Borax decahydrate is a refined form of natural sodium borate. It is composed of boric oxide (B2O3), sodium oxide, and water. It is a mildly alkaline salt which is available as a white crystalline powder or in granular form. It has a chemical formula of B4Na2O7.10H2O. The chemical itself is odourless, has an alkaline taste, and is highly soluble in water.
Some of the applications of boric decahydrate include:
1. Laundry detergents: it acts as a pH buffering agent in many cleaning products. It also helps with the removal of oily soils from fabric, imparts alkalinity and aids in the softening of water
2. Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and toiletries: it is used together with boric acid in contact lens solutions as a gentle cleanser and buffering agent. It is also used as a cross-linking agent to emulsify waxes and other kinds of paraffin that help form the base for lotions, ointments, and creams.
3. It is used as a mild antiseptic fungicide and as a herbicide.
4. It is used in soldering metals.
5. It is used in the manufacture of glazes and enamels.
6. It is used in tanning.
7. It used in the artificial ageing of wood.
8. It is used as a preservative against wood fungus.
9. It is used in the fireproofing of fabrics and wood.
10. It is used in the curing and preserving of skins.
11. It is used in cockroach control.
12. It is used in ant poisons.
13. It is used for fly control around refuse and manure piles.
14. It acts as a key component in enhancing the durability of insulation glass fibre.
15. It is used in the preservation of mould on citrus.
16. It is a non-selective herbicide used to control weeds on noncrop sites.
17. It is used as an algae suppressant in swimming pools and sewage systems.
18. It is used as a buffer and catalyst for organic dyes.
19. It is used in wire drawing.
20. It is used in the manufacture of automotive and engine coolant formulations.