Borax can be used as a laundry enhancer, much like chlorine bleach. Simply add it in with the detergent to the wash cycle. Like chlorine bleach, borax whitens clothes. It is also good at brightening other colors, so is safe to use in nearly all wash loads. Borax is excellent at removing odors from clothes. It has the added benefit of softening clothes, at the expense of weakening the fabric.

Borax also has a variety of home uses. Some people recommend putting it into litter pans to absorb odor. I would not recommend this, as borax can be toxic to your pet, if sufficient quantity is ingested. However, borax is an excellent agent for cleaning nasty, smelly, litter pans.

Mixed with sugar, syrup, or evaporated milk, borax can be used as a toxic ant bait. Use at a ratio of about 50 parts sweet stuff to 1 part borax. Too much borax will make the bait repellent to ants, and thus ineffective.

The most common brand of borax on the U.S. market is 20 Mule Team Borax, manufactured by the Dial Corporation.

Bo"rax (?), n. [OE. boras, fr. F. borax, earlier spelt borras; cf. LL. borax, Sp. borraj; all fr. Ar. brag, fr. Pers. brah.]

A white or gray crystalline salt, with a slight alkaline taste, used as a flux, in soldering metals, making enamels, fixing colors on porcelain, and as a soap. It occurs native in certain mineral springs, and is made from the boric acid of hot springs in Tuscany. It was originally obtained from a lake in Thibet, and was sent to Europe under the name of tincal. Borax is a pyroborate or tetraborate of sodium, Na2B4O7.10H2O.

Borax bead. Chem. See Bead, n., 3.


© Webster 1913.

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