What Is Borax and Where Can You Get It?

Quick Borax Facts

Borax crystal
Borax crystals are clear or white, depending on purity and conditions under which they formed. hdagli / Getty Images

Borax is a natural mineral with a chemical formula Na2B4O7 • 10H2O. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry 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 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