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Borax vs. Boron: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Boron is a chemical element (B, atomic number 5), essential for plant growth and used in various industries, while Borax is a compound of boron (sodium borate), commonly used as a cleaning agent."
Borax vs. Boron

Key Differences

Boron is a naturally occurring element, found in the earth's crust and solar system, essential for plant growth and used in various industrial applications. Borax, a compound of boron, is primarily used as a cleaning agent, antiseptic, and preservative.
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Dec 02, 2023
In agriculture, boron is crucial for plant health, influencing cell walls and reproductive processes. Borax, as a boron compound, is used in laundry and cleaning products for its ability to soften water and enhance cleaning efficacy.
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Dec 02, 2023
Boron, in its elemental form, is used in glassmaking, ceramics, and as a semiconductor. Borax is widely utilized in the production of glazes, enamels, and in fire retardants.
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Dec 02, 2023
Boron compounds are significant in the pharmaceutical industry for medicinal purposes. Borax, specifically, has applications in making buffer solutions and as an antifungal agent.
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In the field of metallurgy, boron is added to steel and alloys to improve strength and thermal resistance. Borax is employed in metallurgy as a flux to reduce melting points and remove impurities.
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Comparison Chart

Composition

Sodium borate, a boron compound
Elemental chemical (B, atomic number 5)
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Dec 02, 2023

Common Uses

Cleaning agent, antiseptic, preservative
Plant growth, industrial applications
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Dec 02, 2023

Industrial Applications

Glass and ceramics, cleaning products
Glassmaking, semiconductors, metallurgy
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Role in Agriculture

Not directly used in plant growth
Essential for plant cell wall development
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Pharmaceutical Applications

Antifungal, buffer solutions
Medicinal uses in various compounds
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Borax and Boron Definitions

Borax

A white crystalline mineral used as a cleaning agent.
She used borax to remove stubborn stains from the laundry.
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Dec 02, 2023

Boron

A semiconductor material in electronics.
Boron is used in the production of solar panels.
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Dec 02, 2023

Borax

Acts as a flux in metallurgy.
Borax helps in the welding process by cleaning the metal surface.
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Dec 02, 2023

Boron

A chemical element with symbol B and atomic number 5.
Boron is used to increase the hardness of steel.
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Dec 02, 2023

Borax

Sodium borate, a compound of boron and sodium.
Borax is often added to homemade cleaning solutions.
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Dec 02, 2023
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Boron

Essential for plant growth and health.
Boron deficiency in soil can lead to poor crop yield.
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Borax

A component in antiseptic and preservative products.
Borax is used in some eyewash solutions for its antiseptic properties.
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Dec 02, 2023

Boron

Used in making borosilicate glass.
Boron is added to glass to make it heat resistant.
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Dec 02, 2023

Borax

Used in making glass and ceramics.
Borax is a key ingredient in the glaze for pottery.
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Dec 02, 2023

Boron

Present in various industrial applications.
Boron compounds are used in detergents and soaps.
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Dec 02, 2023

Borax

A hydrated sodium borate, Na2B4O7·10H2O, an ore of boron, that is used as a cleaning compound.
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Boron

A nonmetallic element that is amorphous and brown or crystalline and black, and is extracted chiefly from kernite and borax and used in flares, propellant mixtures, nuclear reactor control elements, abrasives, and hard metallic alloys. Atomic number 5; atomic weight 10.811; melting point 2,075°C; boiling point 4000°C; specific gravity (crystal) 2.34, (amorphous) 2.37; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
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Borax

Cheap merchandise, especially tasteless furnishings
"today's glinty borax" (New Yorker).
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Oct 19, 2023

Boron

The chemical element (symbol B) with an atomic number of 5, which is a metalloid found in its pure form as a dark amorphous powder.
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Oct 19, 2023

Borax

A white or gray/grey crystalline salt, with a slight alkaline taste, used as a flux, in soldering metals, making enamels, fixing colors/colours on porcelain, and as a soap, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Boron

A single atom of this element.
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Borax

(chemistry) The sodium salt of boric acid, Na2B4O7, either anhydrous or with 5 or 10 molecules of water of crystallization; sodium tetraborate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Boron

A nonmetallic element occurring abundantly in borax. It is reduced with difficulty to the free state, when it can be obtained in several different forms; viz., as a substance of a deep olive color, in a semimetallic form, and in colorless quadratic crystals similar to the diamond in hardness and other properties. It occurs in nature also in boracite, datolite, tourmaline, and some other minerals. Atomic number 5. Atomic weight 10.81. Symbol B.
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Oct 19, 2023

Borax

Cheap or tawdry furniture or other works of industrial design.
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Boron

A trivalent metalloid element; occurs both in a hard black crystal and in the form of a yellow or brown powder
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Oct 19, 2023

Borax

(transitive) To treat with borax.
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Oct 19, 2023

Borax

A white or gray crystalline salt, with a slight alkaline taste, used as a flux, in soldering metals, making enamels, fixing colors on porcelain, and as a soap. It occurs native in certain mineral springs, and is made from the boric acid of hot springs in Tuscany. It was originally obtained from a lake in Thibet, and was sent to Europe under the name of tincal. Borax is a pyroborate or tetraborate of sodium, Na2B4O7.10H2O.
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Oct 19, 2023

Borax

An ore of boron consisting of hydrated sodium borate; used as a flux or cleansing agent
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Borax used for in households?

Borax is commonly used as a cleaning agent, laundry booster, and mild antiseptic.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Borax naturally occurring?

Yes, Borax is a naturally occurring mineral found in evaporite deposits.
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Dec 02, 2023

How does Boron benefit plants?

Boron is essential for plant cell wall structure and reproductive processes like seed and fruit development.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Boron a metal?

No, boron is a metalloid, an element with properties between those of metals and nonmetals.
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Dec 02, 2023

What industries use Boron?

Boron is used in glassmaking, ceramics, agriculture, and as a semiconductor in electronics.
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Is Boron found in the human body?

Yes, Boron is present in small amounts in the human body and plays a role in bone health.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Borax used in agriculture?

While Borax itself is not typically used in agriculture, boron, an element in Borax, is essential for plant growth.
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Dec 02, 2023

What is a common use of Boron in electronics?

Boron is used as a doping agent in semiconductors and in the manufacture of solar panels.
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Dec 02, 2023

Can Borax be ingested safely?

No, Borax should not be ingested as it can be harmful if swallowed.
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Dec 02, 2023

How is Borax used in laundry?

Borax is used in laundry to soften water, enhance detergent effectiveness, and remove stains.
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Dec 02, 2023

Can Borax be used in food?

Borax is not generally recognized as safe for food use and should not be used as a food additive.
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Dec 02, 2023

What role does Boron play in glassmaking?

Boron is added to glass to increase thermal shock resistance and durability.
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Dec 02, 2023

What forms does Borax come in?

Borax is commonly found as a white powder or crystalline mineral.
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Dec 02, 2023

Can Boron be toxic?

In large amounts, Boron can be toxic, but it is generally safe in small, controlled doses.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Borax environmentally friendly?

Borax is generally considered environmentally friendly, but its mining and processing have environmental impacts.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Boron a rare element?

Boron is not particularly rare and is widely distributed in the Earth's crust.
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Dec 02, 2023

Can Borax be used in cosmetics?

Borax is sometimes used in cosmetics, but its safety in such applications is subject to regulatory guidelines.
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Dec 02, 2023

How is Boron extracted?

Boron is usually extracted from borate minerals and brine solutions.
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Can Borax kill insects?

Yes, Borax is often used as a natural insecticide against ants and cockroaches.
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Dec 02, 2023

Is Boron used in nuclear applications?

Yes, Boron is used in nuclear reactors as a neutron absorber to control the nuclear fission process.
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Dec 02, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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