Borax & Boric Acid – The Same?

I saw online recently a post about borax and boric acid being the same.

Does anyone know if this is true or not?

Thanks.

Brenda



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Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    Biochemist here just checking my email on lunch hour.
    No they are not the same. From the Flinn Scientific Catalog:
    Boric Acid: Chemical composition, H3 BO3
    Borax (sodium borate): Chemical Composition, Na2 B4 O7 . 10 H2O
    Boric Acid is soluble in alcohol and Sodium borate is not.

  2. I read about this recently while looking around for a mattress that doesn’t contain fireproofing. Boric acid and Borax are the same thing. I looked at the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. You can Google them to look for articles on the topic if you are interested.

    http://nlquery.epa.gov/epasearch/epasearch?querytext=boric+acid&fld=&areaname=&areacontacts=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.epa.gov%2Fepahome%2Fcomments.htm&areasearchurl=&result_template=epafiles_default.xsl&filter=sample4filt.hts

    Take Care

    Jenna

  3. They are both from the boron family. But they are different chemically – as noted by Barbara – and I belive borax is a mineral (usually chalky powder) and boric acid is liquid — but I could be wrong there. BUT, they are used for many of the same purposes (insect control, fire retardant, etc.), which makes them somewhat “synonymous” to us lay people who don’t delve too deeply into the chemistry of it. Kind of like (but totally different than) arguing that mayonaise and miracle whip are the same. They may be used for many of the same things, but made up of different stuff.

    I think (trying to remember high school chemistry here) that you can make boric acid from borax (or maybe vice versa).

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