Using Borax in Laundry: How does it Work?

using borax in laundry

Using Borax in Laundry: How does it Work?

If you are looking for some homemade cleaning ingredients on hand then you definitely want to consider borax which is quite versatile. Using Borax in laundry does wonders as a cleaning product to enhance the power in your clothes.

We have many historical records concerning the use of borax as a detergent from our ancestors. White powder additive sodium borate has gained increasing popularity in recent years.

But, Is it really worth it in 2021? How to make the most out of it? Is it safe for those people who face allergies by using any laundry detergent? As a consequence, I am providing all the information about how borax is used in laundry?

What is Borax Laundry Detergent?

Borax is a powdery white substance which mainly consists of oxygen, sodium, and boron. It is widely used as a laundry detergent to boost the cleaning process and output.

Also known as sodium tetraborate, sodium borate, and disodium tetraborate; the raw material is a natural mineral mined and used for thousands of years. 

As long as the mixture is pH neutral and chlorine-free, it is safe to use bleach and detergents. It provides an acidic solution by its alkaline properties, which can repel strong stains and odors. 

👉 DO YOU KNOW? With the addition of sodium borate, linen becomes even whiter as it has bleaching properties. 

Does Borax Disinfect Laundry?

Yes, there are many chemical properties in borax that make it an effective cleaner in laundry. Several water molecules are converted into hydrogen peroxide by borax and other borates.

In hotter water, the reaction will be more favorable. In water, borax produces a basic solution that makes bleach and other cleaners more effective. Its pH is about 9.5!

RELATED READ: High Heat vs Low Heat Drying

Several organisms are inhibited in their metabolic processes by boron, salt, and oxygen. Besides its cleaning properties, borax acts as a buffer, allowing a chemical reaction to proceed at a steady pH. In this way, borax disinfects and kills pests.

How Does Borax Work in Laundry Cleaning?

A solution containing borax and water can help defeat acidic stains (such as tomatoes or mustard) when used as a pre-treatment solution because borax is extremely alkaline (pH around 9.5). 

It increases the effectiveness of cleanser products such as bleach and other cleaners, boron, boron salt, and boron oxygen, which inhabit the metabolic processes of many organisms. 

In this way, borax can kill unwanted pests while disinfecting at the same time. In the washing machine, borax makes white clothing whiter when used with a load of laundry.

Benefits of Using Borax in Laundry

It’s really worth it to try borax in laundry strips and scrubs since it is one of the most ancient, high-performance, and cost-effective solutions all-around.

Cleaning with this natural product is safe for clothes, and you can easily wash it off the fabrics. You can use borax to scrub the stains from clothes or other surfaces.

Here are some benefits of using borax in your laundry. Let’s have a look!

  1. Softens the Hard Water

Borax contains the sodium that softens the wash water, and as a result, your clothes are soft. Hard water interferes with the effectiveness of laundry detergent.

Hard water causes your clothes to come out gray and dingy along with preventing them from getting as clean as they can.

  1. Whitens your Clothes

Borax can serve as an effective whitening agent in your washing machine. When you add bleach separately or as part of your laundry detergent, this enhances its effectiveness. However, if you do not typically use bleach, borax still works fine. 

The borates help maintain soap dispersion throughout the wash cycle, making it more likely to wash out in borax.

  1. Disinfect the Laundry

A washing machine can smell musty because of fungi and mold known to grow in a moist environment. Borax inhibits fungi and mold, which are prevalent in this environment. 

Furthermore, it helps to eliminate the odor of ammonia from baby clothes, diapers, bed pads, and incontinence pads. You can use borax to prevent the bad smell from escaping your workout clothes if the clothes are stinky.

  1. Increase the Stain Removal Ability

You can pre-soak your laundry for 30 minutes in a solution containing one tablespoon of borax per gallon of warm water, or you can add a half-cup to a presoak cycle. 

Borax has an alkaline pH that helps break down acidic stains such as tomatoes and mustard. Oil and grease stains are easily removed by using borax. 

  1. Removes the Detergents Residue

One thing that differentiates borax from other detergents is its ability to keep the soap dispersed throughout the washing load. I often notice the detergents washing out while pre-washing them with simple water (without any detergent).

How to Use Borax in Laundry?

You can use borax in your laundry detergent to clean the clothes whiter in the following way:

  • In your washing machine, add half a cup of borax and warm water. 
  • Set your laundry machine on a hot cycle.
  • When the water is hot, the minerals can dissolve fully and are evenly distributed over your laundry items.

READ MORE: How to Make Laundry Detergent with Borax

Can You Use Borax with Bleach?

Yes, you can use borax and bleach for extra effects because it is not a health hazard. Make sure to dilute the product with water and use protective gloves or eyewear if there is a risk of splashes or contact.

🚨 Keep this away from kids.

Safety & Precautions

The following safety precautions must be observed when using borax despite its perception as being safe:

  • Do not eat borax as it can be very toxic if you consume it. Make sure it is out of reach of children since it can lead to serious illness or death if ingested by children.
  • Keep your eyes and lungs safe from contact or inhalation if you can wear out the protective gloves whenever you use borax.
  • Please avoid using it on your carpet or any other surface where pets are since it can cause respiratory problems. Additionally, it can be harmful to your crawling babies and toddlers if you use it on your carpet.
  • If the borax has fallen on any surface or a carpet, wipe up spills as soon as possible using a clean towel.
  • Do not store borax near the acids since it is a basic compound that will react with them.

HAVE YOU READ? Laundry Detergent Safety Tips


Do all detergents have borax?

Not all, but some laundry detergents have borax. The borax decahydrate (or Neobor borax pentahydrate) and tetra potassium pyrophosphate are used in a liquid detergent for this market.

Can you use borax on colored clothes? 

Yes, you can use borax safely on colored clothes without removing dying or causing other damages. A natural mineral salt, borax is used as a laundry booster in laundry detergent.

It is intended to fight stains, brighten whites and improve the cleaning effectiveness of all kinds of fabrics, including colored ones.

Can you use borax instead of laundry detergent?

Yes, you can use borax instead of any laundry detergent. If you have no laundry detergent, you can add one cup of baking soda and borax for a normal cycle. Clothes are as clean as you imagine.

Can you use borax on colored clothes?

Yes, you borax is the quality cleaning booster in laundry which can be used for any sort of fabric including colored clothes.


If you handle borax with the same precaution, you will use it for any household cleaning product (keeping it away from children, using it in a well-ventilated area, wearing gloves, etc.) Also using 

Preventing the spread of diseases is essential during cold and flu season by disinfecting your laundry. Furthermore, it helps prevent bacteria like staph and salmonella from flourishing.

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.