Monday, March 28, 2011

Borax Conundrum

A friend's FB page brought this link to my attention regarding the Environmental Working Group's new stance on Borax.

I had really only just begun to make proper cleaning recipes using Borax. In the past my cleaning artillery consisted merely of baking soda, soap, lemon juice, tea tree oil, vinegar, and of course hardcore elbow grease, in various ways to get my house clean. With babies in my home now I felt I needed to get a little more serious and step things up a bit, so have been more regimented about making up more thorough cleaning products which include Borax and Washing Soda.

The idea that these products may not be quite so friendly for our environment throws a bit of a monkey wrench into my cleaning... Looks like I may be reverting back to my pre-borax cleaning ways!

Poking around just now led me to an article posted in February of this year by Mother Earth News which states some additional negative factors surrounding Borax, and lists a couple of alternatives.

*All in all, I believe borax and washing soda to still be better alternatives to commercial cleaners, but if a healthier and safer option is out there then why not choose that?


  1. I was crushed when I first read about Borax. I have to say that I am still using it as I have not found any other product to replace it. Sometimes I think you just have to weigh out everything and then decide. For my family, I just didn't want to use harsh chemicals in my cleaning. My water is supplied by a well and contains a lot of iron . I need something with some 'humpf' to get cleaning done. For the past twenty years I have used Brorax to wash my white as I don't want to use bleach. I am not sure of the answer so if you discover one, please share.

  2. Thanks for your comment Tracey! I will post whenever I learn some great alternatives. I am not entirely sure what I'll do in regards to this information. First of all, I have a full box of Borax so I am most certainly going to finish it off. Since adding Borax to my cleaning, certain jobs are so much easier and get so much cleaner. Like any product it needs to be kept out of reach of children and used with caution, but all in all it is the optimal choice when comparing it to commercial cleaners.
    ~Also, I wasn't aware that Borax is a great alternative to bleach, I would really like to give that a try. Do you use it as your "soap" or in addition to a detergent.

  3. Janie,
    I use Borax in addition to my laundry detergent when I am washing whites. Over time my water turns all of the whites a dull, light gray. This dries me crazy so if I can do anything to help prevent this I do.

  4. Ooohhh, I didn't know about this either! Must switch hard to keep up with these things...but it's so important to me, especially with my kiddos at home! Thanks for the update.
    Kristina J.

  5. Try this Janie!

    My friend made it and said it worked AMAZINGLY!!!


  6. I never use borax, and it works good enough!
    You can try also changing soda with percarbonate.
    Nice day! :)

  7. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

  8. I am in love with these products but don't know if they are in Canada