The last time I was in a school was in 1985– almost 18 years ago. I’m 33 years old, going back to school for the first time since then. A new generation has emerged. Everything is different– way different! Computers are a huge part of education. The amount of paperwork involved in becoming a student is like homework; as far as I recall all we had to do when I was a kid was get on the bus every morning. There are more students in the classes, and definitely more homework.
So it is my first day at Yuba College. I’m in the restroom getting ready to wash my hands. Without looking, I reached to put some pressure on the soap dispenser. I could not believe what came out: POWDERED SOAP!
It took me all the way back to kindergarten. That was 25 or more years ago. How could this crap still be here? White powdery, scratchy, no bubbles whatsoever, did-it-really-work kind of soap. All the modern conveniences and upgrades we have in our schools now, and they still use this crappy dry soap. Go figure!
So I thought I would investigate. My first stop was our very own maintenance department. I found Rod Perry to assist me with my questions.
“Why is this dry powdered soap still here? And what is it anyway?” I asked.
“It is borax (boric acid /sodium borate),” replied Perry. “The reason it is still in the school restrooms, as you may have guessed, is economics.”
Can you imagine how much it might cost to change every soap dispenser on campus, just so we might upgrade the soap we use?
Borax is recognized for over 100 years: “An economical blend of soap and borax that cleans tough grime from hands and it won’t clog drains or harm fixtures”
Borax traces its roots to California’s Death Valley, where borate deposits were discovered in 1872.
And your hands feel like Death Valley when you’re done using it.Powered soap is popular, cheap and comes from a hole in the middle of the desert. All my questions are answered.
Just one more thing I discovered while I was digging around: The same borax we use to wash our hands with (boric acid) is commonly used in ant traps and cockroach control.