Recently I received a box of Borax, the 20 Mule Team detergent booster, to try out and review. I have always had a box of Borax next to my washing machine because we have hard water and it is a great laundry booster to make cleaning laundry more effective. I add about an ounce of Borax per load when I add my detergent.
What is hard water? It's water in your home that has calcium and magnesium ions in it. Detergent can attach to these calcium and magnesium granules and settles on the bottom of the washing machine instead of mixing with the water and cleaning the clothes. What exactly is Borax? Its sodium teraborate, a natural mineral that results from the perpetual evaporation of seasonal lakes. There is no chlorine, phosphate or other additives in it.
Borax is an ingredient in the homemade laundry soap mixture I found on Pinterest and have wanted to make for the past year, but haven't! I finally have all of the ingredients to make it, so now to finally do it! (And you can too if you read all the way to the end for the giveaway info!)
Crafting with Borax
Did you know that besides laundry and home cleaning that you can also use Borax for crafts?
A while ago we made homemade slime using Borax and white glue. This time we made crystal snowflakes using Borax and water. There are many "recipes" for this online, but I ended up combining instructions from several sources. The first place I found directions was on Martha Stewart Living's site.
- one quart sized mason jar or similar container per snowflake...we made two.
- pipe cleaners
- scissors to cut pipe cleaners
- two cups of boiling water per jar
- 1/2 to one cup of Borax per jar
- food coloring if desired
- pencil or tape
- Shape pipecleaners into snowflake patterns. We got a bit too fancy. Simple works just fine! We used sparkly pipe cleaners instead of food coloring. The color shows through the crystals.
- Tie string to the snowflakes.
- Boil water in a large mixing container. I used the microwave.
- Add the Borax to the water and stir well to disolve.
- Fill the jar or container with the Borax/water solution. Suspend the snowflake into the solution so that it is completly submerged. I had to add a bit more water to my jars to get the snowflakes covered. To keep the snowflake suspended, tie the string around a pencil and balance it on the top. We used tape and attached the string to the side of each container.
- Sit the jars in a safe place overnight. Check them the next day and you'll find crystals will have formed on the pipe cleaners!
Take out your snowflakes and let them dry a bit before hanging. Clean out the jars with hot sudsy water to break up the remaining crystals that are on the bottom of the jar. Experiment with all sorts of shapes, not just snowflakes!
Want to win big? Enter the Borax Fresh Year, Fresher Laundry Sweepstakes! It's your chance to win either $1500 or coupons for Borax from Borax. You can't win if you don't enter!
Want to try out Borax for free? Leave me a comment on this blog post telling me you want to win a free box of Borax and/or leave a laundry tip. I'll select one comment to send a coupon for a free box of Borax! US addresses only. Coupon giveaway ends February 1st, 2013. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond, so be sure to include a way for me to contact you!
Disclosure: Borax provided a free sample of their product for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation has been received and opinions expressed here are my own.