Q: What is Borax?
A: Borax is a natural mineral that is found in many detergents, cosmetics and enamel glazes due to its fire retardant and anti-fungal traits. It is generally found in a powdered white form but you can also purchase it in a liquid or crystal form.
With the chemical formula Na2B4O7 10H2O, borax or sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate is one of the more important boron compounds.
Is borax safe?
Whilst borax isn’t illegal and is marketed as a “green” cleaning product as it is made from a naturally occurring mineral doesn’t contain chlorine or phosphates it isn’t completely safe. The National Institute of Health
has associated borax with the following health issues and effects:
- Irritation - skin rashes, vomiting, eye irritation
- Hormone issues
- Death (if consumed by children)
What is Borax used for?
In households borax is generally used as a:
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Stain remover and clothing whitener
- Insect killer
It is sometimes found in cosmetic products like shampoos, moisturising creams and bath bombs.
It is also used in kids science experiments to create slime and crystals.
Where to buy
You can purchase powdered borax from your local hardware store or supermarket