Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 184 of our Green Year: Beautiful Borax

Throughout Our Green Year, we have found that many natural recipes for cleaning require Borax. At first we were skeptical, but as time went on we discovered more and more about this interesting mineral. Now, we have chosen to use it as part of Our Green Year from now on.

Borax is a natural mineral compound that has a pH of around 9, which makes it very useful for cleaning, especially considering its pH is higher than that of baking soda. It is slighly acidic, so wearing gloves is always important. Irritation to the skin can occur after prolonged contact. It is great for deterring mice as well, but here are some other tips too:

  1. Take one cup of Borax and put it into the toilet bowl before you go to sleep. Let it sit there, and the next morning clean the bowl with brush. The Borax will loosen all the grime and make it very easy to clean the bowl.
  2. If your dogs have fleas, then you can sprinkle Borax in their beds, on the carpet and anywhere else you think there may be harboring fleas (except on the animals). It should be noted that Borax is a boric acid, and that means it is slightly poisonous. However, to harm your dog or yourself, you or the dog would have to ingest a very large amount of it. put the Borax on the bed and then after a few hours, wash it well.
  3. Got mold in your house, then make a Borax and water paste and smear it on the moldy area, let it dry overnight and then sweep off the powder and rinse off the area.
  4. You can make a great laundry detergent out of Borax as well. You can find that post here.
  5. To use it as an all-purpose cleaner, mix two teaspoons of Borax with two cups of very hot water in a spray bottle, then shake to blend.
So there you have some great tips for using Borax around the home, instead of other chemical cleaners that pollute the environment when they are manufactured and produced, and hurt us when we use them at home. Borax is quite safe, has no toxic fumes, and only prolonged contact or a high amount of ingestion will cause adverse health effects. Of course the same could be said of baking soda if you swallowed a box of it.