704 Responses to “Getting to the Bottom of Borax: Is it Safe or Not?”


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  1. Nicolas

    The Chicken Littles should ring alarms about human saliva, which naturally contains substantial nitrates. How do we ever survive?

  2. Amanda L Bralick

    This is a really good article. I appreciate the research. Thanks for helping

  3. S Garramone MD

    He didn’t do any research. It is all conjecture. Don’t use it in the house.

    • Christine

      why do you think it shouldn’t be used in the house?

      • Mary

        I know of a lot of things that an MD will tell you to clean your house with that is not safe. So WHY should we not use a natural product in our house? Because its not from the BIG PHARM?
        I have used this stuff for many years and I plan to use it many more.

  4. St

    Such clear and understandable information. Thank you. I love your writing style – light and humorous, not overdone, but strong content!

  5. Cheri

    Thank you for providing useful information! My hubby has cancer and I’ve been looking for ways to de-toxify our home. Finding any kind of DIY recipes for cleaning supplies that don’t include Borax are few and far between…and the few I did find didn’t work well. (It makes me wonder if some bloggers have even tried it themselves, sheesh.)

    After much searching and head scratching, I came across your blog and my confusion is now informed clarity :D Thanks for keeping it real.

  6. Christine

    Thank you for the high-quality info in this post! I’m using Borax to kill fleas in my home. I was wondering if I could leave the dog loose in the house while I let the borax sit in the carpet while I was gone. I’m going to rest easy now, knowing that Borax is just a salt, and my dog will be fine because there aren’t any piles or clumps of it sitting around that she could eat.

  7. Does this work for my husband’s clothes… He works landscaping and I’m having a hard time finding something that works to get the smell out…HRLP!

    • Not only will it clean his clothes but it also does a great job keeping old cotton smelling fresh again.
      I am an Arborist and use it on my work clothes in every wash. I also find it does not irritate the skin like some scented detergents.

    • Washing your husbands clothes with 1/2 cup of white vinegar (right in to the washer) along with your detergent will neutralize any smell. It will not smell like vinegar after the clothes are washed and dried either. If the clothes are really smelly 1 cup per load will definitely help.

  8. Trish

    I have been trying to find a natural emulsifier, and I have finally found one, ysing beeswax and borax. I was concerned about borax, but thanks for putting my concerns to bed

  9. M K

    While scrubbing the floor with a mix of borax and an all organic liquid soap one of the parakeets I share the apartment with flew down and landed in the minimal suds. I shooed him away IMMEDIATELY. The next morning, I found him vomitting. Parakeets vomit into each other’s mouths as a sign of affection, but this was just him vomitting up seeds repeatedly but still moving about and eating, making his usual sounds. I went to work concerned but figuring he’d make it through. He didn’t, while he was alive and yet still vomitting when I returned after my 8 hour shift, he died that late night, approximately 30 hours after landing in a what was a pretty diluted amount of borax. It had to be the Borax. My thought is he got it on his feet then ingested it. While not highly poisonous to rats, it killed my little bird friend. Ultimately it’s my fault for thinking it wouldn’t be toxic, and allowing the two boy birds to fly about freely while I cleaned with it.

    • Oerr

      So you mix sodium tetraborate with a “organic” (non-foods cant be classified as organic, so idk about that) liquid soap, and just blame the tetraborate. Surfactants (soaps) are a specific class of molecule, organic or not. Surfactant molecules break down into many other molecules and atoms, and are highly reactive. Mixing borax and soap is not dangerous to use, but dangerous to ingest. You can (and this is probably what got your lil buddy:( ) produce sodium hydroxide, pottasium hydroxide, and other caustic chemicals by mixing these. Just because things are organic and natural does not mean they are necessarily safe, especially mixed. Many people mixed bleach and ammonia, which are essentially natural, for many years before realizing it produced poisonous gas. BORON HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF OUR DIETS AND REPLACED WITH FLOURIDE, AS THEY ARE SIMILARLY METABOLIZED. BORON IS WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BIND TO CALCIUM TO FORM BONE AND ENAMEL, NOT FLOURIDE. YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN BRITTLENESS BY COMPARING BOROSILICATE TO FLOUROSILICATE GLASS! Please do not write borax off, and im sorry for your loss :(

    • I highly doubt it killed your bird. I once had fleas in my carpet years ago. I was at a loss of what to do. I too have a bird, and did not want to set off a bug bomb because of the risk of poison residue throughout the house (very toxic to birdies). So at the advice of an older person I sprinkled borax on my carpet (as you would carpet fresh), left it on over night, and used the vacuum the following day. I had a pretty crappy vacuum, and can promise you that a good amount of the stuff was left behind in the fibers. In fact I could feel it in my bare feet. My bird must have walked on that carpet at least 100 times also. That was 6 or more years ago. Bird is still kicking! Maybe it was the lye in your soap, or even the soap combo could’ve turned the borax acidic. Anyway, the stuff killed the fleas, dried out the eggs and dehydrated them also!!

  10. I am going to continue to cure my salmon and steelhead eggs like ive been doing for years. Im not sure why it was banned.

  11. It seems as though we as fishermen are getting a lot thrown at us, the law should put there effort in stopping the rafters cant drink at all on the upper rogue river, and after this goes through the people should all needo matter how old should be wearing there life jacket or (pfd) there is one person that dies on this river each year, id love for it not be on the river, at all, i live on the river and would love to see no drinking and them warring there pfd.

  12. TRAVIS

    Boron is an antidote for Fluoride poisoning.

    I am serious, there are studies in Chemical Journals.

    Just look it up. Boron binds to Fluoride to form Boron Tetrafluoride (BF4) which is safely excreted from the body. There has been studies on animals using Borax and Sodium Fluoride with controls.

    Perhaps the scare campaign has something to do with Fluoride? Boron is the Fluoride detox Element, and there is science behind it.

    People say that Iodine is a Fluoride detox Element, but this is mostly a myth to sell Iodine. You will find only one study on this, and it was done by one person who just happens to sell Iodine, books on Iodine, and Iodine Loading Tests. Essentially, it has the hallmarks of propaganda.

    Being a halogen, Iodide may displace Fluoride; But Chlorine is also a halogen, which would make NaCl also effective at displacing Fluoride. This hardly matters though since Boron is way more effective that either NaCl or KI.

  13. the borax killed the bird? 1) why was the bird free to get to the “borax” 2) if cleaning paint from steel girders is neeed mix gillettes lye with borax a cup of dishsoap and calgon watch the stuff bubble when a strong spray of hot water hits the paint surface so don’t blame the borax clean up yer own act first 3 borax is used to clean and when done right set iron in a blacksmiths forge up to be able to weld two pieces of it together 4) taking the stuff withg a 1/4 teaspoon MEASURED along with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid honey doesn’t matter what grade along with a tablespoon of plain youghurt and a 1/4 cup of seal oil put over top aof a grade 2 skin burn for areound a week. after another week whoever looks at the skin will have a hard time telling where it was. the skin outside the burned area will be cleaner and softer than the rest of the part that was burnt.

  14. I appreciate your research on this. It has cleared up some of my questions.

    However; It seems as though you are saying that Borax (Boron) is natural and safe, but adding chemicals makes Boric Acid ~ which is not safe.

    Do you know which household chemicals, like peroxide, lemon juice, vinegar, or even baking soda, can create Boric Acid?

  15. Ruthy

    Thank you for the information on Borax. I accidently ingested a very small amount and was freaking out. I drank a huge glass of water afterward and feel o.k. After reading this information I feel much better. I do not take it as complete medical information of course but it has calmed my nerves. Thanks again.


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