Frugal consumers stock their homes with versatile products. 20 Mule Team Borax is a staple product that makes the list. It can be found easily at major retailers and local supermarkets. Visit for a coupon for your next shopping trip. Many people use it as a laundry booster (used in addition to their regular laundry detergent and quite helpful if you have hard water) to remove stains and deodorize clothes. But it can be used many more ways in your home.
How have you used Borax? Here are a few suggestions.


Pour about 1/2 cup Borax down your drain and then follow up with boiling water to unclog and/or deodorize it (helpful for smelly garbage disposal drains, too). If you're using it to unclog the drain, let the mixture set for 15 minutes and flush thoroughly with more hot water. Sprinkle some Borax into the bottom of your indoor and outdoor trash cans to keep them from smelling. Clean them out by rinsing the Borax out with a hose and drying them. Then add more Borax to redeodorize. It's a good product to use on pet "accidents" and spilled milk on carpets, too. Blot the spill with a cloth. Pour Borax onto it and let it absorb and deodorize. Then vacuum. Test an inconspicuous area of your carpet beforehand.


Combine a couple of tablespoons Borax and 3 cups water. Apply with a cloth to wash and wipe dry with a dry cloth.


Create a fun craft activity for kids.

1/2 cup Elmer's white glue
2/3 cup warm water
food coloring
1 teaspoon Borax
2 glass bowls

In a small glass bowl, mix together glue, 1/3 cup warm water and food coloring (add enough drop until desired color). In another glass bowl, mix Borax and 1/3 cup warm water. Pour glue solution into bowl containing Borax mixture, gently stir together. It will be wet, and within a few minutes it will set.


Sprinkle Borax around the bowl. Spray vinegar and scrub with a toilet brush. Flush to rinse.


Using Borax as an ingredient, you can make "crystal" ornaments. Twist a pipe cleaner together to form a shape, such as a heart, spiral, circle or star. Tie a piece of string (about 6 inches long) to the pipe cleaner and the other end of the string to a pencil. Suspend in a large, wide-mouth glass jar. Check to see that the pipe cleaner doesn't touch the bottom or sides of the jar. Adjust as needed. Set the pipe cleaner aside for a moment. Fill the jar three-quarters full with boiling water. Next, add 3 tablespoons Borax per cup of water. Add a tablespoon of Borax at a time and stir to dissolve each tablespoon of Borax added. You'll see the water start to clear after you stir. When the water stops clearing after being stirred, stop. Place the pipe cleaner shape back into the jar. The pencil rests across the top of the jar. Let "crystal" ornament set aside (undisturbed) overnight. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water for added color or use colored pipe cleaners.

photo by meddy garnet