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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does it work, is it safe, natural , what is it? I just saw it at the grocery and now am very curious. It claims to do A LOT, mostly rid oders and stains. Do any of you use it? How and should I try it. It is pretty cheap for a good amount. So just wondering.
 

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i add a little shake into the wash when i think of it. especially with DH's work clothes, towels, and cloth diapers. I am 99% sure that it is natural. It says to add 1 cup to a load. I usually don't add that much unless something is really dirty.
 

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I clean a lot of stuff w/ borax. I'll shake it on counters & sinks/tubs and scrub w/ wet scratchy pad. I make weak dillutions to soak baby toys & laundry or hats (sucks the dirt right out!). I shake it in laundry to boost cleaning power. I'll shake some down the drain and splash w/ vinegar to unclog & kill smells. Burnt pot? Shake in some borax, warm water, and a splash of vinegar, soak - it'll come right off. I've even used to kill fleas. The 20 Mule Team Rocks!

Now, even though it's natural, it can still be harmful if swallowed or in the eyes. Maybe Robert Goodman will chime in!
He knows all that chemistry stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool
I just used it in a load of whites and wow, they really came out clean, whiter than I have evern seen them without using bleach, and that doesn't even seem to do what Borax did. Ok, I just wish I knew what it is, where does it come from?
 

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using borax to clean has changed my cleaning life!

I use borax and a bit of water and dish detergent on a scratchy pad to clean my tub and shower and I think it works much, much better than any other method I have tried. I do the same with my countertops and sinks. I will use baking soda if I run out of borax but it doesn't seem to work as well.

The non-toxic (or not so toxic) element allows me to feel comfortable having my son next to me. He just loves to "help" me and now I don't think twice about it where before I was so nervous he would touch the x-14, tilex, or whatever other cr-p I was using.

I also use it in the washer for the dirtier cycles.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post
I clean a lot of stuff w/ borax. I'll shake it on counters & sinks/tubs and scrub w/ wet scratchy pad. I make weak dillutions to soak baby toys & laundry or hats (sucks the dirt right out!). I shake it in laundry to boost cleaning power. I'll shake some down the drain and splash w/ vinegar to unclog & kill smells. Burnt pot? Shake in some borax, warm water, and a splash of vinegar, soak - it'll come right off.
Why are you mixing borax with vinegar? Your mention of unclogging drains that way suggests that you're confusing borax with baking or washing soda.

Quote:
Now, even though it's natural, it can still be harmful if swallowed or in the eyes. Maybe Robert Goodman will chime in!
He knows all that chemistry stuff...
I think you got all you need with the links someone else posted.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you Gool, sometimes I feel like I have a reallly bad case of mommy brain, all I needed to do was google it.


One thing I couln't find is if it can wear down clothes faster than normal. Seems like just because it is a mineral it could act as sand and sort of break down the material, KWIM? Have any of you Borax laundry users experienced this?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
Why are you mixing borax with vinegar? Your mention of unclogging drains that way suggests that you're confusing borax with baking or washing soda.
Robert

Usually, it's not like a stopped drain, more like, I have some food in there I want to wash down the drain and kill the smell. And yes, it's borax I'm using. Why? Are my drains going to explode?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by herbmama3-7 View Post
One thing I couln't find is if it can wear down clothes faster than normal. Seems like just because it is a mineral it could act as sand and sort of break down the material, KWIM? Have any of you Borax laundry users experienced this?
Salt is a mineral too. Does salt water feel scratchy? Salt dissolves, sand doesn't.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post
Usually, it's not like a stopped drain, more like, I have some food in there I want to wash down the drain and kill the smell. And yes, it's borax I'm using. Why? Are my drains going to explode?
No, but if you wanted boric acid, why not just use boric acid, instead of making it by mixing an acid with borax? Same with the burnt pot, where it doesn't seem to make any sense to mix acid & base like that.

For most uses of borax, its alkalinity is part of its function. Why would you want to counteract that by adding vinegar? Or did you want the acidity of vinegar? If so, why counteract that with a base (alkali) like borax?

Robert
 

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This is why I failed chemistry!


My hubby is the scientist, I'm the word smith! I'll talk the hell out of something, but the gods know I'll mess up anything involving ingredients that don't go into a pot! (to cook, that is!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Robert, my DH is a groundwater engineer, I should have known that
 

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I started using it to make my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent. Works just great -- costs .01 cent per load. Gets rid of fleas....LOVE it as a product. Here are my remaining questions/qualms:

It is still toxic to kids and who swallow it, though it feels like a step up from ammonia or chemical cleaners. I'm not sure there's a non-toxic, natural alternative.

ALSO, does anyone know anything about the pros/cons of changing from phosphates in our detergents to borates? Isn't it a potential problem to be flushing this stuff into the local water supply and changing the ecosystem just like phosphates were?
 

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I believe the ingredients of borax are biodegradable and found naturally, and that's what the draw is of using them versus bleach, etc. I use it to clean a lot in my house. Bathrooms -- the toilets and showers especially.

I have seen that borax can fade black clothing into a dark brown color if over used. You don't need much at all for your laundry.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by anniedare View Post
ALSO, does anyone know anything about the pros/cons of changing from phosphates in our detergents to borates? Isn't it a potential problem to be flushing this stuff into the local water supply and changing the ecosystem just like phosphates were?
the reason that phosphates aren't good for the watershed ecosystem where the water treatment plants send the treated wastewater to is because it is NOT something that wastewater treatment plants are designd to take out of the water and so when peopel use phosphates in their laundry and dishwasher, the local waters are inundated with HUGE amounts that woudl not noramlly occur in nature, the algae that is in the water use it for food and flourish, causing a bloom, the algae die off as they overpopulate the waters and the decomposition of the algae use up the oxygen in the water, thus killing off other aquatic plants as well as fish. You end up with absolutely devastated ecosystem.

I don't believe that borates function in the same manner as a food source for algae but am not sure.

ETA: borax is a minor component in fertilizer so it could be:
http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/publication...cts/AG-439-18/

please excuse typos, am nakking
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ***Heather*** View Post
Do you need to wear gloves when using it, or is it as safe as baking soda?
I used it once without gloves and burned my skin under my wedding ring. I no longer use it
 
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