You may have heard about people using borax powder in their laundry room, but you're not quite sure what it is. Once upon a time borax could be found in thousands of laundry rooms throughout the world, before modern cleaning detergents and pods were invented. Whilst they do work, it turns out the classic borax powder is actually a better and cheaper option than the store-bought laundry detergents. Keep reading to find out why borax is good for laundry.
What is borax?
Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate, is a naturally occurring salt mineral with amazing cleaning properties. Because borax is used in its natural state, it doesn't have any added chemicals. This makes it safer for use in clothing than your typical store-bought cleaning agents.
Sodium tetraborate has a high alkaline level (pH level of around 9.13) and when diluted in hot water it reaches a pH level of 8, giving it the perfect acidity level for cleaning. This means it works as a bleaching agent killing any bacteria, or fungus growths, and removing stains. Borax is an all-in-one cleaning agent that can be used throughout your home. Our very own borax comes as an odourless white powder, which is safe to use with your laundry.
Benefits of using borax with your laundry
We're going to explore some of the reasons why borax is good for laundry. What's so great about using borax rather than the typical laundry detergent you find at the grocery store, is that it's amazingly cheap and cleans well.
To get the most out of borax, simply add a ½ cup to 1 cup to your washing machine load. It works better than the "shelf products".
Whitens your whites
Yes, your whites are going to be extra white, fresh and soft. This is because the water in borax converts water into hydrogen peroxide, a natural whitening agent. No more will your white clothing have that horrible grey tone to them, and no more will you have to rely on bleach to whiten your clothes. Borax isn't going to damage the colours of your clothes either, as bleach is known to do.
It's a pain when your favourite daily clothing gets sweat odours, that you just can't seem to remove no matter how thoroughly you try and wash them. Well borax is here to the rescue. The boric acid works to kill off the bad smells and stains from smelly clothing, restoring them to the fresh soft feeling you want them to be.
Releases soapy residues
As your clothes are being washed, the rinse cycle is meant to release all of the cleaning agents from the clothing. This doesn't always work and you may notice your clothes are sometimes a little starchy, stiff and scratchy. This usually means there are still soapy residues and bleach in your clothing. There are a few reasons why this might happen, it could be the overuse of detergent, a low-quality detergent, or even that your water is too hard (we'll explain what hard water is in a moment). Borax powders help soaps to move freely about the wash cycle, meaning they won't bake into the clothing, keeping it soft and comfortable.
Softens hard water
As promised, we're going to explore what hard water is, and how borax helps to soften it. Hard water contains a high level of minerals, such as chalk and gypsum. These can create a chalky build-up in the washing machine tub which reduces the effectiveness of the wash cycle. Soft water is the opposite and contains fewer minerals. The result is that it works better in washing machines and in cleaning your clothes.
Much like your clothes, borax cleans and flushes out the minerals from the water. This makes sure your clothes are properly cleaned, and also increases the longevity of your washing machine.
Removes those pesky stains
Yes, the magic natural washing powder does more! It removes those annoying stains that you just can't seem to get rid of. Stains from tomatoes or mustard are notoriously difficult because they're acidic stains, but they're no match for borax. The boric acid fights those other acids and releases them from your clothing, ensuring they're stain free.
Disinfects your laundry
Those sweat marks and stains contain bacteria that can lead to some health issues when you wear your clothing. Airborne bacteria can lead to colds and weariness as well as lowering your immunity from hay fever. If you find you feel like this often, it may be your clothing! Try using borax in your wash cycle to get rid of those bacteria.
Can be used with bleach
Bleach is a great product for removing stains and cleaning clothing properly. By adding a cup of borax, you'll be boosting the bleach’s properties in the wash cycle. Keep in mind that typical acidic solutions, such as vinegar, are dangerous to add to bleach, so stay away from that. Stick to adding a bit of borax to the wash cycle instead.
Some other uses for borax
Got some organic borax powder, and you're wondering if it has any other uses for the house? Well, we have a few here for you.
Cleans your sink and toilet basins
As we have explained, borax is the perfect cleaning agent for removing bacteria in clothing, and the same goes for your toilet and sinks. Just add about a ½ cup to water and scrub like you would with other cleaning agents.
Cleans mildew and mould
Do you have dark stains on the grout between the kitchen tiles or your wall paint? That's mildew and mould. Take some warm water and a few tablespoons of borax powder, and gently scrub it away. Using borax works a lot better than the typical white vinegar cleaning solutions.