Pros: Cleans numerous surfaces, deodorizes, laundry booster
Thanks to Pambo, 20 Mule Team Borax, made by the Dial Corporation, has made it's way back into my life.
About 10 years ago I was on a real quest to rid my home of unhealthy chemical cleaners, and personal care products as well. I didn't like the toxic ingredients found in many every day products, and knew there were healthier alternatives out there, and I was determined to find them.
I started out by purchasing two books which saved me so much time and energy! These books are The Safe Shoppers Bible, and Clean and Green. Both of these recommended 20 Mule Team Borax for a variety of cleaning jobs. I had used it for many years, then I stopped for some reason. Pambo's review reminded me just how great this stuff is, and I ran out and picked up a box right away.
20 Mule Team Borax is found in the laundry detergent aisle, but it's sometimes hard to find. I couldn't find it at Fred Meyer, but then a helpful employee pointed it out to me, it was on the tallest shelf in the store (I am 5' 1"), and I simply didn't see it. I hear that stores stock their shelves high and low with products that aren't the best sellers - and they place the more popular items at eye level.
The product is called a natural laundry booster, and a multi-purpose household cleaner. The box weighs 4 pounds 12 ounces, so it's heavy. It's colored green and yellow with the name in bright red letters. It looks very much like the powdered laundry soaps I used years ago, and smell similar as well. Be careful when picking up the box, it's not only heavy, it seems to have a wax coating on it, so it's slick.
I could not find the ingredients on the box, so I had to visit the company website, where a ton of helpful information awaits! According to Dial, 20 Mule Team Borax is made of 100% Borax, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. 20 Mule Team Borax is not harmful to washing machines, plumbing or septic tanks and does not contain phosphates or chlorine.
It can be mixed with chlorine and will not result in toxic fumes, can be stored in a dry place indefinitely, and is safe for septic systems.
So Many Uses!
* Makes laundry detergent work better
* Removes stains and odors in bathroom
* Cleans china
* Rids kitchen of odors
* Freshens garbage disposals
* Neutralizes urine smells
We have a water softener, but I now recall having success with this product before we had soft water, because it actually works to condition the water, making ALL detergents work better.
You can add this (1/2 cup or so) to your regular laundry load to make your laundry come out fresher smelling. And although the name sounds tough, it's also gentle enough to use on delicate fabrics.
It makes a great deodorizer for almost any odors. Garbage pails, refrigerators, and garbage disposals can be made to smell clean and fresh again by washing with this cleaner. It also seems to work similar to baking soda, in that it actually absorbs odors. You can even deodorize your humidifier by adding one tablespoon of Borax per gallon of water!
Do you have a fiberglass tub that you are struggling to clean? Some abrasive cleaners can scratch fiberglass, but you can use Borax on a damp sponge and it will work quite nicely.
Toilet bowls a problem? Not with Borax, sprinkle 1/4 cup into the bowl, let it sit overnight and you'll have a nice clean toilet the next morning. You can also use it to clean cookware and remove carpet stains.
The Safe Shopper's Bible specifically recommends 20 Mule Team Borax to be used as an all purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner & disinfectant, dishwashing detergent (hand), spot remover, toilet bowl cleaner, and upholstery cleaner. In fact, the Safe Shopper's Bible rates cleaning products for flammability, causticity, irritants, allergens, strong sensitizers, carcinogens (cancer causing substances), neurotoxins, and reproductive effects. These are then rates "little to no risk", "minimal risk", and "caution". 20 Mule Team Borax gets the "little to no risk" rating each time, and as such is a recommended product.
I used Borax for years, and had forgotten how well it cleans the toilet bowl and fiberglass shower. I've only done a few loads of laundry with it since we've become re acquainted, but it really does seem to help keep the odors in my front loading washer at a minimum, and I haven't found anything that would do that in the four years we've owned our machine!
If you like to use those dry abrasive cleaners like Comet, try this Borax, it's gritty yet doesn't scratch! I just used it on my kitchen sink that is made of a composite material resembling granite, and it cleaned it up nicely, washed away cleanly and left no gritty residue.
After reading all that this product can do, you'd expect to pay a bundle for it. Well, I paid only $3.69 for my box!! Now that's a bargain!