Pros: gets my clothes clean, no scent
Cons: the box is hard to pour from
Ever since I figured out that the stink in my laundry room was coming from my washing machine I have been trying to figure out a way to keep it clean without having to pour Clorox Washing Machine Cleaner through it every few weeks. While this works well I was left wondering what was clogging up my machine and making it smell.
I have an upright top load machine with an agitator and thought I would not have the same issues as those with the front loads but I was wrong. I am on my way to transitioning to more natural laundry products. The first one I am trying is 20 Mule Team Borax. I had read from people using this on a regular basis that they did not need to use as much washing machine cleaner. What I noticed in the process is how much cleaner my clothes are getting.
I have been using the Borax for at least a couple months and although my clothes are cleaner, I still am getting my washer smell back every few weeks. I decided to look at my laundry soap. I am using a dissolving washer pack with liquid detergent inside. I took one of the little pouches and placed it in water to see if the little packaging was not dissolving and maybe that was the issue. What I found was quite disturbing. I noticed that when I put the thing in warm water that it started to form a large lump of material that resembled a soft wax. I have no idea how or why this dissolves this way but got to thinking that even though my clothes were cleaner with this detergent, that with my low water machine parts of it might have been stuck in my machine somewhere. I did a cycle of the Clorox washer cleaner and then decided to try using some other detergent for awhile along with the borax. I was very happy with the borax results and it seems that using a different laundry detergent might be the answer to my washer smell.
Description and my Experience
The Packaging: 20 Mule Team Borax comes in a cardboard box that contains 76 oz of product. The box is not the easiest to pour with and I really wish it was in a tub with a scoop or at the very least had a spout that was metal so that I could pour more easily to measure. The box opens with just pushing in the cardboard along a perforated line to make a tab.
The Product: The 20 Mule Team Borax Powder is bright white and very light and fluffy. It is about the consistency of baking soda. It had a tendency to puff some dust up when you are pouring it so be very careful to not breathe this in.
What is this stuff? From the website: 20 Mule Team Borax is not harmful to washing machines, plumbing, or septic tanks and does not contain phosphates or chlorine. 100% borax, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water.
Instructions for Laundry: Pour 1/2 cup into the washer where you normally put powdered laundry detergent. You are supposed to use this as a booster for your regular detergent and not in place of detergent. It does such a good job though that I am tempted to use it in place of my laundry detergent.
How well it cleans my laundry: So far I have used it on all my laundry and it seems to get things just a little cleaner and brighter. I had a white quilt that I noticed was some ground in dirt in a spot where my dog sleeps. I have washed it in the past and it did not help much. When I added the borax to my wash cycle with my detergent, it really brightened it up. It is still not perfect but I think if I use it one more time it will be perfect. I might let it soak for awhile next time.
How safe is it for my clothes: I did not notice anything harsh with this detergent booster. 20 Mule Team Borax has proved safe for all my clothes. I have washed whites, darks and bright colors and have not noticed any fading or other problems.
How safe is it for the environment: 20 Mule Team Borax is supposed to be safe and I would have to agree. It does not have any perfume in it or colors. I have strong chemical sensitivities and did not notice any problems with this Borax. It seems to rinse out completely and just leave my clothes smelling clean.
Scents or smells: This is completely unscented and does not have a chemical smell to it at all. That is a big plus for me. I think a lot of unscented detergents still stink like chemicals and sometimes I do not even like the unscented and colorless ones. 20 Mule Team Borax does not bother my nose at all and if I get it on my hands I do not smell anything if I do not rinse of my hands right away. I would give this an A+ for being unscented!
Other Uses: Kitchen Cleaner, dishwashing detergent booster, multi purpose cleaner, carpet cleaner, bathroom cleaner, safely clean pet crates and bedding, arts and crafts(use to dry flowers and also to reduce ash from candles)
Final thoughts and rating
I am giving 20 Mule Team Borax 4 stars. The product would get 5 but it needs to be in an better container that is easier to measure and pour from. A refillable container with a scoop would be great and then I could just pour the boxes in as a refill.
Thanks for reading my review