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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Spring cleaning season is upon us. And if you procrastinate like me, the house could do with a good scrubbing. Oh the blah’s of  winter.

Time to break out the cleaners and the Swiffer wet jet. Those conventional cleaners contain dangerous chemicals—not exactly the stuff you want hanging around the space you use to eat on.

Homemade cleaning recipies.

Its been in my life and household since I was born. 

The ones your grandparents and there before them used to make with natural ingredients can get the job done just as well, if not better. All you need are a few common ingredients. You probably even already have them in your pantry.

Borax has many uses in your home and if kept in a dry location, borax’s shelf life is virtually unlimited.


Borax is a cheap magic additive. First it makes the detergent more effective. The clothes will be cleaner and dust mites cannot live in it! Children and Adults would eliminate dust mite allergies. But the other great attribute is that it kills mold. There are two problems however utilizing Borax in Front Loaders. In the wash cycle Borax provides a great boost to the cleaning, kills mold and dust mites and other parasites. {It is about the gentle alkaline of the Borax. These bad actors just can’t survive in Borax.}

But Borax should also be added to the last rinse. Borax permeates the fabric and makes the fabric smells fresh smell, but the borax particles remaining are actually good for the skin, eliminating body odors, killing mold, parasites, and fungus and dust mites as your body contacts them. But here is the big problem. To maximize the wash Borax needs to be part of the detergent. To provide an even more protective barrier it needs to be added to the last rinse so it remains in the dry fabric after the wash.

Borax is so cheap and does so much! Why wash machine designers do not provide options to inject Borax at multiple times is something that has always perplexed me. For front loader machines Borax is an absolute “must”. It prevents all mold and mildew around the door seal and does so automatically. Instead of Chlorine –which destroys the rubber seal – Borax added to the wash and rinse would keep the frontload machine fresh and clean forever with no fuss or muss.


  1. Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with this recipe: Make a paste with 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.
  2. China (including hand painted): :Soak china in a dishpan filled with warm water and ½ cup borax; rinse well.
  3. Clean and deodorize a refrigerator. Mix one tablespoon 20 Mule Team Borax in one quart warm water. Wash spilled food with a sponge and soft cloth. Rinse with cold water.
  4. Dishwasher: If the machine is smelly, sprinkle borax in the bottom, let it sit overnight, then wipe down with a damp sponge. No need to rinse; just run the next load. 
  5. Pots and pans: Rub borax into cookware with a damp sponge; rinse well. 
  6. Urine Odor on mattress: Handy for accidents while toilet trainingdampen the area, sprinkle and rub in Borax, let dry and vacuum.
  7. Bed bugs: Get rid of them by sprinkling borax on your mattress. Let it sit and vacuum it up.
  8. Flea Killer:Sprinkle Borax on carpet, let stand overnight and vacuum well. Discard bag or empty vacuum outside.
  9. Garbage Disposerclean and sanitize:(dump 1/4 cup Borax into disposer, splash in just a little water and let stand for an hour or so, rinse with hot water)
  10. Unclog drains:with 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out. 
  11. Toilet rust: Pour borax in the bowl and let it sit overnight. Swish the bowl a few times with a toilet brush and flush the next day.
  12. Garbage pails: Keep clean and odor-free. Cleaning the entire pain inside and out with a cup of Borax per gallon of hot h2o. Utilize the hottest water you could stand. Rinse with cold h2o and let dry. Once the pail is dry, sprinkle a small amount of Borax on the bottom of the garbage pail prior to placing in a brand new rubbish bag. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor causing moisture. 
  13. Linens:Remove mildew and mustiness from by soak them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse them clean.
  14. Ants mix: equal amounts of Borax and powdered sugar, place near ant problem area – keep away from pets and children.
  15. Laundry: Add 1/2 cup Borax to wash load for brighter, cleaner, deodorized clothesIt’s also “quite alkaline, so it kills mold and fungus and softens water.
  16. Wash diapers and baby clothes. Flush out dirty diapers and soak as soon as possible in a diaper pail filled with warm water and one-half cup 20 Mule Team Borax. Pre-soak for at least thirty minutes before washing in warm water, adding one-half cup borax with the recommended amount of detergent. Wash linens, bibs, slips, and cotton crib liners in hot water, adding one-half cup 20 Mule Team Borax and detergent. Borax helps get rid of odors, reduce staining, and make diapers more absorbent.
  17. Wash delicate hand washables. Dissolve one-quarter cup 20 Mule Team Borax and two tablespoons detergent in a basin of warm water. Soak hand washables for ten minutes, rinse in clear, cool water, blot with a towel, lay flat (woolens) or hang to dry (away from sunlight and direct heat).
  18. Carpet Powder Deodorizer:sprinkle Borax on carpet, let stand overnight and vacuum.
  19. Carpet Stains:Mix Borax with water to make paste, rub into stain, let dry and vacuum.
  20. Floor Cleaner: 1/3 cup Borax, 1 gallon warm water, squirt of dish washing detergent, splash of ammonia
  21. Window Cleaner:2/3 cup Borax, 1 gallon warm water
  22. Car Wash Cleaner:1/8 cup mixed with about 1.5 gallons of water.
  23. Clean hairbrushes and combs: Mix a quarter cup 20 Mule Team Borax and a tablespoon of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a basin of warm water. Soak hairbrushes and combs in the solution, rinse clean, and dry.
  24. Clean a metal coffee pot: Fill the percolator with water and add one teaspoon 20 Mule Team Borax and one teaspoon detergent powder. Boil the water, let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then rinse clean.
  25. Clean chocolate from clothing: Sponge the spot with a solution of one tablespoon 20 Mule Team Borax and one cup warm water. Flush with water. If that doesn't work, make a paste with borax and water, work into the stain, let set for one hour, flush well with warm water, and launder as usual.
  26. Weed Preventer:from growing in pavement cracks. Sprinkle Borax in cracks (I reuse an empty ketchup bottle to sprinkle it in).
  27. Tile and Grout Cleaner:Sprinkle Borax with just enough water to paste, scrub with brush.
  28. Baseboards, countertops, and walls: Dissolve ½ cup borax in 1 gallon hot water and pour the solution into a spray bottle (which you can store for later use). Spritz generously, wipe down with a damp cloth, and let air-dry.
  29. Clean outdoor furniture:by washing it with this mildew zapping solution: In a spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water.
  30. Keep the water in a humidifier free from odor. Dissolve one tablespoon 20 Mule Team Borax per gallon of water before adding to the unit. Use this treatment once or twice a year.
  31. Preserve flowers:
  •  Mix one part 20 Mule Team Borax and two parts corn meal.
  •  Fill the bottom one-inch of an empty airtight canister with the mixture.
  • Place the flower on the mixture, then gently cover the flower with more mixture, being careful not to crush the flower or distort the petals.
  • Flowers with a lot of overlapping petals, such as roses and carnations, are best treated by sprinkling mixture directly into the blossom before placing them into the box.
  •  Seal the canister and store at room temperature in a dry place for seven to ten days.
  • When the flowers are dried, pour off the mixture and dust the flowers with a soft artist's brush.


Borax removes the moisture from blossoms and leaves, preventing the wilting which would normally result.




For Fun:

A.    Snow flakes:

1.       Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections.

2.       Twist together at centers to form 3 spokes (trim if necessary).

3.       Attach a string to the end of one spoke, tying the other end to the middle of a pencil.
Fill a jar (wide enough to fit your snowflake) with boiling water.

4.       Add Borax one Tablespoon at a time to the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add up to 3 T. Borax per 1 C. Water.

5.       The solution can be tinted with food coloring if desired.

6.       Hang pipe cleaner snowflake in the solution with pencil resting on the jar. 

7.       Make sure your snowflake is completely covered and not touching the bottom or sides of the jar.
Allow to sit undisturbed over night.

8.       In the morning you’ll have a lovely crystal snowflake for your tree or window.


B.    Bouncing Polymer Ball:


1.       Start with 2 cups, one labeled “Borax” and one labeled “Ball.”

2.       In “Borax” Cup pour 2 Tablespoons warm water and ½ teaspoon Borax powder.

3.       Stir until Borax is dissolved. Add food coloring if you choose.

4.       In the “Ball” Cup, pour 1 Tablespoon of glue. 

5.       Add ½ teaspoon of the Borax solution from the “Borax” cup and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch.DO NOT STIR. Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds then stir until they’re fully mixed.

6.       When it’s impossible to stir, remove it from the jar and knead it in your hands.  It will be sticky at first but as you work it it will become less sticky.

7.       Give it a bounce!  Store your ball in an airtight container or ziploc bag when not in use.

8.       Wash up your area, your equipment and yourself to avoid dried on glue and such. 

C.    Goop: Which is a cheap alternative to Play-Doh.

1.    Mix together a half cup of water with a half cup of glue.

2.    Add a few drops of food coloring to the glue mixture.

3.    In a smaller bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of borax with another half cup of water.

4.    Mix the borax and water in with the glue mixture. It should get thick pretty fast.

5.    Dump the mixture out on a cookie sheet covered with foil, and knead the mix just like you would bread dough.

6.    Stretch and play with your flubber or use cookie cutters to create fun shapes.

7.    Goop only has one drawback: it can stain surfaces and clothes.

8.    I like to put it in gallon ziplock bags with a little extra water.

9.    Put some crazy glue on the seam of the bag and zip it shut.

10.  Give the glue a few minutes to dry.

11.  Once it’s dry, you have a play mat for your kids to trace, draw, or write on.


      Store in air tight container


It’s a great alternative to the Play-Doh version of Goop, and it won’t make a mess!

Of course, you can always skip the ziplock alternative,and just play with it like the original recipe calls for.


Just remember to cover your play area with plastic (plastic tablecloths are great for this!) so you don’t end up with stained furniture!

I have 3 coupons so email me and ill choose 3 winners!!





auburn hills, mi u.s.a
About Me:

Single mom of 3 boys, originally from Warren, Michigan. Learning daily about power tools, and frugal ways.

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