Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval: Borax

October 30, 2008

I’ve had a love-hate affair with stain removers for as long as I can remember. Some did a good job of getting out dirt stains but not so much organic matter (read: overflow from my days when I was dealing with poopy diapers). Other stain removers did great on that same organic matter but were no match for the red-clay stains (thank you Pennsylvania soil) that my kids got on their clothes.

Then last year I did a story for All You magazine, a Time Inc. publication, on greening every room in your house and saving money, too. The folks that represent 20 Mule Team Borax sent me a box to try out for my story. They were claiming that their product was the best laundry booster out there. Plus, it’s affordable and green. OK, whatever, I’ll give it a go.

Soon after that box of borax showed up, my daughter had a soccer game. She’s a goalie so she spends a lot of time on the ground, getting very dirty.

The borax box suggested adding the powder to a load of wash, but I’m pretty particular about pre-treating stains before washing them. After the soccer game, I tried the borax on all of the stains on her uniform. First, I wet the fabric. Then I added a tiny bit of liquid detergent. Next, I sprinkled on some borax. Finally, I rubbed it all together to make a paste. I let it sit on the fabric for about 30 minutes before washing.

The uniform went through the laundry and came out looking brand new. Since then I’ve tried borax on nearly any stain my kids can create these days–my husband, too. Blood, dirt and chocolate don’t stand a chance now that I’m armed with borax. That first box is long gone, and now borax has become a must-buy for keeping my family’s clothes clean.

I’ve even gotten my mom into using borax. She oversees a church-run thrift store and receives a ton of clothes as donations. Previously, a lot of what should have been wearable clothing she had to toss, because of stains. Now she brings those clothes home, uses some borax on them, and then they look practically new–or at least not stained anymore.

All of this is why I’m handing out this week’s Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval to borax, specifically 20 Mule Team Borax because it’s the only brand that I know of these days. If you’d like to get more wearing out of your clothes and don’t want to have to turn something into a rag because of stain, I would recommend that your give borax a try.

9 Responses to Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval: Borax

  1. tmare on March 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    In case anyone didn’t know, Borax is a tried and true flea treatment as well. Sprinkle your carpet with borax and then sprinkle regular salt over the borax. Vacuum it up in 24 hours after it has had a chance to settle in and you will not see a flea in your house for at least 6 months, if not up to a year. This isn’t as much of an issue anymore now that we have advantage, frontline, etc…, but it sure was a lifesaver many years ago!

    • Leah Ingram on March 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      Great tip. Thanks!

  2. […] already a huge fan of Borax for its stain-removing abilities so I knew where to find with the commercial laundry […]

  3. […] already a huge fan of Borax for its stain-removing abilities so I knew where to find with the commercial laundry […]

  4. Jen A. Miller on November 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I sprinkle borax mixed with a little bit of lavendar essential oil on my carpet before vacuuming. It a great addition and helps get rid of any doggie smell (and lavendar smells so lovely).

  5. Carpe Diem on November 1, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I use borax in my normal cleaning, and for making my own laundry detergent (I began making my own after the cost of name brands began to rise over the summer).

    It is great for cleaning the toilet bowl – dump a little in, give it a little swish and let sit for awhile before flushing.

  6. Daisy on October 31, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I like Borax instead of bleach. It gets out stains and doesn’t smell nearly as bad!

  7. simplydar on October 31, 2008 at 3:14 am

    When my son was in cloth diapers I would put his diapers and home made wipes in a diaper pail of water and borax to soak. I’d also ad BioKleen Bac-out when I could afford it. On wash day I’d pour the whole pail into my washer and set it on spin. Then I’d put it through the regular wash. I always add borax to every load. At the end of 2 years or so I gave the diapers away and the mother commented, “Oh, you must not have used these very much.” I used them from day 1 pretty much. I also use a mixture of Borax and Baking soda as a scrub for tubs and sinks, too. I love the stuff, as you can tell.

  8. Sara Aase on October 31, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Great post, Leah — I’m going to try this. Good luck with the book proposal!

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