What is Borax?

Wouldn’t the world be better off if there was a simple substance, widely available and safe that could be used for multiple uses around the home? Well, there is- and its borax? What is borax? Borax is a useful mineral with many applications and was historically used in food preservation for many former civilizations. Borax is made up of little crystals that are generally white in color but can also be green, yellowish, brown or colorless. When it comes in contact with another object it will leave behind a chalky trail.

Borax’s scientific names are disodium tetraborate and sodium tetraborate – the “borate” inspired the common name, borax. Yet the real origins of the name date back thousands of years, where in Persia the word “burak” was used to identify borate salts. These salts which were used and discovered in the Middle East were embraced by the Romans which scattered early borax and its applications widely throughout Europe. Some important borax uses of the time including using it to preserve food (through the salting method), for cleaning, making pots, welding and in mummification.

Even now, borax still benefits the world in similar ways (although mummification has certainly gone out of style). The borax used nowadays is much more refined but is not as widely used as it once was. Although not toxic to the touch, borax is not meant to be eaten and especially in high amounts can be toxic and harmful.

Borax, a processed form of borate salts.

Benefits of borax

Instead, an individual can use borax in a variety of ways, such as using in a laundry wash, cleaning around the home and kitchen, making borax into soap, and as an eco-friendly insecticide. When mixed with sulfuric acid, the new substance becomes boric acid that is a better alternative to the highly toxic chemicals in most insecticides

Borax liquid soap for sustainable cleaning

Dr Hulda Clark, a well known nutritionists and early naturalist advised using borax mixed directly with water for the laundry and when washing dishes instead of the industrial soap alternatives that leave behind residue possibly full of PCBs. Her liquid borax soap recipe is refreshingly affordable and simple: For ever 1 gallon of water, add 1/8 cup of borax power. Mix and use for healthy and “green” cleaning and washing

Keep in mind, if ingested borax can be toxic especially in high dosages. If using borax as a alternative cleaner, be sure to keep away the box and soap mixture from children. -BEN TERRINGTON

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