How to Use Borax as a Water Softener

Borax, also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, occurs naturally in the earth and is mined in the Mojave Desert. Borax has lots of common uses; it's best known as a laundry booster, but it is also a stain remover, disinfectant and deodorizer and a natural aid in water softening. More than 85 percent of homes in the United States have hard water, which causes clothes to look dingy and feel rough.

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Borax has many household uses.

Step 1

Purchase a box of borax in the laundry aisle of your grocery store; borax is a white powder and comes in a 1- to 2-pound box.

Step 2

Add 1/2 cup of borax in with your regular detergent if you have hard water; it will help your detergent do a better job by removing hard water chemicals. Your clothes will smell fresher and tough stains will come out easier.

Step 3

Put the borax into each load of laundry you do, especially for very hard water. For smaller amounts of laundry done by hand, use 1 tablespoon of borax per 1 cup of water.

Step 4

Soak clothes in a solution of 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of water to rid them of stale odors; borax can be used safely with bleach.

Step 5

Soften your water temporarily with the regular use of borax; if you want a permanent hard water solution you'll need to use distillation process.