25 Vintage Borax Hacks: Old School Tips for Modern Life
Borax, also known as sodium borate, has been a household staple for over a century. It’s a naturally occurring mineral, known for its versatility in home use. From cleaning to pest control, borax is an unsung hero with many applications. Here are 25 vintage borax hacks that still hold up today:
- Laundry Booster: Add half a cup of borax to your laundry load to enhance your detergent’s cleaning power, whiten whites, and freshen the clothes.
- Dishwasher Aid: Sprinkle borax in the bottom of your dishwasher before running it. It softens the water, leading to cleaner and spot-free dishes.
- Unclog Drains: Mix equal parts borax and hot water and pour down the drain to help clear clogs and reduce odors.
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of borax in 2 cups of warm water. Transfer to a spray bottle and use as a cleaner on most surfaces.
- Toilet Cleaner: Pour a cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night. In the morning, scrub and flush for a sparkling clean toilet.
- Carpet Cleaner: For stained carpets, mix borax with water to create a paste. Apply on the stain, let it sit, then vacuum away.
- Pest Deterrent: Sprinkle borax in areas where pests, like ants and cockroaches, are frequent. They’ll ingest it, and it will act as a poison. Ensure it’s out of reach of children and pets.
- Preserve Fresh Flowers: Mix equal parts borax and cornmeal. Cover the bottom of a box with this mixture, lay the flowers on it, then sprinkle more mixture on top. Store for a few weeks, and your flowers will dry beautifully.
- Fruit Tree Protector: Mix borax with a little water and paint it on a tree trunk to keep away fruit flies and other pests.
- Rust Remover: Create a paste using borax and lemon juice. Apply this to rusted items and let it sit before scrubbing away.
- Goo and Adhesive Remover: Mix borax with water to form a thick paste. Apply to sticky residues and scrub away.
- Freshen and Clean Garbage Pails: Sprinkle borax at the bottom of your garbage pail to reduce odors and deter pests.
- Mold and Mildew Remover: Mix borax with water to create a thick paste, and apply to affected areas. Let it sit before scrubbing away.
- Litter Box Deodorizer: Sprinkle borax at the bottom of the litter box before adding cat litter. It helps reduce odors.
- Preserve Winter Gear: For wet winter boots and gloves, sprinkle a bit of borax inside them. It will help absorb moisture and neutralize odors.
- Guitar String Cleaner: Lightly dampen a cloth with a borax and water solution to clean and prolong the life of guitar strings.
- Mattress Freshener: Sprinkle a light layer of borax on the mattress, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up. It’ll help deodorize and refresh the mattress.
- Silverware Shine: Add a tablespoon of borax to hot water and soak silverware for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry for a brilliant shine.
- Foot Soak: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of borax in a gallon of warm water for a soothing foot soak. It can help with foot odor and fungal conditions.
- Hairbrush Cleaner: Remove oils and build-up from brushes and combs by soaking them in a borax and warm water solution.
- Candle Wick Treatment: Soak wicks in a strong borax solution overnight and let them dry. When used, the candles will burn longer and more consistently.
- Wallpaper Remover: Mix borax with water and a bit of dish soap. Sponge it onto wallpaper and let it sit for 20 minutes before scraping away.
- Golf Club Cleaner: Mix borax with a bit of water to form a paste, then scrub the club heads. Rinse and dry for shiny clubs.
- Fireproofing for Fabric: Dissolve 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup boric acid in a gallon of water. Soak fabric in the solution, then let dry. This makes fabrics less likely to catch fire.
- Wine Stain Remover: For wine stains on carpet or fabric, sprinkle borax on the wet stain, let it sit, and then vacuum or rinse.
Incorporating these vintage borax hacks into your modern routine can help you save money and reduce your dependence on specialized products. Remember, while borax is safe for many cleaning tasks, always store it out of reach of children and pets and use it with caution.