Using Borax in Homemade Cleaners

Updated on July 13, 2009
P.N. asks from Lebanon, OH
5 answers

I'd like to try using homemade cleaners - to save money and go green. Most recipes for homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent include borax. However, several sites indicate that borax is a poison and could be hazardous. Is there a safer alternative to borax?


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answers from Columbus on

I use Borax in our laundry detergent and it works well. Yes, it is harsh, but keep it up where your child won't get into it and you should be fine. It won't hurt you in the laundry detergent. Borax is also a natural substance, so natural doesn't necessarily mean that you can eat it. Go to the website for Borax
and read the MSDS sheet. It's not as hazardous as you've probably been lead to believe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Yes Borax is a natural brightener for clothes and is not man made.
It may be drying to your hands but is still safer to use than bleach to clean with wich can cause your skin and nails to come off.



answers from Cleveland on

yes, there is a safer alternative to borax. It's called Nature Bright. I've been using it for 20 yrs. It's an excellent laundry booster ---for whites and colors. I washed my babies diapers with it along with Shaklee laundry detergent. see my ad in member perks:
shaklee health products
my website is :



answers from Cincinnati on

I agree with Noel. Depending on the use, you can sometimes leave it out or substitute baking soda. I use borax for my really dirty laundry and washing soda (by Arm & Hammer) in my not-as-dirty laundry. I also use castille soap and a peroxide bleach substitute. Lots of general house cleaning can be done with baking soda, vinegar, and/or some gentle soap (like castille) and water. Add in some essential oils that have disinfecting properties (tea tree, lavendar, etc) or use peroxide to disinfect.

All of this, I would still keep out of reach of little ones.



answers from Dayton on

My Mom and I have been interested in making our own laundry detergent lately. Someone in the family sickened and died recently and the connection was made to some of the detergents she was using as well as dryer sheets. We found a few recipies on . In the search field type in 'Make Laundry Detergent'. YouTube is an amazing and surprising resource as well! Liquid & powder detergents for laundry and detergents specifically for dishwashers are available. I'm sure there's something out there that will work for you.

Depending on the kind of cleaner you're looking to use you can use things like vinegar. One thing, if you're making the laundry detergents keep in mind that the batches are HUGE! We plan on making it together and possible making some for gifts for family and friends who are also interested in either going natural or inexpensive. I hope you find what you are looking for, good luck!

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