Clean Up with Boron

:: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 :: Posted By Orion Graham
In the Northern Hemisphere, spring has finally arrived. That means setting aside time for a thorough home cleaning. Want an easy, effective, and affordable way to boost your cleaning power in any season? All-natural borax makes an excellent cleaner—no chlorine or phosphates required.

Home cleaning with borates

For more than a century, borates—naturally occurring mineral compounds—have been a popular component in detergents and cleaners for metals, glass, porcelain, floors—and yes, laundry. Although U.S. Borax offers multiple products for industrial cleaning, home users can gain the benefits of borate’s cleaning power by purchasing 20 Mule Team Borax™ detergent booster (owned by Henkel).
Borax is alkaline, buffers pH around 9.3, and softens water. These properties make it ideal for numerous households cleaning tasks:

Borates in cleaners for counters, sinks, tubs, and other hard surfaces

For hard surfaces such as countertops, kitchen sinks, tubs, and toilets, borates do more than simply clean and shine (although they do both). Borates:
  • Help combat hard-water buildup
  • Deodorize surfaces
  • Control microbial growth (in EPA-registered products)
  • Provide bleaching for white porcelain surfaces
  • Help to inhibit the buildup of new stains

Cleaning glass and glassware with borates

When it comes to glass, borates are useful for cleaning windshields and other glass surfaces that are exposed to the elements, especially in low temperatures. They’re also useful in cleaning glassware and dinnerware, without chlorine or phosphates and at low (ie energy-saving) temperatures:
  • Perborates function as alternative bleaching agents to chlorine-releasing compounds
  • Borates are china-glaze protectors
  • Borates provide moderate alkaline buffering

Odor control

From the mildew that haunts shower grout to puppy accidents to your teenager’s high tops, smells happen. Thanks to borax’s ability to affect pH levels and neutralize uric acid crystals, you can use the product to fight the good fight. Borax can also help deodorize and clean carpeting—even taking the place of chemical-heavy steam-cleaner solutions.


For more than 100 years, borates have been used in laundry detergent formulations. New trials on laundry soap bars demonstrate that borates significantly improve cleaning action and reduce dirt redeposition—leading to brighter, cleaner clothes. Borates in detergents boost cleaning power and bleaching action and stabilize enzymes for stain removal. And, 20 Mule Team Borax is the perfect option for making your own phosphate- and chlorine-free laundry soap.
Soil removal: Borates help to remove and emulsify fatty soils. Borates and perborates also inhibit particulate soil deposition.
Alkaline buffering and pH control: High alkalinity in wash water improves detergency and helps the cleaning process. Borates are excellent pH buffers (pH 9.1 to 9.3 is their natural pH range). Perborates are more alkaline (pH 10.4 for 1.0% solution) and also have excellent buffering capacity (pH 9 to 10).
Bleaching: Unlike hydrogen peroxide and chlorine, which cannot be incorporated directly into washing powders, perborates have excellent bleaching capabilities and are stable in detergent powders. As an oxidizing bleach, they are effective yet gentle to clothes—and aid in overall detergency.
Water softening and surfactant performance: Borates and perborates help to reduce calcium and other metals without leaving harsh-feeling deposits on fabrics.

Boost your cleaning efforts with 20 Mule Team Borax

Many households are searching for effective detergents and cleaners with minimal chemical ingredients. 20 Mule Team Borax Detergent Booster makes an excellent choice. When used as directed and kept out of reach of children and pets, the product is a safe and simple option for home cleaning. Ready to put it to work? You can find the product online or at most grocery and home improvement stores.



U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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