What is the Borax trend on TikTok? People are eating laundry products for “health benefits”

Alice Sjöberg
TikTok Borax trendTikTok: tabrestored, chem.thug, melodyroxursox

First, it was Tide pods, now it’s Borax powder… TikTok has become known for having a special love for laundry products, with viral trends of people eating them. But what is the latest borax trend? And is it dangerous?

In 2018, many people online shocked viewers as they started eating Tide Pods as part of a challenge, leading to several deaths.

Just as people had gotten over the craziness that was the Tide Pod eating trend, a new trend came to replace it. But instead of eating Tide pods, people have moved on to Borax – a laundry powder and pesticide.

Article continues after ad

A handful of TikTok videos show people “jumping on the borax train” by adding the white powder to smoothies or coffee as a way to ease the symptoms of arthritis, lupus, or other health issues.

People are praising the so-called health benefits of eating or drinking borax on TikTok, swearing that a couple of scoops have changed their whole health journey. But how did people think of the idea to eat Borax? And what exactly is it?

Article continues after ad

What is Borax?

Borax is a naturally occurring compound, often known as sodium borate, that contains the elements boron, sodium, oxygen, and hydrogen.

For years, people have used borax as a laundry additive, a pesticide, a household cleanser, a herbicide and to unclog drains. It can also be found in some paints, acne products, and specialty oral care products, according to WebMD.

Why are people eating Borax?

It’s unclear how “the borax train” became an online trend, but some sources cite the work of researcher Rex Newnham, who published work in the 1990s advocating that boron (not borax) was an essential mineral lacking from many diets.

Article continues after ad

As one of Borax’s main ingredients is boron, people seem to have come up with the idea to start eating Borax to get more boron into their diet.

A video featuring @chem.thug, a chemist working on his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, has gone viral with over 1.8 million viewers hearing him explain why eating Borax is a very bad idea.

“Don’t eat sh*t out of the f*cking laundry box, people,” he implored. “This is patently dangerous.”

Article continues after ad

“Borax is actually really not good for you. According to the literature, it can cause kidney failure. It can cause reproductive harm. It also can cause developmental issues,” he added.

In response to the new trend, TikTok has shadowbanned several accounts where people mention “jumping on the Borax train”.

Is Borax safe to eat?

Borax is known to be dangerous when ingested. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin flushing, rash, excitation, convulsions, depression, and vascular collapse, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Article continues after ad

“Boron toxicity can also cause headache, hypothermia, restlessness, weariness, renal injury, dermatitis, alopecia, anorexia, and indigestion. In infants, high boron intakes have caused anemia, seizures, erythema, and thin hair,” the NIH added.

“Extremely high doses of boron can be fatal; for example, 15,000 to 20,000 mg can cause death in adults.”

Related Topics

About The Author

Alice is an Entertainment Writer who joined the Dextero team in May 2023. She is a NCTJ qualified journalist that previously worked in local news before moving on to entertainment news with OK! Magazine and a wide variety of other publications. You can contact Alice at alice.sjoberg@dexerto.com