Tag Archive borax

BORAX: 115 Years of Cleaning and Fixing Problems

What is Borax?

Good question!  It’s been around for over 115 years and I never heard of it until about 6 months ago.  I came across a homemade recipe for laundry soap and it called for Borax.  So, I went searching for some Borax.  After finding it at a local store, I used it to make the homemade laundry soap I had a recipe for.  It worked great for me.  Now I am finding all kinds uses for it every where I look.

About 4 months ago I ended up in the hospital for a mrsa infection.  I did some internet searching and I found some people said they where using it in there laundry to kill mrsa and scabies.  Some even report they bath in it to help control mrsa and scabies outbreaks.  We did a blog about scabies home remedies including Borax at: http://www.portaltaxi.net/news/2012/04/22/home-remedies-for-scabies/

But what is it?  According to wikipedia.org, Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.  Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported via the Silk Road to Arabia.

Borax first came into common use in the late 19th century when Francis Marion Smith’s Pacific Coast Borax Company began to market and popularize a large variety of applications under the famous 20 Mule Team Borax trademark, named for the method by which borax was originally hauled out of the California and Nevada deserts in large enough quantities to make it cheap and commonly available.  Now it is a brand of Henkel, the name behind Dial Soap.

I have been doing some internet research to see what all the hip is about this Borax.  Its main purpose is an laundry additive, however it seems many people are finding all kinds of other uses for it.  I thought I would share some of the uses I have found via the internet.

Please be aware that the resources I am sharing are not necessarily approved by any government agencies.  You should research these for yourself.  I am just sharing what I have found.  Many of these are homemade recipes people are trying at home.  Some may be unsafe.  You should use caution if you try any of these ideas.

Can Borax be used to kill ants or roaches?

On Their Borax web site, The Dial Corporation says they cannot recommend Borax to kill ants or roaches. The EPA has not authorized 20 Mule Team as a pesticide.  However many people claim they are using it to Keep roaches, waterbugs, and ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar.  Yes, I did say sugar.  I could not believe it myself.  Here is a video I found on diylife.com that explains why: (It plays at the end of the video).  Very interesting.

 Diylife.com has an article on this topic called:  25 Household Uses For Borax.  Check it out.  It has some other pretty good ideas for Borax.  If the video above is not showing up for you try reloading your page.

Will Borax Kill Scabies?

According to a post at ehow.com  By Deb Powers: One common home remedy for treating scabies is to soak in a bathtub of water to which 1 to 2 cups of borax and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide have been added. The treatment is repeated daily until the condition subsides. While there is no medical proof that the borax scabies treatment works, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to support its use.

One reason that scabies is so difficult to cure is that the insects can survive for up to 72 hours on bedding and furniture. To prevent reinfection with scabies, wash all bedding and clothing in hot water with borax. Sprinkle borax liberally on carpets, mattresses and furniture and leave for at least 1 hour before vacuuming.

Borax is poisonous if taken internally. If you choose to use borax to treat scabies, be sure to keep it away from children, pets and any food preparation surfaces. It can also irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.

Some other home remedies I have read that seam worth researching for scabies are: Tea Tree Oil, Sulfur Soap, and MSM Supplements.

You can research more about using Borax for Scabies at:



Can I use Borax around my pets?

According to their web site: 20 Mule Team® Borax can be used to deodorize pet odors. However, they recommend you keep 20 Mule Team® Borax out of reach of pets and children.  However, I have found many post through out the internet where people are claiming to use it on there dogs to control mange.  Here are a couple links to post I found on the internet where they are using it on their pets: (use at your own risk)

Borax with Hydrogen Peroxide for Mange

Cure Demodectic and Sarcoptic Dog Mange

Borax Treatment for Mange

Can I use Borax with bleach?

According to 20 Mule Team® web site: Yes, 20 Mule Team and chlorine bleach can be mixed safely.

How much Borax do I use in the wash load?

According 20 Mule Team® web site: Add ½ cup 20 Mule Team® Borax to each wash load along with the recommended amount of soap or detergent.

What is the shelf life of Borax?

According to 20 Mule Team®: The shelf life of 20 Mule Team is indefinite if stored in a dry place.

What are the ingredients in 20 Mule Team® Borax?

According to their web site, 20 Mule Team is composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. (The scientific name for borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate.) 20 Mule Team® Borax is comprised of 99.5% pure borax, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. The remaining 0.5% is composed of trace minerals.

Is Borax safe for septic systems?

According to 20 Mule Team web site: Yes.

Is 20 Mule Team® Borax Laundry Booster the same as boric acid?

No, Boric Acid is an acid formed from the reaction of borax with sulfuric acid or another mineral.

What else can Borax be used for?

Make an all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 tablespoons borax and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle.

Clean your toilet with this solution: Dissolve 1/2 cup of borax with 1 gallon of water. Scrub the toilet with a strong brush, let it sit and flush to rinse. This non-abrasive cleaner can also be used in the bathtub or on counters.

Make your own dishwasher detergent by mixing 1tablespoons borax and 1tablespoons baking soda.

Find more Borax ideas here:



According to wikipedia.org, Borax, given the E number E285, is also used as a food additive in some countries but is banned in the United States. As a consequence, certain foods, such as caviar, produced for sale in the U.S. contain higher levels of salt to assist preservation.  Its use as a cooking ingredient is to add a firm rubbery texture to the food, or as a preservative. In oriental cooking it is mostly used for its texturing properties. In Asia, Borax (Chinese: 硼砂; pinyin: péng​ shā​) or (Chinese: 月石; pinyin: yuè shí​) was found to have been added to some Chinese foods like the hand-pulled noodles lamian and some rice noodles like Shahe fen, Kway Teow, and Chee Cheong Fun recipes.  In Indonesia it is a common, but forbidden, additive to such foods as noodles, bakso (meatballs), and steamed rice. The country’s Directorate of Consumer Protection warns of the risk of liver cancer with high consumption over a period of 5–10 years.

Source: Photo and some information about borax taken from: http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com  20 Mule Team® is a trademark and brand of Henkel / Also know as the Dial Corporation
Other resource information taken from said links with in my blog post.  Please visit links within blog post for more information.
Note: I do not know if any of these work or it they may be unsafe..  They are information I found when trying to learn about this topic.  Please do your own research before using any of these items, ideas or recipes.

Do you have more ideas for Borax?

Kewl, share it in the comment section below : )

Home Remedies For Scabies

Photo Source: Wikimedia.orgA good friend of mine was getting a rash over his entire body. He went to the doctors and they thought he had chickenpox. They tested him for chickenpox but it came back negative.  After running some more test they figured out he had scabies.  He asked me if I knew what it was. I heard of it, but I had know idea of what it really was. So, I started doing some research for him via the internet. That brings me to this blog. I thought I would share with you what I have learned about it.

I said to him, you got bugs dude!  I know what you’re thinking, he did not like that either.  You see scabies are actually an insect like spitter, but it is so small that you can not see them.  When they infect your body they will live under your skin.  You will not see them, but he tells me oh.. you will fill them.  They move around under your skin and make you really itchy.  And he said its gross to think about.  As I was reading I learned it is a common thing for people to get scabies.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a really clean person or a really dirty person.  All you have to do is be around someone that has them.  Touch them or something they just touched and you might get them.  Its that easy to get scabies.

If you get Scabies it is best to go see a doctor.  The bugs will not go away on their own.  You need to treat them with something that will kill them.  A doctor may prescribe medicines like Permethrin 5%, Lindane, Crotamiton, Sulfur preparations and or antihistamines.  They should also treat your entire family because the scabies are highly contagious.

What is scabies really?

Scabies is a skin disease caused by mites called Sarcoptes Scabiei.  The mites are small eight-legged parasites, in contrast to insects, which have six legs.  They are tiny, just 1/3 millimeter long, and burrow into your skin to produce intense itching, which tends to get worse at night.  The mites that infest humans are female and are 0.3 mm-0.4 mm long; the males are about half this size. Scabies mites can be seen with a magnifying glass or microscope. The scabies mites crawl but are unable to fly or jump. They are immobile at temperatures below 20 C, although they may survive for prolonged periods at these temperatures.  Scabies mites are very sensitive to their environment. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions.

How do you get scabies?

Direct skin-to-skin contact is the most common way.  Having sex that is.  But that is not the only way.  If you live with someone who has scabies there’s a pretty good chance you will get them.  That is why most doctors who know what they are doing will treat the entire family.  If your sitting on the sofa they may jump off you to the sofa and then on to who ever sits down next.  My friend worked at a hotel and he thinks he might have gotten them from the bedding at the hotel.  You could have the scabies on you for 4 to 6 weeks before you know it and they start causing you problems.  That is because they are nesting and reproducing.  Yes, that’s right growing on you until they start causing enough problems for you to start feeling them.

Can you get them from your Dog?  No, your dog can get mites but they get a different kind.  They also can not get the type of mite that you can.

What are the symtoms of Scabies?

My friend was tired and had a fever for weeks.  Was getting red bumbs, as in a rash over his entire body.  Was always itchy.  Like really itchy.  But you can not see the scabies on you.  You can get them anywhere on your body but most people get a rash from them on there finger, wrist, ancles, inter thigh, your private areas and on your back.  The folded area of your body are the best place for them to live.  Will they Kill you?  That is not said to be an issue, but they can make you really sick and make you feel weak.  They are not known to cause death, but I am sure they could cause severe heath problems if you do not treat them and get rid of them.  Like I said it is probably best to go see a doctor for help, but some people insist on self medication.

Are There Home Remedies For Scabies / Ways To Help Fight Your Scabies?

Are there any home remedies to cute scabies?  Oh my god yes, and some of the ones I read where crazy.  One guy was putting his sheets in the freeze every night.  That sounded a little crazy to me, but I guess you will try anything if you want to get rid of them.. lol

Here are some of the better home remedies I found.  The reason I say better is because more people seemed to be talking about them and some people claimed they worked for them.  This information is just what I read as I was researching.  I am NOT a doctor.  You need to decide what is best for you.  It would not be a bad idea to ask your doctors advice if you want to try any of the home remedies that I found and posted.

Will Tea Tree Oil Kill Scabies?

From what I have read yes!  Tea Tree Oil seems to be one of the best over the counter scabies fighting items and one of the best scabies home remedies for killing these bugs.  Many people also claim to use Tea Tree Oil for acne, athlete’s foot, eczema, various yeast infections, to kill lice, dandruff and dry scalp and a lot of other things.  Some internet post that I read even claim that tea tree oil works as well if not better then some of the prescription drugs.  I am not sure how much truth is to that, but.. I read an interesting post about Tea Tree Oil at healthy-oil-planet.com.  According to what they are reporting on there web site:

Tea Tree Oil More Effective than Pesticides for Treating Scabies:

Darwin, Australia – Scientists discover tea tree oil is more effective than some commonly prescribed pesticides used to treat scabies.

Researchers took scabies samples from a 20 year old woman infected with crusted scabies on her skin and exposed them to the following solutions:

  • 5% Tea Tree Oil solution
  • 5% Permethrin (a commonly used insecticide for scabies)
  • Ivermectin (an anti-parasite drug)

They studied the scabies at regular time intervals over a 24 hour period to see what would happen to them.

At the end of the study researchers discovered:

  • 5% tea tree oil was very effective at reducing the survival times of the scabies, killing them off at a faster rate.
  • The primary cause was terpinen-4-ol, an active ingredient found in tea tree oil.There are cases where scabies may develop a resistance to usual drug treatments like Ivermectin and Permethrin. Results show tea tree oil may be an effective and safe alternative treatment. There are fewer side effects associated with using tea tree oil and you also reduce your exposure to the strong pesticides that are normally used.  There is also information on a two year study on their site at: http://www.healthy-oil-planet.com/tea-tree-oil-and-scabies.html  You can also find a lot of info on Tea Tree Oil at wikipedia.org

If you’re seeking a non-toxic method to fight scabies, this healthy oil may be just what the doctor ordered.

How To Apply Tree Tree Oil For Scabies?

I found a lot of different ways to apply Tea Tree Oil for Scabies when I was searching the web.  I thought this one I read on ehow.com was one of the better that I found: http://www.ehow.com/how_5063047_treat-scabies-tea-tree-oil.html

You may be able to modify it to fit into the other remedies you are trying for your scabies.  Maybe you are using a borax bath?  Maybe you could add the tee tree oil to your bath.  Not sure if they would work together.  If you try it let me know.

Where can I buy Tea Tree Oil?


Does Borax Kill Scabies?

Yes, from what I have read Borax is one of the best tool against fighting scabies.  I did not find any thing that would prove this about Borax, but it seem like most people say it does.  Everyone seems to say to wash your clothing in Hot Hot Water with Borax.  They say clean your house with a borax and water mixture.  Some even claim bathing in Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide helps kill the scabies.  Many of the post I read people did not think this was a good idea, but the people who said they where doing it seemed to claim it was working for them.  At lease 90% of the ones I read who where doing it said it was helping.  There was a few who said it was not working.

I found Borax so interesting I wrote a separate blog post about it at: http://www.portaltaxi.net/news/2012/04/25/borax-115-years-of-cleaning-and-fixing-problems/

Where can I buy Borax?


If you have any ideas for killing or helping control scabies please share them in the comments under my blog post.  Have you tried something that has worked for you?

Will Sulfur Soap Kill Scabies / Will MSM Kill Scabies ?

On one blog I was reading, a poster claimed he tried everything but nothing was working to kill his scabies.  He claimed even the meds that his doctor gave him had not worked.  He said he started bathing With Sulfur Soap and Taking MSM supplements.  He stated within a week his scabies started to clear up.  I did not find a lot of other post who claimed this method, but I thought it was worth mentioning because from what I have read sulfur seems to kill scabies.  Both of the items are made with sulfur so I guess it could work.  Plus the soap and pill do not cost much.  It might be worth researching more.

Where can I buy Sulfur Soap?


Where can I buy MSM Supplement (methylsulfonylmethane)?


Another sulfur product that might be worth trying is a Sulfur Ointment such as:

Pomada De Azufre Sulfur Ointment 2.6 Oz Acne Cream De La Cruz.  Where can you get it?


They Say You Should Use Mattress Protectors And Change Your Bedding Daily If You Have Scabies. 

The scabies can live in your bedding.  Such as your mattress, sheets and pillows.  Most people suggest you wash your bedding daily and wrap your mattress with plastic to keep them out.  Some people claim to spray borax / water mixture on their bedding to help with this.

Where can I buy Mattress Protectors?

Will Vitamin Help With Scabies? 

You may want to look into taking some vitamin E.  People claim it boost your immune system and in turn helps fight off your scabies.  It is something worth looking into more.

Where can I buy Vitamin E?


This blog post is written from ideas I have found from around the internet.  I am not a doctor.  I do not know if they are good for you or bad for you.  They are just things I was researching to help my friend fight his scabies.  If I had scabies I probally would try most of them myself.  Do what you wish with the info I collected.  I hope some of it will at lease bring you some relief from your itching if nothing more.  Most items I listed in this blog you can find in local stores.  I have supplied some links to some of the stuff if you would like to buy it online.  I hope it helps and good luck!

If you have any ideas for killing or helping control scabies, please share them in the comments under my blog post.  Have you tried something that has worked for you?

Here are some links to some of the web sites that I was reading to learn and get information.  You might want to check some of them out if your looking to learn more about scabies.


There was a few more sites I checked out for information.. but the ones I listed where some of the more interesting.  If you find another interesting web site about scabies be sure to post a link to it in the comments below.

Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scabies

Share Your Ideas For Fighting Scabies: 

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