If you want to make a homemade cleaner that is effective as well as green, you can combine borax and vinegar. Borax is sodium tetraborate and is a white powder that has many uses around the house, such as cleaning laundry and floors. It can be useful for removing mildew and mold as well as stubborn stains on many household surfaces, and it has deodorizing properties, which can leave your kitchen and bathroom smelling fresh and clean. Vinegar has many household cleaning uses of its own and can be used with borax for new and effective cleaning solutions.
Safety Precautions When Using Borax
While borax is considered green and better for the environment because it is free of chlorine and phosphates, there are some safety precautions that you should take. Always wear gloves when handling it and using it for cleaning so that it does not come in contact with your skin. Skin contact can lead to irritation and rashes. If you do get borax on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and water.
Video of the Day
You also want to prevent borax from coming in contact with your eyes. Wear protective eyewear to prevent eye irritation when using borax and keep it out of the reach of both children and pets. Borax should never be ingested; if someone in your household ingests it, call poison control immediately. Once you are finished cleaning, take the time to thoroughly rinse the area.
Clean Your Toilet Bowl
One way borax and vinegar can come in handy is for cleaning your toilet bowl. Start by pouring a half cup of distilled white vinegar directly into the toilet bowl. Let the vinegar remain for several minutes and then use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl. Flush the toilet, or if you have hard water in your home, let the vinegar sit for up to one hour before scrubbing any mineral deposits with the brush.
Next, place 1/2 cup of borax in the bowl. Mix it into the toilet water with your brush; then let it sit through the night before flushing the next morning.
Clean Kitchens and Bathrooms
You can also use borax and vinegar to clean kitchen and bathroom floors and countertops. In a bucket, combine 1 quart of hot or warm water, 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, 1 teaspoon of borax, and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar. Stir until the borax dissolves. Then pour the solution into a plastic spray bottle and use it to clean counters and tile floors.
As an alternative that is great for mold and mildew removal, combine 1 teaspoon of borax with 1 quart of warm water in a plastic spray bottle for easy application. Shake vigorously. Then spray the cleaning solution directly on mildewed areas and allow it to sit for up to an hour. This will help loosen the mildew for easier removal. Use a warm, wet rag to clean off the solution.
Clean Your Sink and Drain
Make a sink and drain cleaner using three ingredients: borax, distilled white vinegar, and salt. Start by placing 1/4 cup of salt down the drain; then immediately add 1/4 cup of borax followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. Finally, pour a potful of boiling water down the drain.
Allow the solution to remain in the drain for approximately one hour to work its magic. Then clean out the drain completely by turning on hot water from the faucet and running it for a minute or so to flush the cleaning mixture out. This will help clean and deodorize the drain, a place where food and bacteria can get stuck and cause lingering odors.
As a safety precaution, once you are finished cleaning, completely rinse the area where you have used borax and vinegar.