Borax vs. Baking Soda for Roaches: 3 Easy Recipes and Tips

Few things are more unpleasant than having cockroaches in your home. Let’s face it, you seldom see just a few roaches. Instead, you see dozens of them, and there are usually dozens more where they came from.

Instead of chemical-filled products made to kill these pests, more and more people are trying methods that are more natural, including recipes with either baking soda or borax. These 2 products can both be used to kill roaches at home and this article will explore how.

Borax vs. Baking Soda for Roaches: Things You Should Know

Most of us know what baking soda is because we use it regularly for both household chores and to make various dishes.

Borax is also known as sodium borate, and is a combination of borate, sodium and oxygen. It is used in many cleaning products including laundry powders. It is also included in flame retardants and is used in a very popular kids’ item called slime.

Borax and boric acid are different. Borax, also called sodium borate, is a naturally occurring mineral. On the other hand, boric acid is a chemical that results from borax when it’s processed and purified with hydrochloric acid.

The good news is, both boric acid and borax do a great job of getting rid of roaches in your home. Borax has to be eaten by roaches in order to kill them. Borax sticks to the legs of a cockroach and once it starts eating the powder, it kills the roach. It doesn’t always kill it immediately, but it does kill it.

How to kill roaches with borax and baking soda

You can get rid of roaches with borax or a combination of borax and baking soda. Below are some of the ways to do this.

1. Mix Borax with Sugar

This is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to kill roaches. Roaches are attracted to sweet things, and the sugar will lure the roaches in and cause them to eat the mixture. The borax in the mixture kills them.

All you have to do is combine one part borax to one part sugar and place it in some type of container that allows you to dust the area with the mixture. A powdered sugar dispenser is perfect, and all you do is sprinkle it on your countertops behind the appliances and in similar locations.

You might also consider adding a few tiny rocks or pennies to the dispenser so that any clumps can be broken up.

2. Borax Placed in Roach Baits

You can also mix borax with foods that roaches love best. You can use just about anything for these traps, and some of the foods that are certain to attract them include:

  1. Peanut butter: place a spoonful of peanut butter in the trap then sprinkle borax all over it
  2. Cocoa powder: mix it with the borax the same way you would with sugar
  3. Egg yolks: use raw egg yolks and sprinkle some borax over it

These baits can be hidden in cupboards, corners, or around electrical outlets, or any other areas that roaches may visit. The one thing you should avoid is mixing the borax with a liquid. Instead, mix it with a solid or soft food like peanut butter.

3. Borax with Baking Soda

When you use baking soda to kill cockroaches, it causes gas to build up in their digestive system, which eventually kills them. Nevertheless, using both baking soda and borax is a good idea when you want to make sure the roaches are killed.

You won’t need a third ingredient if you’re using both baking soda and borax because it simply isn’t necessary. Both baking soda and borax are cheap, easy to find, and do a great job of killing the roaches in your home.

Important Tips for Killing Roaches

Both borax and baking soda are effective at killing and repelling roaches. If you wish to use either of these products, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Don’t dissolve borax in water

Borax is effective because it sticks to the roaches’ legs. They bring it back to their nests where they ingest the powder and die. If you use water with the borax, it is not likely to stick to the roaches and will be much more difficult for them to ingest.

2. Avoid mixing baking soda or borax with vinegar

While some recipes call for either baking soda or borax combined with vinegar, this has been proven not to work. Not only is vinegar a liquid that can dilute the borax, but vinegar alone does not kill roaches. It can only help to get your household super-clean so that pests of all kinds avoid it in the first place.

3. Apply light dustings of baking soda or borax powder

This way, the roaches won’t even notice it’s there and won’t be tempted to avoid it. Instead, they’ll simply crawl through the dry mixture without realizing what’s happening. Then they’ll eventually ingest it and die.

4. Repeat the process until the roaches have gone

Keep in mind that when using either baking soda or borax, you might have to apply the mixture several times for it to work. This is not a one-time deal.

More roaches can sneak into your house at a later date, which means you’ll have to make up more of the mixture and dust your home again to kill them.


Both baking soda and borax can kill roaches. They are low cost and easy to find household cleaners that are great to have on hand. They are both easy to find as well. If you’re curious about which one works best, just know that they pretty much are equally effective in killing cockroaches.

Borax and baking soda are simple to use and work fairly quickly. The only difference is that with borax, you might want to consider keeping it away from children and pets because it may harm them if they accidentally ingest it.

Other than this, you can feel free to use either borax or baking soda to kill your roaches, and using them together is an even more effective way to get rid of the cockroaches in your home.