What is the Difference Between Boracic Powder and Borax

The main difference between boracic powder and borax is that boracic powder typically refers to finely ground boric acid/boracic acid, while borax refers to sodium borate compounds.

Boracic powder and borax are two compounds with boron as a common element. They have applications in diverse areas, such as cleaning, medicine, and insect control.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Boracic Powder  
      – Definition, Features, Role
2. What is Borax
      – Definition, Features, Role
3. Similarities Between Boracic Powder and Borax
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Boracic Powder and Borax
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Boracic Powder and Borax
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

Boracic Powder, Borax, Sodium Borate

Difference Between Boracic Powder and Borax - Comparison Summary

What is Boracic Powder

Boric acid, often referred to as boracic powder, is a versatile compound with the chemical formula H3BO3. It is a white, odorless powder derived from boron, a naturally occurring element. The compound has been used for centuries for its antiseptic and medicinal properties. In modern times, boracic powder finds applications in diverse fields.

One of its notable uses is as an antiseptic and mild disinfectant. Due to its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, boracic powder is used in the treatment of various skin conditions, including rashes and minor infections. Its gentle nature makes it suitable for sensitive skin, and it is commonly used in powders, creams, and ointments.

Boracic Powder vs Borax

Figure 1: Boric Acid

In addition to its medicinal applications, boracic powder is widely utilized as an insecticide and pest control agent. Its effectiveness against insects like cockroaches and ants makes it a popular choice for household pest management. Boracic powder is often sprinkled in areas prone to infestations, serving as a non-toxic alternative to conventional chemical pesticides.

Furthermore, the compound plays a crucial role in certain industrial processes. It is useful in the manufacturing of glass, ceramics, and flame retardants. Boracic powder acts as a flux in glass production, reducing the melting point and improving the transparency of the final product. Its flame-retardant properties make it valuable in the textile industry, where it is used to treat fabrics.

While boracic powder has diverse applications, it is important to handle it with care due to its potential toxicity in high concentrations. Whether used in healthcare, pest control, or industrial processes, the compound exemplifies the versatility of boron-based compounds in meeting various societal needs.

What is Borax

Borax, a versatile mineral compound with the chemical formula Na2B4O7·10H2O, is commonly known as sodium borate. It holds significance in various industries and household applications due to its unique properties. Mined from evaporated lakes, borax has a long history of human use, dating back to ancient times.

In industry, borax plays a pivotal role in the production of glass and ceramics, acting as a flux to lower the melting point of materials. Its ability to form stable borate compounds contributes to its widespread use as a fire retardant. Moreover, it serves as an essential component in the manufacturing of soaps and detergents, functioning as a water softener that enhances cleaning efficiency.

Compare Boracic Powder and Borax

Figure 2: Borax

In households, borax has gained popularity as a cleaning agent and pest control remedy. Its abrasive nature makes it effective in scrubbing surfaces, tackling stains, and deodorizing. As a laundry booster, borax aids in brightening colors and removing stubborn stains. Additionally, it serves as a natural insecticide, disrupting the exoskeletons of pests like ants and cockroaches.

Beyond its industrial and domestic applications, borax has found a place in the realm of science. In laboratories, it is useful for buffering solutions and as a reactant in certain chemical syntheses. Researchers also explore its potential in various fields, including medicine, where boron-containing compounds are being studied for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

While borax offers many benefits, it is essential to use it judiciously, as excessive exposure can be harmful. In some cases, it has been associated with skin irritation and respiratory issues. As with any substance, responsible handling and adherence to safety guidelines are crucial to harnessing the advantages of borax across its diverse applications.

Similarities Between Boracic Powder and Borax

  • Boracic powder and borax contain the element boron in their chemical composition.
  • Moreover, both substances have applications in cleaning.

Difference Between Boracic Powder and Borax


Boracic powder typically refers to finely powdered boracic acid, which is a weak acid derived from boron, while borax refers to sodium borate, a mineral compound containing boron, sodium, oxygen, and water molecules.


Boracic powder is generally soluble in water, forming a mildly acidic solution, while borax is highly soluble in water, forming an alkaline solution.


While boracic powder primarily consists of boracic acid (h₃bo₃), which is a weak monobasic acid, the borax contains sodium borate decahydrate (Na₂B₄O₇·10H₂O), a salt with boron, sodium, oxygen, and water molecules in its structure.

FAQ: Boracic Powder and Borax

Is boric acid same as borax?

No, boric acid and borax are two different compounds. Boric acid is a compound containing boron, hydrogen, and oxygen, while borax is a sodium borate compound containing boron, sodium, and oxygen.

What is stronger than boric acid?

Acetic acid is stronger than boric acid.

Which is more toxic, borax or boracic powder?

Boric acid (boracic powder) is more toxic.


Boracic powder typically refers to finely powdered boracic acid, which is a weak acid derived from boron, while borax refers to sodium borate, a mineral compound containing boron, sodium, oxygen, and water molecules. Thus, this is the main difference between boracic powder and borax.


1. “Boric Acid.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Borax – Sodium Tetraborate.” WebMD.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Boric acid” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Borax crystals” By Aram Dulyan (User:Aramgutang) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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