Green Cleaning: Should You Be Using Borax?
Is Borax Green or not?
Have you ever gotten so frustrated at the grimy marks around your bathtub that you’re about to give up with the green cleaning and get the big Bleach boys out?
Well before you slap on those protective rubber gloves on, we want to let you in on a little House Bliss secret that has helped us transform old and dirty bathtubs into a glistening, looks-brand-new glimmering white without using any harmful or dangerous chemicals. Yup, you heard us. No nastiness here, all organic, safe products. Read on to find out more.
USING BLEACH – THIS NEEDS TO STOP!
Clorox Bleach has long been thought to be the best product to whiten toilets, showers, bathtubs and even kitchen counters to use thanks to its potent germ killing and tile whitening abilities. However, just because a product works well, doesn’t mean it is safe to use for daily or weekly cleaning. Clorox is harmful to both humans and the environment and should not be used to clean your beautiful Boston home or apartment.
When House Bliss Cleaning was born, our co-founder Teresa was starting to show signs of respiratory symptoms and skin irritation when she was cleaning with Clorox Bleach. So naturally, we dug a little deeper into what could be causing these symptoms. As you guessed it, it was the Clorox bleach products that we were using.
Clorox is a brand name for Chlorine bleach (also called sodium hypochlorite) which is often found in liquid bleach, disinfectants, automatic dishwasher gels, and laundry washing products. Bleach exposure can cause irritation in the eyes, mouth, lungs, and skin. It can burn human tissue, internally and externally, especially in small children. All toxic chemicals have a negative impact on our planet, but bleach is especially damaging to those who suffer from breathing problems, because it lingers for many years, and builds up in our air and water supply. Organizations such as Beyond Toxics are campaigning for people to stop using harmful chemicals such as Clorox Bleach and to start using green cleaning products.
Straight away, we converted to using green cleaning products such as Borax. Like you, we were skeptical at first about whether it would work just as well as bleach, but without all the harmful nastiness. But after using it for 3 years, this is why we now swear by this product and have never looked back.
INTRODUCING BORAX – WHAT IS IT?
According to the Twenty Mule Team, Borax is a naturally occurring compound that is found in dry or arid regions. The mineral is made up of Sodium, Oxygen, and Boron to create Sodium Tetraborate. The compound is considered salt and actually shares many chemical properties with ordinary table salt.
Recently, misleading health articles have popped into people’s inboxes, and news feeds claiming that Borax isn’t 100% completely safe and is actually harmful. Especially with recent warnings against using Borax when making the trendy children’s craft slime, many parents are now worried about the safety of Borax. These warnings were made about Borax being exposed to sensitive skin for a prolonged, and with anything that children gets their hands on, it could potentially be ingested too.
However, this does not mean that it is harmful to adults to use for cleaning purposes. When used as directed, Borax is completely safe, and this is us making the presumption that you don’t eat your cleaning products or use them as an eyewash or a body lotion. The same thing can be said for other household products you can find in your cupboards – items such as vinegar, essential oils, and cayenne pepper – can also irritate eyes and skin and can even cause digestive problems. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we should now put a big fat red label saying ‘HARMFUL’ on them, we just need to use them safely.
Oh, and another thing:
Borax is not boric acid.
So many people are calling time on using Borax because they believe Borax is essentially Boric Acid. Well, it’s not. The difference between the two is: Boric acid is produced when Borax is reacted with another acid (like sulfuric or hydrochloric acid). The result is an acid structure (pH of 5.0), rather than an alkaline, which is what Borax is (9.3 pH).
BUT BORAX HAS BEEN BANNED IN THE EU AND CANADA!
Yeah, in food products and body care products specifically made for children under the age of three. And we’re all for this as the evidence does show that Borax can be harmful when ingested and when it comes into contact with sensitive skin. But there is no evidence stating that it is a toxic product when used for home cleaning purposes.
To summarise, Borax is included as one of the main ingredients in many natural cleaning or green cleaning DIY recipes and has been proven to be an effective natural cleaner and a safer alternative to many conventional cleaners on the market today.
At House Bliss Cleaning, we love green cleaning and use Borax as one of our main cleaning products. Our house cleaners are instructed to wear gloves when using, and we use Borax in a diluted form, which forms into a fine paste when scrubbing toilets and bathtubs. After cleaning the shower area, they are rinsed and allowed to dry completely. This ensures that when a bathtub is cleaned with our Borax cream, it does not have any risk of irritation for anyone in the family.
For more information, we have attached a fact sheet for you to this blog post, that tells you more about the safety of Borax. On this sheet, you will find that Borax is given a safety rating of “1,” which is the same bracket as baking soda and salt.
The information we share on this blog is based on our current knowledge as professional cleaners and is intended to describe our “opinion” on such a product. Therefore, It should not be construed as guaranteeing any specific property of the product. Safety and environmental requirements can be found by using the keywords “product name SDS sheet.”