Difference between Borax and Boric Acid

By: | Updated: Feb-10, 2020

There are times when borax is interchanged with boric acid. Actually, both are compounds that originate from the element boron. Both are often found in the salt plains of Nevada or Utah. So how then can we differentiate borax from boric acid? Read this article and you’ll find out their differences.

Summary Table

Borax Boric Acid
Made up of sodium, oxygen, and boronCreated from a mixture of borax and other naturally occurring minerals
Is a natural mineral, mined from the ground or collected from evaporated depositsIs the purified chemical product that results when borax is processed
Also known as Sodium Tetraborate (Na2B4O7 • 10H2O)Also known as Hydrogen Borate (H3BO3)

Definitions

Borax

Borax is also known as Sodium Tetraborate (Na2B4O7 • 10H2O) and is made up of sodium, oxygen, and boron. It is a naturally occurring mineral and is either mined from the ground or collected from evaporated deposits. Borax is used to enhance laundry detergent’s effectiveness in cleaning and stain removal.

Boric acid

Boric acid is created when borax is mixed with other natural minerals such as boracite and colemanite. When hydrogen or another acid is added to borax, this creates the purified chemical product, boric acid, otherwise known as Hydrogen Borate (H3BO3). Boric acid is often added to cleaners or detergents to help deodorize, disinfect, or remove stains.

Borax vs Boric Acid

The main difference between borax and boric acid is that borax is a natural mineral whereas boric acid is the purified chemical that results when borax is processed. Borax is made up of sodium, oxygen, and boron. Boric acid, on the other hand, is created from a mixture of borax and other naturally occurring minerals.

Borax is considered to be a salt of boric acid. Borax is also known as Sodium Tetraborate (Na2B4O7 • 10H2O), while boric acid is called Hydrogen Borate (H3BO3).

Both borax and boric acid can be used as all-purpose cleaners. They are often added to laundry detergents and cleaners to clean just about anything. Borax and boric acid are effective stain-removers, disinfectants, deodorizers, and mold-killers.

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