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What Is Borax and Where Can You Get It?

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This is a photo of natural borax crystals from California.

This is a photo of natural borax crystals from California.

Aramgutang, wikipedia.org This is a ball-and-stick model of the unit cell of a borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) crystal.

This is a ball-and-stick model of the unit cell of a borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) crystal.

Ben Mills

Question: What Is Borax?

Borax is a common household and commercial chemical. Here's a look at what borax is, some facts about borax, borax projects and how you can get borax.

Answer: Borax is a natural mineral with a chemical formula Na2B4O7 • 10H2O. The IUPAC name for borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate. Borax also is known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate. It is one of the most important boron compounds.

Where To Get Borax

Borax is found in laundry booster, certain hand soaps and in some toothpastes. You can order borax online or find it as one of these products, sold at grocery stores:
  • 20 Mule Team Borax (pure borax)
  • Boraxo powdered hand soap
  • tooth bleaching formulas (check the label for borax or sodium tetraborate)

Borax Uses

Borax has many uses on its own, plus it is an ingredient in other products. Here are some uses of borax powder and pure borax in water:
  • insect killer, particularly in roach killing products and as moth-preventative (10% solution on wool)
  • fungicide
  • herbicide
  • desiccant
  • laundry booster
  • household cleaner
Borax is an ingredient in several other products, such as:
  • buffer solutions
  • flame retardants
  • teeth bleaching products
  • glass, ceramics and pottery
  • enamel glazes
  • precursor for boric acid
  • for science projects such as green colored fire, slime, and borax crystals

 

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