Does Borax Bleach Clothes?

Borax is a natural mineral salt, also known as sodium borate – a salt of boric acid widely used in laundry and cleaning services. A laundry non-expert with the thought of Does Borax Bleach Clothes? 

No, it doesn’t. With a wide variety of use such as stain removal, prevention of mold or mildew growth, whitening clothes, killing insects, and moisturizing goods, to mention a few, Borax is considered the best agent for such purposes. Interested to learn more? Let’s get started.

Do Borax Bleach Clothes? 

Borax, unlike several other cleaning agents, does not bleach clothes. It is a naturally occurring mineral salt that helps boost laundry. It can also be combined with several other ingredients to create bleach for washing (those ingredients thus might be harmful to your clothes). 

It is not meant to be added directly to the washer; it is used as a cleaning detergent or soap, while some laundry detergents have borax.

How Do I Use Borax In Laundry?

During laundry, using borax is helpful for natural and clean clothes, and here is how to use the cleaning agent:

1. Pre-soak your clothes

For every 5 liters of warm water, dissolve ½ cup of Borax powder. If it’s a slight stain, allow it to soak for about 20 minutes in the solution but for tough stains, rinse the clothes first before soaking in hot water and add 1 cup or more borax solution.

2. To remove stains

Mix 1 tbsp of borax with 2 tbsp of water and apply directly over the stain spot. Allow to stay for 20 minutes; scrub it and wash it as usual.

Borax is mainly meant to fight stains like protein, grease, oil stains, and many more; it doesn’t cleanse all stains, so add more borax powder for tougher stains.

3. To deodorize clothes

mix ½ cup of Borax powder into a pint of water and pour into a spray bottle. Then spray your clothes with the solution.

4. To soak delicate clothes

such as bras, pants, and other underwear, mix a ¼ cup of borax and 3 tbsp of your laundry detergent and pour into the washing water. Put the delicate clothes into the mixture and allow to soak, then wash as usual.

Will Borax Bleach My Dark Clothes?

Borax produces a small amount of hydrogen peroxide – a chemical that lightens and whitens and is more selective as a bleaching agent as it doesn’t cause damage to fibers. That way, the possibility of your dark clothes fading is minimal – there shouldn’t be discoloration.

Do Borax Bleach Coloured Clothes?

Borax is more gentle than other bleaching agents and safe to use on colored clothes without the fear of it removing your cloth dyes, causing your clothes to bleed or bleach, or any other damage. It might even be the safest means for stain removal than any color-safe bleach with no added chemical lightener required.

Can I Replace My Laundry Detergent With Borax?

Borax can’t be used to replace laundry detergents. Several laundry detergents have Borax in their ingredients but using it alone isn’t capable to fight stains or cleanse clothes properly. However, Borax can be used as a natural laundry detergent using a block of bar soap, borax, essential oil of any scent (optional), and an oxygen booster. 

To make replace laundry detergent with borax, grate the bar soap into tiny particles to dissolve easily and mix with the borax and washing soda using a glove or spoon for safety. Then add a few drops of the essential oil and oxygen booster, and mix well. You can transfer it into an air-tight container for storage.

Can I Use Borax Instead of Other Laundry Add-Ins?

Borax isn’t a direct replacement for other laundry add-ins but is found in some laundry add-ins products. However, it is used as an addition to the add-ins. Here are laundry add-ins with Borax:

1. Borax or Bleach

Borax and Bleach are both cleaning agents made from chemicals but with different ingredients and also function differently. Borax is a mineral-salt-based all-purpose cleaning detergent that is found in laundry products such as detergents, cosmetics, soap, and hair treatments.

This means it cannot be used in whitening any cloth bleach is a chemical compound with chlorine constituents that serves a dual purpose of a cleaning agent and a disinfectant which makes it less desirable for household use as it causes dye and color removal, bleeding, and bleaching to fade.

Borax is not generally in all bleaches and may not be used in replacement of bleach. However, you can use Borax and Bleach together – but best done when you follow the care label instructions on the bleach product.

2. Borax or Washing Soda

Most times, Borax and Washing Soda (Soda Ash) are also mistaken as the same, but they’re different. Washing Soda has a high alkaline pH level that aids cloth cleansing, while Borax’s alkaline level is low which makes it unfit to replace washing soda but is safe to combine in your laundry.

3. Borax or Oxiclean (Oxygen Bleach)

Borax and Oxiclean (an oxygen bleach), are both stain removers that work for the same purpose. They contain different ingredients that do not work in the same way, which doesn’t make Borax a direct replacement for Oxiclean, but, if you need a pure stain remover, the two can be interchanged. 

4. Borax or White Vinegar

Borax and White Vinegar are extremely opposite agents. White Vinegar is an acid that lowers the laundry’s pH level while Borax is alkaline which rises the laundry’s pH level. They both work in opposite directions.

It is however known to be combined but you won’t have an effective laundry using the combination cause they neutralize each other.

What Are The Benefits of Adding Borax To My Laundry?

Aside from having an effective, perfect, and boosted cleaning power of laundry detergents, Borax is highly affordable and available. In addition to that, there are several benefits derived from adding borax to your laundry:

1. Borax is safe to use with bleach

It has been proven that it is safe to mix your chlorine beach with borax as this also increases the cleaning strength of both.

It is however true that some strong and highly acidic substances such as white vinegar pose a great risk when used with bleach but there is no reason to panic as not all react with bleach in such a manner.

2. Borax maintains a stable pH

Borax is an ideal and best addition to the laundry cleaning solution. It has a pH of 9.24 and its addition to water increases the pH level of water to about 8.

It also maintains a consistent pH alkalinity value which helps to have a more effective cleaning solution. This helps to have cleaner and nice scented clothes.

3. Borax softens water

If you’re using hard water for your laundry, borax helps to soften and this helps to remove specks of dirt, and stains, soften and clean your clothes well, and also extends the washing machine’s life cycle more than hard water which doesn’t allow the cleaning solution to work effectively.

You can either mix it with your regular detergents or as a premixed solution in your laundry. After adding borax to your water, the sticky or slimy change is what is called soft water. 

4. Borax removes soap residue

The rinse cycle of your washing machine is meant to remove the dirt, bleach, detergents, or soap from your clothes but this scarcely happens especially if you’re doing laundry with neutral or hard water which causes detergents, bleaches, and other laundry products to stick to your clothes and linens.

In such cases of soap residue, add borax to your laundry. It helps to keep the soap dispersed and clean the clothes properly. 

5. Borax whitens white clothes

Borax is a maintenance product that is among the most effective methods of brightening and whitening white clothes. You can add it with chlorine bleach to increase the bleah’s whitening strength or use it alone – whichever way, it does a great job of making white things maintain their white colors without fading.

6. Borax is an odor neutralizer

Borax is best at neutralizing odors and is known to prevent the presence of odor-producing enzymes in the laundry. It is a natural ingredient to tackle mildew or musty odors from your washing machine.

It is an effective way of getting rid of nasty odors and keeping them at bay in your laundry such odors like ammonia odors, sick room odors, sweat odors, and others.

7. Borax is a stain remover

Borax is best at getting rid of tough stains like mustard, oil, soy sauce, grease, and others. To remove stains, there are two ways to have an effective cleansing:

  • Soak your clothes for about 2o minutes or more in warm water and 1 tbsp of 

borax per gallon

  • To your machine pre-soak cycle, add ½ cup of borax.
  • It is however safe to use borax on most clothes but best to test it on an invisible spot on your cloth.

8. Borax is a disinfectant

Borax is a natural laundry disinfectant that prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, mold, and other microbes. It also gives a good scent to clothes.

Is Borax Safe?

Many think that borax ia safe just because it is a naturally occurring substance, however, this is partially true. Borax can only be safe when used properly. 

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), borax is classified as noncarcinogenic – which means it is not known to cause cancer, however, there are a few risks attached to it such as digestive, respiratory, and reproductive issues, organs damages and malfunctioning, shock and even death.

Also, according to the Toxicology Date Network, NLM, the body finds it very easy to break down borax when inhaled or swallowed but poses a great risk when inhaled or ingested into the lungs. Inhaling borax can cause respiratory irritations and when ingested, it causes reproductive issues in the testicles, fetus development, and fertility. It also causes severe poisoning and damages the body’s organs.

Over-exposure to borax has an adverse effect on health and the symptoms include headache, weakness, lightheadedness, tremor, dizziness and passing out. 

What Are The Precautions To Take When Using Borax?

Borax is known to be safe for household use but best to take precautions for yourself and the environment to prevent the adverse effect of borax. The following are precautions to follow:

  • Ensure the laundry sare is well-ventilated
  • Wear gloves when using borax
  • Keep borax at a safe distance from the eyes, mouth, nose, and skin to prevent inhaling or close contact with the skin.
  • In case it touches your clothes, removes them immediately.
  • In case of contact with the skin or eyes, wash your hands with soap before touching your body. Then, flush the area immediately with clean water for about 10 minutes.
  • Ensure proper rinsing of clothes before drying or using them after washing with borax.
  • Before eating, drinking, or touching your body and several other items, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Keep borax away from the reach of children and pets. Do not make slime with borax for children.
  • In case of accidental inhalation, there should be instant rescue breathing while in case of over-exposure, the following should be done: Get medical attention or help and reach out to Poison and other emergency services.
  • If there are any open wounds on your hand or skin, ensure they’re covered and well protected as borax is more absorbed into the body system through wound openings on the skin.


With no worries of bleaching, bleeding, or clothes damage, adding borax to your laundry routine is ideal. It is safe to use borax in your laundry and beast advised that you follow the precautions above to protect yourself and your environment. 

Remember, for any laundry and cleaning like stain removal, whitening, and odor removal, add borax to your regular laundry detergent, and the best is what you get, you can try this to boost the efficiency of your other laundry and cleaning agents.

Stay safe when adding borax to your laundry!