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Is Bicarbonate of Soda a Substitute For Borax?

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Can somebody tell me if I can substitute bicarbonate of soda (easily available here) instead of borax (non-existent here) when I make up my own homemade washing powder?

I'm using plain soap (grated) and washing soda as my ingredients but I feel I need a bit more boosting to the mix. Something to brighten and whiten clothes would help but i don't know what to add. any suggestions please?

P.S. I use vinegar as a fabric softener in my final rinse, too.

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By Marty Dick 166 965 09/24/2007 Flag

You can also buy super washing soda for your laundry. just google it. It's available online if you can't find it at your local super market.

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By janbou (Guest Post) 09/24/2007 Flag

It depends what you are wanting to use the Borax for ---- 'bi carb' aka "baking soda" and/or washing soda are similar for softening hard water and thus allowing detergents to work better at cleaning clothes however Borax is a fabric 'friendly' bleach alternative - in Canada we have a product which promotes as the 'bleach for unbleachables' usually used on colored fabrics or those which bleach can harm! Sunlight itself also is a wonderful 'bleach alternative' you might try it!

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By cettina 78 392 09/25/2007 Flag

from wat i can gather, best substitute for borax is clothes bleach. i can get that here so it wont be a problem to substitute. tks for all the suggestions.

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By suzin (Guest Post) 09/26/2007 Flag

No, it is not the same...Borax contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate.....(I copied it off the Box I have)....I found a 800 telephone number you can call to ask questions about it....perhaps you can call that number and find out where you can get it in your area.....Tele. #...1-800-457-8739

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post) 09/27/2007 Flag

Borax is a brand name for washing soda which you referred to in your post.

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By Allison 21 158 11/01/2007 Flag

I'm pretty sure bicarbonate of soda is baking soda. I wouldn't use it if you are also using vinegar-- the chemical reaction might create a foamy mess.

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By stinkeyfeet 1 11/15/2010 Flag

I had difficulty finding borax in the UK. Turns out they stopped making it in the summer and have now released a new thing called borax substitute. If you google it you should be able to buy it online. Hope that helps.

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