Where to Find and Buy Borax Cleaner

How to Spot the 20 Mule Team Borax Box

Borax. Erin Huffstetler

Borax is a great product with lots of uses around the house. The 20 Mule Team Borax brand has traditionally been used for laundry, cleaning and even for killing ants. Despite that long history, it is not always easy to find. Where should you look for it?

Where to Find and Buy Borax

  • The laundry aisle at grocery stores and big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart.
  • Hardware stores
  • International grocery stores
  • Farm supply stores

Borax is sold under the name "20 Mule Team." It is sold in a white box with red lettering and touches of green. You may want to look at the photos on Amazon.com to see what the current designs on the box look like. That can help you spot it at the store.

Perhaps because it is an older, traditional brand it has to fight for shelf space with multiple cleaning products from major brands. This may be why it is easy to overlook. You might find it on the top shelf or to the side of the newer, glitzier brands. It is produced by Dial as an American consumer product unit of Henkel.

What is Borax Anyway?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in many commercial cleaning products. Borax is used in everything from toothpaste and cosmetics to laundry boosters and dishwasher detergents.

It is sold in powder form and has a consistency that's similar to powdered laundry detergent.

There are many household uses for borax. It can be used to create all sorts of natural cleaners, and when added to things like homemade laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent, it actually boosts the cleaning power of the other ingredients.

Many homemade cleaners take advantage of its ability to soften hard water and whiten whites.

Borax is also popular as a pesticide. Many people mix it with sugar and use it to kill ants and roaches.

In the late 1800's, borax was mined in Death Valley and transported across the Mojave Desert by teams of mules and horses to the railroad spur. That's where 20 Mule Team Borax gets its name. The company sponsored the television and radio show "Death Valley Days," from the 1930's through 1975. It was even hosted by Ronald Reagan in 1964-65. This made the name very familiar in those decades.

Learn more about the many uses for borax.

Is Borax Safe to Use?

While borax is a natural ingredient, it's still toxic, and should be kept out of reach of children and pets. If you use it to make your own products, be sure to label the containers with all of the ingredients, just in case there's ever an accidental ingestion. You may know what's in your concoction, but other people in your household may not.

Treat borax with the same care that you would any other cleaning product, and you shouldn't have any problems.

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