BORAX – A Forgotten Gem

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BORAX, A Forgotten Gem

A FORGOTTEN GEM

While speaking at a nearby college, pitching my frugal lifestyle to the 18 to 22 year olds attending, I dated myself by referring to “Borax” which caused a lot of confused faces. First, the definition:
noun, plural bo·rax·es, bo·ra·ces [bawr-uh-seez, bohr-]
a white, water-soluble powder or crystals, hydrated sodium borate, Na 2 B 4 O 7 ⋅10H 2 O, occurring naturally or obtained from naturally occurring borates

20 Mule Team Borax (the most commonly known brand name) is a brand of cleaner manufactured by the US soap firm Dial Corporation. The product is named after the 20-mule teams that were used by William Tell Coleman’s company to move borax out of Death Valley, California, to the nearest rail spur between 1883 and 1889.

The main ingredient of most homemade, natural cleaning recipes.

The main ingredient of most homemade, natural cleaning recipes.

Here’s the recipes I use for homemade cleaning products that save me a TON of money. These are pretty simple mixes using very few items that you probably have around the house or only need to buy once in a while at a very low price.

DISHWASHING DETERGENT

Trade your over-priced and chemical-laden dishwasher detergent for something better. Try this simple recipe for homemade detergent:

What You Need:
•1 Tablespoon Borax
•1 Tablespoon baking soda

What You Do:

Mix the Borax and baking soda together. Then, add to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment, and run as usual.

Why This Works:

Borax and baking soda are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives – just what you need to blast away stuck-on food and germs. In fact, you may be interested to learn that Borax is a common ingredient in many commercial detergents.

Benefits of Making Your Own Dishwasher Detergent:
•inexpensive
•no harsh chemicals
•does not emit chlorine gas like other commercial detergents
•effective sanitizer
•effective stain remover
•effective water softener
•environmentally-friendly (phosphate-free)

Tips and Warnings:

1) Borax can be found in the laundry aisle.

2) Save time by making up big batches of dishwasher detergent, consisting of equal parts Borax and baking soda.

3) Keep prepared detergent out of the reach of children and pets.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Learn how to make your own laundry detergent, and enjoy clean clothes for less.

Here’s How:

  • Mix together two parts Borax, two parts Washing Soda and one part grated Fels-Naptha soap (or Ivory or castile soap) to create your own laundry detergent (You can make as much or as little as you’d like).
  • Use up to three level tablespoons per wash load.
  • Store the rest in a lidded container, out of the reach of children and pets.
  • If the grocery store or discount store that you shop at doesn’t stock these ingredients, try an international grocery store.
Found in the laundry or soap aisle

NOT baking soda – Found in the laundry or soap aisle

  1. Be sure to label your detergent container, so others will know what’s inside. Include a list of the ingredients as an added safety measure.
  2. Borax sells under the name 20 Mule Team, and can be found on the laundry aisle. You should be able to find Washing Soda and Fels-Naptha soap there too.
  3. Having trouble locating Fels-Naptha soap on the laundry aisle? Check to see if it’s in with the bar soap.
  4. If the grocery store or discount store that you shop at doesn’t stock these ingredients, try an international grocery store.
  5. Ivory or castile soap can be used in place of Fels-Naptha.

This should get you started with two of the most expensive cleaning products we have to buy. I’ll post more in future posts. If you have a homemade recipe for cleaners, send it to me and I’ll publish it.

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