Is Borax Safe?
Check Out What It Is And What It Is Good For
Borax has become a common household cleaning product and is used by homes across the globe. Despite its everyday uses for cleaning, laundry, and other household tasks, there is a debate on is borax safe or toxic. There are varying viewpoints on this, but getting down to the facts can help you determine its toxicity.
So what is borax?
Borax, it is a natural mineral found in dried up salt lake beds and is currently mined in Turkey and California. Its scientific name is sodium tetraborate and consists of sodium, water, oxygen and boron. Out of these ingredients, the most unfamiliar name is boron.
So what is boron? It is a trace mineral nutrient found throughout the body. It is required for numerous body functions meaning certain body parts cannot function without it. Also, this mineral can be found in fruit and vegetables, and those with an adequate diet receive approximately two to five mg of boron per day.
Is borax safe?
Borax is classified as non-carcinogenic (not cancer causing), and can be lethal in very high doses. It is also found to be a mild skin irritant due to the high alkalinity content in the same way as washing soda and baking soda. The high alkalinity level is what cleans the laundry or other cleaning uses around the home. Borax becomes unsafe when it is used to make boric acid. Boric acid is toxic.
The Material Safety Data Sheet for borax lists it as a health hazard of 1. This is the same listing hazard for baking soda and salt. Borax is an extremely mild lung irritant but causes no long term damage. If it is ingested, it will pass through the urine.
In other words, you would use the same precaution with borax as you would baking soda and salt – don’t play in it, ingest large amounts, inhale it, or rub it in your eyes.
The uses of borax are similar to baking soda in which there are lots of ways it can be used. Here is what it is good for around the home:
What are the uses of borax?
Homemade liquid ‘Magic Eraser’: Mix 12 ounces of warm water and 2 tablespoons borax in a 24-ounce spray bottle. Once borax is dissolved, add 12 ounces of white vinegar and 10 drops lavender essential oil (not required because it’s used to mask the vinegar smell).
Weed killer: Sprinkle in cracks of sidewalk and driveway using caution because it will kill all living vegetation.
Mold cleaner: Use a paste of borax and water to rub over mold areas. Let dry and brush away after 24 hours. Rinse clean.
Pest control: Sprinkle around outside perimeter of house.
To clean brushes and combs: Fill sink with hot water, add ¼ cup borax, and three drops of dishwashing detergent. Let the brushes and combs soak for 30 minutes then rinse with hot water and air dry.
For clogged drain: Pour ½ cup borax in a clogged drain and pour two cups of hot water right after. Let sit for 15 minutes then flush with hot water. Repeat until the drain is clear.
Carpet cleaner: Mix equal parts borax and baking soda. Sprinkle on carpet, let sit for two hours, and then vacuum.
Even more uses for borax
Clean toilet: Pour 1 cup of borax into toilet, stir, and let sit overnight. Scrub with a brush and flush.
Remove rust: Mix 1 part borax with 1 part lemon juice. Spread mixture onto rust and let sit for 30 minutes. Wipe clean.
Fires: Borax can be used to put out grease fires, campfires, or other small fire.
For cleaning outdoor furniture: Mix 1 tbsp dish detergent and 1 tbsp borax in a gallon of warm to hot water. Stir or shake it and use a sponge to wipe down outdoor furniture.
Deodorize trash can: Fill standard kitchen trash can with hot water. Mix in ½ cup borax, stir, and let sit for one hour. Rinse, air dry, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons borax inside the trash can.
Stains on laundry: Mix 1 tbsp of borax with 2 tbsp of water, then cover over stain with the mixture. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes then scrub and launder as usual.
Laundry booster: Add ½ cup borax to load of laundry along with usual laundry detergent.
Clean showers and or tubs: Sprinkle small amount of borax onto a damp sponge and scrub tub or shower. Thoroughly rinse with water when done.
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