Borax Facts – Making Homemade Soap


Borax is a natural, white powder, mineral of colorless crystals that dissolve in water easily. It was discovered in the dry lake beds of Tibet. Its chemical formula, Na2B407-10H2O, is a combination of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. It has a high alkaline structure with a pH level of 9.3. There is conflicting information, on the internet, about this mineral. It is not the same as Boric Acid, with the chemical formula, H3BO3. Boric acid is produced when Borax reacts with sulfuric, hydrochloric or other acids. Boric acid has an acid structure with a pH level of 5.0 and a higher level of toxicity.

Borax is mined in Boron, CA in the USA and is, generally, considered to be safe for the environment. However, large amounts can be harmful to plants or other species so exposure to the environment should remain minimal.

Skin & Safety Precautions

Borax has a low, acute, oral and dermal toxicity level. It does not cause skin irritation to intact skin but may cause irritation to skin with cuts or abrasions. It may cause irritation and redness with extended or prolonged contact. Borax is poorly absorbed through skin. non-carcinogenic and does not accumulate in the body. It is not a skin sensitizer. It will not heal the skin, directly, but replaces skin damaging agents.

Generally, there are no special precautions for handling. However, with long exposure take precautions. Handle it with gloves, protect your eyes with goggles, cover your nose and mouth with a small face mask. Allow for proper exhaust air ventilation.

Get Laundry to Smell Great


  • Absorbs and Eliminates Odors
  • Removes Sweat
  • Will Not Strip Natural Oils from Skin/Scalp
  • Inhibits Scalp Bacteria
  • Combats Flakiness & Itchiness


  • Soaps, Lotions, Shampoos
  • Laundry Booster
  • Tooth Bleaching
  • Multipurpose Household Cleaner
  • Indoor/Outdoor Insecticide
  • De-greaser
  • Disinfectant
  • Deodorizer

Making Homemade Soap

Store Borax in a dry indoor location. Use a very small amount in your homemade soap recipes, if any at all. Whether making homemade liquid soap or bar soap you may discover it really doesn’t need a cleaning booster. All soap by its very nature is antibacterial. There is no need to add anything to it, to make it antibacterial. Keeping it simple and pure, without strange additives, may be your wisest choice. If it doesn’t really add to the function of your homemade soap, then why use it at all?

On the contrary, if it does add function to your soap, then only use a small amount. Some people use it for making homemade laundry soap having the function of a laundry booster. When added to your washing machine, when doing laundry, items can be cleaner without using bleach or bleach substitutes. Borax stabilizes lather, neutralizes, is easily available at grocery stores and is low in price. Ask yourself, what will adding Borax do for the product I am making? What function will it provide? This can help you decide whether or not to use it. The 20 Mule Team Borax is a brand of cleaner manufactured by the US Dial Corporation.

Hazards of Borax

CAUTION! Keep it away from children and pets.

CAUTION! It is not intended to be ingested. Inhalation of its dust may cause respiratory and skin irritations. It may cause nausea, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, lethargy, minor sore throats, minor nose irritation or very mild lung irritation. Exhaust ventilation should be used to minimize airborne dust generation or accumulation. In excessive dusty occupational or other settings, respirators, eye goggles and gloves may be needed.

CAUTION! The FDA banned it as a food additive and the European Chemicals Agency lists it as a substance of very high concern. Caviar now contains higher levels of salt to assist in preservation. The 20 Mule Team Material Safety Data Sheet equates it to the same health hazard level as baking soda or salt. Even table salt or baking soda can be hazardous when used in large amounts.

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