Dead Ant, Dead Ant…

You know that Pink Panther joke, right? “What does Pink Panther say when he steps on an ant?” (Answer: please refer to post title.)

I don’t remember ants being a problem in our houses when I was growing up. I don’t know whether that’s because we never had them or because it wasn’t my problem to deal with them.  A few years ago, I had a super fun play group at my house and decorated with ants. ‘Cause I thought they were cute. And then… they showed up for real. Not so cute anymore.

Last year, my first Spring season in this house, they showed up again. Because I was solo parenting at the time and could not commit the brainpower (I felt) to solving the problem, I called an exterminator. They came out quarterly to treat the oustide of the house and the inside only if there was a problem. I think I called them 3 times to do inside treatments for ants. And every time they approached my front door, I wanted to clap and cry at once. Clap because they would solve the problem, and cry because who knows what’s in that can? I know there are people that know, but does anyone reeeeally know what the side effects are? My kids are crawling around and playing and calling “5 second rule” on these floors all day long. Pesticides are scary stuff. I’ve been reading more about chemical evils, and thinking about how to cut them out wherever possible. If you’re interested in what I’m reading, it’s articles like this.

This week, they’ve come back. All of the rain has pushed them out of their normal hiding place, I guess. Normally I’d not highlight the trim around this door next to the dog’s water bowl that might never get painted, but it is what it is.

So I remembered a friend, years ago, saying something about Borax for ants. I googled “ant killer recipe” and found this one.

Is Borax safe? I googled that too. This post was helpful. But really, how much worse can it be than that scary can of whatever-it-is that’s in there?

The other day I went out and got the Borax. It’s found in the laundry section of the grocery store. And yesterday morning there was an all-ant Woodstock-sized crazy celebration happening in my kitchen next to the sliding glass door. It was time.

The recipe is so simple.
– 1 cup of water
– 2 cups of sugar
– 2 T of Borax powder

Boil that for 3 minutes. Let it cool and then put in bottle caps or other small, shallow containers. The ants, I read, will come and drink it up and take it back to the colony and they all die. I’m giving them suicide Koolaid.

I felt soooo evil mixing this up and stirring my saucepan of poison. But… when I’d look back at the ant festival, my resolve strengthened.

After it cooled it was a sticky syrup. Brown, in my case, because turbinado sugar was what was available. A little fancy for ants, but it’s what I had.

I set out the dishes. And one ant appeared.

Later, I snapped this photo for my friend Sylvie who wanted a real-time status update. I’m keeping it small, ’cause it’s a little too eeeek-worthy for my taste, but you can click on it to enlarge it. They’re all lined up to drink.

This morning, they’re all gone. GONE. And even better than the hard core chemical stuff– they didn’t die all over my kitchen. They took themselves away. Sad, but I’ll take it. Just two little guys stuck in the syrup this morning. And one lone straggler I found when I moved the dish. This syrup looks like it’s mostly dry. I read that you have to refill it because it dries out. I have a whole spaghetti sauce jar of the stuff, so I don’t think I’ll run out any time soon.

Now I have 99% of the rest of the box to find uses for. Maybe this? What else do you use Borax for? Have you ever even owned any? This is my first box ever.

And in other news:

  • There are already entries in the Skirt Week pools! Hooray! Not all of the Flickr image entries are pinnable, but the ones that are will be pinned here.
  • Tomorrow: A fun service project sewing post! Come back and check it out!
As always, thanks for reading.


  1. says

    YES! I haven’t had ants in a while but I’m almost looking forward to the next time now. I was sad when I saw you wasting the fancy sugar on them though. The only time I’ve used Borax is for the crystal ornaments – it’s actually the #1 thing that bring people to my blog which I think is incredibly weird. We have an abandoned box of Borax in one of the laundry rooms right now that I should go claim so I’m prepped for ant season.

    • Elizabeth Brown says

      Does this work on outdoor ants too? My biggest problem are the ants on my sidewalk and driveway. I haven’t found anything to kill them and I’m tired of getting bit by them going in your flip flops.

  2. says

    I just started using homemade dishwasher detergent a couple weeks ago, so I have a nearly whole box of borax to continue finding uses for as well! I like the dishwasher soap, and I think it works just as well as the store-bought and without any yucky stuff. Plus, I’ve had allergic reactions from store kinds.
    I am totally doing this ant syrup when they start showing up around here. (Not if, when, because this whole town seems to have been built on an ant hill.)

    And yeah, I still hear that “dead ant, dead ant” punchline when I deal with them too!

  3. says

    I just bought a box to mix up my own laundry detergent-something I have never tried. With detergent being so high I figure it’s worth a shot! We usually have them inside at least once a year and the hills outside are HORRIBLE. I’m thinking of trying this and putting it in disposable containers near their colonies on my front walkway. Both my children have been snacked on by these pesty ants already!

  4. says

    Make homemade slime or Gak with borax and elmer’s glue! You can google it and find tons of recipes. My little boy loves doing that!

  5. says

    I have used this recipe to get rid of ants in my home – but I did not boil it – just mixed it up and soaked cotton balls with the mixture and put the soaked cotton balls (used 3) in a lid on my cupboard – the next day the ants were gone!

  6. Samantha says

    I started making my own laundry detergent several months ago using Borax, washing soda and Fels-Naptha soap bars. I have been extremely pleased with the results of the detergent and haven’t used any store bought stuff since. It works fantastic, is way cheaper and like you, I have been learning about all the chemicals in our houses so this was one way for me to eliminate some of them. I like knowing exactly what is in the products I’m using. I hadn’t heard about Borax for killing ants, though. We have been invaded this year for the first time ever, so I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

  7. says

    so glad to hear this. some folks at my school said just put sugar with borax (1 part borax to 9 parts sugar) and make a shallow dish of it – same thing. i like the idea of cooking it and i’m going to do it RIGHT NOW. they are ALL OVER THE FREAKING HOUSE all of a sudden. in the cat food, cereal, bathroom….etc. !! thank yoU!@

  8. says

    I’ve been using Borax for years, added to the washer when I do my towels. Dishcloths & facecloths go in first, then detergent and Borax, then the towels. The Borax helps freshen the towels and cloths and eliminate that sour smell that happens in spring and fall when they don’t dry fast enough after use. Here are 25 more great uses:

    Note: In my house, the dishwasher detergent recipe does not work—the dishes come out with icky white film on everything. We think maybe our country water is too hard or has some other mineral that is interfering? Most people have great success, but I know of a few who have had our experience. Just FYI.

    • says

      I have hard water as well and had the same problem with the white filmy grossness on my dishes. My savior has been Lemi-Shine. I fill the main cup with this miracle cure and put a tablespoon of my own dishasher detergent into the open cup. Put some vinegar into the Jet Dry dispenser and voila, crystal clean dishes. The Lemi-Shine is natural and made for hard water. Hope this helps.

      • Elaine says

        I just squirt about a tablespoon or two of Blue dawn liquid on the inside of the diswasher door in addition to the dish. Cleans the dishes and the dishwasher. soap.

    • says

      That’s a great link! I used it to get rid of fleas, and I can’t believe how well it worked! (I had taken in a “rescue” puppy and the poor thing, and the house, were quickly infested. Two rounds of chemical bombs did NOTHING! Finally called a pest-control service and the receptionist [who I had chatted with for several minutes and knew that I didn’t WANT more chemicals around, with little ones in the house) told me about putting Borax in the carpet, sweep it in, letting it sit [she said a week, site says an hour] and vacuum it up. It worked! The fleas stayed gone!

    • says

      I too had the white film on my dishes and then I filled my rinse aid with Lemi-Shine…Voila clean sparkly dishes. I would give it a try to see if it helps!

    • Anonymous says

      I Have Tried The Lemi-Shine & Vinegar. I Live In The Country Too & Mine Didnt WOrk So Well. Thought It Was Just Me :(

  9. says

    Thank you! I’m so glad to know this actually works! I would be very interested to know how soon the ants return (IF they return, she said optimistically…). We don’t have ants now, but we just made an offer on a house, and noticed a little convention outside by the front steps.

  10. says

    I also use Borax for my laundry detergent.
    1 bar ivory soap, 2 cups borax, 2 cups washing soda (arm & hammer). Much better on our skin than any detergent ever has been. helpful for my asthma as well. I love how clean it makes our clothes. I also switched to using 1/4 cup vinegar in the “bleach” cup in my washer and our clothes come out of the dryer SOOOO soft. Oops. that reminds me, I have laundry to do!….

    • says

      I have an HE front loader and it works really well as its a low sud formula. You can also use laundry bars (fels naptha or zote from the laundry care aisle). Grate the soap, mix all together, and use one tablespoon per load.

      As for the vinegar instead of fabric softener, it works really well on everything and doesn’t smell after. Plus, it keeps your washer from nasty buildup!

  11. says

    Just wanted to add clarification. the soap, and cups of stuff are all mixed together in my food processor (turns out to be powder). and I use 1 tablespoon for each load of laundry or 2 if really dirty.

    • says

      Does it make your food taste like soap after you’ve used the processor for laundry detergent? I’m guessing not. Hmmm…. 1 tablespoon per load sounds awesome.

    • Samantha says

      You weren’t asking me, but I use my food processor to make my laundry soap and I haven’t noticed a soap taste in my food. Just run it through the dishwasher like normal and it comes out clean as always. Hope that helps!

  12. says

    This is such a timely post for me because I was just looking at a bizarre ant infestation outside my house. Normally, I let outdoor things live and let live, but it’s to the point at which I think it’s just a matter of time before they cross the threshold (literally an ant hill every 3 inches of the lawn, the whole yard). I’d heard of the borax+sugar recipe before but wasn’t sure if it was Internet lore (like all of those “cleaning” recipes that advise you to mix baking soda and vinegar – nooo, that just makes water and carbon dioxide gas!). I wonder if I could pour this stuff on a couple of the ant hills…?

    • says

      Oh goodness sorry this is off the ant topic but I just had to comment about the baking soda and vinegar thing… exactly what I thought! And I keep reading recipes that combine them. I love me a good natural cleaning solution (it’s pretty much all I use) but that combination just didn’t make sense.
      I was reading the comments here to see if anyone said anything about the safety of borax… I’m slightly wary of it but can’t remember why.

      • Elaine says

        Borax is not safe for eating – so if you have crawling babies or sugar loving pets I’d put the syrup in an empty plastic tub with a lid. poke pencil sized holes around the side of the tub an inch – ish below the lid for the ants to get in and out of – I suppose one could put plastic wrap or fpoil with holes over the lids or shallow dishes – again with holes.

  13. says

    Homemade Detergent! I think others have recommended this also. I use Fels Naptha as the soap of choice with borax and washing soda. You can add a little essential oil of your choice if you want to add a scent. I never do. I can see someone also recommended vinegar for the fabric softener. Oh my gosh, try it! I does not stink like vinegar at all but is SUPER cheap and leaves your clothes AND washing machine in better shape afterward. I use a food processor to make my detergent and it takes less than 10 minutes to make a batch start to finish. Use ONLY 1 Tbsp. per batch of laundry. I go up to 2 Tbsp for particularly large or filthy loads. And yes, this is very low suds so it is safe for HE machines. My mom was having trouble with a strange rash that wouldn’t go away. She had started using some special expensive detergent on her clothes. I took her a batch of homemade stuff and the rash cleared right up! I wish I’d known about it when my babies were little and had such sensitive skin.

  14. says

    Yay! I have been wondering if this works or not. My son is deathly allergic to ant bites and we keep an Epi Pen all the time because of it. But living in GA, we get covered with them every year. We live in the country on 11 acres and there is no way I can get rid of all the ants here but used to use Ortho Max in the yard every month. Now I can’t do that because we have free range chickens lol. SO I have been looking for a good alternative that won’t harm my ladies. I read you can put the mixture in small bowls with lids on and small holes poked in the sides so the ants can get in and out to drink it and they will die. I also read that people can put bowls like that under their home to help there. I am going to try it. I keep Borax because I make my own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and shower scrub stuff.

    • says

      Shana it does work! We have lived here for 15 years, and I can not remember a year without ants…. I use lil borax and spoon full of jelly or honey.. anything will work. I even used pepto bismol once lol.. I have noticed it last lil over 2 weeks. so just change it out every couple weeks and should never see any ants :)

  15. says

    Yes! This is what I needed to see/read. For the past 2 years we’ve had pesky ant infestations and have no idea how or where they are coming from. It grosses me out every time I see them. We’ve had to keep everything sealed tight in containers or zip locks! No loose food anywhere. My poor dog never knew where to find his food bowl as we had to keep moving it to keep the ants away. I know it’s only a matter of time until they make they’re annual appearance. I’m going to make this stuff ASAP and put it around outside the house hoping to draw them out and away from the house before they make it inside. Thanks for this awesome post!!!

  16. says

    Mix equal parts borax and washing powder ( you can find it in the laundry section, probably next to the borax) and use as dishwasher detergent. I use white vinegar as a rinse agent to get rid of water spots.

  17. says

    This is something I haven’t seen mentioned: Borax is good for athlete’s foot. It got rid of my 14yo son’s in just a few weeks. He soaks his feet for 15 minutes in a pan of warm water with borax dissolved in it every night after his bath and dusts it on his feet before he put on clean cotton socks. His feet smelled like a dead animal and looked about the same before we tried this and it really did the trick.

  18. says

    I’ve heard of using borax, but never tried it. Now I will. We use EcoSmart spray – it is peppermint and cinnamon oil and it works wonders.

  19. says

    Glad it worked1 I bought borax a few years ago b/c it’s supposed to be good for cleaning toilets. It did alright (maybe I need more elbow grease ha). I use it mostly for making home made laundry detergent- 1 part grated fels naphtha or zote soap (or ivory but you might need more soap?) 1 part washing soda (in a yellow box, not baking soda but made by arm and hammer. I think the washing soda is sodium carbonate and the baking soda is sodium bicarbonate), 1 part borax. Takes about 1 tbsp per load, but that depends on water hardness/how full the load is/how soiled the load is. :)

  20. Anonymous says

    We had small ants that kept coming into our house. We’d put out little ant baits or whatever seemed to make sense at the time, but they kept coming back– each time a little bit worse. When we finally called the exterminator he said the kind of ants we had are harmless to the home but have a kind of built in protection for their colony. Whenever too many ants go out and don’t come back or too many in the colony die, it triggers something in them that makes them crank out a lot more ants to strengthen the colony. So we thought we were getting rid of them, but we were actually telling their little instincts that we wanted more. So just in case, I’d keep putting it out until no ants come to eat.

    Also for those that haven’t had an exterminator out at all, some kinds of ants can indicate a problem in your home like moisture issues.

  21. says

    Borax crystals are fun with kids! borax dissolved in hot water until it’s completely saturated and hang a pipe cleaner in it by thread and a butter knife. the borax clings to the pipe cleaner and within 24 hours, becomes a hard crystal. we make ornaments for my kids christmas trees with it :)

  22. says

    don’t lie, I know when you were stirring you were cackling and muttering things like “toil and trouble” ;) I’ll have to point my mom in this direction, she has ants that just come out of nowhere all the time.

  23. says

    Interesting… I would have been very excited about this if you hadn’t personalized the ants! It’s like a sad tiny massacre! :) I used borax to make laundry soap. It was easy but iwasnt happy with its cleaning ability.

  24. says

    I share your fight with the ants. This will be summer number 4 – I’ve tried everything short of chemicals and can’t seem to get rid of them. I’m getting super good with caulking every single crevice and crack though!

  25. says

    I need to do this now and in fact made a batch that is waiting to be used but I don’t know what to do about my cat. Will he drink it? can I put it in a bowl with a lid with holes in it? will the ants get back out to take the poison home? Any ideas? Thanks for posting this as it couldn’t have come at a better time. Came home from vacation to ants!

  26. says

    I put dry borax (just plain) down around doors & swept it into crevices & stuff & that kept them from coming back in. I have 2 littles, so I got up everything that they could have touched, but left residue in between the door frame & tile. I also use Borax in my laundry like you would OxyClean or any laundry treatment. It really helps & is waaaaay cheaper than that other stuff. I hadn’t heard about this suicide syrup yet, but I’ll be bookmarking this in case they come back!

  27. beckyjopdx says

    I have found blowing borax, plain, into crevices with a straw works on some ants, like concrete ants. But some, like sugar ants will actually just move or split their colony and get worse.. Sorry to be the downer post.

  28. Anonymous says

    Thank you for this post! I tried just borax out and it didn’t work and I was freaking out because there was powder everywhere. I really hope this gets rid of them, we have been battling for 2 months!!
    And borax gets all stains out!! Put it in with your laundry, and it is amazing!

  29. Anonymous says

    I am waging war against the ants tonight using this!! Hope it works…they are driving me crazy!!!

  30. Anonymous says

    Thanks. I’m going to give this a try. I make my own laundry detergent, so I have borax. There’s another use for you too. :)

  31. Kristin T. says

    Anybody have a suggestion about to do this without worrying about my animals getting into it?? We are being invaded by those tiny little sugar ants all over the kitchen, but I have five cats and I am afraid of them drinking it too and getting sick. HELP!!!

  32. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for your post! We’ve had an ant-woodstock for the last 3days and I’ve used over the counter ant killer spray. But I have a 3-year-old boy who wants to take out his magnifying glass and check out the critters… I on the oher habd want the killer ant kool-aid. Will do tonight!

  33. Anonymous says

    You can also mix equal parts borax and icing sugar (powdered sugar) and use it dry around the area of their nests, and catch them before they move in wholesale. LOL. Be careful around grassy area unless you don’t care if your grass dies back. The borax is a bit hard on grass.

  34. says

    I use the recipe of equal parts borax and sugar, but dry. Then I sprinkle it in the windows where I know the ants are coming in. You could also sprinkle it all around the outside of your house to control future outbreaks. If you save a Parmesan container it works great as a sprinkler.

  35. Anonymous says

    Do you think the borax would kill brown recluse spiders??? I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on exterminators trying to get rid of those things.

  36. Jenn says

    cinnamon sticks! place cinnamon sticks around places where they are coming and they will stop coming in. They don’t like the scent and will stop coming in. I did this last year when my sun room floor was literally moving b/c it as covered in ants. I put 3 cinnamon sticks (it has to be sticks) near the obvious entrance and in the morning….not a single ant and I haven’t had one since…and I didn’t have to kill them, just make them cranky enough to move!

  37. Anonymous says

    If you have cats, etc., cut a small hole in the side of a used butter tub. Put a small jar lid with the anti-ant concoction into the butter tub and put the lid on the tub. This keeps small animals from being able to reach the poisen, but the ants can crawl right in.

  38. Anonymous says

    Look at these sites for some ideas about borax, some I have used, some I have not. Making homemade laundry soap is what I use it for mainly. However, I am off right now to make the ant suicide koolaid. We have been invaded this year!!

  39. says

    My college-age daughter moved back in with us for a summer and brought roaches in the boxes. I’d heard borax was deadly to roaches so I sprinkled it all around the boxes and in the crevices of the rooms where the nasty little critters were living. Very shortly after – NO roaches. I’ve heard you’re supposed to mix it with sugar but I didn’t know that then and it worked.

    I also use it for spiders – we get some ugly ones in the basement from time to time.

    As so many others have said I also use it as an additive to my laundry detergent (I use Charlie’s Soap which is expensive and wonderful) when things are especially stinky or need an extra boost.

  40. says

    Does this work for fire ants? We had an infestation here a while back, but they weren’t after sugar. I sprinkled borax around for the but they took no notice.

  41. Anonymous says

    I live in Singapore and we have ants EVerywhere!! No Borax for sale in our supermarkets…..I looked, sigh
    Can anyone tell me where I can get it locally

    • Anonymous says

      Look for boric acid in the drugstore. It is a powder and probably can be used the same as borax as the others described in the other posts. It kills ants and roaches. I use it in my home. It has a low toxicity, but be careful around children and pets.

  42. Anonymous says

    I use borax in my laundry recipe… Question for you, though.. Is the T a tablespoon or teaspoon? Thanks for this post!!! Can’t wait to try it because we have ant issues too!

  43. Anonymous says

    We had a flea problem in the yard which transferred into the house. I was told by my vet to sprinkle Borax on my carpet and work it in w/ a broom, leave it overnight and vaccum it the next day. Repeat at 1 week intervals for 3-4 weeks. It worked!! I was instructed to leave a small bowl of soapy water sitting under a light overnight…any fleas would come to the light and end up in the water…..this is to check to see if you’ve gotten them all. It works!

    Borax is also used to cure wild game…when I mount my turkey fans, I sprinkle it on the little bit of raw meat left on the fan and it dries it up. I’m thinking Borax is very likely good for lots of things!

  44. Anonymous says

    That small bowl of soapy water should be sitting on the carpet under a light….failed to say that…sorry!

  45. Anonymous says

    I just tried this for my ant problem. They are currently having a party with the “snacks” I made for them. Yuk! But I’ll see tomorrow if it works.

  46. neurotic mom says

    I didn’t read through all the comments so forgive me if this is a repeat but I read that borax and honey heated to dissolve the borax works great too! I think it is probably the sweetness that attracts them and the borax that kills them?

  47. Anonymous says

    Borax will kill roaches. They walk through the dry borax and return to their nest, when they clean (groom) their feet they ingest the borax and die. Roaches then will eat the dead to clean their nest and that poisoned roach will then kill a few more roaches. As long as the borax is kept dry it works. I keep it sprinkled at the back of the undersink cabinet and I pull out the bottom drawers and sprinkle under there, behind the fridge and stove. I leave it in those types of areas as a preventive measure.

  48. says

    accually there is a recipe for borax that you pour into your christmas tree that will lower the flamibility of the tree it wont make it foire proof but it will help call and talk to your local fire cheif for the recipe i am sure they will be able to point you in the right direction

  49. says

    Make children’s clothing flame retardant. Mix together nine ounces 20 Mule Team Borax and four ounces boric acid in one gallon water. If the article is washable, soak in the solution after final rinsing, then dry. If the garment is not washable, spray with the solution. This solution, recommended by fire departments, may wash out of clothing and should be used after each washing or dry cleaning.

  50. says

    I have had an ongoing battle with ants for four years now..tried everything on the market..and finally…finally call in the exterminator. He has been here twice in a week..and yesterday I saw three of them miling around the driveway, but we are to wait three days. This morning none..however, they have made our lives such a living hell around here for so long that I am headed for the Borax and will also use your recipe. Thanks for taking the time to post it. My last post was about ants also. Shelia at Note Songs sent me to you. She is a sweetheart and I was so pleased she wanted to help me.
    They WERE in every room of our home..two inches wide paths up our walls…it’s been horrible.
    I don’t have crawlers or toddlers now but I do have a small precious dog and was worried.
    Again, Thanks!
    Mona :)

  51. says

    Years ago in my last year of college, we had a flea infestation in our apartment. I think the flea eggs were already in the carpet when we moved in… but it grew out of hand VERY quickly. After trying everything but flea bombs, I heard about sprinkling borax into the carpet. I bought a HUGE box, covered the carpet, let sit 15 minutes and vacuumed. Fleas were gone – 100%! It was the most amazing thing ever.

  52. says

    I just found your blog, and looking forward to trying the ant remedy. I kind of skimmed through some of the other responses and found someone asking what to use any leftover Borax for. I used to use it to dry flowers. It’s a lot less costly than using ready made products for this purpose. You just need enough to cover whatever flower you are drying. Leave it for a week or two, depending on the denseness of the flower, and it is reusable. Put in a container with a tight fitting lid.

  53. says

    We started getting ants this past week again too! However, I was able to find out where they are coming from and put a little border of cinnamon around it and sprinkled some at the (outside) base of our sliding glass door.
    Pesky crawling creatures won’t cross cinnamon (or peppermint oil) and we’ve been ant free since then! Those that were already in the house were quickly taken care of a few minutes later when they formed a little panic group on the “house” side of the cinnamon.

    Dead ant, dead ant. :)

  54. Ian says

    Read this and went to look for borax. As you posted that you were trying to avoid ‘nasty stuff’ in the house then you might be interested to know that the reason I struggled to find it in the UK is because its banned here for its toxicity to children and plants! Ho hum… Off to find another solution…

  55. Anonymous says

    THANKYOU for this post! I made it and the sugar ants are flocking to it! I hope it works :) I have also found for those of you saying that they flock to the dog and cat food… I have the same problem and I read that baby powder will keep them away from it so I put some baby powder around my pets bowls of food and they won’t go anywhere near it! So untill I can kill them off the baby powder was a good solution to keeping them away from my lemon tree, pets food or anything that I can put a barrier around with baby powder! So hopefully this borax sugar solution does the trick and I won’t need either!

  56. Anonymous says

    For ants (inside or outside), we use INSTANT GRITS. Found in cereal aisle. Its’ edible. We had small children & pets in south Mississippi. Our neighbor told us about this when our daughter stepped in fire ants. Use it now. Grandkids like to watch the ants take it back to anthill.

  57. says

    Thanks! Last year we used borax to grow crystals for my daughter’s science fair project. Food coloring, boiling water…. you can google it.

  58. says

    You can use the borax to make a laundry detergent. You just add Fels-nephta and washing soda and you have a great and cheap detergent. (Plus it lasts forever!) :)

  59. Shelley says

    Borax is one of the ingredients in homemade laundry detergent. I use the Duggar family recipe. It’s much cheaper than Tide and works just as well.

    • says

      The box says “keep out of reach of children and pets”. Mixed information about it online. I put it in places where the dog/kids can’t reach it or put it out when they’re asleep or out of the house. I only have to put it out for a day at most at a time and the ants are gone for months.

  60. Michele says

    Borax works great added to your dishwasher. It helps the detergent work better. And if course the laundry.

  61. Jennifer says

    I use borax to make laundry detergent and to make super fun blubber for the kids! Thanks for the article, we are infested!

  62. Veronica says

    My grandmother and mother always used 20 Mule Borax to help take the smell out if old musty clothes and blankets. They would sprinkle it over the item and keep it and the Borax closed up in a container or bag for several days. Later, they would lay the item out in the sun for a day and then wash it.

  63. Barb says

    This works great. I’m on my 2nd year of using it with a cotton ball. We have 2 cats and they don’t bother the concoction in the lids. They also won’t touch canned catfood or people food, so maybe that’s why they leave it alone. Cayenne pepper sprinkled around also works.

    For those making laundry detergent, I found an easy, easy way to get mine into a fine powder. I grate my bars of soap on the grinder attachment with the smallest holes on my Kitchen Aid. It turns most of it into powder, but there are some pieces left. Then I mix it with the Borax and washing soda and process it in my VitaMix for 30 seconds. I tried the food processor, but I still had little pieces of soap and when I wash with cold water, they didn’t dissolve. Now I don’t have that problem.

    I also add 1/2 c. white vinegar to the rinse water. Now I have a new washer where you can pour it in the hole on the agitator. Not only is it a softener, but the vinegar kills bacteria. I’ve been doing this for years, and we’re very rarely sick. We don’t get flu shots, and I can’t remember the last time we had the flu. The vinegar is also good to add if you have hard water, which we do. It keeps the hard water deposits away.

    I tried the dishwashing detergent, but had the film too. I’ll try the Lemi-Shine. Thanks for that tip.


  1. […] toddler and crawling baby from these critters. While online I saw this! A friend posted a link to for a simple recipe to kill ants. It calls for 1 cup of water 2 cups of sugar 2 TBSP of Borax boil […]

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