What is Borax Substitute and why should you be using it?

For context, Borax is a salt naturally found in dry lake beds. It was commonly used in laundry detergents and hand soap before it was banned in the UK and Europe in 2010. It was deemed to be a “substance of very high concern” by the European Chemicals Agency because studies suggested that it may be toxic to reproductive health.

But on a more positive note. That’s why the Borax Substitute was developed.

Is Borax bad for me?

The European Chemicals Agency and National Institutes of Health found that Borax has been associated with several health issues such as irritation, hormones issues, toxicity and even death. In one rat study, scientists found that rats that consumed Borax experienced a decline in their testes and reproductive organs. This led scientists to believe that Borax may reduce ovulation and fertility.

This is pretty controversial among scientists and no follow-up human studies were done afterwards. But the people that deem Borax safe to use also provide a long list of safety tips to follow which begs to reason that we should look to eco-friendly and safe alternatives!

What is Borax Substitute?

Borax Substitute is a powerful multi-purpose cleaning ingredient made from sodium sesquicarbonate (derived from baking soda or bicarbonate of soda), making it safe, non-toxic, vegan, palm oil free, plastic-free and sustainable. Many people use baking soda as a cleaning agent too, but Borax Substitute is stronger.


Why is Borax Substitute great for cleaning?

Fun fact: it has virtually the same cleaning properties as normal Borax as it has a very similar pH of around 9. This means it’s great for getting rid of stains, mildew and mould as well as general household cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. Discover more cleaning benefits below:

  • Thanks to its sodium content, it also helps prevent limescale buildup in your washing machine and softens hard water.
  • It gets rid of unpleasant smells
  • Make your whites whiter when used with your other laundry detergent like an ecoegg.

How to use Borax Substitute 

If you’re using it for laundry, just pop a couple of tablespoons along with your detergent or eco-friendly alternative. If you have a stain, we recommend pre-soaking them in around 150g of Borax Substitute before going in the washing machine. Or, create a paste with hot water and apply it to the stain before. Some people also recommend adding vinegar or lemon juice to the solution to boost its cleaning power.

As an all-purpose cleaner for stainless steel, tiles, ceramics and marble it’s super simple. Sprinkle the Borax Substitute onto the surface and wipe clean with a cloth like the ecoLiving Compostable Sponges.

If you want to remove mould, Borax Substitute is one of the easiest solutions. Mix one part with 10 parts of water, then apply it and scrub vigorously to remove the mould. No need to wipe it after, just let the solution do its thing and dry naturally.


Additionally, the abrasive properties of Borax Substitute create an effective eco toilet cleaning solution. To enhance it, use vinegar again. Leave the mixture overnight and gently scrub and rinse away the following morning.

To clean your carpet, mix Borax Substitute with water and use a cloth to work the mixture into the strains. Come back to it later with a damp cloth so soak up most of the mixture. Once dry, you can vacuum as normal. If you just want to freshen your carpet, sprinkle it on dry, leave for 10 minutes and vacuum. You could add dried herbs to the mix if you want a specific scent.

And there is lots more you can do with Borax Substitute, making it the ideal multi-purpose eco cleaner for your cleaning routine.

Why is Borax Substitute good for the planet?

Unlike many traditional cleaning products that have harmful harsh chemicals, Borax Substitute is non-toxic so you can use it in your home without worrying about what happens when it goes down the drain – marine life is safe!

Plus, one little box of Dri-Pak Borax Substitute is 100% plastic free and comes in fully recyclable packaging. This is great news as single-use cleaning products are among the worst contributors to landfill and take hundreds of years to decompose. Once you’ve finished your Borax Substitute, you can recycle the packaging with peace of mind.

Wondering how long it takes for plastic to biodegrade? Find out here.


The final low down on Borax Substitute 

As a multi-purpose, eco-friendly, vegan, plastic-free and non-toxic cleaning solution – there’s not much more to say! We’re so pleased to have added the Dri-Pak Borax Substitute to our product portfolio as we’re big fans of reducing the number of plastic bottles under our kitchen sink and minimising our carbon footprint. Browse our entire range of eco-friendly cleaning solutions now!


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