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Borax, or sodium borate, is a mineral used in everything from detergents to enamel—and it’s also one of the most affordable and natural ways to tackle summer problems like pests, weeds, and more. Here are 5 surprising uses for borax that you should try this summer.

1) Pest Control

Borax can eliminate common summer pests like waterbugs, cockroaches, and ants. If you notice these pests creeping into your kitchen this summer, mix a bait of borax and powdered sugar and sprinkle it where you notice insects congregating. Just be sure to keep this mixture away from pets and small children.

2) Rust Remover

Get your outdoor furniture ready for summer with borax. If rust built up over the winter, a tablespoon of borax mixed with lemon juice and water can remove rust. Just apply the paste with a sponge and scrub away.

3) Unclog Your Drain

Fruit flies are a common summer problem but unclogging your drain can be the first step to controlling them. To rid your drain of this household pest and keep things running smoothly, pour half a cup of borax into your sink, then follow it with two cups of boiling water. After letting the mixture sit for 15 minutes, simply rinse away any clogs.

4) Weed Killer

Keep your sidewalk cracks and patio free from weeds by sprinkling borax on them. Borax can be too harsh for many plants, so use sparingly or avoid using in the garden.

5) Feed Fruit Trees

Borax may leave weeds wilted but sprinkling borax around full-sized fruit trees every few years can actually give them a boost by returning boron to the soil. A cup of the mineral will help fruits and seeds develop.

Pure Borax Powder 2 lb. Resealable Container with Scoop available from Amazon