I am part of a lot of organic/natural/green living groups here on CM, and I read a lot of websites or blogs or whatever that are of similar topics. One thing that I consistently see in "natural" cleaners & most specifically homemade laundry detergent is borax. Since I see it so often, I feel compelled to share some of my research with you all.
Several months ago I decided I was going to make the switch to making homemade laundry detergent, for various reasons: healthy living (no more chemicals), eco-friendly, budget-friendly, etc. Almost every single homemade laundry detergent recipe I found contained borax, and not being very familiar with it, I decided to research it.
I was a little horrified to
find that there are studies out there that cite concerns that borax is
a toxic poison that may be connected to reproductive issues and birth
defects in children. It is unavailable in certain parts of the world,
including parts of Europe, which to be honest did lend some weight
to these studies. I mean, Europe is definitely smarter than the vast
majority of the U.S. when it comes to things like GMOs... [Not to make
you guys think that I took this all at face value b/c Europe doesn't
like it - I did do research on it]
Borax is often recommended as a "safe" pesticide, fungicide and cleaner, but it is officially classified as a poison. Government sites recommend that people who work with Borax use gloves and handle it with caution. Studies have linked it to reproductive problems in some lab animals, as well as a host of serious disorders at higher levels.
Boric acid is an acute eye and respiratory tract irritant, which is quite toxic if ingested. In addition, it is unavailable in parts of Europe because of concerns that it caused birth defects and problems with the reproductive organs of children. It is recommended that pregnant women and children in particular do not have exposure to Borax.
This is an excerpt from an article about the dangers of borax:
They have links to government and research sites that pertain to the dangers of borax, if you are interested in reading further.
So, naturally, after reading about these concerns with borax, I decided to try and find a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that doesn't contain borax (better safe than sorry) - it wasn't easy! But here is the recipe that I FINALLY found and I'm happy with:
2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda (yes baking soda–not washing soda)
- Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until soap is melted.
- In a large pail, pour 2 gallons hot water. Add melted soap, stir well.
- Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
- Use 1/2 cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you all, because I feel like maybe this is information that isn't prevalent in a lot of the natural & organic circles. I wouldn't want you mamas to use this stuff just as much as I wouldn't want to use them with my family. :) Hope this helps!