03 Oct BORAX: SAFE FOR CLEANING?
- dirt remover
- water softener
- odor fighter
- mildly antibacterial
BORAX (also known as sodium borate) is a naturally occurring, non-carcinogenic mineral commonly found in dried salt lake deposits in California and Turkey. For you chemistry heads: borax consists of 4 boron atoms, 2 sodium atoms, and 10 (or less) crystallized water molecules. Not only is boron found in healthy soil, it is an essential component of plant growth and human dietary health!
Before you determine if Borax is safe to use in home cleaning applications, it is essential to understand a few things.
Despite what is often claimed, Borax is NOT the same as boric acid. They’re not even “close cousins“. They’re really more like Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Any information claiming otherwise should be questioned. Borax is highly alkaline, with a pH of 9-10. Boric acid has a pH of 5. For reference, a pH of 7 is neutral. Like most substances, Borax can be converted to an acidic compound (boric acid) through an acidification process, changing its chemical structure, and therefore, its effect on the human body. More facts:
- The MSDS data for Borax gives it a hazard rating of “1”. This is the rating also given to table salt and baking soda!
- When consumed in a large quantity (5,000mg per kg of body weight–that’s a lot!), Borax has the potential to cause reproductive issues in mice.
- When consumed in the same quantity as referenced directly above, ordinary table salt is 50% more hazardous.
- When ingested in moderate quantities, Borax may cause gastrointestinal upset and nausea.
- Long term, daily exposure to Borax by inhalation can cause lung irritation. (The most recent study measured 7 years of chronic exposure in mine workers.)
- Borax is not easily absorbed through the skin.
- As with many natural substances, such as pure essential oils, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar, care and caution should always be practiced with use.
We applaud you for making an informed decision when it comes to your health, family, and home. With that said, please remember two things: (1) At Humble Suds, we carefully formulate our products with human and animal safety as our highest priority, without exception. If we had any doubt whatsoever of the safety of any one of our ingredients, we would never consider using it. (2) We will never sell you an underperforming cleaner. Humble Suds Natural Laundry Soap contains Borax because we believe it is crucial to overall effectiveness. If we can’t make it 100% safe AND effective, we simply won’t make it.