Q:

Is borax the same as boric acid?

A:

Borax and boric acid are not the same compound; borax is a salt of boric acid. The less common chemical names of the substances make it clear that these are two entirely different chemical compounds; borax is sodium borate, while boric acid is hydrogen borate. Because both compounds share a use as relatively safe chemical insecticides, their names are often used interchangeably in layman's terms.

Boric acid and borax are both best known as low-toxicity pesticides used in homes. Neither chemical is toxic to humans nor pets when used as recommended, and neither chemical has been shown to contribute to cancer or other long-term illnesses. As a result, these compounds are used as natural and safe ways to combat ants and other pests.

Borax is also used in soap and laundry detergent, welding flux, tooth bleach and water softeners, while boric acid is used in food preservation, tanning, industrial lubrication and as a medical antiseptic. Their disparate uses also make it clear that they are two separate chemicals. When shopping for one, do not accidentally buy the other, unless the only use is as an insecticide. Another reason these compounds are sometimes confused is that boric acid is a precursor to borax, but this reaction is not something that occurs in the home; it is an industrial reaction used in the production of borax.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Is borax the same as washing soda?

    A:

    Borax and washing soda are definitely not the same. Although they have certain elements in common, they have different chemical compositions. Both substances are found in nature and are processed for commercial distribution by a variety of different companies.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where can I buy borax in the UK?

    A:

    Borax is no longer available to the general UK public and has been classified by the ECHA as a "Reprotoxic Category 2". However, it is still available for commercial and scientific use. Despite this, there are a few UK websites still advertising this product online in domestic quantities.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you make homemade dishwasher detergent without borax?

    A:

    Homemade dishwasher detergent without Borax is easy to make with a few simple ingredients. Use Lemi-Shine or citric acid, Super Washing Soda, baking soda and sea salt. You also need a large bowl, mason jars and a spoon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is boric acid an ant killer?

    A:

    Boric acid works as an ant killer for the Argentine ant, the Pharoh ant and the odorous house ant. Boric acid must be mixed with sugar water, jelly, honey or peanut butter to create an ant bait. The sweet elements attract the ants, and the boric acid kills the ants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore