If you think borax is just a laundry additive, think again. It will brighten your whites, but it can do so much more. Here are 5 different uses for borax around your home.  Find Borax in the laundry aisle at your grocery store.  Dial makes the popular 20 Mule Team Borax. It costs less than $5 for 76 ounces at most stores.

Use 1: Scrub Sinks and Tubs

Plain old borax works just like powdered scrubbing cleansers, such as Comet. Sprinkle some on a damp sponge and start scrubbing! It cleans and disinfects all in one sweep. For those with sensitive noses, borax has the added benefit of not having that chemical smell. If you make a paste out of water and borax, you can spread it on set-in stains (like the old hair dye stain on my bathroom counter!) Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then scrub it off. It should take the stain right out! Don’t use this scrub on polished marble or granite as it could scratch the surface.

Use 2: Pesticide Alternative

Do you get anthills on your property? Pouring borax over the top is an effective pesticide. It isn’t as dangerous as other powdered pesticides, so you don’t have to worry about any pets or children being near it. You can also sprinkle it on carpets and rugs to prevent fleas.

Use 3: Stain Remover

Yes, we all know this stuff helps remove stains from clothing, but did you know it can remove stains from the carpet as well? Of course, you should always test a small area of your carpet first, but borax makes short work of most stains. The trick is to put hot water in a bucket or bowl. Stir in two to three scoops of borax. Dip a scrub brush in the mixture and scrub the carpet in a circular motion. Finish the cleanup by blotting up excess moisture, and vacuum when the spot is dry.

Use 4: Deodorize Drains

Borax is a great drain deodorizer. It even helps cut grease and grime. You can even add a little lemon juice to give the drain a lemon fresh scent. If you are using fresh lemons, cut one in half and squeeze it down the drain and add a little borax. Wait about 20 minutes, and then rinse. If you are cleaning the drain in your kitchen sink, be sure to run the garbage disposal too.

Use 5: Preserve Flowers

Borax isn’t just a cleaning powerhouse. It can also help decorate your now clean home! It is great at preserving fresh cut flowers. Place flowers in a box and cover entirely with Borax. Be very careful not to crush the bloom. Once the flower is completely covered, place the box in a safe place where it won’t get knocked over for 10 to 12 days. Once the time is up, you should have a beautifully preserved flower or flowers with which to decorate. Borax absorbs the moisture out of the plant, so it doesn’t wilt and keeps its original form.

Use 6: Goop With a Twist

Borax is an important ingredient for Goop, which is a cheap alternative to Play-Doh. To make goop, mix together a half cup of water with a half cup of glue. Add a few drops of food coloring to the glue mixture. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of borax with another half cup of water. Mix the borax and water in with the glue mixture. It should get thick pretty fast. Dump the mixture out on a cookie sheet covered with foil, and knead the mix just like you would bread dough. Goop only has one drawback: it can stain surfaces and clothes. I like to put it in gallon ziplock bags with a little extra water. Put some crazy glue on the seam of the bag and zip it shut. Give the glue a few minutes to dry. Once it’s dry, you have a play mat for your kids to trace, draw, or write on. It’s a great alternative to the Play-Doh version of Goop, and it won’t make a mess! Of course, you can always skip the ziplock alternative, and just play with it like the original recipe calls for. Just remember to cover your play area with plastic (plastic tablecloths are great for this!) so you don’t end up with stained furniture!

Overall, borax is a great product to keep on hand. It can do the work of several different products at a fraction of the expense. What uses have you found for Borax?