Friday, March 23, 2012

Borax: Reader's Edition


(Administrative note: Finely Ground now has a Facebook page. You can follow there for alerts when new posts are published and some other cool behind-the-scenes stuff!)




Hi all, thanks for reading—and welcome! I've been blown away how many new readers have arrived over the last couple of weeks. I love all of the insightful comments and tips that are being shared.



Remember when I discovered how great borax works on tough bathtub stains? Well, the comments on that post are clocking in at 104 right now! Some of them were so good, I wanted to feature them in their own post to make sure you didn't miss them. :) Each name links back to the original comment thread where you can get more details. Without further ado...



From Emma: This looks amazing! Careful though - borax is a poison and can make kids and pets sick. (That's why it works on ants.) Rinse thoroughly before letting anyone use the tub and don't leave it where kids can reach. Just saying. This really is awesome though! :)
So glad Emma shared that! I don't have any kids or pets currently, but it reminded me of a cat I used to have which liked to sneak into bathtubs after someone had showered and lick up the water puddles. (Weird cat.) Definitely remember to rinse the tub well after borax (or any cleaner, for that matter!) Borax is generally agreed to be pretty non-toxic as long as it is ONLY used externally.



From Cherie C.: My midwestern mom had us clean all of the porcelain with borax. Then one time she sprinkled a little on the floor in front of a crack in the wall for the ants that were coming thru. Cured that problem too!
A lot of people chimed in on borax's bug-be-gone power's! Everything from fleas, to ants, to roachs, to spiders. It couldn't have been more timely, because this is the week that spiders and earwigs started waking up and finding their way into my apartment. I sprinkled some borax at the floors and windows where they usually arrive and haven't seen one since! We'll see how long it lasts. . .



From Montana722: I have had my tub that dirty (thanks to bad drainage and two DIRTY kids) :) and I had TERRIFIC success with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and water. It even got off the residue left behind by the "no cleaning spray-on cleaner." :)  
I guess I'll have to try out Magic Erasers next, because everyone is using them! Just be careful on wood or anything painted.



From KDS: and if you think borax with water is good, mix borax or baking soda with enough dishwashing liquid (dawn, palmolive, etc) to make a paste... it works like magic just with the green scrubbers, you hardly have to work at all!
Good to know—that sounds epic!
For more great ideas, check out the conversations going on at the Spring Cleaning Challenge!
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In other news, I want to venture into the wild world of homemade yogurt. Anybody have a good tip or tutorial?













19 comments:

  1. Will the borax work on plastic tubs? We just bought a foreclosure and the plastic tub floors are nasty even after some good scrubbing.

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    1. I should think it would! Let us know how it goes. :)

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  2. I am so excited to try this! We live in an old home, and I have never been able to get our tub completely clean looking...it looks nasty!

    On the yogurt note...I use the recipe from this gal. http://www.savemoneylivejoyfully.com/2011/09/greek-yogurt-in-crock-pot.html So easy!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Emily! :) Definitely checking out that yogurt link...

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  3. Hi Marissa. I found your wonderful blog via pinterest.. and I am so so so glad that I did. I am a newlywed and we are believers in living simple/frugal lives in hopes that we can be good stewards of the resources that God gives us. Thank you for living the way that you do and encouraging others as well! Keep up the good work girl!

    I am new to the blogger community.. but so excited to dive in!

    Andrea

    www.aj-beginnings.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Andrea, thanks so much for reading :) I'll be sure to check out your blog. Frugal power!

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  4. Pregnant women should avoid using borax for anything. This is an excerpt from the Wikipedia description of Borax, under the toxicity heading:

    Borax was added to the Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidate list on 16 December 2010. The SVHC candidlate list is part of the EU Regulations on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals 2006 (REACH), and the addition was based on the revised classification of Borax as toxic for reproduction category 1B under the CLP Regulations. Substances and mixtures imported into the EU which contain Borax are now required to be labeled with the warnings "May damage fertility" and "May damage the unborn child".[24]

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up, Mark. I had never read anything like that concerning borax!

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    2. Here is a safer, environmentally safe product alternative:

      http://www.bonami.com/index.php/about_bon_ami/environmental_stewardship/

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    3. Generally, I take my cues from ants. If they don't like it, it must be bad! :p..

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  5. Mother of Chaos has a recipe for homemade yogurt: http://www.denofchaos.com/2012/01/money-monday-january-16-2012.html (starts about half way through the post).

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  6. People often mix up boric acid with borax. Boric acid is a pesticide and while borax also contains boron, they are not the same chemical compounds. A previous commenter in the other post said he bought borax packages to kill roaches. I guarantee that it is was boric acid and not Borax.

    Borax is sodium borate (Na 2 B 4 O 7.10H 2), and boric acid (H 3 BO 3)

    I wouldn't suggest consuming either one but Borax is about as harmless as you can get in regards to cleaning your bath tub after a good rinse. It's chemical combination make a good abrassive and it help soften water which makes it an excellent cleaner which is why it works in the laundry as well.

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  7. We make yogurt all the time. We bought a yogurt maker after a failed crock-pot attempt. We also failed with an attempt in a regular pan (it just didn't thicken). We use milk from a local dairy (un skimmed and un homogenized). It's bland, but I add a few drops of [real] maple syrup and some fruit and it is tasty.

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  8. I have have great results making yogurt in the slow cooker using this recipe: http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/02/make-yogurt-in-your-crock-pot/

    Her instructions are great, it's worked for me every time!

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    1. Thanks! Looks like that one comes well recommended. :)

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  9. Also with Borax, you can use it to pull dirt and stains out of your carpet, sprinkle it on, rub it in a bit, leave it alone for about 10-20 minutes then sweep it up....it will be black...

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  10. Yogurt is simple
    1/2 gallon of whole milk, half and half or cream (for thicker yogurt)- cooked on the stove until it is at 185* degrees,Stirring constantly,
    the longer it stays at this temp the thicker it will be, about 30 minutes is good.
    (For flavored custard style yogurt- Mix in 1 box of flavored jello or pudding)
    Then cool milk to 110*
    Add 2-3 T plain yogurt into 110* milk and mix
    Cover pan with towel and place into oven with oven light on for 8 hours
    (for greek yogurt- use triple layer cheese cloth and strain out whey before storing)
    refrigerate

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