Welcome to my blog about Soapmaking and a little bit of other stuff! Please visit my etsy shop, Soap by Em!

Monday, June 24, 2013


I came home from a wonderful family weekend to find... beetles in my basement.  Ewww! Doesn't sound so bad until I mention that I'm living in the basement-- the air conditioner upstairs is turned off so I can save on utility bills.  So far, I've only seen them on the carpet and they generally move with a purpose from left to right.

I also found a lot of dead beetles... a few google searches later I mixed some borax, flour, sugar, with a little chilli powder and sprinkled it around the baseboards.  The recipes for the bait were pretty generic, and I was very unscientific about mine.  Probably about 1-2 cups borax with 1/3 cups each flour and sugar.  I threw in chili powder because it was a part of the pet friendly remedy we used last summer.  No pets to eat the borax now.  Cocoa powder was also suggested but I wanted the overall mix to be more the color of the carpet to prevent further discoloration of the carpet.  There is a red stain from cinnamon/ chili powder that I can't vacuum up or get to with the carpet cleaner.

I have leftover mix stored and labeled.

This got me wondering-- what is borax, anyway?  Most bloggers who I have come across are pro, neutral (but do not use it) or seriously anti borax.  But I haven't found any good reasons as to why.  Let's find out.

According to Borax's youtube channel, Borax provides a laundry boost by softening water, changing the pH to better lift stains, and keep them lifted so they do not redeposit on clothes.   I first bought borax for laundry so yay.  It is harvested from evaporated lakes or made synthetically.

The Environmental Working Group does not recommend Borax for use in cleaning.  The website offers alternatives for scrubbing stuff without borax.  They also add that borax can be found in nutritional supplements and sticky play material.  So you might consider making playdoh or goop instead of using commercial product with children who are too young not to eat it.

Chemistry wise, here is a discussion of borax.

It looks like I will be saving borax for the laundry in the future.  I will keep you posted about the critters.

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