I've been reading old threads....just trying to form a concensus.
Is the primary benefit of Borax for Hard Water
When, where, applicable do you use Borax ?
I'm on city soft water..
chefwong: "When, where, applicable do you use Borax ?"
We use borax in every load of laundry that we wash in a washing machine; we do not use borax in the infrequent times that we handwash items.
"Is the primary benefit of Borax for Hard Water
I'm on city soft water."
We, too, have very soft water from our municipal utility (Portland, Oregon). I am not certain that borax provides any water-softening benefit. The primary benefits of borax are:
1. It is a mild disinfectant. Our use of borax may be responsible for the fact that, in three-quarters of a century using front loading automatic machines, we nave never, not once, had an incident of mold or "smelly washer syndrome."
2. (maybe the same as point 1) Borax freshens or "sweetens" loads of laundry. My mother used to keep a bucket (with lid) that had some borax in it for storage of dirty diapers (remember cloth diapers?) until they could be properly cleaned as part of a full load of wash. We did the same when our turn came; it kept the dirty diapers from smelling up the laundry room. No longer washing diapers, now our "dispenser" for the borax that we use is smelly socks: we distribute the borax among the socks, and throw the socks into the washer tub; the socks come out fresh and clean.
3. Borax reduces the quantity of laundry detergent needed. Per dose, laundry detergent generally is more expensive than borax.
4. Borax acts as a rinse aid (not unlike the action of the rinse aids that you probably use in your dishwasher), to help the rinse water get residual detergent out of the laundry.
I've been using Borax in the load with my husband's dirty and smelly work clothes. Sure helps with the cleaning and the clothes smell good.
How much per load would you suggest putting into a front loading machine?
Also, are you talking about the borax like "20 mule team"?
20 mule team is what I use. I use one-half cup per large load in my FL. I put it directly in the machine. You want to be sure there are no large lumps because they won't dissolve.
I can't recall where I read this as well, but it was suggested that Borax was NOT good with some metals....and led to rust spots.
peoniesandposies: "How much per load would you suggest putting into a front loading machine? Also, are you talking about the borax like '20 mule team'?"
Our scoop is a 1/3 cup measuring cup; we almost fill it (about 3/4+ full) with 20 Mule Team borax and throw that amount into every load of laundry.
chefwong: "I can't recall where I read this as well, but it was suggested that Borax was NOT good with some metals....and led to rust spots."
I can tell you that borax did no damage to:
1. A 1936-37 era Bendix front-loader;
2. A 1972 Westinghouse front-loader;
3. A 1995 Frigidaire Gallerie front-loader;
4. So far, a 2010-11 Samsung front-loader.
If borax damages metals, I do not know what metals are subject to damage. Rust applies only to ferous metals; I know borax does not adversely affect steel (used in all of the machines above).
I too use it with every load, about a 1/2 cup. However question for front loader folks: dispenser or in with the clothes? I never thought about that until the post above... I just always add it to the dispenser with the detergent.
Sorry this is probably a really dumb question. But I've been looking at the homemade laundry detergents (thanks to pinterest). But it seems like many of you are just using the borax 20 mule team alone? As in not mixed with anything else?
I use it as an additive, along with detergent,