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.


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.

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.

Please use only as directed and do not ingest. May be harmful if swallowed