If you’ve never before picked up a box of Borax at the supermarket, now’s about time you do (it’s only about $4 for a four pound box at Target). This nifty little mineral (it’s actually 100 percent sodium tetraborate or sodium borate) is a wonder powder that can be used for anything from pest repelling to rug cleaning. Intrigued? Here are eight amazing ways to use Borax you’ve probably never heard of, courtesy of Tip Hero.

photo: Jesus Cabrira via Flickr

Violin String Cleaner
Just dab some Borax onto a wet toothbrush then brush the strings to get rid of any buildup on violin strings (or other string instruments)

Ant Killer
Mix Borax with warm water and sugar, then dip cotton balls into the solution. Take out the wet cotton balls and leave them all around your house, wherever ants roam (be especially vigilant around the baseboards of your kitchen). Borax is relatively harmless to people and pets, but it is deadly to ants. End of story.

photo: Homemade Dishwasher Tablets via YouTube

Homemade Dishwashing Tablets
TipHero shared this great DIY dishwashing tablet recipe that uses Borax and a few other ingredients pressed into an ice-cube tray.

Stainless Steel Cleaner
Mix Borax with baking soda, lemon juice and club soda to make a perfect stainless steel cleaning paste.

DIY Stilly Putty
Mix a few ingredients (including Borax) and you’ll have a fun homemade Silly Putty that kids will love.

photo: Joe Naylor via Flickr

Tree Saver
Sprinkle a little Borax into the soil at the base of fruit trees every three to four years. This will add important boron to the soil and encourage healthy growth.

Stink Remover
Mix a little Borax-water solution in the bottom of your trash cans to clean them up. Rinse, then sprinkle a little Borax right into your trash bags to help neutralize odors.

Toilet Cleaner
Pour a bunch of Borax into your toilet at night and let it sit overnight. In the morning, just use a brush to wipe away any loosened particles, then flush.

Get more uses for borax at TipHero.

Do you have any other uses for Borax? Share them with us in the comments below.