Skip to Content


Borax vs. Baking Soda:

Borax vs Baking Soda

If you're looking for a natural, affordable way to clean your home and enhance your laundry, you've probably come across articles telling you to use Borax and/or baking soda.

Both products have been used for over 100 years and they even look quite similar. So what's the difference? And which should you use?

Well, it depends on what you're planning on using them for. But first, let's look at the actual ingredients in these products.


Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound with the formula of NaHCO3 (one sodium ion to one bicarbonate ion).

Borax is the common name for the naturally occurring mineral sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Na2B407-10H2O). It's found all over the world, including Chile, California, Bolivia, Tibet, Turkey and Romania.

Borax Ingredients


Baking soda was first made commercially in 1846 and has been used in many different applications since, including cooking, cleaning and preserving. Borax was discovered in Death Valley in 1881 and has been sold commercially under the 20 Mule Team™ brand since 1981.

20 Mule Team Wagon - the history of Borex

Key Uses

While chemically very different, both baking soda and Borax are all-natural alternatives to commercial cleaning products. They're both used to clean and deodorize. But there are a few differences. Below, we break down key differences about when to use each one.

Further Reading

  • Borax vs. Boric Acid

    Borax is sometimes confused with boric acid. 

  • Borax vs. Washing Soda

    The addition of chemical ingredients in common household detergents and cleaning products has sparked questions about the safety of these products.