Borax is an important member of the group of 109 elements that make up our universe. It is a naturally occurring mineral known by its full name of sodium borate decahydrate. The substance has a multitude of uses including common household applications, survival techniques, detoxification of water supplies and a vast range of medicinal uses including the destruction of dangerous mycoplasma.
Borax is found everywhere including food, plants, water, soil and even the human body. Borax occurs after the repeated evaporation of saline lakes and can be found in Turkey, Tibet, Chile, Romania and America. Currently, the majority of the world’s borax deposits come from the Southern United States. In 1872, Francis Marion Smith discovered borates in the Nevada desert. He assembled 20 mule teams to haul the mineral out of Death Valley to nearby railway lines. The most common form of borax sold in the United States still bears the name 20 Mule Team Borax. Although borax is relatively non-toxic, it can potentially cause a rash after coming into contact with skin so always wear gloves when handling it.
Sprinkle borax underneath kitchen appliances, in cracks and crevices, behind sofas, in attics, basements and crawl spaces… and anywhere else that is out of reach of children and pets. Leave it for a day or two and then sweep up any remaining powder. The borax will stick to cockroaches, ants, water bugs and other insects that will carry it back to their nests and ingest it. You can also mix sugar into the borax powder to act as bait, or add water to the mixture and place drops around the house and outdoors to kill ants.
Borax makes an effective organic herbicide. Dissolve 10 ounces of borax in 4 ounces of warm water. Wait until it has completely dissolved and then add 2 ½ gallons of water and mix thoroughly. Spray directly onto weeds taking care not to accidentally get the mixture on nearby plants.
Sprinkle borax powder directly onto sponges or clothes and use it to clean walls, floors, sinks, bathtubs, shower stalls, kitchen surfaces and toilets. For delicate surfaces such as ceramic, porcelain and marble, dilute the borax in water first to prevent scratching.
Mix 1/2 cup of borax in 12 ounces of water. Spray onto curtains, mattresses, carpets and furniture to remove odors.
Scrub your pots and pans with borax powder to remove water deposits, grime and oil. Alternatively you could add a ¼ cup to your dishwasher.
Make your own laundry detergent by combing 2 cups of finely grated soap, 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax.
Preserve Fresh Flowers
Mix 1 part borax to 2 parts cornmeal. Fill a shoebox with half of the mixture. Place flowers on top of the powder and then completely cover them with the remaining mixture. Seal the box with tape and then leave it for 7 to 10 days in a cool, dry place. Remove the flowers from the box and brush off the mixture using a soft paintbrush. You can use the mixture several times as long as you remove any remaining leaves or petals from the box between uses.
Soak heavy twine in a solution of 1 tablespoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of borax and 1 cup of warm water for 24 hours. Remove and leave to dry completely before using.
Mix 1 cup of borax with 2 cups of warm water to form a paste. Apply to stains and let it sit before washing as usual.
Add a table spoon of lemon juice to the above recipe for stain remover and use as a scrub to remove stubborn rust from metal.
Prepping and Survival Uses
Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
Remove fluoride from drinking water by adding 1 pinch of borax to 1 quart of water. Increase this to 2 pinches per quart of water to remove fluoride build-up from the body and drink this solution for one week.
Mix 7 ounces of borax with 3 ounces of boric acid and 2 quarts of warm water. Dip fabrics into the solution or spray them thoroughly until they are completely soaked and leave to dry.
Mix 2 ounces of borax, 2 ounces of Trisodium Phosphate, and 2 ounces of boric acid in a pot. Add 1 cup of water and boil until all the ingredients are dissolved. Leave to cool, and then store in a glass jar until needed.
Sprinkle borax onto garage floors, basements or areas of the home that are not accessible by pets and children.
Using Borax Medicinally
Borax is considered to have powerful healing properties by a number of different natural healers. Drinking a pinch of borax powder or 1/8 of a teaspoon dissolved in one quart of water every day for 4 – 5 days is said to help with conditions such as candida, thrush, arthritis, fibromyalgia, rosacea, mycoplasma, lupus, fungal infections and skin mites. It can also be added to bath water to soothe itching and skin infections. As there have not been any clinical trials performed on borax regarding its toxicity for medicinal use, always consult a knowledgeable health care practitioner before starting treatment.