My wife recently bought a box of Borax to use in the laundry as we attempt to shift away from chemical cleaners and factory-made detergents in our household. You can read a bit about Borax here. As the link explains, borax is a mineral substance. (to capitalize or not..it’s a brand-name in the above photo, but it’s also a chemical compound in which case I don’t think it should be) Anyway, I’ve become familiar with this stuff over the years because it seems to be a mainstay in the household cleaning arsenal of most Amish women. A combination of it, lard, and lye can make for a mighty fine soap.
My question is that borax seems a bit like baking soda in the sense that it can have many different uses (although unlike baking soda, I don’t think you want to put Borax in your brownies). So, I’m wondering if we have any or Borax users among our Amish Cook audience and if so what are some of the things you use it for? Below is an Amish recipe for homemade soap. Some Amish go as natural as can be and use rainwater in the recipe.
- /2 cup Borax soap
- 11 pints cold soft water
- 9 pints melted grease (just melted enough to pour)
- 2 cans lye
- Dissolve the soap in the cold soft water. Add grease and stir. Then gradually add the lye. Stir until it forms soap. Let it set in dish pans and cool. After it's cold then cut it in chunks. Works best when you use soft water to do your laundry.