Thursday, January 31, 2013

20 Mule Team Borax 

The fine folks at Purex Insiders and 20 Mule Team Borax


sent me a FREE box of their 100% natural laundry booster to try. Even if you haven't used Borax yourself, your mom and/or grandmother probably did; it's been around a LONG time. Here's their history:

"For more than a century, 20 Mule Team® Borax has been helping people clean around their homes and on the job.

Originally, borax was imported to the United States from Italy and Tibet for use in ceramics and goldsmithing. In 1881, a prospector named Aaron Winters learned about the value of white crystalline ulexite (the earliest known form of borax) from another prospector. The test, at that time, for purity was to pour alcohol and sulfuric acid over the ore and ignite it. If it burned green, it was borax.

Aaron Winters is reported to have said to his wife, “She burns green, Rosie! We’re rich, by God!” He quickly acquired and sold his Death Valley acres to William T. Coleman for $20,000. In 1882, Goldman built Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley and the Amargosa Borax Works near Shoshone, where cooler summers allowed borax to be processed year round.

Financial troubles forced Coleman to sell his properties to Francis Marion “Borax” Smith for $500,000 in 1890. Smith then created the Pacific Coast Borax Company which eventually became 20 Mule Team® Borax."


Why do they call it "20 Mule Team"?

"Twenty-mule teams were a solution to the transportation problem of moving millions of pounds of borax from remote mines in inaccessible Death Valley to the railroad at Mojave.

Originally, teams of eight and 10 mules were used. But the 165-mile trek proved to be too much for these teams. According to local legend, Harmony Borax superintendent J.W.S. Perry and a muleskinner (or driver) named Ed Stiles came up with the idea of hitching two 10-mule teams together. The result was 100-foot-long team that took 10 days to carry 10 tons of borax one way across the desert.

Three men operated the 20-mule teams, which were actually 18 mules and two horses. The mule teams hauled more than 12 million pounds of borax 165 miles in the five years between 1883 and 1888. During this time not a single animal was lost, nor did a single wagon break down. In 1894, a steam traction engine named “Dinah” was brought in to replace the mules, but she proved less reliable, and was eventually towed back to town by the mules she tried to replace.

After the mules were replaced by a new rail spur, the Pacific Coast Borax company added the name 20 Mule Team to Borax. The symbol was first used in 1891 and registered in 1894."


Wanna know what borax IS? Check this out:

"Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.
Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.
In artisanal gold mining, the borax method is sometimes used as a substitute for toxic mercury in the gold extraction process. Borax was reportedly used by gold miners in parts of the Philippines in the 1900s.
The term borax is used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content, but usually refers to the decahydrate. Commercially sold borax is usually partially dehydrated.
The word borax:بورق is Arabic – the Arabic is said to be from the Persian burah, a word that may have meant potassium nitrate or another fluxing agent. Another name for borax is tincal, from Sanskrit.
Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported via the Silk Road to Arabia. Borax first came into common use in the late 19th century when Francis Marion Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company began to market and popularize a large variety of applications under the famous 20 Mule Team Borax trademark, named for the method by which borax was originally hauled out of the California and Nevada deserts in large enough quantities to make it cheap and commonly available."


I bet that's a little more glamorous than you thought, wasn't it? Borax is more than just a laundry additive, but that's the role we're focusing on today. Here's what they say on their Facebook page:

For over 115 years, all-natural 20 Mule Team® Borax has been an essential laundry boosting and multi-purpose cleaning solution.
Company Overview
20 Mule Team® Borax is an all natural product with many practical uses in the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom.

For over 115 years, 20 Mule Team Borax has helped the world get their clothes smelling fresher and their households looking cleaner. Borax has long been, and will continue to be the natural way to clean.

20 Mule Team is all natural and always has been!"

Visit them on Facebook here:


When a product stays around this long, it's because it WORKS. It gets your laundry cleaner and fresher, it works in ALL kinds of washing machines, and that means HE too. If you're into natural products, you're limited in your choices for laundry products; this is a great one for you to try... over a century of users can't all be wrong!! I really liked how my laundry looked and smelled after using it, and I like using something with a long history of safe and effective use. One of YOU can try it for FREE; send me an email telling me why your laundry needs help, and I'll pick the best one and send you some free coupons. I'll post the winner Saturday night.

In the meantime, be sure and enter the Borax Fresh Year, Fresher Laundry Sweepstakes; click


Monday, January 14, 2013


The fine folks at Naturally Savvy


and Teeccino


sent me FREE TeeChia Gluten-Free Super Seeds cereal and Teeccino Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee to try... but they didn't put any words in my mouth.

The cereal isn't like you think; it's not crunchy pieces, but looks and is prepared sort of like oatmeal, although it has instructions to make a cold version as well. To me, a cold glob of grains is nasty whatever the actual ingredients are, but YOU might like cold oatmeal, in which case you'd probably be fine with the cold version of this cereal; I'll stick with the hot version.

Their idea that this cereal is "naturally sweet" because they've added a little bit of fruit is a fantasy; it doesn't taste sweet at all, and a ton of sweetener needs to be added to make it edible.

Once it's fully sweetened, it's a reasonably tasty cereal, with a complex flavor and lots of different ingredients. The varieties they sent me are:




Both cereals are gluten-free, and packed with healthy and nutritious ingredients; if you're looking for an oatmeal-type cereal and don't mind adding sweetener, this could be worth a try.

The herbal coffee does not taste like coffee. It's got an interesting flavor, and it's drinkable, but it's not remotely a replacement for your morning java. Still, if you want a different hot drink, or a new caffeine-free alternative to decaf, it's worth a shot... but be warned, all the varieties I was sent contain barley, which contains gluten, so these beverages are NOT gluten-free. You can see all the many varieties here:


Tuesday, January 01, 2013


I rung in the New Year with the Esio, the new hot and cold beverage dispenser, which I received FREE along with beverage packs to test via BSM Media.


People at the party were interested to see how it worked; they were able to have both hot and cold drinks from one machine, which no one had seen before.

We had a variety of problems; leakage from what turned out to be a loose plug, concentrate coming out instead of beverage, and the cold drinks never getting really cold.

We did eventually get it working smoothly. The coffee was rated "medicinal," "ok" and "good" by the various people who tried it. People weren't really up for lemonade or sports drinks at a New Year's party, but those who were coaxed into tasting the cold drinks pronounced them "ok."

I think the Esio is really better suited for keeping members of the household from opening the fridge every 5 seconds for a drink than for an adult party. Maybe when they come out with different coffee flavors, or more adult-friendly cold beverages, it will be more than a novelty at parties; it's an interesting machine with the potential to be a popular item.

You can find Esio at Walmart; check it out here:


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