Borax is a fantastic natural multi-purpose cleaner. It works well for general cleaning purposes, as a laundry detergent booster, a deodorizer, and even for mold removal. We will find out what this ingredient is, whether or not it’s toxic, the pros and cons of using it, and how to kill mold with it.
- What is borax?
- Is it toxic?
- How does borax kill mold?
- Pros and cons
- How to kill mold with borax
- Where can I buy borax?
What is borax?
Borax is a 100% natural high-alkaline mineral powder. It is mined from the earth and is composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. The powder has an enormous amount of uses as it’s used in hand soap, laundry detergents, teeth whitening products, general household cleaners, herbicide, and lots more.
Is it toxic?
Borax is generally considered safe to use when handled properly and used as directed. However, it’s essential to take some precautions and to be aware of its potential risks.
Keep it away from children and pets: Borax should be stored out of reach of children and pets. While it is a naturally occurring mineral, ingesting large amounts of it can be harmful, especially for young children and animals.
Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes: When handling borax, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect your skin, and be careful not to get it in your eyes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
Proper ventilation: When using borax in cleaning solutions or for other purposes, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the fine powder particles.
Do not ingest: While borax is used in small quantities for cleaning and other purposes, it should not be ingested intentionally. Always keep borax away from food and drinks.
Follow instructions on the packaging: Read and follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, especially when using borax in cleaning solutions. Using too much borax may not provide any additional benefits and could potentially lead to skin irritation or other issues.
Keep it away from food preparation areas: Since borax is used for cleaning purposes, it’s best to keep it away from food preparation surfaces to avoid any potential contamination.
How does borax kill mold?
Borax acts as an abrasive agent when it comes into contact with mold. It also has a high pH level, which disrupts the mold’s cell membranes and inhibits its growth.
Here’s how borax kills mold:
Mechanical Action: Borax acts as a mild abrasive when mixed with water, allowing it to scrub away the mold from surfaces. This physical removal helps eliminate visible mold colonies.
pH Level: Borax has a high pH level, typically around 9, which creates an alkaline environment unsuitable for mold growth. The high pH interferes with the mold’s metabolic processes, thus weakening and killing it.
Fungicidal Properties: Borax has natural fungicidal properties, which means it has the ability to kill and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.
Residual Effect: Another interesting facts is that borax leaves a thin residue on surfaces after cleaning. This residual layer helps prevent mold from regrowing on the treated areas.
Pros and cons
If you’re considering using borax to kill mold, then check out the following pros and cons.
Pros of using borax for killing mold:
Effective against mold: Borax has natural fungicidal properties that make it effective in killing and inhibiting mold growth on various surfaces.
Multi-purpose cleaner: It’s also a versatile cleaning agent that can be used for various household cleaning tasks other than mold removal.
Non-toxic: Unlike many chemical-based mold removers, borax is relatively non-toxic, making it a safer option for families with children and pets.
Inexpensive: Borax is an affordable cleaning solution, making it a budget-friendly choice for mold removal and general cleaning.
Long-lasting effect: Borax leaves a residual coating on surfaces, which helps inhibit mold regrowth for a longer period compared to some other cleaners.
Easy to use: Using borax for mold removal is simple and straightforward process as it doesn’t require any special skills or equipment.
Cons of using borax for killing mold:
Limited effectiveness on porous surfaces: It may not fully penetrate porous materials, and it may not completely eradicate mold roots which can lead to potential regrowth.
Dissolving issues in cold water: Borax does not dissolve well in cold water, making it less effective in situations where only cold water is available.
Potential skin irritation: While generally considered safe, prolonged or direct contact with borax may cause skin irritation in some individuals.
Not suitable for all mold types: While borax is effective against common household molds, it may not be as potent against certain specific mold species.
How to kill mold with borax
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to kill mold with borax, including the spray bottle and paste method:
Supplies you’ll need: Borax powder, warm water, a spray bottle (for the spray method) or a mixing bowl (for the paste method), a scrubbing brush or sponge, and a clean cloth or towel.
1. The spray method:
Step 1: Create a borax cleaning solution by putting two teaspoons of borax into a standard-sized spray bottle and then fill the rest with warm water. Shake the bottle until all the borax dissolves.
Step 2: Spray the solution directly onto the mold-affected areas until it is thoroughly saturated.
Step 3: Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. This gives the borax time to work and kill the mold.
Step 4: Take a scrub brush or sponge and gently scrub the moldy surface. The borax solution will help loosen the mold, making it easier to clean.
Step 5: Once you’ve scrubbed the surface, use a clean cloth or towel to wipe away the dissolved mold and excess borax solution. Repeat the process if necessary.
2. The paste method:
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of borax with just enough water to form a thick, paste-like consistency.
Step 2: Apply the borax paste directly to the moldy areas and spread the paste evenly over the mold.
Step 3: Let the paste sit for about 10-15 minutes.
Step 4: After the waiting time, use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to scrub the moldy surface, working the borax paste into the mold to loosen it.
Step 5: Rinse the area with clean water to remove the borax paste and dissolved mold.
Step 6: Use a clean cloth or towel to dry the surface thoroughly.
Did you know that you can easily make a paint with borax, which you can use to coat ceilings and wood with to prevent mold growth? Find out how to do that here.
Where can I buy borax?
Borax is often found in the laundry aisle of stores. You can also buy it online from Amazon and Walmart.
20 Mule Team Borax Powder
This 4-pack of 20 Mule Team Borax Powder can be used for washing laundry and for cleaning just about any surface area you can imagine.