Borax 8% Solution - Sodium Tetraborate

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8% w/v aqueous solution

sodium tetraborate decahydrate solution

General information on Borax:

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.


Properties of Borax solution:

  • Synonyms: Borax Decahydrate solution, Sodium borate solution,
  • CAS No.: 1303-96-4
  • Appearance: Clear liquid
  • Density: 1.05-1.06 g/cm3
  • pH: 9-10.5
  • Na2B4O7.10H2O: 8% min

How Does Borax Clean?

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

  • Laundry: a stain remover that works on blood, chocolate, coffee, mildew and urine stains.
  • Remove stubborn stains from rugs and carpets. Thoroughly dampen the area, apply some borax. Let the area dry, then vacuum or blot it with a solution of equal parts vinegar and soapy water and let dry. Repeat if necessary. Don't forget to first test the procedure on an inconspicuous corner of the rug or on a carpet scrap before applying it to the stain. 
  • Eliminate urine odour on mattresses. Toilet training can be a rough experience for all the parties involved. If your child has an "accident" in bed, here's how to get rid of any lingering smell: Dampen the area, then spray on some borax. Let it dry.
  • Soften Hard Water. If you have hard water add a bit of Borax to your bath to soften it. Hard water makes soaps and shampoos less effective. 
  • Remove mildew from you household and car fabric. To remove mildew from upholstery and other fabrics, soak a sponge in a solution of borax  and rub it into the affected areas. Let it soak in for several hours until the stain disappears, then rinse well. To remove mildew from clothing, soak it in a solution of the borax.
  • Keep away weeds and ants. Get the jump on those weeds that grow in the cracks of the concrete outside your house by sprinkling borax into all the crevices where you've seen weeds grow in the past. It will kill them off before they have a chance to take root. When applied around the foundation of your home, it will also keep ants and other six-legged intruders from entering your house. But be very careful when applying borax — it is toxic to plants. 
  • Cleaning windows and mirrors.Want to get windows and mirrors spotless and streakless? Wash them with a clean sponge dipped in a 50:50 mix of the borax solution and water.
  • Baby Nappies and Clothes: Presoak flushed-out, soiled cloth nappies in a bucket of 3L hot water and 3L Borax solution for 30 minutes before washing. It helps to reduce odours and stains and makes nappies more absorbent.
  • Flea Control:
  • Deodorizing Rubbish Disposals: Pour some borax solution down the drain and after 15 minutes or so, flush the drain with warm water.
  • Clean and Deodorize Fridges: Mix 200mls of borax solution per litre of warm water and use it to wipe down the insides of the fridge.
  • Deodorizing Bins: Soak the bin with a mixture of hot water and borax solution to eliminate odours. After it has dried, spray in more borax solution inside to help absorb future odours.
  • Sinks, Bathtubs and Toilets: Cleans and deodorises hard surfaces. Will remove soap scum and stains.


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.

Click here to read about the top ten uses of borax

Is borax about to be banned in the UK? - Click here to find out


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:

H319 Causes serious eye irritation.
H360FD May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child.


Click here for Safety Data Sheet MSDS

Click here for Specification Sheet


PLEASE NOTE: This product is not for human or animal consumption.