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What is borax: In the UK, Borax also called sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is sold as a naturally occurring mineral compound best known as a laundry booster and water softener. Borax is also excellent as a multi-purpose household cleaner with many uses throughout the house including craft projects.
Although it has numerous industrial uses, in the home borax is used as a natural laundry booster, for cleaning, fungicide, preservative, insecticide (ants, fleas etc), disinfectant, desiccant, and ingredient in making "slime". It can be mixed with most other cleaning agents, including chlorine bleach.
Borax has many chemical properties that contribute to its cleaning power. Borax and other borates clean and bleach by converting some water molecules to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This reaction is more favorable in hotter water. The pH of borax is about 9.5, so it produces a basic solution in water, thereby increasing the effectiveness of bleach and other cleaners. In other chemical reactions, borax acts as a buffer, maintaining a stable pH needed to maintain cleansing chemical reactions. The boron, salt, and/or oxygen of boron inhibit the metabolic processes of many organisms. This characteristic allows borax to disinfect and kill unwanted pests. Borates bonds with other particles to keep ingredients dispersed evenly in a mixture, which maximizes the surface area of active particles to enhance cleaning power.
Even though it best known as a laundry booster, borax does much more, and once you discover how many things it is good for, you will want to keep a box handy. Here are just some of the everyday tasks it can handle:
Cleaning with borax
Borax in cosmetics
Borax is used in many areas including cosmetics and toiletries. It is also used as a crosslinking agent to emulsify waxes and other paraffins used as a base for lotions, creams and ointments.
Borax as a buffering agent
Borax hydrolyzes to give a mildly alkaline solution and can be used to neutralise acids. It can be used in combination with strong alkilies to produce chemical compounds of lower pH. The relatively constant pH of Borax (approx pH 9.2) Dedahydrate solutions makes it an excellent buffering agent.
Borax in adhesives
Borax Decahydrate is part of the starch adhesive formulation for corrugated paper and paperboard, and is a peptising agent in the manufacture of casein-based and dextrin-based adhesives. It greatly improves the tack and green strength of the adhesive by crosslinking conjugated hydroxyl groups.
Borax in metallurgy
Borax Decahydrate has the ability to dissolve metal oxides and is exploited in the recovery of metals such as brass, copper, lead and zinc from scrap or smelting slag.
Borax for corrosion prevention
Borax finds many uses as a corrosion inhibitor in aqueous sytems as it can prevent oxidation of ferrous / Iron metals. Typical applications are in engine coolants, antifreezes and water treatments. Borax is highly soluble in MEG / ethylene glycol and can neutralise acids that are produced from the decomposition of the MEG prevention acidic corrosion of the metal surface.
Other industrial uses for borax
Borax is used: In the extraction of gold from metals. As a flame retardant and for putting out small fires without the risks of flare-up. A carrier for herbicides. As a stbiliser and bonding agent for specialist abrasives. As a neutraliser and carrier in the production of metal wire.
To make a Borax solution with a maximum Boron content of 300mg/Kg
8% Borax solution contains 0.9% boron which equates to 9g of boron in 1ml of 8% boron solution. To make a 1 litre of borax solution ensuring that the maximum boron concentration does not excess 300mg per Kg would allow for a maximum of 33mls of 8% Borax solution in 1 Litre of water.
Health & Safety:
PLEASE NOTE: This product is not for human or animal consumption.