Buffers; complexing or masking agent.
Soldering metals; manufacture of glazes and enamels; tanning; in cleaning Compounds; artificially aging wood; as preservative, either alone or with other antiseptics against wood fungus; fireproofing fabrics and wood; curing and preserving skins; in cockroach control. Pharmaceutic aid (alkalizer).
Sodium tetraborate decahydrate also known as Borax, sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate is a naturally occurring compound.
It is mostly used as a cleaning aid especially for laundry (softening the water). As a cleaning aid, borax is also used as dishwasher detergent, as floor and wall cleaner, and to clean outdoor furniture, toilet, porcelain sinks, stains from stainless steel. Borax can be used for parasite control to keep ants, water bugs, and cockroaches away and help dogs with mange and people with a variety of parasite problems including lice and mites. Due to its alkalinity and antifungal properties, Borax is used in hair care products to heal chronic and embarrassing scalp conditions. Borax is also used as a remedy for health problems (arthritis, osteoporosis, bone spurs, calcium deposits, lupus, autoimmune disease, hormone imbalances, fungus, candida, ringworm, tinea versicolor, insomnia, rough skin). Furthermore, Borax is applied as a fire retardant, as a flux in metallurgy, as a precursor for other boron compounds, as anti-fungal compound for fiberglass and cellulose insulation, to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, and to make indelible ink for dip pens by dissolving shellac into heated borax.
White cryst. powder
Crystallise the borate from water (3.3mL/g), keeping below 55o to avoid formation of the pentahydrate. Filter it off at the pump, wash it with water and equilibrate it for several days in a desiccator containing an aqueous solution saturated with respect to sucrose and NaCl. Borax can be prepared more quickly (but its water content is somewhat variable) by washing the recrystallised material at the pump with water, followed by 95% EtOH, then Et2O, and dried in air at room temperature for 12-18hours on a clock glass. [Becher in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry (Ed. Brauer) Academic Press Vol I pp 794-795 1963.]