20 Mule Team Borax Review Plus Top 5 Laundry & Cleaning Uses For It

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I was provided a box of 20 Mule Team Borax as part of my role as a Purex Insider (both products have the same parent company, Dial), and I've been using it for a while now.

There are lots of uses for this product, for both laundry and cleaning in your home.

In fact, many of the uses are listed on the back of the box, so I'm going to share my top 5 favorites with you:

1. Laundry booster: Add 1/2 cup to each load to help your laundry detergent work better.

2. Bathroom cleaner: Because this product, once wet, is slightly acidic it is great for removing soap scum and hard water deposits.

3. Deodorizer: While cleaning, this product can also freshen and eliminate odors in your home, and your laundry. It's great for sweat odors, especially in laundry!

4. Natural garbage disposal cleaner: Add a couple of tablespoons of borax to the garbage disposal and let it sit for 15 minutes, then flush with water and you'll have a freshened drain.

5. Natural color safe bleach: At the same time you're using this product as a laundry booster it also acts as a natural bleaching agent, which is safe for both whites and colored fabrics.

Borax is actually a naturally occurring mineral, and there are many companies that sell it. The most famous of these is this particular brand, which has been in business since 1891.

It is sometimes hard to find in stores, but if you're looking for it make sure to head to the laundry aisle and look low on the shelves.

Borax Cleaning Powder {Referral Links}

I'd love to hear your reviews of this brand of borax, or any of the ways you use it in your home. You can share your borax uses here, or read others that have already been submitted.

Plus, if you'd like to learn even more about this product, in general, check out my borax powder article here.

I've got even more tips and ideas for using this versatile cleaning and laundry product below, so make sure scroll down for more.

Top five 20 Mule Team Borax uses for laundry and cleaning around your home {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

The Dial Corporation provided me with a sample of this product in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

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Borax Is A Good Natural Pre-Soak For Baby Clothes

by Amanda

Amanda says:

I use 20 Mule Team Borax to pre-soak baby clothes and also as a booster to the special baby detergent I use in the wash.

It cuts down on odors and helps "loosen" stains.

I really like the fact that it is a natural product.

I also use it to pre-soak some of my own clothes, i.e. my robes and my tops, as it is good for tackling formula spit up mishaps.

As you know, burp cloths are not the only thing that comes in contact with spit ups!

Taylor says:

presoaking, my secret laundry stain removal weapon
Thanks for sharing your favorite uses for this product as well Amanda.

I really like that you've suggested presoaking clothes with this product. This technique is one of my favorite (and easiest) ways to remove laundry stains.

Photo courtesy of Ewen & Donabel

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Uses For 20 Mule Team Borax Around Your Home

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Below is a video that provides even more ideas for how you can use this product around your home.

Some of the included ideas include:

1. Killing mold. The recipe provided is 1 cup of borax combined with 1 gallon of hot water, and place in a spray bottle. Then spray on the moldy surface, let sit for several minutes or so, and then wipe it away.

(Get more tips for removing mold and mildew from hard surfaces here.)

2. Remove soap scum and hard water deposits. Spread the powder onto the surface and scrub with a sponge.

3. Toilet cleaner. Pour a cup of the powder into the bowl and let it sit overnight for a clean toilet naturally.

4. Laundry booster. Add 1/2 cup in with laundry load.

5. Dishwasher detergent booster. Add 1/4 cup added to dishwasher detergent will help remove spots on glassware.

Here's the video for full details:

Photo courtesy of a reader, Amy

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Borax Is Good For Lots Of Laundry Stains And Odors

by Kathy

Kathy says:

I first started using this product for soaking baby clothes, but now that my kids are older I still use it for presoaking, only for different stains, such as general dirt, mud,and grass stains.

I also use it as a booster to the wash.

It is also terrific when it comes to treating odors, such as the perspiration that is generally associated with the same stains noted above, only we are talking about really dirty, stained, and sweaty socks!

I use this product every week and know that when my kids return from camp later this summer I could easily go through a whole box doing wash catch up, as I will be inundated with several weeks of really dirty laundry.

In addition to the Borax I also use any of the detergents containing enzymes for washing their clothes, i.e. Tide, Wisk, or ERA, depending on which one I get the best deal on.

Generally I find the best sales on ERA and it works fine on just about any stains they bring home.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful ways to use 20 Mule Team Borax in your home Kathy.

It really is amazing all the things you can use borax for. You can see even more borax uses here, or share your own.

Borax Cleaning Powder {Referral Links}

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Comments for Borax Is Good For Lots Of Laundry Stains And Odors

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It is not for all machines
by: Anonymous

I used 20 Mule Team Borax in my GE machine that is also a HE type machine because on the box it said that it was for all machines including HE. I had to replace the water pump in my machine ($227.00) because this product did not dissolve even on the hot cycle and set up in clumps like cement. It was a mess. I will never buy this product or recommend it to anyone ever again.

homemade detergent ingredient
by: Isela

I use it to make my homemade laundry detergent. Also, mixed with sugar and water, it makes a nice ant killer.

adding it to detergent for years
by: Marisa

I've been adding it to my laundry detergent for years. I washed a load of blouses that were given to me this morning (clean blouses) and the water was soo dirty.. Mule Team deep cleans clothes and makes the colors look so vibrant!

kills fleas in carpet
by: Lori

Fleas... Sprinkle borax around the perimeter of the room, wait a few days then vacuum.

Note from Taylor: I've got a video about its use for fleas here.

coal dust
by: Fran

It gets out coal dust.

knocks out smell in dishrags
by: Erin

It's the only way I can get stinky dish rags clean. Great ant killer...I ditto that.

warning about borax on your grass
by: Sandi

Be aware that it will kill the grass above your septic tank if put down the drain.

Borax Is An Economical Product for Pre Soaking
by: Anonymous

This is a wonderful product for pre soaking stained and smelly clothes and it is really cheap at some of the dollar stores, around $4 for a big box. I am a firm believer in the magic of pre soaking and use an ongoing soak process for baby clothes, as well as my uniforms. The sooner the better is the rule of thumb when you have stains. It also helps as a booster to the actual wash. It works well on baby food, formula and grass/dirt stains on the kids clothes, as well as the coffee, dirty collar, and perspiration stains on my white uniforms. It really does take out problem odors that a detergent alone generally cannot handle.

by: Anonymous

I purchased a box of Borax for adding to my laundry loads to achieve a brighter, cleaner result. I also read tips to use borax to clean the bathroom fixtures, that it was great for removing hard water stains. When cleaning the shower, the borax did not dissolve, was clumpy. Guess it was clumpy in our plumbing pipes from the laundry.... the septic lines backed up. The repairman dislodged several clumps of hard white chunks... the BORAX! I would not recommend this product to any of my friends.

Borax Can Be Used For Delicate Care Garments As Well As For General Laundry Stains
by: Carrie

I like the idea of using natural products and a friend of mine who worked at a day care center suggested Borax since she had used it to remove stains from her work clothes, especially for formula and juice stains. I would best describe this product as reasonably priced (about $4 per 76 oz box) and very effective. I have used it to presoak laundry stains like blood, formula, grass, juice, etc. I found the real trick is to mix up a paste and apply it to the stain with an old toothbrush, then place it in the washer for presoaking. It can be used to presoak even delicate care, cold water wash garments, like summer clothes. After all you still have to deal with sweaty collars and occasional stains even if they are gentle care cold water items. Borax really helps with various odors in the laundry like perspiration.

20 Mule Borax doesn't dissolve like the old formula
by: Anonymous

I opened an older box 20 Mule Borax January 2015. It was from an older home and they still had not opened it.

I thought I would use it since I have used 20 Mule Borax before and may as well not let it go to waste. But what I noticed immediately is that the 20 Mule Borax from the older box was a VERY fine powder, similar to baking soda. And no it was not baking soda, it was an unopened box.

Before this, I had stopped using the new Borax I had because it seemed I was finding a lot of undissolved Borax in my wash/clothes and wash water (I collected it in a bucket just to see).

I had tried hot water washing, dissolving it in boiling water before adding it to the laundry (tablespoon of Borax to a cup of boiling water).

I tried adding less to the laundry, first a half then a a fourth of what the directions say.

But I noticed it simply would not dissolve even in very hot boiling water.

Where can I find another brand that is a more fine powder than the 20 Mule Borax?

I really like the older one, it blew me away how well it worked in comparison to the newer more coarsely granulated 20 Mule Borax.

borax didn't dissolve
by: Anonymous

I used Borax in my steam cleaner to clean carpets. The Borax did not dissolve, only clumped. I now have to buy a new carpet cleaner. I tried to dissolve 3 tablespoons of Borax in a quart of hot water, all I got was a hard clump. Since I just bought a new box I don't know what I'll do with it.

Borax and holes in clothes?
by: Anonymous

I have had clothes come out with holes in them after washing with Borax added to the load.

I originally thought the holes were from a problem with the washer, but the machine was checked 3 times by different services, and no defects were found. So now I wonder if it could be the Borax, perhaps from undissolved lumps?

The holes are always roundish, with somewhat ragged edges. Once the holes on one garment had blackish edges. Once a small hole had a larger round area around it where the fabric had been thinned.

Anyone have any ideas?

Have Holes In Clothes From Borax with HE Machine
by: Anonymous

The Borax doesn't seem to work in HE washing machines. Because they don't use much water and the soap can't be put in with the water before the clothes, the Borax doesn't dissolve immediately, it sits on the fabric and burns holes in it. I ruined several t-shirts before I figured out the problem.

In my other old fashioned washer, I put the Borax and laundry detergent in the washer while it is filling with water. Then, I add the clothes. That works well, but it does not work with the newer style washers in my experience.

Removed stains from fabric purses
by: Anonymous

I have several very high end handbags that have managed to either get blood stains, ink stains and other unknown stains on them. On two bags I used the recommended ways to remove them only to ruin the bags by them not only removing the stain but the color as well. I gave up. Then I noticed my box of borax I’d bought for making slime. So I thought why not? I made a paste put it on one spot and used a soft toothbrush. Then I noticed omg it’s actually coming off, but I rinsed it out to make sure it wasn’t bleaching the color and it wasn’t! I was so excited! So I had to keep repeating it but eventually I got three blood stains off a Vera Bradley, a LOUIS Vuitton and a Coach. I’ll only use this from now on. And it worked on various types of fabric, it’s a miracle cleaner but be sure to mix with only COLD water and rinse in COLD! It will feel warm to the touch but don’t worry. Good luck!

only use on white laundry
by: Anonymous

I remember my mother using 20 MT Borax when I was a kid. When I saw it in the store, I knew I had to have it because it's such a great product. However, when I used it in the very 1st load of laundry (light colored clothes), the Borax acted like bleach and caused the colors to bleed. I believe Borax should only be used on white towels, sheets, T-shirts, etc., despite the recommendations on the box.

Flea control
by: Anonymous

I sprinkled borax on floors to prevent fleas and had breathing problems. Won't do that again.

Bleached spots in my towels
by: Anonymous

I've used 20 mule team Borax for years. For whatever reason, and using a different washer, it has bleached small spots in my colored towels and a small rug. I've never noticed this before a few months ago. Any ideas about why this may be happening and how I can prevent it? I'm afraid to keep using it.

Borax for fleas
by: Kathi B

We sprinkled borax on carpet and furniture during a flea invasion. I let it sit for 15 minutes and began vacuuming. Within a week of doing this every other day, no more fleas.
You do need to wash bedding, etc., but I added borax to the laundry.

Holes in clothes
by: Anonymous

20 mule borax does help get clothes cleaner in HE washers, but it also put holes in my clothes. I think in the future I'll mix it with water and pour it on the clothes before I start the washer.

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.