Laundry soap???

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Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2008
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Ok, trying to get some info about laundry soap..had a few quick questions :)

1) Is there a (safe/natural) alternative to borax??

This freaks me out "[edit] Toxicity
Boric acid, sodium borate, and sodium perborate are estimated to have a lethal dose (LD50) from 5 to 20 g/kg in humans[verification needed][3]. These substances are toxic to all cells, and have a slow excretion rate through the kidneys. Kidney toxicity is the greatest, with liver fatty degeneration, cerebral edema, and gastroenteritis. A reassessment of boric acid/borax by the United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs found potential developmental toxicity (especially effects on the testes).[4] Boric acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be especially toxic to infants, especially after repeated use because of its slow elimination rate.[5]


2) what if I were to throw a bar (or shavings) of CP into the washer?? would I end up with an apartment full of suds like in some old time movie where my apt would turn into a foam party (just add music and disco ball/lights)

3)anyone ever tried making their own dryer sheets?

4) are there any other ways of making a laundry suitable soap that doesnt include a compound like borax??

thanks very much !!

I thought borax was safe. That's interesting. Thanks for sharing that information.
As for dryer sheets, you can do a number of things. Two that I know of is just putting vinegar in the rinse and that helps [I do that] or you can put some EO on a washcloth or piece of cloth and throw it in with your clothes. Depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Edit: Paul, it is a 'natural' mined is uranium, and we all know how crazy of a substance this is... ;). This is why I always look into all of the things I use/put in my body as to their history and the news and research people usually dont think of looking into. I feel like so much is held back about hazards in products that we use everyday, merely to help the marketing process and line the pockets of the companies producing them. I dont trust any supplier of anything unless I have seen where the product has come from, what was used to produce it and researched all potential hazards in any research that has been conducted !

got to be conscious...the orchistrators of our economy are quite content to infuse the masses with poisons without even bothering to research the effects. I think our economy has always been driven towards immediate benefit of product, instead of the thats just my little 2 cents to always be conscious of everything surrounds us !!!


Did some more is what I have found...

3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION NFPA Ratings (Scale 0–4): Health = 1 Fire = 0 Reactivity = 0 Major Health Hazards:

Central nervous system depression. Kidney damage. Potential Health Effects: Sodium tetraborate decahydrate may cause skin and eye irritation, blurred vision, or eye damage with short-term or long-term exposure. Short-term exposure by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption may cause skin disorders, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, loss of coordination, ear damage, lung congestion, internal bleeding, blood disorders, heart damage, kidney damage, or coma. The same effects have been reported in long-term ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption in addition to reproductive effects, loss of voice, loss of appetite, and convulsions. Listed as a Carcinogen/Potential Carcinogen: No ,In the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on Carcinogens. In the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs. By the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

( I think this also bothers me because it mentioned something about toxicity in water, and the fact that it is not easily eliminated through modern purification methods used at water treatment plants. I dont want to be adding any more toxins into our water system than are already there...thats just my opinion :)...It also talks about toxicity in fish.) ... ?msds=187e ... sc0567.pdf

I have heard that you can use white vinegar in the rinse as well as some baking soda which has been baked (which removes excess water from the dust) to replicate the same effect? anyone know of any others though? or any other answers the questions i had??

thanks much !! :)
As for dryer sheets, I have heard you can take used dryer sheets, soak dip them in liquid fabric softener, hang them to dry & reuse them. I know that is not what you were gioing for, but it's a tid-bit.
Tab, thanks! any info helps...Ill keep that as an alternative because it would be recycling :)
Hey Ian,

My husband has taken some of my soap before and cut it into shavings and used it in the washer. At one time he used a full bar at a time and didn't have any problems. No bubbling over and it all dissolved. He has used my soap for the laundry several times and never has had a problem.

Let me first start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the borax.. I've used it all my life. My grandmother would put it down 20 mule team borax as an insecticide, and we'd also use it for cleaning... so i'm approaching this from a strong "pro borax" view:

that toxicity level quoted is very high.... even for the LOWEST toxcity level, it lists as 5 g per kg... so it would take 8 pounds of borax to kill a hundred and sixty pound person??(is that math right?) even with a very slow elimination rate (it takes less than a day to eliminate half of any borax you ingest), it would be near impossible to build up even close to that much borax in your body... The mortal toxicity rate of borax is about the same as that of table salt.

Of course at lower doses of borax, you'd get the negative efffects... so if you're using borax say, as a spray insecticide all day long, every day and inhaling it, then yes you might have a problem with some of those symptoms listed, but really the amount of borax that could be left over from your laundry soap is not going to be even close to toxic...

I have yet to see any reliable data that demonstrates that borax used as directed for household purposes is unsafe.

As far as toxicity in wildlife. What does the EPA say about the threat to fish and other wildife from borax used for household purposes?
I use Borax and Washing Soda with CP soap for my laundry. I love it.

For Fabric softener I use vinegar and very cheap hair conditioner. The Vinegar is important because it keeps the soap scum from building in the washer when you use CP soap laundry soap.

All of the natural earth saving sites I have visited have recommended Borax for various uses. I feel quite safe using it.
Borax is perfectly safe. Keep in mind that wiki is interactive so the information and editing there can be done by anyone.
The data about borax and boric acid on wiki appears to be correct, Borax, like table salt, and just about everything else on the planet, is toxic once you reach a certain level. and the side effects of Borax poisining are nausia, bowel trouble, etc there was a case where a baby was accidently fed borax in a bottle and had all of those symptoms... Also, extremely large doses of borax does effect the testes of rats and at a high enough dose will cause lab rats and mice to become infertile. The doeses given to these animals however were rediculously high. A lethal dose of borax is between 5-15 grams PER KILOGRAM OF BODY WEIGHT. (some people mistakenly report the Lethal Dose as 5 grams, but neglect to say that it is 5 grams PER KILO of body weight.. that makes a huge difference!)

Borax does NOT build up in the body, the body does eliminate it. It may take up to a week to eliminate all the borax you have consumed/absorbed, but it is eliminated. so you don't have to worry about borax building up in your system over time.
Wanted to start by saying, I really appreciate everyones input!! Thank you !

Regarding the toxicity to fish and where they said not to let it get into ground water...

in this first link, section 6 "accidental release measures", and section 12 Ecological Information... ... ?msds=187e

What Im concerned about in this link is the prolonged exposure part (though I think they might be talking about inhalation etc..) ... sc0567.pdf

and then regarding the LD50, I think the numbers would be you would need to ingest or have in your system at once about 1.2-1.5 lbs of borax to have a 50% chance of dieing, but that was the wiki article...even so if you ingested 2g of it/kg (2.2 lbs) thats still a high amount.

in this link:

it says something about there being an LD50 of 2g/kg in a mouse, orally (much different than through the skin)

Im not so much concerned with the LD50 as I am with the prolonged exposure risks, especially if I am going to be mixing the stuff up. I agree wiki is not reliable but it just sparked a whole band of research I did into more reputable sources which more or less backed it up with more detail.

Im mostly concerned with the part where it mentioned not introducing it to the water supply (and if I am using a dry powder for the washer...) thatd be what I was doing. I dont know why I feel so strongly about making absolutely sure everything I use is safe, probably just my personality lol...Im just wary on the research that has been produced so far on the subject and I understand that alot of people advocate its use..not sure how many people read that post I made "Doesnt this make you sick/scared?!...i think that was the title?..about the various drugs we all ingest due to them not being completely removed at the treatment plants in the water that we drink. so if this stuff isnt supposed to be put into the water, but it is being put into the water, due to not being able to be adequately filtered out (though at very small amounts)... we could be ingesting this unknowingly?? you know what im saying? Im not sure what happens to it in the washer, but since no chemical change takes place i think that the solute still stays in the solution of water after its flushed down the drain...

Im just wary of using it unless I am ABSOLUTELY sure its not going to harm anything, I dont want to add supposed toxins to the system just because people swear by it (no offense to anyone), because its been used for a long time etc....

I guess Im kind of just still wary of it, theres just this nagging gut feeling thats telling me to use caution? cant seem to kick it!

I know for sure Id aboslutely like to stop buying the storebought nasties though... slowly but surely convert to producing everything on my own.

what if I used some baking soda, white vinegar and some grated CP soap (I wonder if white clay would do anything other than stick to your clothes??) without using borax?? my clothes arent SUPER dirty, just normal use dirty.

I just cant kick this gut feeling. :?
Most laundry soap recipes call for washing soda - or sodium carbonate. It is much like baking soda - sodium bi-carbonate but a bit more caustic with more cleaning abilities. It's usually found in the laundry section or swimming pool areas of stores. Not a typo - it's used to clean pools as well. It's perfectly safe and you might try it without the borax.
yeah i think i might look into it :)... going to research that one too!... thanks for the suggestions!
As someone who works on hazardous waste sites and with toxic chemicals for the past 10 years........ If you want reliable info look at the MSDS sheet for borax. All of the potential risks are identified. However, keep in mind that sand is also considered a hazardous material because inhalation can cause silicosis of the lungs.....doesn't mean you can't sun yourself on it. Based on the available info i have read it is safe at the levels you would be using for laundry. Now don't go snorting it! :wink:

Just my 2 cents
Hi Ian and All!!!

Glad to see there are others who use this...I have used borax and washing soda for years without a problem.

I make my own laundry soap. I place a layer of shredded (via trusty salad shooter) soap scraps in shallow boxes. Every few days or when I remember to :) I toss/crumble those about until dry enough to crumble into smaller pieces by rubbing between my palms. I then mix a bit of washing soda and/or borax in and a tad of lemon/lavender EO. I fill the rinse dispenser with white vinegar. (You can also add the vinegar to a downy ball.)

As for the dryer sheets - I either use heat sealable tea bags with herbs or recycled dryer sheets. (I soak wooden clothespins with EO - place them in an old mayo jar with the used dryer sheets/or squares of interfacing fabric and let the scent permeate.) BTW - the manual to my new dryer warned against using EO/FO in the dryer and specified doing so would void the warranty.
I make my own launrdy soap too

What I do is save the ends of the bars and when I collect enough, I toss them into a pot, add water and heat it up to melt the bits. When it cools it turns into a gel and I just scoop a spoonful of this into the wash. It also works great for other cleaning jobs.

As for dryer sheets, where possible I hang clothes out on the line. Nothing smells better than that. The commercial dryer sheets are highly toxic, and they gum up the vents back of your dryer creating a fire hazard. Not only that, they smell horrible. Maybe a few drops of essential oil on a facecloth if you want smell?
grace, Ive actually been thinking of putting my clothes out on a line...I love the fresh outdoors smell :)...

as for using the soap there any particular x amount of shavings (wt) you use for x amount of water?? to get it to the right strength??

I think that combined with baking or washing soda would be right for me :)

ooooh great link, ill have to try that...maybe use some bay leaves or something spicy :)... lavendar for the bedding...mmmm i can smell it now!! thanks for the suggestion! :)

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