Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.

In artisanal gold mining, the borax method is sometimes used as a substitute for toxic mercury in the gold extraction process. Borax was reportedly used by gold miners in parts of the Philippines in the 1900s.

The term borax is used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content, but usually refers to the decahydrate. Commercially sold borax is usually partially dehydrated.

The word borax:بورق is Arabic – the Arabic is said to be from the Persian burah, a word that may have meant potassium nitrate or another fluxing agent. Another name for borax is tincal, from Sanskrit.

Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported via the Silk Road to Arabia. Borax first came into common use in the late 19th century when Francis Marion Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company began to market and popularize a large variety of applications under the famous 20 Mule Team Borax trademark, named for the method by which borax was originally hauled out of the California and Nevada deserts in large enough quantities to make it cheap and commonly available.

Read more about Borax:  Natural Sources, Toxicity, Chemistry

Other articles related to "borax":

Borax Lake Site
... Borax Lake Site, also known as Borax Lake--Hodges Archaeological Site is an archaeological site near Clearlake, California ... In 2006, a National Park Service statement about it read The Borax Lake Site is considered of national significance as the type site for a major ... The occurrence of Clovis-like projectile points from Borax Lake in the Coast Range of northern California dramatically extended the geographic scope of Paleo-Indian occupation into the far western United States ...
... is a hydrous sodium borate mineral closely related to borax, and is a secondary mineral that forms as a dehydration product of borax ... It is also found pseudomorphically replacing borax crystals ... While most tincalconite is created by man through exposing borax to dry air, there are natural occurrences of tincalconite, as in Searles Lake, California where it was first described in 1878 ...
Borax - Chemistry
... The term borax is often used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content Anhydrous borax (Na2B4O7) Borax pentahydrate (Na2B4O7·5H2O) Borax decahydrate ... it is better formulated as Na2·8H2O, since borax contains the 2− ion ... Borax is also easily converted to boric acid and other borates, which have many applications ...
Bakso - Health Issue
... In Indonesia, borax is often added into beef surimi mixture in order to preserve the produced bakso, also to made bakso more chewy (from borax induced ... markets in Indonesia are required to be borax free ...
Columbus, Nevada - History
... It wasn't until 1871 that borax was discovered near the town's site, and as a result Columbus increased substantially in its importance ... Shortly after the discovery of borax by William Troop four borax companies were actively working the deposits on the marsh ... businesses flourished in Columbus as well as a post office and local newspaper, The Borax Miner ...