asked,

"I see that box here all the time and I always wonder what it's for but I have never ever seen anyone buy it. What is for?" she asked.

"Um, Well...Everything. I clean my washroom, my kitchen, my floors, I use it in the laundry, on my carpets. I deodorize with it, I use it in the car and outside..."

"And," piped up my son from beside me "We make SLIME WITH IT!"

"Huh," she said, putting her super duper overpriced color changing headache inducing foamy shower cleaner back on the shelf and grabbing a box of Borax. "I'll try it, thanks!'

"My work here is done," I said in my best Batman voice, raising my arms into an imaginary bat cape. My son gave me a nervous giggle and a Mom, you are SUCH a DORK look while the lady clutched her purse to her chest and looking oddly back at me walked briskly away.

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The contents of the innocuous white box hidden behind all the super duper products in the laundry aisle really does seem to do almost everything. From cleaning to deodorizing to crafting it is almost magic.This article will show you how to use Borax in your bathroom (it does more than just clean toilets!).

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History

I can assure you have probably seen Borax in your Mother or Grandmother's laundry room if not, you have most definitely seen it in the laundry aisle. This is it:

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See? You've seen it right? Borax has been around SO long that it is actually named after the 20 mule teams first used to move Borax out of the desert in the late 1800's [1].

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The Science

I love the intricacies and science of everyday items. What makes Borax such an amazing product is it's natural. Borax comes right outta the ground. Borax is a mineral, and the salt of boric acid, [2]. The Borax from the box has been mined, refined and crushed into a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. We actually received a small piece of Borax in a mineral set from the school book ordering company. It's actually kinda pretty.

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Since the 1800's the uses for Borax have become abundant. From mining operations to taxidermy, laundry and fertilizer to pH control in backyard pools, used by blacksmiths and in ceramics it is almost magic.

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Advantages

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  1. 1
    Disinfectant
    .
    Borax is an excellent disinfectant alternative to bleach and other commercially created products. It is also a fungicide, preservative, insecticide, herbicide, disinfectant, dessicant. The Centre for Disease Control [3] does warn however that Borax and other environmentally safe products are not effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria, S. aureus, salmonella and E.coli.
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  2. 2
    Environmentally Friendly
    .
    Borax is all-natural and environmentally friendly. If you are environmentally cautious, want to avoid the chemical residue, have allergies or are sensitive to scent and fumes Borax is an excellent product.
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  3. 3
    Affordable
    .
    Depending how much you use a box lasts me longer and costs less than other products.
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Using Borax in the Bathroom

Let's get Boraxing! One of the places I use Borax the most is in the bathroom.

Tub, Sink and Shower Scrubber

You can use Borax right out of the box on your tub and shower for a non-abrasive shine. This will work on soap scum, dried on soap and other shower grim.

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  1. 1
    Simply sprinkle about ½ cup of Borax onto your tub and shower.
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  2. 2
    Run a bit of water just to dampen the powder
    .
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  3. 3
    Use your sponge or cloth to scrub the Borax around your tub and shower
    .
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  4. 4
    Rinse off.
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  5. 5
    For areas in your tub that have a lot of soap scum or grim, repeat the steps and consider using a non-abrasive scrub brush
    .
    You can find these at most hardware and house ware stores.
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Daily Shower Spray

You can also make a Borax shower spray that you can use daily after your shower. You won't believe how clean this will keep your shower and tub!

  1. 1
    Ingredients
    :
    • 1 ½ cup Baking Soda.
    • 1 cup of Borax.
    • 1 cup of liquid soap.
    • 4 Tbsp Vinegar.
    • 2 cup warm water.
    • Optional: 8 drops of essential oil (lemon or eucalyptus works nicely).
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  2. 2
    Spray bottle (minimum 30oz bottle)
    .
    New bottles are best and are inexpensive buys at your local home store.
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  3. 3
    Place dry ingredients into a spray bottle
    .
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  4. 4
    Add wet ingredients.
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  5. 5
    You want to add the wet ingredients after the dry so the dry dissolves more quickly and uniformly.
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  6. 6
    Shake and Spray
    .
    Rinse.
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  7. 7
    Keep the bottle in the shower
    .
    After your shower, give the bottle a shake and give the tile a quick spray and rinse.
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  8. 8
    You can also buy a shower squeegee and hang it in the shower
    .
    After you spray and rinse give it a quick squeegee for added shine!
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Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  1. 1
    Ingredients
    :
    • ½ cup Baking Soda.
    • Toilet Brush
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Sprinkle about ½ cup of Borax in and around your toilet bowl. Let it sit overnight. In the morning give it a scrub with your toilet brush.

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Toilet Tank Cleaner

You might not even look at this part of your toilet unless the handle breaks but your toilet bowl deserves a clean at least twice a year.

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  1. 1
    Carefully remove the top of the tank and place carefully on the floor
    .
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  2. 2
    Flush your toilet twice
    .
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  3. 3
    Turn off the water (it's usually a small valve at the bottom of your toilet)
    .
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  4. 4
    Add about 1 cup of vinegar to the tank
    .
    Let this soak for 5 minutes. Flush.
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  5. 5
    Add ½ cup of Borax around the tank and let sit 30 minutes
    .
    Scrub clean.
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  6. 6
    Turn the water back on and give it a flush.
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Clogged Toilets

Borax can effectively unclog a toilet without sending chemicals down your drain or fumes in the air.

  1. 1
    Pour 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of Borax into the toilet
    .
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  2. 2
    Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes
    .
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  3. 3
    Flush
    .
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  4. 4
    If the toilet is still clogged, you may want to use the plunger, the Borax will make for much easier plunging
    .
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  5. 5
    You can leave the Borax in the toilet overnight
    .
    This will give it more time to clean stubborn clogs.
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Remove Mildew and Mold

Remove mildew from your tub and grout.

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  1. 1
    Sprinkle Borax and add enough water to make a paste
    .
    Or, fill a spray bottle with 1 part Borax and 1 part warm water. Shake and spray.
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  2. 2
    Scrub in
    .
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  3. 3
    Let sit for a couple hours
    .
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  4. 4
    You do not need to rinse this, if you leave it on the Borax will act as a continually deterrent to mold and mildew.
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Air Freshener

All-natural air freshener for your bathroom with the delicacy of essential oils.

Ingredients and Instructions

  1. 1
    Spray bottle.
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  2. 2
    1/2 cup of Borax.
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  3. 3
    1 Cup of warm water.
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  4. 4
    10 drops of essential oils.
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  5. 5
    In a spray bottle, add the Borax, water and essential oils
    .
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  6. 6
    Shake and spray into the air to refresh.
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Tips

  • Leave the bottle in a conspicuous place for usage.
  • Look around your craft story or even dollar store for designed spray bottles.
  • Label the bottle so guests know what it is.
  • Experiment with your favourite oils. Lavender and Rose are favourites but take a sniff and choose what you like.
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Hair Brushes

You should clean your brushes and combs once a month.

  1. 1
    Fill your sink with 2 cups of warm water, a few drops of shampoo and ½ cup of Borax
    .
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  2. 2
    Throw your brushes and combs in and let them soak for about an hour
    .
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  3. 3
    Take them out and rinse.
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Floor Cleaner

  1. 1
    Add ½ cup of Borax, ¼ cup of baking soda, 1tbsp of dish soap and 2 cups of warm water to your mop bucket
    .
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  2. 2
    Stir with the mop and clean away.
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Bath Salts

Borax is not just for cleaning the washroom you can use it as a soothing bath soak.

  1. 1
    Ingredients
    :
    • 2tbsp baking soda
    • 1 cup of regular salt.
    • 2tbsp of Borax.
    • 15 drops of essential rose oil.
    • 10 drops of ylang ylang oil.
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  2. 2
    Instructions
    :
     
    1. Add the dry ingredients to a jar (mason jars work great).
    2. Add the essential oils to the dry ingredients.
    3. Shake it up. Add about half to your bath.
    4. Soak and relax.
    5. Seal the jar for future use.
    6. You can also use dried lavender or roses. These make a great gift.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

Comments

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  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20060317190621/http://www.borax.com/borax5.html
  2. https://thechemco.com/chemical/borax/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/Disinfection_Sterilization/3_3inactivBioAgents.html
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Article Info

Categories : Home Improvement

Recent edits by: Eng, Sarah Maloney

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