Baking soda and borax have always been a talk of the show, which is better in cleaning homes and laundry. They are both naturally occurring salt for your cleaning needs. Meanwhile, people are also adamant about knowing which is better, the differences and among both products.
Here in this article, we will address most pondering questions that will help you make the best choice in deciding which to use. First, let’s start with knowing the chemical composition of both chemicals.
Baking Soda and Its Uses
Baking soda, known as bicarbonate, is a solid inorganic compound. It is crystal white in appearance and has a chemical formula of NaHCO3 and a mass of 84 g/mol.
Homeowners mainly use it as a leavening agent for cooking purposes, pest control agent to raise the alkalinity of water. Other uses can be seen in its ability to neutralize acid and basis as well as an ingredient for disinfecting water.
Borax and Its Uses
Borax, on the other hand, is also a naturally occurring chemical commonly known as anhydrous with a chemical formula of Na2B4 O7. 10H2O. It is a white solid compound available in almost every part of the world.
Borax can be added to laundry product ingredients and cleaning agents. It’s also used to make buffers, which helps to maintain pH within a specific range. Borax can also act as a softening agent and for extracting gold.
Effectiveness of Baking Soda and Borax in Pools
Baking soda is a natural alkaline with a pH of 8. When added to pools, it increases the alkaline and pH, thus improving the clarity and stability of your pool.
Most commercial products you find in the market today use baking soda or borax as their main ingredient. However, if you are fortunate to get the source, you can go straight to using it in your pool at a fraction of the cost.
If you are used to trying algae, treat the pool with an algaecide. Then raise the alkalinity with a baking soda to at least 100ppm and pH between 7.2-7.8.
If you are also experiencing corrosion in your pool equipment, it means you have a low alkaline. In this case, you can add baking soda. Scale buildups and cloudy pools are other problems that can be solved with baking soda or borax.
Both compounds are great in maintaining pools, but they also come with their differences. We will be looking at that to enable you to choose the best for yourself.
Difference Between Borax and Baking Soda
Baking soda and borax are in many ways quite similar but a bit different in performance and chemical composition.
Borax has a pH level of 9.5, while baking soda has a pH level of 8. This makes borax a harsher and more effective agent for cleaning tough stains.
From another angle, it is safe to consume baking soda. At the same time, borax is a wholly different chemical that shouldn’t be put in the mouth or allowed to touch your skin. In fact, baking soda has been an essential ingredient in some consumable products, such as baked food.
This does not mean borax isn’t safe to be used as cleaning agents. However, it means that borax is tougher and baking soda is milder, which makes it the best as a cleaning solution.
When it comes to pool maintenance, most pool owners will choose baking soda over borax to maintain the pH level. However, this has its side effects and is not always the best choice. While trying to raise the pH level using baking soda, you would also be increasing the alkaline level. When the alkaline level increases, your pH level fluctuates, defeating the whole purpose of stabilizing your pool.
Using borax prevents the pH level from fluctuating while also keeping the alkaline level and normal. It will also keep your pool away from algae growth and as well sanitize the water. When dissolved in water, it does not evaporate, hence keeping your water sparkling all day long.
Can You Mix Borax and Baking Soda?
You must have seen people mixing two to three chemicals for cleaning, and you are wondering if it’s possible to mix borax and baking soda. Well, it is very much possible, and it helps improve your cleaning needs without unbalancing your pool. Some even mix vinegar, borax, and baking soda to enhance the efficacy of the cleaning.
To remove stubborn stains, mix half a teaspoon of borax and one teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl with about half a cup of hot water. Apply the mixture to the affected area and scrub vigorously.
Borax and baking soda are both great products with extensive use. The one you choose should greatly depend on your needs. Remember that borax cannot be consumed. So, if you have pets at home, you would need to consider the right product for you critically.