Can I Use Borax In My Dishwasher? (Find Out Now!)

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral, one that’s mainly used to soften water. Water that includes calcium, magnesium, and other particles is classified as hard water, and borax is what turns hard water into soft water by way of exchanging sodium ions.

If you use borax as an enhancement to your dishwasher, you can get rid of unwanted residue and spots on dishes; regular dishwasher soap doesn’t provide the same results. One can also use borax to clean the dishwasher itself.

In this article, the uses of borax with a dishwasher will be explained in detail, as this way the reader will know when it’s ideal to use borax.

Yes, you can use borax to clean a dishwasher. It can clean the dishes a dishwasher holds as well. Borax is a natural substance, and this is one reason why it’s preferred by those who only clean in eco-friendly ways. Contact with borax won’t cause any harm to a human being, but one should not ever consume borax.

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Is Borax Dishwasher-Safe?

A lot of people wonder whether or not borax is safe to use with kitchen appliances, and the main reason why there’s concern is that borax will be affecting things that you use to eat off and drink out of. There isn’t anything to be concerned about though, as one can use borax without fear of developing any unwanted health consequences.

Borax is good for cleaning a dishwasher too, and it can also help with cleaning the dishes inside. Once the dishes have been cleaned, they’ll be ready for use immediately. Borax is also preferred by those who wants sparkling glassware.

Although its name makes it sound like tough stuff, borax is actually a gentle substance, and it’s environmentally safe as well. It’s natural, after all, so you don’t have to worry about it irritating your skin. When it’s used in the dishwasher, it’ll be thoroughly washed away after the cleaning process is done, so there’s no chance of you ingesting borax residue.

Borax vs. Boric Acid

Often, people get concerned about borax because they get it confused with boric acid. Boric acid is the result of borax mixing with hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, and this is something that most individuals won’t come in contact within an entire lifetime.

While borax is a component in a potentially harmful substance, this doesn’t mean that it’s harmful in itself. It’s perfectly fine to use as a cleaning agent, and it’s technically called sodium tetraborate. It’s a mineral salt that comes right out of the ground, so to some it’s better than cleaning a dishwasher or dishes with engineered cleaning products.

Borax Health Hazard Rating

As far as health hazards are concerned, borax typically earns a rating of one, which is very low on the scale. It shares this rating with baking soda, so that should give you an idea of how harmful this is. It is not suitable as a food additive, and this is what separates it from baking soda.

Although a light amount won’t irritate the skin, a large amount—along with prolonged exposure—could cause a mild skin reaction. When it’s used as a cleaner, one doesn’t have to worry about an irritation. Also, borax will not build up in the human system over time.

It is, however, something you want to avoid ingesting, as ingesting it would be like ingesting a lot of salt. If you consume a lot of borax, you would get nauseous immediately, and a high consumption level could be lethal. Boron is actually an essential mineral that plants need to grow, and therefore you can find traces of it in your diet.

Borax as Pest Control

Do you constantly find that pests are creeping into your appliances? If this is the situation you’re facing, you can use borax to fix the problem. Borax can be sprinkled all around in a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, or any other appliance that attracts pests.

The pests that are attracted to appliances are typically roaches, ants, and flies. Borax will not be suitable if you’re trying to get rid of small rodents.

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How to Use Borax With a Dishwasher

Here’s what you’ll need to clean a dishwasher using borax:

  • Borax
  • A sponge or toothbrush that’s dedicated to just cleaning the dishwasher
  • Auto dishwasher detergent


Combine two teaspoons of borax with four cups of water and then scrub the parts of your dishwasher that have a lot of mineral buildup. Next, you’ll want to add 1/4 of a cup of borax powder to the base of the dishwasher. Finally, add the dishwasher detergent and then run the dishwasher as you would normally.

When everything is done, dishes should come out looking spotless and your machine should be cleaned as well. This is a simple DIY at-home task.

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

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