How Can I Make Homemade Borax?

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Borax is made from a chalky, white rock mineral called sodium borate.
Borax is made from a chalky, white rock mineral called sodium borate. (Image: white rock texture image by javarman from Fotolia.com)

Borax is made from hydrated sodium borate minerals found in a variety of locations. It is typically white or clear in color, though it sometimes has colors like brown and yellow as well. When dehydrated, borate minerals take on a white, chalky appearance. Borax is used in homes around the country as a cleaning agent because it is natural and effective. It dissolves in water, making it useful in cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Borax mineral
  • Dehydrating machine
  • Mortar or bowl
  • Pestle or similar crushing device

Place the borate mineral into a dehydrating machine. Depending on the state of the borate mineral, it might take a few hours to a day or two before the mineral is fully dehydrated. Look for a chalky, white appearance that is free of any crystalline. If it looks slightly crystalline, continue to dehydrate. Keep in mind that some locations, such as the desert, naturally dehydrate the borate minerals, and these minerals will not need further dehydration.

Place the borate into a mortar or bowl. Break it into smaller pieces if necessary. Borate minerals are not very hard, so breaking it apart is not difficult. It has a hardness rating of 2 to 2.5, making it easily crumbled.

Crush the borate mineral with a pestle or similar crushing object. Do not lift the pestle high or slam down on the mineral as that will cause pieces to fly up and potentially hit an eye. Instead, move the pestle slightly above the mortar and bring it down with a firm hand. Crush the borate mineral until it forms a powdery, white substance.

Look for any large chunks. If there are large chunks of mineral left, powder these. The borax is ready for use once it is all powdery and crushed.

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