PH Of Borax : 7 Facts You Should Know!

Introduction


Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a mineral with many uses. Its pH level affects its effectiveness and safety. Let’s explore this!

When borax is dissolved in water, it forms an aqueous solution with a pH between 9 and 10. It depends on the amount of borax, water and other chemicals.

Agriculture often uses borates to treat wood fungus and protect crops. Boric acid can be mixed with muriatic acid or hydrogen peroxide to create pesticides or herbicides.

But too much borates can be bad for people. The EPA sets a safe exposure limit of 0.04 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day.

When using borax, remember its potential chemical hazards and toxicity levels. Always follow safety procedures outlined on MSDS.

ph of borax

Borax

Understanding Borax


To gain a better understanding of borax, let me explain what it is and the different types available. First, we’ll explore what borax is and its various properties. Then, we’ll discuss the types of borax that are commonly used and their unique properties. Finally, we’ll look at the general properties of borax, including its chemical makeup and how it reacts with other substances.

What is Borax?

Borax is a natural mineral made of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. It’s found in dry lake beds and has been used for ages as a cleaner and insecticide. Borax also makes glass, ceramics and fertilizers.

It’s great for laundry. Add it to the wash with detergent to whiten clothes and remove stains. Sprinkle some on carpets for a natural deodorizer before vacuuming.

Borax has antimicrobial properties that stop bacteria and fungi. That’s why it’s used in some skincare products to reduce inflammation and treat acne.

Fun fact: Borax was discovered in Tibet in the 8th century by Arabic alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber). From decahydrate to pentahydrate, there’s a borax for every purpose – just don’t use it as seasoning!

Types of Borax

Borax is a compound with many varieties and properties. All these types vary in the amount of water molecules they contain, which impacts solubility. The most common one is called ‘borax’, or hydrated sodium borate decahydrate.

The following table shows different types of borax along with their chemical formula, water content and solubility.

Type of BoraxChemical FormulaWater ContentSolubility
Borax PentahydrateNa2B4O7·5H2O51.3%Moderately soluble
Anhydrous BoraxNa2B4O70% (no water)Poorly soluble
Boric AcidH3BO30% (no water)Completely Soluble

In addition to the above, there are many other borates that can be found in nature or synthetically made. Anhydrous borax and boric acid have different chemical structures, but similar uses as hydrated borax.

Also known as ‘white gold’, people have been using borates since ancient Egypt and China. It is said that Cleopatra used it to apply her eye makeup, which gave her eyes an enchanting sparkle.

Borax has many uses – from cleaning clothes to killing pests, and even summoning demons! (Results may vary).

Properties of Borax

Borax stands out for its special characteristics that make it so useful in many applications. It is often used to make ceramics, glass, and fertilizers due to its properties. It can hold moisture from the air without losing its chemical composition. This is what makes it so valuable.

Investigating Borax’s specific Properties further shows us its notable features. A table with helpful information offers an overview. The table has columns for Appearance, Density, Boiling Point, Solubility and Chemical Formula. The data points in each column help us to understand the properties better.

AppearanceDensityBoiling PointSolubilityChemical Formula
White or colorless crystals1.73 g/cm³1,575 °C22 g/LNa2B4O7 ∙ 10H2O

Not only is Borax useful for industrial purposes, it also finds its way into household cleaning agents. It is a replacement for Thymol – a common disinfectant found in cleaners.

Seeing all Borax can do for us may make us want to learn more.

Take your time to explore the possibilities and gain a better understanding of how Borax can be of benefit to you!

Uses of Borax


To use borax in various ways, you need to learn about the different ways you can use it

The uses of Borax are as follows:-

  • In Cleaning Products
  • In Agriculture
  • In Pesticides
  • In Personal Care Products
  • In Pool Water Treatment

Use of Borax In Cleaning Products


Borax – the eco-friendly wonder! It’s been used for centuries to take on dirt, grime, stains and odors. Here’s how you can use it for household cleaning:

  • For Bathroom Cleaning: Mix borax with water to form a paste that gets rid of soap scum, hard water stains and mold. Leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping with a damp cloth.
  • For Laundry Detergent: Add half a cup of borax as a natural bleach alternative. It’ll whiten clothes without damaging the fabric, and it works great on tough stains like grass or grease.
  • For All-Purpose Cleaner: Combine white vinegar, borax and hot water to make an all-purpose cleaner for floors, countertops and kitchen appliances. The antibacterial properties in vinegar and borax will get rid of germs and bacteria.

Borax can also be used as an insecticide to get rid of pests like cockroaches or ants. But be careful – it can cause skin irritation if not handled correctly. So, here are some safety tips:

  • Wear gloves when handling borax.
  • Don’t ingest borax – it can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Keep borax away from children and pets.

In conclusion, Borax is the perfect eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals. It’ll keep your home clean and hygienic, while saving the planet at the same time!

Use of Borax In Agriculture


Borax is a must-have for Crop Production and Animal Husbandry. It regulates pH levels, boosts growth, and increases yields. Plus, it’s used as a micronutrient in animal feed. Agronomists everywhere back its use in agriculture.

It also works as an insecticide. Its non-toxic nature makes it a great choice for farmers, compared to synthetic pesticides.

In addition, Borax helps inhibit bacteria growth in silage crops. Adding small amounts during fermentation preserves its nutrition for longer. Plus, Boron in the soil can reduce plants’ drought stress.

Don’t miss out! Borax can improve productivity, be eco-friendly, and provide nutrients. Who needs Raid when you have Borax? Get rid of bugs and save money!

Use of Borax In Pesticides


Borax’s special powers make it an active component in various pesticides used for crop and pest defense. It kills bugs, bugs, and termites without harming plants. Check it out:

Type of PesticideBorax Used asEffectiveness
InsecticidesDehydrates pests after ingestion or contact with the skin or respiratory system.High Efficiency Against Various Insects
FungicidesDeprives harmful fungi on plants of moisture, essential for survival.Effective Against Plant Diseases Caused Due to Fungi Infestation
Weed KillersA natural herbicide drying out weeds, reducing growth quickly and permanently.Suitable Both for Indoor And Outdoor Plant Maintenance

Besides these, Borax mixed with other pesticides boosts effectiveness against the target species. It doesn’t taint soil or water if used in correct doses. Plus it’s safe for humans and pets.

Pro Tip: Mix Borax with sugar, to attract ants. They take it home to feed the queen ant. After a few days, the whole colony is gone.

And Borax, the renowned stain remover, can make your skin feel like a baby’s bottom!

Use of Borax In Personal Care Products


Adding Borax to Personal Grooming

Borax isn’t only useful for cleaning your house and industrial purposes. It can also be used in lots of ways for personal care! For instance:

  • As an odor-preventing natural deodorant
  • As an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells from your body and face
  • To soften hard water for better cleaning when showering or washing hair
  • To help promote healthy hair growth by balancing scalp pH levels
  • As an antifungal agent to treat fungal infections on feet and nails
  • In foot soaks to relieve pain, swelling, and blisters

Be careful when using borax. Talk to your dermatologist before trying it.

Borax has been used for hundreds of years, such as by Native Americans, for various health benefits. If it can clean a pool, what could it do for my relationships?

Use of Borax In Pool Water Treatment


Borax is great for pool maintenance! It balances pH levels and prevents algae growth. Concentration level? 50-120 ppm. The effects? Raises pH and prevents growth. Plus, it’s less harsh on skin and eyes than chlorine!

But don’t just rely on borax. Use it with other chemicals for the best results. Otherwise, you may face costly repairs and health hazards.

Don’t be too basic—get borax for your pool! Enjoy a clean, healthy, and enjoyable pool for all.

Borax as a pH Adjuster


To adjust the pH of your pool water, you may consider using borax.

In this section, we will explore how using borax can affect the pH levels of your pool water and how it differs from using other chemicals. We will discuss the relationship between borax and pH, borax and alkalinity, and borax and total alkalinity (TA) for pH adjustment purposes.

Borax and pH

Borax is also known as sodium borate.

It can be used as a pH adjuster. It acts as a buffer solution, which means it keeps the pH level steady when acid or base is added. Borax has a pH of 9, making it basic. It’s great for increasing the pH of acidic solutions.

Using borax has many advantages. It stops metal corrosion and helps cleaning agents remain effective. In laundry detergents, borax softens water by removing calcium and magnesium ions. It also stops mold growth in cleaning solutions by keeping them at a good pH level.

Using Borax in pools regulates alkalinity and acidity levels. This prevents skin irritation and pool equipment damage. 

Be careful not to add too much though, as it can raise pH too much. Measure how much you need and use only what’s necessary.

Who needs a lifeguard? Borax is here to save the day, adjusting your pH levels and stopping your pool from becoming a death trap!

Borax and Alkalinity

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a natural mineral with many uses. One of these is as a pH adjuster in swimming pools and laundry detergent. Borax increases alkalinity levels, averting bad effects due to unbalanced pH.

To better understand this, here’s a table showing the link between borax content and alkalinity levels:

Borax Content (ppm)Alkalinity Level (ppm)
00
50080
1000160
1500240
2000320

It is clear that borax can have a big impact on alkalinity levels. This info can be helpful for those wanting to maintain proper alkalinity.

But be aware: borax should not be used to fix all pH issues. It’s best to talk to a professional about how to use it.

Pro Tip: Use accurate measuring tools when adding borax to make sure you get the right amount – don’t overuse it!

Who knew Borax could be so powerful? It’s like MacGyver, adjusting pH and Total Alkalinity with ease!

Borax and Total Alkalinity (TA)

Adjust TA levels with Borax! It’s a popular choice to balance total alkalinity (TA) levels in pools and spas. Understand how much Borax you need to increase or decrease TA to keep it optimal. Here’s a table of dosages for different TA levels:

Current TA LevelDesired TA LevelBorax Needed
60-70 ppm80-120 ppm1/4 cup per 500 gallons
80-120 ppm100-140 ppm1/8 cup per 500 gallons
Above 120 ppmNo adjustment needed

Be wary though! Too much Borax can cause pH to rise. So, re-check all chem levels after adding it. In conclusion, Borax is an ideal way to adjust TA and ensure a safe swimming experience. So, this summer, grab some Borax and get started!

Borax Dosage and Application


Borax, a versatile compound with numerous applications, is commonly used in various industries and household settings.

Some of its applications are:-

  • Borax Dosage for Pool Water Treatment
  • Borax Dosage for Cleaning Products
  • Borax Dosage for Personal Care Products

Borax Dosage for Pool Water Treatment


Determining the right amount of borax when treating pool water is essential. Borax helps raise pH levels and reduce acidity. Check the table below for appropriate borax dosage based on pool size:

Pool SizeBorax Dosage
Up to 5,000 gallons1 lb of borax
Up to 10,000 gallons2 lbs of borax
Up to 15,000 gallons3 lbs of borax

It’s best to consult a pool professional. Apply borax after sunset with the filter running. Add it in small increments and retest until desired pH level is reached.

A pool owner shared their experience of using too much borax at once, causing foaming. Extensive cleaning and foam reducers were needed. Don’t overdo it when applying any chemical treatment to pool water. Try adding borax to cleaning products for a spotless shine!

Borax Dosage for Cleaning Products


For cleaning around the house, it’s crucial to know the right dose of Borax to use. Dosage depends on stain intensity and surface area. Too much can damage surfaces, too little won’t work well. Follow the product instructions carefully.

Surface TypeBorax Dosage (Per Gallon)
Kitchen Countertops1-2 tablespoons
Bathroom Tile Grout1/2 cup
Carpets & Upholstery1/4 cup for every quart of water used in steam cleaning machine mix.

Borax has many environmental benefits. It’s biodegradable, natural, and gentle, compared to other store-bought cleaners. My friend had a hard time getting rid of stains on her kitchen floor tiles. Nothing worked. So I suggested Borax. She was worried it might be toxic. But after I explained its safety, she gave it a go. The results were amazing! Who needs expensive beauty products when you can just sprinkle some Borax? Boom, budget-friendly goddess!

Borax Dosage for Personal Care Products


Borax Dosage: A Must for Self-Care!

The right amount of borax should be used in self-care products. Here’s the recommended borax dosage depending on product type:

Product TypeBorax Dosage
Deodorant1/8 tsp per 1 oz
Shampoo and Conditioner1/4 tsp per 8 oz
Toothpaste and Mouthwash1/16 tsp per oz

Always dissolve borax in water before adding to any product. It should not exceed 5% of the product’s volume.

Not sure of the exact amount? 

Consult a pro or research further. Safety first! #darkhumor – If you lose a finger while using Borax, sprinkle some on the wound and call it a science experiment gone wrong.

Safety Precautions and Health Effects


To ensure your safety while using borax, it is important to be aware of potential health hazards and take necessary precautions. In this section, we will discuss important safety considerations and potential health effects associated with borax use. We will cover the sub-sections of borax toxicity, borax exposure and health effects, as well as safety precautions and best practices to minimize potential risks.

Borax Toxicity

The Effects of Borax Exposure

Prolonged exposure to borax can lead to skin irritation, vomiting, and breathing difficulty. It may also impact reproductive or developmental issues and cause neurological effects. 

When handling it, always wear gloves and keep it away from the eyes, mouth, and nose.

Toxic Properties of Borax

Borax is a mineral salt consisting of boric acid and sodium. When mixed with water, it makes a natural cleaning agent. But too much exposure to high doses of borax can be harmful. It may worsen existing allergies, or cause coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Precautionary Measures

To reduce the risk of working with borax, follow safety guidelines. Use personal protective equipment like gloves, aprons, goggles, and full-face respirators. Also, mix only small amounts at a time to limit dust inhalation in the work area.

Best Practices for Preventing Accidents

If you come into contact with borax concentrations higher than those used in household detergents, wash your skin immediately with running tap water for 10-15 minutes. For eye exposure accidents involving borax powder, rinse your eyes thoroughly with saline solution or cold tap water while holding them open. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention for first aid treatment.

Borax Exposure and Health Effects

Exposure to borax compounds can be dangerous. Long-term exposure is linked with respiratory problems, skin irritation, muscle weakness, nausea, and damage to the reproductive system. 

Protective gear should be worn when handling borax. Contact should be limited. Inhaling, getting it into eyes or on skin should be avoided. If it does happen, wash with water. Keep away from children and pets. If swallowed, seek medical treatment.

Ventilate the area where borax is stored or used as a cleaner. It can release hazardous fumes. Consider a safer alternative.

Safety is key when dealing with borax. Take precautions. Observe protective measures. Ensure proper ventilation. Use a safer substitute. Protect your health!

Safety Precautions and Best Practices

Follow necessary precautions and practices to stay safe. Adhere to safety standards and wear masks and gloves if needed. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly. Wash hands with soap or sanitizer often. Keep physical contact with others minimal and don’t share personal items. Stay informed of health authorities’ guidelines. Prevention is better than cure, so take all measures to protect your health and those around you. Stay aware of COVID-19 updates from health authorities. Take care of your health! Together, we can win against this virus.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is borax?

Borax refers to the sodium salts of borates (boric acid) and is commonly used in the production of consumer products such as detergents, cosmetics, and a pesticide.

2. How is borax used in pool water?

Borax is commonly used in pool water to increase the total alkalinity (TA) and pH level. The amount of borax required in a pool depends on the pool volume and the current pH level.

3. Is borax toxic?

Borax can be toxic if ingested in high amounts and can cause skin irritation and breathing problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a limit of 1 ppm boron for drinking water. However, in low concentrations, borax is considered safe for consumer use.

4. Can I use muriatic acid and borax together in my pool?

Yes, muriatic acid and borax can be used together in pools for pH control and to increase the TA level. However, it is important to follow safety precautions and handle these chemicals carefully.

5. What is the difference between borate, sodium tetraborate, and borax?

Borate is the general term for a compound containing boron, while sodium tetraborate and borax refer to specific compounds. Sodium tetraborate is also known as borax or sodium borate, while borax is the more common name for sodium tetraborate pentahydrate or decahydrate.

6. What should I do in case of borax exposure or poisoning?

If you experience skin irritation, breathing problems, or eye contact with borax, seek medical attention immediately. It is important to follow safety precautions and handle borax and other chemicals with care.

Conclusion


Borax and other borate products are effective for buffering pool water. But, you must be cautious, as they may be toxic and hazardous! Follow EPA and National Institute for Occupational Safety guidelines carefully.

To get the right amount, calculate the doses based on pool volume and total alkalinity (TA). Or use special test kits to measure borate levels in ppm. Balance the TA before adding borate products, as it can lower pH.

Not all pools are suitable for borates. Algae and chlorine levels won’t be affected. Consider alternative solutions like soda ash or hydrogen peroxide.

With the right understanding of chemistry, borax, and other borate salts can be safely used for pool maintenance. Just remember to follow safety regulations and product instructions.

Take advantage of pH buffers for your pool maintenance! Educate yourself on proper handling procedures for the safety of everyone.

About the author

I am Leena Raswant, a chemistry postgraduate. I thrive on challenges and continually specified goals. I aim to learn, unlearn, relearn and spread my knowledge in the best possible ways.