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Can You Use Borax And Washing Soda Together | Healthy Diy Laundry Detergent, Using Borax And Washing Soda (Save Money Too) All Answers

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The general ratio for the laundry stripping recipe is 2 parts powdered detergent, 1 part Borax and 1 part washing soda. For most laundry stripping in standard size tubs, follow this recipe: ¼ cup ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda. ¼ cup Borax.The laundry stripping recipe involves adding borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate — not baking soda) and laundry detergent in a 1:1:2 ratio. For a bathtub, add 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup laundry detergent. Stir until it dissolves completely.Borax is most effective in hotter water, while washing soda is perfect for any temperature. When thinking about doing your own laundry detergent, consider that Borax is perfectly fine, but if you’re having trouble getting things really clean then replacing borax with washing soda might be the way to go.

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Make your own high quality, clean, and inexpensive cloths washing soap. Save lots of money and improve your ability washing cloths. The main active ingredients are Borax and washing soda along with natural products to remove smells, when needed (using vinegar, or baking soda). Works well and the residue is actually healthy and not like toxic expensive brands. As we remove the toxic chemicals from our home our health improves! God Bless!

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7 Laundry Detergent Things to Know Before Going DIY

Commercial laundry detergents never contain both BORAX and WASHING SODA together. It’s an either/or kind of thing.

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Borax vs Washing Soda

Though chemically quite similar, Borax and Washing Soda have their own specialties that set them apart! Learn more about the two and what they do here!

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  • Author: Steve Mabey
  • Views: 28,312 views
  • Likes: 384 likes
  • Date Published: Aug 18, 2017
  • Video Url link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=takWNZGG2rU

How do you wash laundry with borax and washing soda?

The laundry stripping recipe involves adding borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate — not baking soda) and laundry detergent in a 1:1:2 ratio. For a bathtub, add 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup laundry detergent. Stir until it dissolves completely.

Which is better for laundry borax or washing soda?

Borax is most effective in hotter water, while washing soda is perfect for any temperature. When thinking about doing your own laundry detergent, consider that Borax is perfectly fine, but if you’re having trouble getting things really clean then replacing borax with washing soda might be the way to go.

Can I use borax and baking soda together in laundry?

You simply fill your bathtub with hot water and let your laundry soak in a mixture of baking soda, Borax, and laundry detergent. It works great for towels, bedsheets, and other linens, but you can also use the method for clothes if you do so with care.

Can you mix laundry detergent and borax?

Just add half a cup of borax to each wash load, and you’ll boost the cleaning power of your laundry detergent.

Does borax really help laundry?

Borax is effective at cleaning clothes and helping detergents work because it helps adjust the pH levels of the wash itself. Borax is a basic compound, so that means that when it is added to water the pH level of the water would move from a neutral 7 to a slightly more basic 8.

Can you wash clothes with just borax?

Do your clothes come out of the wash looking less than clean? Here’s a frugal fix for that problem. Just add half a cup of Borax to each wash load, and you’ll boostthe cleaning power of your laundry detergent.

Is borax same as washing soda?

Borax. Washing soda (sodium carbonate) has a very high pH level, making it an extreme alkaline compound that is very effective as a cleaning agent. Borax (sodium tetraborate) pH levels aren’t as high as washing soda, and it doesn’t have the same cleaning power as washing soda.

Where do you put borax in the washing machine?

Sprinkle 1/2 cup borax into the empty washer tub before adding the dirty laundry. Be sure there are no lumps in the borax powder if you are using cold water because they may not dissolve properly. Borax works as a water softener and deodorizer.

Is 20 Mule Team Borax washing soda?

20 Mule Team Borax bills itself as a “detergent booster.” It’s not effective as a laundry detergent by itself, but since borax is alkaline, it increases the pH of the wash water.

Which is stronger borax or baking soda?

Borax is significantly more alkaline than baking soda. Borax has a pH of 9.5 vs. 8 for baking soda. That might make it more effective in certain situations, but it also makes it a harsher cleaning agent.

Can I use borax and OxiClean together?

You can mix OxiClean and borax with most bleach-free laundry detergents, but always check the label first and call the brand if you’re not sure. Mixing OxiClean or borax with cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach could produce toxic gas. As a general safety rule, only mix borax and OxiClean with water.

Can I use borax on colored clothes?

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral salt that’s sold as a laundry booster. It promises to fight stains, brighten whites and help laundry detergent more effectively clean all kinds of fabrics, colored fabrics included. Unlike bleach, borax is safe to use on colored fabrics without fear of dye removal or other damage.

What can you not mix with borax?

Clothing detergents such as liquid or powdered oxygen bleach, baking soda, and washing soda. Mold and mildew fighters such as salt or white vinegar. Cosmetics that contain natural ingredients other than borax or boric acid.

Can you mix 2 different detergents?

If you mix similar laundry detergents, nothing should happen. However, the ingredient in one detergent can overpower or neutralize the component in another detergent. So, for example, if you’re using a detergent for sensitive skin, avoid mixing that with more potent varieties.

What does washing soda do in laundry?

Washing soda is a chemical compound that can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry and is an essential component in most homemade laundry detergent for powder, liquid, or single pod formulas. It is often used in commercial detergent mixtures as well to treat hard water.

How to Strip Your Laundry with Washing Soda

What Does Laundry Stripping Do?

Over time your laundry – especially fluffy items like sheets, towels and bathrobes – accumulates residue from detergent, fabric softener, minerals in hard water and body oils. Laundry stripping uses three powdered ingredients and hot water to penetrate the textile fibers, bond to this build up, and pull it from the fabric.

During the laundry stripping process, the water often turns dark or murky, revealing what had been lurking in your linens and other “clean” items. Although the method has been around for a while, laundry stripping has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram. Why? It’s both a little gross and oddly satisfying. It’s also easy to do. Here’s how.

Get the laundry stripping recipe and get started.

What Laundry Items Need Stripping? Try Sheets & Towels First

Thicker, denser fabrics and natural fibers such as cotton absorb more residue than thinner or synthetic fabrics. Items with longer fibers also accumulate more buildup and more quickly.

These items are likely to get the most benefit from laundry stripping:

Bath towels

Hand towels

Washclothes

Bath mats

Beach towels

Blankets and duvet covers

Mattress pads

Sheets & pillow cases

Pillows (check the care label)

Bathrobes

Workout clothes

Cloth diapers

It’s important to remember that laundry stripping does not remove stains. The purpose of stripping is to remove residue from oils, detergent, minerals, and softeners, not stain removal. Use a stain-removing laundry detergent as part of your regular laundry routine and get stains out before stripping.

Reasons to Need to Strip Your Laundry

If you’re a human who sweats, sleeps, takes baths, and wears clothes (that’s you, yes?) then you might want to strip your laundry, especially towels and sheets. Here are some indications laundry stripping can help.

If you have hard water (85% of US households do) then your towels, sheets, and laundry tend to get a build up of minerals from the water and detergent residue. Stripping can remove them.

(85% of US households do) then your towels, sheets, and laundry tend to get a build up of minerals from the water and detergent residue. Stripping can remove them. If your towels are less absorbent than they once were, they may have a film from dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Stripping will help remove the residue and improve absorbency.

than they once were, they may have a film from dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Stripping will help remove the residue and improve absorbency. If your towels feel stiff or sticky , it’s time to strip the residues to return their soft feel.

, it’s time to strip the residues to return their soft feel. If your sheets look dingy , stripping will help remove buildup and restore brightness. Note: the stripping recipe of Borax, washing soda, and detergent is not a bleach.

, stripping will help remove buildup and restore brightness. Note: the stripping recipe of Borax, washing soda, and detergent is not a bleach. If your sheets or towels smell musty even after washing, stripping will help remove trapped odors and freshen them.

Use this Laundry Stripping Recipe to Remove Buildup

To strip your laundry, you need:

Sodium borate (also known as Borax)

Sodium carbonate (aka ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda)

Powdered laundry detergent (scented or unscented)

Hot water

A bathtub or bucket to hold the soaking laundry

A measuring scoop

A few hours to let it soak

The amount of these ingredients depends on how large your tub is and how many items you will strip. The general ratio for the laundry stripping recipe is 2 parts powdered detergent, 1 part Borax and 1 part washing soda.

For most laundry stripping in standard size tubs, follow this recipe:

Note: do not use a powdered detergent containing bleach when stripping your laundry.

Steps for How to Strip Your Laundry of Buildup

Here are the simple steps for stripping your laundry:

Gather items to strip . Check laundry care labels to make sure they are safe for hot water. Strip light and dark items separately.

. Check laundry care labels to make sure they are safe for hot water. Strip light and dark items separately. Fill your bathtub ½ to ¾ full of the hottest water that’s safe for your fabrics.

½ to ¾ full of the hottest water that’s safe for your fabrics. Add the powders : Borax, ARM & HAMMER™ washing soda, and laundry detergent according to the recipe above.

: Borax, ARM & HAMMER™ washing soda, and laundry detergent according to the recipe above. Gently stir the water to dissolve the powders. Try using a pole, broom or brush handle, ladle, spatula. Remember: the water is hot!

the water to dissolve the powders. Try using a pole, broom or brush handle, ladle, spatula. Remember: the water is hot! Add the laundry items you wish to strip. They should be clean (already laundered) but may be wet or dry.

items you wish to strip. They should be clean (already laundered) but may be wet or dry. Submerge the laundry into the water and swish around. You may notice some foaming and the water beginning to change color already as the stripping process begins!

Now you wait. Go ahead and binge a show, go for a run, get a glass of wine, play a game, take a nap, or whatever you want to do to pass the time. You don’t have to stare at the laundry while it’s being stripped. The action happens without you having to do anything.

Let the items sit in the tub for 4-5 hours, until the water cools. If possible, check back once an hour to push the items down and stir them around. This helps the washing soda and detergent get into the fibers and strip the residues.

in the tub for 4-5 hours, until the water cools. If possible, check back once an hour to push the items down and stir them around. This helps the washing soda and detergent get into the fibers and strip the residues. Remove items from the tub after 4-5 hours, wring out excess water, and place them directly in the washer. Do not add more detergent or fabric softener.

from the tub after 4-5 hours, wring out excess water, and place them directly in the washer. Do not add more detergent or fabric softener. Run a rinse cycle in your washer. If your machine has a double-rinse setting, use that. You want the residues pulled from the items to rinse away and not be redeposited on your laundry.

in your washer. If your machine has a double-rinse setting, use that. You want the residues pulled from the items to rinse away and not be redeposited on your laundry. Tumble dry the items as you normally would. Do not add any dryer sheets.

the items as you normally would. Do not add any dryer sheets. Rinse or wipe out your tub.

Optional: take a reaction video for TikTok or picture of your results and post on Instagram, Snapchat or another social media.

Enjoy the fluffier, more absorbent, and fresher-smelling laundry after stripping!

Other Tips for Successful Laundry Stripping

7 Laundry Detergent Things to Know Before Going DIY

Commercial laundry detergents never contain both BORAX and WASHING SODA together.

It’s an either/or kind of thing. Powder laundry detergents usually contain washing soda in their formula, while liquid laundry detergents have borax, usually with alcohol (plus other chemicals). End of story.

This may also be the reason why popular belief is that powder detergents are supposed to be more effective than liquid detergents. Borax only lets the cleaning pH go up so far. Borax is most effective in hotter water, while washing soda is perfect for any temperature. When thinking about doing your own laundry detergent, consider that Borax is perfectly fine, but if you’re having trouble getting things really clean then replacing borax with washing soda might be the way to go.

Only a handful of detergents actually use salt in their formula.

Purex powder is actually almost 50% salt and Seventh Generation uses a tiny amount in some of their liquids. Why?, you might ask. Well, salt acts as a natural fabric softener! Even though it is weaker than artificially created softeners, the natural option is, obviously, safer.

Since it’s weaker than other softeners, some might not like it on their formula of homemade laundry detergent. Our take on it?

Actually NO detergents contain baking soda on their formula.

Since baking soda is weaker than washing soda for softening water and doesn’t allow the cleaning pH to go nearly as high, many companies choose the latter when crafting their detergents.

However, if you search around the internet you might find that many blogs suggest adding ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry for better performance. If you’re DIYing a laundry detergent and you want it to be really potent, then washing soda might be the way to go. If you’re looking for a gentler detergent, baking soda is a great option.

Only powder laundry detergents use Oxiclean in their formula

Oxiclean becomes just peroxide and washing soda once it hits liquid. So any liquid detergent claiming to contain Oxiclean likely just has peroxide in it. Want that great oxiclean power in your homemade detergent? Well, you can make your own Oxiclean powder! Just mix peroxide and washing soda and dehydrate it. But it’s like 100 times easier to just dump peroxide in your bleach compartment or to make a solution of half peroxide half washing soda and use to pretreat stains immediately. And nope, borax doesn’t work just as well.

Vinegar is incredibly powerful! It dissolves the salt deposits on your clothes!

You can just put ½ cup in your rinse compartment, but it you have really hard water and a top loader, it might not be enough vinegar to make a dent.

Secret’s out: whites aren’t actually white in the real world.

Most whiteness in clothes is an illusion. So why do we see clothes white? Well, the answer is something we call “bluing.” Bluing has been around forever. To understand what it is: most white garments come from the store with a bluing chemical that eventually wears off. This bluing dye counteracts the yellow that tends to show on white clothes that have been worn for a while. If you want that good ol’ store-bought white, you need to blue your garments!

‘Laundry Stripping’ Is the Oddly Satisfying Way To Get It Cleaner Than Ever Before

W hen you hen you run something through the washing machine , you expect it to be clean by the time that spin cycle is finished. But your laundry isn’t always as clean as you think, and that’s why “laundry stripping” is making the rounds on social media as the best way to get your dirty laundry the cleanest it’s been in years.

While washing machines generally do pretty well at shaking dirt and grime from your clothes and rinsing it away, it’s hard to get it all. That’s where laundry stripping comes in. “Laundry stripping is a process of removing build-up—residue from softeners, soap, hard water, and minerals, as well dirt, oil, and bacteria,” says housecleaning expert Diane Regalbuto, owner of Betty Likes to Clean. “The dirt and residue should release into the water, offering that gross-yet-satisfying visual.”

Stripping your laundry is easy, too. You simply fill your bathtub with hot water and let your laundry soak in a mixture of baking soda, Borax, and laundry detergent. It works great for towels, bedsheets, and other linens, but you can also use the method for clothes if you do so with care. If you want your laundry to be the cleanest it’s been in years, here’s exactly how Regalbuto recommends going about laundry stripping at home.

Laundry stripping recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cup Borax

1/4 cup baking soda

1/2 cup detergent

1. Fill a bathtub or a laundry basin ($42) with hot water.

2. Completely submerge your clean laundry in the water. It can be either wet or dry just-washed laundry.

3. Add Borax, baking soda, and detergent to the hot water. You can also add a little white vinegar as an added touch.

4. Let your laundry soak. Stir, mix, and squeeze it regularly over a four-hour period, or until the water has completely cooled. The dirt and residue should release into the water, turning it a murky gray.

5. Drain the water and wring out excess liquid from the items. Then give them a final rinse in the washing machine using a water-only cycle.

6. Rinse out your bathtub, bucket, or whatever you soaked your laundry in because there will be a grime or residue.

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How to Use Borax in Your Laundry for a Fresh Load

If you are unhappy with how clean your laundry seems after washing, adding borax to your routine may give you the results you desire. Already an ingredient in some laundry detergents, including DIY detergents, borax has many uses in the laundry, as well as, throughout the house.

Though safe to use as directed, do not ingest borax and keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Learn how to properly use borax in your laundry room.

What Is Borax? Borax is a natural mineral, sodium tetraborate, which has been mined and used for thousands of years. A chemical compound of the element boron, also known as sodium borate or disodium tetraborate, it is a soft, white, many-sided crystal powder that dissolves readily in water. It aids in stain removal, sanitation, and helps to soften hard water.

7 Laundry Detergent Things to Know Before Going DIY

Commercial laundry detergents never contain both BORAX and WASHING SODA together.

It’s an either/or kind of thing. Powder laundry detergents usually contain washing soda in their formula, while liquid laundry detergents have borax, usually with alcohol (plus other chemicals). End of story.

This may also be the reason why popular belief is that powder detergents are supposed to be more effective than liquid detergents. Borax only lets the cleaning pH go up so far. Borax is most effective in hotter water, while washing soda is perfect for any temperature. When thinking about doing your own laundry detergent, consider that Borax is perfectly fine, but if you’re having trouble getting things really clean then replacing borax with washing soda might be the way to go.

Only a handful of detergents actually use salt in their formula.

Purex powder is actually almost 50% salt and Seventh Generation uses a tiny amount in some of their liquids. Why?, you might ask. Well, salt acts as a natural fabric softener! Even though it is weaker than artificially created softeners, the natural option is, obviously, safer.

Since it’s weaker than other softeners, some might not like it on their formula of homemade laundry detergent. Our take on it?

Actually NO detergents contain baking soda on their formula.

Since baking soda is weaker than washing soda for softening water and doesn’t allow the cleaning pH to go nearly as high, many companies choose the latter when crafting their detergents.

However, if you search around the internet you might find that many blogs suggest adding ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry for better performance. If you’re DIYing a laundry detergent and you want it to be really potent, then washing soda might be the way to go. If you’re looking for a gentler detergent, baking soda is a great option.

Only powder laundry detergents use Oxiclean in their formula

Oxiclean becomes just peroxide and washing soda once it hits liquid. So any liquid detergent claiming to contain Oxiclean likely just has peroxide in it. Want that great oxiclean power in your homemade detergent? Well, you can make your own Oxiclean powder! Just mix peroxide and washing soda and dehydrate it. But it’s like 100 times easier to just dump peroxide in your bleach compartment or to make a solution of half peroxide half washing soda and use to pretreat stains immediately. And nope, borax doesn’t work just as well.

Vinegar is incredibly powerful! It dissolves the salt deposits on your clothes!

You can just put ½ cup in your rinse compartment, but it you have really hard water and a top loader, it might not be enough vinegar to make a dent.

Secret’s out: whites aren’t actually white in the real world.

Most whiteness in clothes is an illusion. So why do we see clothes white? Well, the answer is something we call “bluing.” Bluing has been around forever. To understand what it is: most white garments come from the store with a bluing chemical that eventually wears off. This bluing dye counteracts the yellow that tends to show on white clothes that have been worn for a while. If you want that good ol’ store-bought white, you need to blue your garments!

Baking Soda Vs. Washing Soda Vs. Borax, Explained

They’re all white powders that are helpful in laundry, but there are important differences you need to know about.

Depending on how long you’ve been reading this blog, you may have noticed that I mention a lot of the same household cleaners in my posts about cleaning and laundry solutions, like hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, vinegar, etc. These “usual suspects” (which you can read more about here) make up the majority of my favorite natural or green cleaning solutions. And if you keep them on hand like I do, you’ll always be prepared for whatever cleaning or laundry problem life can throw at you!

Among the ingredients I use most frequently, there are three in particular that are easy to confuse: baking soda, washing soda, and borax. Back when I first started making my own cleaning and laundry products, I got them mixed up all the time (and not least because they’re all white powders!)

But after nearly a decade of making and using my own cleaning products, I now have a much better understanding of the characteristics that make baking soda, washing soda, and borax unique (and why they’re not necessarily interchangeable!) So I think it’s high time that I clarify those differences here, so that you can feel more knowledgable about what they do and more confident about using them around the house! 🙂

Note: Even though baking soda, washing soda, and borax are all different, rest assured that they are safe to combine. In fact, I add all three to the recipe for my favorite homemade laundry detergent, along with Fels-Naptha bar laundry soap!

The Differences Between Baking Soda, Washing Soda, And Borax, Explained

What Does Baking Soda Do?

Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, a naturally occurring compound with the chemical formula NaHCO3. (If you’re like me and struggled in high school chemistry, don’t worry—I’m only including this information to help illustrate the differences in their structures, and you will not be quizzed on them at the end of this post.)

Baking soda has a pH of 8, and since 7 is neutral, it’s considered only slightly alkaline. It is often used in baking for both leavening and browning purposes, and it’s highly useful for cleaning too! You can use baking soda to absorb moisture, neutralize odors, scour surfaces, and more.

In your laundry room, adding 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of baking soda to your washing machine can help eliminate odors and break up detergent and fabric softener residues. It won’t pack quite the same punch as borax and washing soda (more on those shortly), but it’s the one you’re most likely to already have on hand!

To learn more about baking soda and how to use it, check out these posts from the OGT archives:

What Does Washing Soda Do?

Washing soda (sometimes called “soda ash”) is the common name for sodium carbonate, a naturally occurring compound with the chemical formula Na2CO3. With a pH of 11, washing soda is considered highly alkaline, similar to household ammonia and soapy water.

Adding washing soda to water creates a basic solution, which makes it useful as both a laundry booster and cleaning agent. Basic solutions help break down acidic, fatty, and oily substances, like the ones in food stains and greasy messes.

Washing soda also helps to counter the effects of hard water in your washing machine. The minerals in hard water can hamper the performance of laundry detergents and stain removers and prevent your clothes from getting properly clean. However, because of its high pH level, washing soda can be caustic and irritating to skin, so make sure to handle it with care.

You can find store-bought washing soda in the laundry aisle—the Arm & Hammer brand is typically available at grocery stores and big box chain stores. (Or you might want to try the DIY version at home—click on the “How To Make Your Own Washing Soda” link below!)

To learn more about washing soda and other uses for it, check out these posts from the OGT archives:

What Does Borax Do?

Borax is the common name for sodium tetraborate, a naturally occurring mineral with the chemical formula Na2B4O7⋅10H2O. Borax has a pH of 9.5, placing it roughly halfway between baking soda and washing soda on the pH scale.

Unlike baking soda and washing soda, borax is mined instead of manufactured. The majority of household borax comes from dried-up lakes in California and Turkey, and popular brands like 20 Mule Team Borax primarily advertise it as a laundry booster.

Because borax is alkaline and forms a basic solution in water, it offers many of the same laundry benefits as washing soda, making it another worthy addition to homemade laundry detergent. But there is one difference worth noting: borax doesn’t dissolve very well in anything other than hot water. So if you normally prefer to wash your clothes in cold or warm water, you may want to use washing soda instead.

To learn more about how to use borax, read these posts from the OGT archives:

Do you use baking soda, washing soda, or borax at home?

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Can you mix borax and baking soda?

Remove stubborn stains – Mix 1 teaspoon of borax and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Add about half a glass of warm water. Dip a sponge or cloth into the mixture and scrub the stains away.

Can you use baking soda and borax together?

You simply fill your bathtub with hot water and let your laundry soak in a mixture of baking soda, Borax, and laundry detergent. It works great for towels, bedsheets, and other linens, but you can also use the method for clothes if you do so with care.

Can you mix washing soda and borax?

The general ratio for the laundry stripping recipe is 2 parts powdered detergent, 1 part Borax and 1 part washing soda. For most laundry stripping in standard size tubs, follow this recipe: ¼ cup ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda. ¼ cup Borax.

What can you mix borax with?

Borax and vinegar are two safe ingredients that can be combined to create a good general cleaning solution. Undiluted vinegar and borax can also be used for mildew removal. When mixing Borax with other ingredients, it is essential to use warm water to help it dissolve.

Which is better borax or baking soda?

Both baking soda and Borax are effective because they are alkaline and abrasive. But Borax has a higher PH than baking soda, making it a slightly harsher but arguably more effective cleaning agent. It inhibits fungi, mold, and bacteria.

What is borax and baking soda?

Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound with the formula of NaHCO 3 (one sodium ion to one bicarbonate ion). Borax is the common name for the naturally occurring mineral sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Na 2 B 4 7 -10H 2 O).

Is borax and baking soda the same for slime?

If you’re worried about the safety of slime that contains borax, you can use Arm & Hammer baking soda in your slime recipes instead. Baking soda slime is a good alternative to slime containing borax. Plus, you probably already have a box of baking soda in the house.

Which is better for laundry borax or washing soda?

Borax is most effective in hotter water, while washing soda is perfect for any temperature. When thinking about doing your own laundry detergent, consider that Borax is perfectly fine, but if you’re having trouble getting things really clean then replacing borax with washing soda might be the way to go.

Can you mix borax and hydrogen peroxide?

Add ¼ cup 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a few drops of dish soap, and a scoop of borax (a sodium-based mineral powder). Spray metal chairs and tables with the solution and let it work for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub with a soft nylon brush or sponge, then rinse with a garden hose.

Twenty Mule Team Borax

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Last Updated: 12/10/2019

How to Mix Laundry Detergent and Borax (And is it safe?)

About ten years ago, you could quickly get a box of borax in laundry rooms. Borax is an excellent option if you are interested in natural cleaning methods, want cleaner clothes, or looking for homemade solutions. So how do you go about using it, is it safe, and the benefits. Read on to learn more.

What’s Borax?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a natural-occurring mineral salt. In the world, it’s usually mined from California and Turkey. The end product is a white powder that you can easily find in the cleaning supplies section at your local grocery store. There are different brands meaning you have to find one that suits your budget and requirements. So how does it work when mixed with laundry detergent?

How Borax Works

You need to understand that borax is an extreme alkaline, with a pH of about 9.1. This makes it a solution that helps fight any acidic stains. They may be mustard or tomato anytime it’s dissolved in water to use as a pre-treating solution.

When you add it to a laundry load of your washing machine, you can expect white clothes to become whiter. When combined with a laundry detergent, expect cleaner clothes and stronger stain removal abilities.

How to Mix Borax with Laundry Detergent

There are several items you need before mixing borax with laundry detergent. They are:

Powder laundry detergent

Washing soda

A bucket or tub

Warm water

A half-cup of borax for every gallon of water

Start by filling 2/3 of a large bucket or tub with warm water. Add a ½ cup of borax for every gallon of water. Make sure you allow it to dissolve in the water completely.

Now you can add a ½ cup of washing soda per every gallon of water. Make sure these measurements are precise, as any changes may affect the outcome you are looking for. Add a three-quarter cup of laundry detergent for every gallon of water. Now you can add your laundry to the bucket or tub.

Keep in mind you should avoid starting your laundry immediately. Instead, let the load soak for about 5 – 6 hours. During this period, stir the load every hour or so. Now you can remove your clothes from the tub or bucket and put them inside your washing machine. Wash as usual, and you will get the best results from cleaning clothes, especially those with stubborn stains.

Can I Use Borax as a Laundry Booster?

Do you have kids or messy adults? If so, you can use borax as a great way to prevent fading or ensure their clothes get the best clean possible. Use the following steps to use borax as a laundry booster.

What You Need

Measuring cup

A sealable container (if possible, use a mason jar)

2 cups of water

1 tablespoon of borax

As you can see, the ingredients and items above are different from what you had just seen. So this is the process, and make sure you follow it to the letter:

Step 1: Heat the Water

Heating the water is the first step to ensuring borax is paired effectively with the water. Coldwater tends to have pairing and bonding issues, meaning it will not be as effective as intended.

Secondly, hot water makes borax more soluble, which works better on your clothes. This gives you a better and deeper clean. The best way to go about this is to ensure your two cups of water heat to a simmer before starting the mixing process.

Step 2: Add Borax

Take a tablespoon of borax and put it into the sealable container or mason jar. You can then add the heated water while it’s warm. The reason behind using warm or hot water is it ensures the borax dissolves better. This results in a more effective cleaning solution.

Step 3: Mix the Solution

Close the mixture of your mason jar or sealable solution and shake well. Ideally, shake the closed jar for about 15 to 30 seconds for the best result. Once done, you can let it sit in the container until you are ready to use it.

Step 4: Add to your Laundry

When you are ready to use it, start pouring about half a cup of the solution into your laundry. Take note this is to be added to laundry that is using detergent. This is the most effective way for borax to act as a laundry booster. When added, do your laundry as usual, and you will be amazed by the results.

Is Borax Safe for Laundry?

Marketed as a green product, borax doesn’t contain any chlorine or phosphates. Sodium tetraborate is the main ingredient which is a naturally occurring material. Sometimes people confuse this main ingredient with boric acid. It may be because they have similar properties.

Take note boric acid is normally used as a pesticide. This is why it’s more toxic than sodium tetraborate.

So does it mean borax is completely safe because it’s considered a natural material? Nope! It comes in a box with a caution label to alert users of the possible consequences when it’s swallowed or comes into contact with their eyes.

Keep in mind some people may come into contact with borax in various places, such as at their workplace or home. For example, if you work in a borax refining and mining plant, you may contact it.

The National Institute of Health has determined that borax has some side effects. They include, but are not limited to:

Death

Toxicity

Hormone issues

Irritation

Let’s take a deeper look at each.

Death

When a young child ingests 5 – 10 grams of borax, they are likely to experience shock, diarrhea, severe vomiting, and death. Sometimes the point of contact is through hand-to-mouth transfer. This may occur when a kid plays with slime made with borax. For adults, the estimated exposure is 10 – 25 grams.

As per findings by the David Suzuki Foundation, borax can have significant health risks. If you feel like the risks are too great, you can use alternatives. They include:

Cosmetics with natural ingredients without boric acid or borax

Mildew and mold fighters like white vinegar or salt

Clothing detergents such as powdered or liquid oxygen bleach, washing soda, or baking soda

Disinfectants such as essential oils, white vinegar, salt, half a lemon, or food-grade hydrogen peroxide

In the European Union and Canada, borax is strictly restricted in some health and cosmetic products. They also require any products with this ingredient to be labelled as inappropriate for use on damaged or broken skin. Unfortunately, such regulations are non-existent in the United States.

Toxicity

If inhaled or ingested, borax is quickly broken down in the body. Researchers and scientists have linked exposure to borax to health complications.

Hormone Problems

High exposure to boric acid and borax disrupts your body’s hormones. They impair libido, reduce sperm count, and impair the male reproductive system. For instance, a study done by scientists on rats discovered that they experienced atrophy. This was on their reproductive organs or testes when they were fed borax.

In women, borax is likely to reduce fertility and ovulation. High levels of exposure in pregnant animals showed the product to cross the placenta border. This means it causes fetal development resulting in low birth weight and other complications.

Irritation

Irritation of the eyes and skin is a common cause of borax exposure. The body is also irritated should the substance be inhaled or exposed to certain individuals. Some people have reported skin burns resulting from the use and exposure to borax.

Signs of exposure include:

Respiratory problems

Nausea

Eye irritation

Vomiting

Mouth infection

How to Use Borax Safely

Now that we know the possible risks of borax, it’s time to evaluate how we can use it safely. Please take note the best way to use it is a laundry product when combined with detergent. That said, the safety tips to follow include:

Cover any open wounds on your skin when using the product. It’s easily absorbed by your body when it comes into contact with such areas

Avoid contact with your mouth, nose, and eyes to reduce the risks

Avoid using borax near your pets. This includes avoiding the use of the same where pets are likely to be exposed

Never leave the substance in the reach of children, even if it’s in a box. Never use the product to mix with laundry detergent where your kids are likely to get exposed

Make sure your laundry is rinsed thoroughly when you mix your laundry detergent with borax

Wash your hand thoroughly with soap and running water after making a detergent and borax mixture

Keep the product safe from your mouth to prevent accidental inhaling

Benefits of Borax

Last but not least, let us look at the benefits of borax when combined with a laundry detergent. They are:

1. Whitens Clothes

When mixed with your laundry detergent, borax ensures your whites get whiter. It enhances the action of bleach or any laundry detergent. If you are not a fan of bleach, borax is a great option.

2. pH Buffer

Since it has a high pH of about 9.24, borax ensures the water’s pH is about 8 pH. This means it’s more alkaline, making a good base for cleaning clothes. It acts as a buffering agent. This ensures the water is kept at the right pH for an effective cleaning even when detergent or other cleaners are added.

3. Softens Hard Water

When you use hard water to clean your clothes, you find it hard for your clothes to get clean. Why? Because hard water reduces the effectiveness of any laundry detergent, you use. This is why you may get dingy and gray-looking clothing after a wash. The sodium in borax helps soften hard water to ensure your clothes look great.

4. Removes Soap Residue

The borates ensure the soap is dispersed throughout the clothes meaning your clothes get a better rinse when you use borax. You can try washing your clothes without detergent to see how much detergent comes out. Most clothes, especially machine-washed ones, have detergent residue on them. Borax helps ensure minimal detergent residue remains on your clothes after a wash.

5. Laundry Odor Neutralization

This substance inhibits mold and fungi. They often grow in moist laundry environments of your washing machine and are known for creating a musty odour. Borax is renowned for removing the ammonia odor common on baby bed pads, diapers, and incontinence pads in baby clothes. It also works well on enzymes responsible for bad smells common from workout clothes.

6. Stain Removal

Last but not least, borax increases the stain-removal ability of your laundry detergent. You get improved stain removal when you pre-soak your clothes using any of the two laundry and borax detergent mixing methods above. This is due to the alkaline pH of the substance that helps break down acidic stains.

Which is Better, Oxiclean or Borax?

Even though Borax and Oxiclean are all-purpose cleaners, laundry aids, and stain removers, they have a few differences. When appropriately used, borax is safe, although it poses a greater environmental and health risk. This is why it’s rated an F compared to Oxiclean’s B rating by EWG.

Both products have a similar performance and cost. However, Oxiclean is available in various forms, such as laundry detergent, liquid spray, and powder. Borax is only available in powder form.

Bottom Line

Feel free to use borax as long as you take the necessary measures to ensure your safety and the safety of other family members and kids in your household. It’s a great option for cleaner clothes, especially if you want your whites to become whiter. Use the information above to ensure you use it safely and with the best results.

I have also written a complete guide on everything you can mix with laundry detergent that may interest you to read next.

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The homemade laundry detergent debate

When I wrote EcoThrifty it seemed that there were dozens of people around the web who were talking about making your own laundry detergent at home. I quickly realized all of them were using pretty much the same recipe: borax, washing soda, and a grated bar of soap. I wanted to include homemade laundry detergent in my book, but I had a few problems with that popular recipe and chose not to include it in my book.

Recently, bloggers have hit the web talking about that popular laundry detergent recipe ruining washing machines and trapping dirt in the fibers of clothes. A friend who had to buy a new washing machine when hers was ruined by a homemade laundry detergent is the one who told me about this whole controversy. They are saying what I assumed — the soap doesn’t really do much for cleaning the clothes.

I didn’t include that popular recipe because I was worried about the soap dissolving in the water quickly enough that there wouldn’t be tiny bits of soap in the rinse water. Second, I was skeptical about a small amount of soap actually cleaning clothes. Third, I didn’t have time to grate up a bar of soap! You know, I’m busy and always looking for ways to save time.

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Who says homemade laundry detergent doesn’t work?

Former homemade laundry detergent users are “stripping” their clothes. That means they soak them in a variety of different things, including borax and washing soda.

There are a dozen or so pictures here of the dirty soak water. In the comments on blogs and Facebook pages, some people have said that they had the same results when “stripping” their clothes, which had been washed in commercial detergents.

Some people are making a big deal of the fact that the homemade recipe was not really detergent because detergents are made with surfactants. Yes, it’s true that it’s not technically a detergent.

They said that the homemade stuff was simply soap and water softeners. Well, soap is soap, but borax and washing soda are more than just water softeners.

According to the 20 Mule Team website, “Asides from breaking down acidic or protein-based dirt, borax also maintains a negative electrostatic charge between the fabrics and dirt. This makes it so they repel each other while in the wash, and keeps dirt and soil from getting re-deposited onto your clothes and fabrics.”

The washing soda is responsible for neutralizing and eliminating odor in clothes. It’s almost the same thing as baking soda, and think about how many people use that to eliminate odor in their carpet, refrigerator, car, and other spaces.

What’s the Ecothrifty laundry cleaner?

I recalled that when our babies were little, we always soaked the cloth diapers in borax before washing them, and we always had beautiful white diapers through three sets of baby bottoms for eight or nine years.

So, I decided to see what happened if I simply mixed borax and washing soda and used that for my laundry. It worked! I was quite skeptical when I tossed my goat birthing overalls in the washing machine — blood, birth goo, poop, pee — but they came out looking great and smelling fine.

I had continued to cut back on the amount I used until it was only 1/8 cup in my high efficiency machine, but that still worked. So, the recipe of 50/50 borax and washing soda went into my book.

Since the borax and washing soda combo does such a great job of stripping clothes with zero agitation — it just sits there and soaks — it seems obvious to me that these are a couple of excellent clothes cleaners. (Remember, they are not technically detergents.) So, forget the “popular” homemade “detergent” recipe and just use the Ecothrifty laundry cleaner — a 50/50 mix of washing soda and borax. If your clothes look a little extra dirty, let them soak before washing. If they’re a little extra stinky, add a bit more washing soda.

What about fragrance?

Imagine for a moment how powerful a fragrance needs to be to stay in your clothes after being diluted in the washer. It has to be a pretty potent synthetic fragrance, which is not good for you. And who wants to put expensive, high quality essential oils in the washing machine when 99 percent will be washed down the drain? So, if you really want your clothes to smell like something, you can add some essential oils to a wool dryer ball.

Just because the common homemade detergent recipe isn’t looking so great does not mean that you have to go buy toxic detergent at the grocery store or spend more money on all natural ones at the health food store. You can still make your own laundry cleaner at home with inexpensive, natural ingredients.

Washing Soda and Borax

Since both Borax and Washing Soda both raise the PH of the water, can they be used interchangeably or are there certain situations where one is better than the other?

I personally never used Washing Soda before so I’m not as familiar with it.

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