How to Use Borax in Laundry

There is nothing quite like having clean and fresh laundry. One of the oldest tricks to achieve great laundry is adding borax to your washing cycle. When added to your laundry, this natural mineral can enhance your detergent’s cleaning power.

In this article, we go through some ways you can use borax in the laundry. 

What is Borax?

Borax, also known as Sodium Borate, is a natural mineral salt usually found in Turkey and California. This whitish substance is a mixture of elements like boron, oxygen, and sodium. 

Borax has multiple uses in the house, including pest control, stain removal, and laundry. For many years now, people have used borax in their laundry, usually by combining it with detergent. 

Borax is alkaline in nature (has a pH of 9.4) and is very efficient in fighting acidic stains when dissolved in water. 

10 Ways to Use Borax in Laundry 

Borax can work as a pesticide, cleaner, and for your laundry. Here are some ways to use borax in the laundry: 

1: Borax as Laundry Booster

Borax is a laundry booster that offers a deep clean when added to your wash cycle. This substance works by improving the properties of your detergent. Using borax mixed with detergent will get your clothes cleaner than using detergent only. Borax is excellent for clothes prone to fading or clothes with tough stains. To use borax as a laundry booster:

Step 1: Add some borax into a mason jar or container and add warm water to make it dissolve faster. 

Step 2: Shake the solution and add about a cup of it into your laundry load. 

Step 3: Wash your clothes as normal to help your detergent work better. 

2: Whiten Your Clothes

White clothes can be hard to maintain, especially when it comes to retaining their bright white color. Fortunately, borax can serve as a potent whitening agent when added to your clothes.  Borax turns part of water molecules into hydrogen peroxide, which is the active agent in bleach. When combined with bleach, it boosts its cleaning abilities. Alternatively, you can mix the borax with your detergent or use borax only. 

Follow these steps to use borax for clothes whitening: 

Step 1: Add ½ cup of borax directly to your laundry. You can add some bleach or detergent to the mix. 

Step 2: Soak your whites in the solution for up to 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Wash your garment as normal. 

3: Optimize Water pH

Borax has a pH of 9.4 and acts as a pH buffer when added to water. It takes the pH of water to 8, a perfect alkaline level for cleaning. The pH buffer keeps the water alkaline even after adding laundry products like detergent, fabric softener, or bleach. All you need to do is add borax to your washing cycle or use a detergent containing some borax. 

4: Soften Hard Water

Hard water makes it difficult for detergent to foam, and this can keep your clothes from coming out clean. It also means you have to use a lot more detergent than usual. In addition, hard water causes detergent to leave residue on clothes and in the machine. 

If you have white scaling on your faucets, then you likely have hard water. You can solve this problem by using borax. This laundry substance contains sodium which softens hard water, making it easy for your clothes to clean.

Step 1: Dissolve ½ cup of borax for a gallon of warm water.

Step 2:  Add some detergent and wash your clothes as usual. 

5: Neutralize Odor

Borax can also help deodorize laundry and musty odors caused by fungi and mold. You can use baby clothes and diapers to get rid of the ammonia odor. Also, borax can inhibit the enzymes that cause a foul smell on your gym or soiled clothes. Borax helps your laundry smell better, and you only need to add a little to your washing cycle. 

6: Remove Soap Residue

Sometimes, detergent may not come off completely from your clothes after rinsing. In this case, there may be a soap build-up on your clothes, causing your whites to appear greyish and your towels stiff. It would help if you considered rinsing your clothes in a borax solution to remove soap residue. 

7: Stain Removal

You can handle tough stains like oil and grease stains using borax. This laundry substance increases the stain-removing ability of your detergent. To use borax for stains:

Step 1: Make a paste by mixing borax with warm water. For tougher stains, you can mix with lemon or vinegar instead. 

Step 2: Transfer the paste onto the stain using a sponge or rag. 

Step 3: Rub the stain gently or use a soft-bristled brush to scrub it. 

Step 4: Leave the paste for 30 minutes, rinse it off and wash as normal. 

You also have the option of pre-soaking the cloth in a borax solution. Add borax to warm water and soak your garments in the solution for about 30 minutes. Turn on the machine to wash as normal. 

8: Disinfect Clothes

Borax has disinfection properties that can work on organisms like fungi and mold. To use borax to disinfect:

Step 1: Fill the tub or machine with warm water, and your laundry 

Step 2: Add ½ cup of borax to the washing cycle. Also, add some detergent or wash as normal. 

9: Laundry Stripping

Laundry stripping is a procedure that involves removing build-up on clothes and towels. Over time, dirt, grease, hard water, detergents, and other laundry products can cause build-up on your clothes.

This build-up, in most cases, may not be noticeable to the eye, but you can use borax and warm water to strip them off. To do this:

Step 1: Fill your tub with warm water and add about ½ cup of borax for every gallon of water 

Step 2: Leave the borax to dissolve, and then add ½ cup of washing soda and detergent. 

Step 3: Leave your garments in the tub and leave them to soak for up to 5 hours.

Step 4: Remove the garments and wash them as usual in a machine. 

10: Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

You can use borax to make your homemade laundry detergent. All you need to do is mix two parts of borax with two parts of washing soda and one part scented soap. 

How To Use Borax For Baby Laundry

Borax is a great substance to care for baby laundry like nappies and clothes. To use it, fill your washing machine with warm water and add ½ cup of borax. Add your baby clothes and soak for an hour before washing as usual. 

Precautions When Using Borax for Laundry 

Borax is generally safe to use, but like other laundry products, it’s essential to take some precautions. Some of them include: 

  1. Do Not Ingest

Avoid ingesting or inhaling borax by keeping it away from your mouth. Also, keep borax away from pets and children to prevent them from reaching it. 

  1. Keep Away From Eyes

Borax can be corrosive to the eye and may cause irritation and burning. Be careful while handling borax to prevent it from getting to your eyes. 

  1. Consider Wearing Gloves 

Prolonged exposure to borax can irritate your skin, so limit the contact you have with this laundry booster. You can consider wearing gloves when handling borax. 

  1. Wash Your Hands

After handling borax, ensure you wash your hands properly before eating or drinking.

  1. Rinse Clothes Properly 

When using borax for your laundry, ensure you rinse the clothes properly before drying. 

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