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

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  1. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a stuff! existing
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    • april piccirillo

      I am just shy of 60 & have a crystal clear recollection, of my grandma using it in her ocular glass cup, for an eyewash. It works, is natural and relatively inexpensive. I rest my case.

      • MsP

        I too am just shy of 60. I believe she would have a mild solution of boric acid in her eye cup. My parents always had a can of boric acid crystals in the medicine cabinet. The boric acid crystals are translucent. Borax, the substance used for cleaning, is white.

        Both substances are safe when used in the right concentration for the appropriate purpose. (I’m a chemistry teacher.)

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  3. april piccirillo

    See above comment, re Borax.

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    • Khali

      I use Chrome and I am not having any problem with the words running off the screen. They are perfectly fine. In fact, there is a very wide right-hand margin.

      Also, just want to mention that, in the past, almost all women used borax to wash their hair. I am sure if there had been a problem with it, they would have stopped

      • D

        Let’s just say that given the contents of long-used cosmetics through history, I sincerely doubt that we can be certain that women would have made good health choices around their beauty routines. Even today it is very hard to convince people that damaging chemicals should not be used on their hair and skin (witness the Brazilian Blow-outs of recent history, just as a start)

  7. Tracy

    Yes,It’s a huge deal! Awesome. Love the stuff. Parsh and HFCS….that’s what I can do without.

  8. Martin

    Borax is the best supplement for arthritis. I tried everything, but nothing works like Borax. I had terrible arthritis and could hardly walk, now I am total pain free. Just Google “The Borax Conspiracy”, and you understand why the ban it almost everywhere.

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  10. Craig B

    Substances and mixtures imported into the European Union which contain Borax are now required to be labelled with the warnings “May damage fertility” and “May damage the unborn child”. That is enough of a red flag for me to avoid using Borax as a “detergent booster”.

    • Patrick

      Pretty much anything is poisonous in sufficient amounts, including water. Look at the lethal dose (50%) for Borax and table salt, salt is MUCH more poisonous. Same for fertility effects, table salt has more fertility effects (and these effects can be passed to the child – not so with borax) than borax and with smaller amounts. Do your research and empower yourself. Borax is no more toxic than table salt.

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  20. Dawn

    I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful research… and your site! It has become one of my ‘go to’ sites when I need to know about anything homemade =D Like Patrick, I remember my grandma (and great-grandma!) using borax in their daily cleaning and washing. Keep up the good work!

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  22. Joyce Omylyon

    I think that the folks who are concerned about the use of Borax in homemade dishwasher detergents should be informed of the warnings on the commercial dishwasher detergents. I am not aware of any that are considered safe for contact with skin or clothing, and they are certainly not safe for ingestion! I have no public platform, but, if I did, I would put that at the top of a great page, like this one.

    Thanks for all you do, I love that which I have seen of your stuff. Today is the first time I have been on your site, although I have seen your name mentioned several times in the past. :)

    Have a great day, Crunchy Betty!

    Much love,
    Joyce! :)

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  24. Bruce Hodge

    Hi! Love your writing style, GSOH and the site. Only two concerns with Borax. Most of the reports I’ve read say it doesn’t penetrate skin well, but they also qualify this by saying ‘intact skin’, i.e., no rashes or sores etc. That kind of infers that if your skin is not intact, (me, I have dreadful skin on hands and arms due to knocking around in the garden so much, and of course a nine month old kitten who loves to BITE!) then it is possible that the Borax will make it through the skin barrier. My other concern is that I often read of people ingesting (swallowing) Borax as if it were a medicine/health food. What do you think Crunchy? Good idea or not?

  25. karenishere

    Thank you, Crunchy Betty, this is great food for thought. I’d guess that borax & washing soda isn’t terrific for the environment. Not that it’s poisonous, but boron and ‘soda’ are salts, which means they can build up in the soil and have a negative effect on plant growth. Especially significant if you’re putting gray water directly into your garden. But I’m being a purist here, basically nothing you could wash clothes with will be appreciated by your plants and borax is probably more neutral than most things. Maybe some day they’ll invent a machine for general use that cleans with light, like the sun.

  26. Thanks for this great post! I’ve been looking to make more of my own cleaners and borax shows up in quite a large number of recipes. I was concerned because for every one good idea I found another that said borax was poison. Reading this has definitely made up my mind on the ‘pro’ side.

  27. VitaminsHelpMe

    Google the Borax Conspiracy. Rex Newnham, Ph.D., D.O., N.D, got arthritis in the 1960s. and realizing that the plants in his area were Boron deficient decided to take Boron. When he couldn’t meet the demand for the number of orders, he was receiving. He took it to a drug company. In 1981 Australia made a regulation, declaring Boron to be poisonous and fined Dr. Newnham for selling poison.

  28. Christina

    What about organic beds that use borax between the layers inside the mattress? Sleeping on the mattress 8 hours a night, inhaling borax?

  29. Charity

    Thanks for putting this altogether. It is not bad as I thought.

    Not a big deal. Just use caution and wisely.

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  31. Christina

    What about the borax used in making organic mattresses – I’m told it’s used between the layers of cotton that comprise an organic cotton mattress to keep bedbugs and the like at bay. If it has repercussions for the reproductive system, as stated above in Crunchy Betty’s blog, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would be a health hazard to sleep 8+ hours a night, 35 nights a year, umpteen years in the life of the bed, inhaling the powder in your supposedly non-toxic organic mattress?

  32. Patricia

    THank you for posting this! I have a 7 month old and have since become more aware of chemicals (I never thought I would)! We have been making our own detergent for laundry and dishes and I don’t like doing research (10 years to get a B.S. Degree)! So thank you thank you thank you for doing the leg work for me!

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  36. helen haines

    Please could you give me dosage of Borax to dilute in water for preventative use in arthritis/osteoporosis?

    Many thanks

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Trackbacks

  1. […] conclusion that the material isn’t more harmful than baking soda.  One particular blog post (found here) brought up a few studies that swayed my opinion away from borax being a harmful chemical.  That […]

  2. […] 1 teaspoon borax (no borax isn’t as bad as people think it is, read more here) […]

  3. […] I don’t think it could possibly get any easier!  A few months ago, I shared a recipe I had found to make my own dishwasher pods. It was the first DIY cleaning product I made and was so much fun. Not to mention, they have done an excellent job on our dishes. They were a little tedious to make so this time around, because of time constraints, I decided to just make the powder. I definitely don’t like it as much as the pods so I will be switching back next time.   The ingredients you need for either the powder or pods are: 1 cup Borax 1 cup Washing Soda 1 cup salt  1 canister of Lemishine If you want to try out the pods, check out my post here. If you would rather stick with the powder, all you have to do is pour all of the ingredients together and stir. I strongly recommend doing this outside as mixing all the ingredients together make a pretty large and strong cloud. It also couldn’t hurt to use a mask and gloves. I stored the powder in the canister we had our pods in and reused the Lemishine container to keep out on the counter.  To some of you green cleaning veterans or those who have researched cleaning agents, you maybe asking yourself, “wait, I thought more studies were finding concerns with Borax?!?” I was actually unaware of the health concerns around Borax until it was brought up in a Facebook group I started, Creating a Greener Life.  I found some good resources and after thinking it through, decided to continue to use Borax for the moment. Most of what I read said Borax was dangerous in high quantities just like salt is. I will continue doing research and find an alternative when it’s time to make a new batch of pods.  One of the main things that lead me to this conclusion is that, even with the recipe doubled as I did the first time, 2 cups of Borax was divided into about 35 weeks. Since almost all of the Borax is washed away in dishwasher cycle, we aren’t really ingesting enough to even calculate (IMHO).  I take precautions and wear a mask, use gloves and mix everything outside. We also keep it out of reach of our pets and of course Parker. We still hand wash all of his utenciles and bottles with Dapple.  Here are some resources you may find helpful to make a decision you are comfortable with.  Borax Powder Profile – Mountain Rose Herbs Getting to the Bottom of Borax: Is it Safe or Not? – Crunchy Betty […]

  4. […] you are concerned about the safety of Borax, read this. Please note, borax is not boric […]

  5. […] rock formations or dried up hot springs. Here is a pretty good article explaining further Borax, along with some legitimate links. There are many many natural recipes that call for Borax and now […]

  6. […] going on about it but after searching long I share Crunch Betty’s view (pls read details here) + half cup cleaning soda  and some lavender oil. Some vinegar as fabric […]

  7. […] I think the big confusion is between Boric Acid and Borax which are not exactly the same. Click here to see what Crunchy Betty has to say about the subject. I believe Borax to be safe but that choice […]

  8. […] finally came across this recipe, and I love it! The scrubbing power comes from 20 Mule Team Borax, which is a naturally occurring salt mined in California. You can use any natural dish soap to […]

  9. […] Note: One of the ingredients is Borax. If you have concerns about using borax, here is a link to an informative article about borax by Crunchy Betty. […]

  10. […] not want to use it on my dishes. You can check out more about the Borax controversy for yourself at Crunchy Betty or […]



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