A Clean Manor provides fresh and simple ideas for a clean and organized home.
Jun 14, 2010

Recently we were asked the question, "Is Borax Safe?"  We used Borax in our homemade laundry detergent and it worked well.  We had no problems with skin irritation or a strange smell.  However, we definitely took some extra time digging to check on the safety of the product.  Hope the following information helps!

Borax Decahydrate is manufactured by U.S. Borax, Inc. It is made from mining natural Borate deposits in the earth and has been used since the 1800s. It can usually be found in your local grocery store in the cleaning aisle along with the powder detergents.  There are definitely mixed messages about the safety of Borax. There are those that say that it is extremely dangerous and others claim that is a "natural" product and "safe."   Here is a quote directly from the U.S. Borax, Inc.,

 "Borates have an excellent record for safety when used as directed. Boron compounds have low acute toxicity - meaning ingesting small amounts is not likely to cause health problems. Laboratory studies show large   doses of boron compounds can cause reproductive and developmental effects in animals. However, similar effects have not been observed in humans. In short, there are no uses of borates - including mining and refining them that pose any risk to human health. When ingested, boron is readily absorbed into the blood stream by both humans and animals. However, 90 to 100 percent is excreted rapidly through urination. Boron is not metabolized by animals nor by humans. Boron compounds are poorly absorbed through intact skin in both humans and animals, although they can be absorbed through damaged skin. Boric acid and other boron compounds are approved for use in low concentrations in cosmetics and talc in the United States and Europe. Data also indicate that inhaling boron compounds does not pose a significant risk to animals or humans."

Therefore, after reading the product data sheet for Borax we believe that Borax can be hazardous if used or inhaled in VERY LARGE amounts or if it were to be swallowed in large amounts. Basically too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  You should definitely keep it out of the reach of children and pets as you would any other cleaning materials.  As with most cleaning products that we frequently use in our homes, if used correctly you can use Borax for a variety of things without hazardous effects to you or your family.

There are actually many different ways that Borax can be used to clean in your home if used properly.  You can download a complete PDF of ways to use Borax from 20 Mule Team Borax.  Listed below are just a few:

  • We previously posted about using Borax in homemade laundry detergent.  Borax is not easily absorbed into the skin so therefore should not cause any skin irritations to you are your children if used in your laundry detergent.
  • Cloth Baby Diapers -Once you flush out the diaper, soak it in a bucket of hot water and 1 cup of Borax for 30 minutes before washing.
  • Toilet Bowl - put 1/4 cup in brush the bowl and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Dishwasher - pour 1/4 into the bottom of your dishwasher along with your normal dishwasher detergent.
  • Window Cleaner - pour 2-3 tablespoons and dissolve in warm water.
  • Tiles and Grout - Pour on a little borax as you go along and add a bit of water!  For tough stains use a toothbrush.
  • Pots and Pans - sprinkle borax on tough stains and scrub with a damp cloth.


Posted by Tami on Jun 14 10 | Comments (2)
Categories: Laundry, Products,

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