Wall spots typically don’t require a powerful cleaner, and all-purpose detergent or even dish soap can often do the task. If you need a booster, it’s ideal to avoid acidic cleaners, like vinegar, or highly alkaline ones, like ammonia, or the wall finish may suffer. Borax is a gentle but effective alternative which raises the pH of your detergent enough to eliminate germs without being pursued enough to damage the paint.
The Benefits of Borax
As it’s a naturally occurring mineral, borax claims to be a “green” cleaning substance. It is a compound of sodium, oxygen and boron known generally as sodium borate, and it comes from desert stones in California and China. People have used it over a length of 4,000 years for a number of cleaning jobs — when in a water solution, it has a pH of about 9.5, which will be near the best pH for a detergent. The composition of borax inhibits the metabolic processes of several organisms, which makes borax an effective bactericide and deodorizer, as well as an insecticide.
Cleaning with Borax
It is possible to make a productive wall cleaner by mixing a cup of borax powder with 2 tablespoons of dish detergent in a gallon of warm water. This solution is mild, but you still might want to wear rubber gloves when you use it. You may either wet a rag and use it to wipe the walls down with the cleaning solution or you’ll be able to set the solution in a spray bottle and then wet the walls prior to wiping. The latter process is a great method to loosen dirt: simply allow the solution to sit for several minutes.
Borax for Mold
Thanks to its capacity to interfere with the life processes of microscopic organisms, borax is a recommended treatment for mould. If black mould is growing on one of the walls, the very first thing you need to do is remove the moisture where it thrives by heat, ventilating and dehumidifying the room. Then mix a solution consisting of 1 cup of borax per gallon of water, and spray it on the mould. Allow the solution to sit to get a couple of minutes, then wash away the mold with a scrub brush. Don’t rinse; a thin layer of borax prevents mold from growing again.
Beside being a successful cleaning chemical, borax is also an insecticide, and it’s poisonous enough that you need to keep it in a cupboard out of the reach of children. The concentrations needed for cleaning are generally protected, but ingesting the powder may cause developmental and male infertility problems, according to the 20 Mule Team Borax Material Safety Data Sheet. It is possible to mix borax with vinegar or salt to produce a stronger cleaning solution, but you shouldn’t mix borax with bleach, because that mixture could possibly create poisonous gases. In general, the cleaning and disinfecting powers of borax outweigh its potential risks.