Borax (also known as Sodium Tetraborate) is a natural mineral that is not a health hazard. You can mix this product with chlorine bleach and detergents since they do not react together. Doing this helps to enhance their cleaning power, and you do not have to worry about them producing any toxic fumes. You should, however, not use this mixture on black or brightly colored fabric and delicate materials.
A combination of Borax and bleach is excellent for the removal of strong smells on clothes. Use hot water and an extra rinse for best results. You can also use the mixture in your swimming pool.
Important Information About Borax
Borax is an all-natural detergent booster that is regaining popularity among users that love natural cleaning techniques. But is this product safe? Here’s all you need to know;
How It Works
Borax is an alkaline substance whose pH value is about 9.5. Its solution in water is basic that helps remove acidic stains such as mustard and tomato, and can be used as a pre-treating solution. If you add this solution to a load of laundry in your washing machine, it will brighten your white clothes. The product also boasts a bleach’s cleaning ability when you mix the two.
How Safe Is Borax?
Whether Borax is safe or not has been an issue of concern for many. This mineral was replaced in body care products and cosmetics for the same reason of safety concerns. Since Borax is highly alkaline, it can irritate the skin in its undiluted form. This product should never be ingested, and it also needs to be kept out of reach of children.
As a precaution, treat Borax like any other cleaner in your home (do not assume it is harmless), keep it in a safe place.
It is not yet documented how Borax affects the environment, but this product in its concentrated form can be toxic to aquatic life. The Australian government regards Borax as a moderate threat to health and a low threat to the environment. Boracic (boric) acid, which is derived from Borax, is highly toxic.
What Are The Effects Of Borax Ingestion?
Borax is highly toxic when swallowed and needs careful storage. You need to be very cautious when using this product and keep it away from small children. Be watchful when using Borax near food, and be sure to wipe up any spills immediately.
Borax And Skin Irritation
Borax has a slight hazard of contamination when in contact with the skin. If you expose your skin for long to this substance, it will cause redness and irritation. Use rubber gloves when handling Borax if you have any abrasions or cuts.
Inhalation Of Borax
Borax comes as a stable and crystalline powder, and there’s little or no danger of inhaling. If you are using Borax as a fine powder, you need to wear safety goggles and protect yourself from inhalation. It would help if you also were very careful when using it on carpets to prevent your pets and kids from inhaling it.
Effect Of Borax On Reproduction
While EWG classifies Borax as a moderate hazard, there are concerns over possible effects on reproductive health. Borax may disrupt hormones if breathed in, and you can use other alternatives if you have such concerns.
What Are The Cleaning Properties Of Borax?
Borax has several cleaning properties that include;
Like hydrogen peroxide, Borax can act as a bleaching agent when you dissolve it in hot water. When dissolved in hot water, this product converts some water molecules into Hydrogen peroxide, helping in the bleaching process.
Enhances Cleaning Power
Borax increases the cleaning ability of other cleansing agents. If you combine it with bleach, for example, it enhances the bleaching power. It is, however, advisable to be careful when mixing bleach with other substances as it may produce toxic fumes.
Borax has antimicrobial abilities that inhibit the growth of fungi and moulds. You can use this substance to prevent or eliminate bad smells from your appliances like dishwashers or washing machines.
Not Very Reactive
You can safely combine Borax with other cleaning products since it is not very reactive. It is advisable to wear safety gloves when using this product to clean surfaces or put it in wash-up water. Since Borax is strongly alkaline, it may irritate your skin.
Are There Other Important Uses Of Borax?
Other than using Borax in your laundry, it has other important applications that include;
Like washing soda, Borax is fantastic when it comes to removing grease. You can a use it to clean your drains and sink. This product works best with hot water, and you need to pour a hot solution into your waterways to remove the grease. You can add Borax to your wash up water along with your dishwashing liquid and rinse thoroughly with clean water after use.
You can use it on chopping boards to get rid of grease but be sure to rinse well since Borax can be toxic.
Cleaning Windows And Enamel Surfaces
Borax is also excellent for cleaning your tiles, windows, and other enamel surfaces. Place a little Borax on a soft, wet cloth or dissolve one tablespoon of this powder into two or three litres of water and use it to clean these surfaces. Remember to be careful not to breathe in the powder or pour it onto your skin. You can use gloves when cleaning to prevent the negative effects. If you are dealing with grubby paintwork, be sure to use a stronger solution.
Cleaning Your Bathroom
Borax is also fast and effective in cleaning tiles and paintwork in the bathroom. One of its noticeable advantages is that it does not leave any unpleasant smells in your shower room.
Cleaning Your Oven
You can use Borax to get a sparkling oven. It would be best if you mixed Borax, vinegar, and washing soda to make a paste. Use a brush to apply it to your oven and leave it undisturbed for a few hours, then wipe with a damp towel.
As An Insect And Mice Deterrent
You can use Borax to keep away mice and insects from your home. Sprinkle a little of this powder along the mice path since they hate getting it on their feet. Boracic acid, also known as boric acid and a derivative of Borax, is an excellent insect killer.
While Borax and boric acid are safe when used properly, It is advisable to be careful when using these substances. Be careful not to breathe them in to avoid getting respiratory problems and keep them away from small children.
Safety Precautions When Dealing With Borax
While Borax is perceived as safe to use, it is necessary to observe the following safety precautions;
1. Keep Borax far from your food as it is very toxic if ingested. Ensure that it is out of reach of children since it leads to serious illness or even death if they swallow it.
2. Avoid contact with your eyes or inhalation. Always wear protective gloves if possible when using them. This is especially crucial when using the product in draughty conditions or outdoors.
3. Be careful when using it on your carpets or other places where pets go since they can cause respiratory problems. Using it on your carpets could also pose a health risk to your crawling babies and toddlers.
4. Be sure to wipe up any spills immediately and carefully
5. Store Borax away from acids since it can react with them due to its basic nature
What Should You Not Mix With Bleach?
Bleach is not a cleaning agent but a disinfectant whose potency can be reduced if it comes into contact with dirt. For safety, always dilute it with water and wear gloves & eye protection if there is a risk of splashing or contact exposure. Ensure that you also store it away from small children.
Bleach can also be poisonous if mixed with some products such as;
When ammonia and bleach are mixed, they produce a poisonous gas called Chloramine. This gas can damage internal organs and respiratory tract if inhaled as well as burn your eyes. If ammonia is highly concentrated, it can lead to hydrazine production, which is both toxic and explosive.
Since most cleaning agents contain ammonia, it is advisable not to mix bleach with any cleansing products.
Though vinegar is harmless, it should never be mixed with bleach since the mixture will produce chlorine gas. This gas irritates the mucous membrane and causes coughing when inhaled. Chlorine gas may cause chemical burns and can be lethal in high concentrations or prolonged exposure.
It is also advisable not to mix any other acidic substance with bleach, such as lemon juice and other toilet cleaners. Never pour bleach in your toilet bowl for this reason.
A combination of rubbing alcohol and bleach produces chloroform which is also poisonous. Inhalation of this substance may cause you to pass out and lack fresh air. If you breathe in a lot of chloroform, it may lead to death.
A mixture of bleach and rubbing alcohol can also lead to the production of dichloroacetone and chloroacetone that can cause cancer, organ damage, and other diseases. It can also cause the formation of hydrochloric acid that may cause chemical burns.
Borax is a natural mineral that can be combined with bleach and other cleaning agents to enhance their abilities. You should, however, be careful when using this substance since its inhalation can be toxic. Ensure that you store it properly out of reach of children and away from acidic substances to prevent a reaction between them.