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Borax: Its Many Uses

If your emergency or camping kit needs another component, check out some of the white stuff’s many uses.

Editor's Choice

Borax: Its Many Uses


By Kent Page McGroarty

A naturally-occurring mineral also known as sodium borate, Borax is an eco-friendly cleaning solution featuring a host of other benefits. If your emergency or camping kit needs another component, check out some of the white stuff’s many uses:

Fire Retardant

Want to put your campfire out? Need to put your campfire out because someone thought dumping whiskey on it is hilarious? It’s Borax to the rescue–the mineral makes an excellent fire retardant. Use it to quell any fire!

Natural “Bug-Off”

Keep ants, waterbugs and roaches out of your house or away from your campsite by sprinkling equal parts sugar and Borax as needed. On its own Borax functions as mice repellent and flea killer–for fleas, simply sprinkle some on carpeting and vacuum after an hour to kill the bloodsuckers. It also kills bedbugs–add it to your mattress, let it sit, then vacuum.

Pot and Pan Cleaner

Whether cleaning pots in pans while camping or any other time, Borax makes an effective scrubber that gets rid of grime without damaging pan surfaces. Use 1 teaspoon of Borax and warm water to scrub pans clean.

Stain Remover

Get rid of clothing stains by mixing 1 cup of Borax with 2 cups of warm water and applying the paste to the stain(s) before washing as usual. Additionally, add 1 cup of Borax to each load of laundry and clean the heck out of clothes!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Want an all-purpose cleaner for your home, or one you can bring camping? Mix 2 tablespoons of Borax with 2 cups warm water and pour contents into a spray bottle. Done!


Deal with odorous garbage cans and litter boxes with a little Borax. It’s also a great cleaner for pet “accidents.”

Mildew Remover

Destroy mildew on hiking clothing and other linens by soaking them in 2 cups of Borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Allow the clothing to sit in the mixture for a few hours before rinsing.

What are your favorite Borax uses? Share them in the comments section!

Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in AZ Central Healthy Living, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, SF Gate Home and Garden, LIVESTRONG, Moblized.com, and I Do Take Two.


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Contributed by Kent page McGroarty of Survival Based.

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