What is Boric Acid Used For?

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If you have an infestation of ants inside a house, using highly toxic insecticides around kids and pets may not be an option. However, boric acid can get rid of the annoying bugs, and it offers an alternative to paying for pest control. This substance provides an effective method for eliminating ants and other pests such as termites, beetles, fleas and cockroaches. Boric acid can do more than kill bugs, and it has multiple uses inside and outside the home.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Boric acid has many uses that include pest control, pool maintenance, first aid, manufacturing and pharmaceutics.

What Is Boric Acid

Boric acid is a white compound that is water-soluble and occurs naturally. It consists of oxygen, boron and hydrogen. This substance can act as an insecticide, antiseptic, preservative and many other things. You usually see it as a white powder. Although the compound is popular, it is toxic if swallowed, so you have to handle it carefully around kids and pets. If someone eats it, contact a poison control center immediately to get help.

Boric Acid Uses

Manufacturers use boric acid in a variety of products such as enamels, pesticides, glazes and paints. It also appears in medical items such as antiseptics, medicated powders and astringents because it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Some of your favorite skin lotions may also have this acid.

It is a popular cleaning component and can remove stains or odors. Some people add it to laundry loads to deodorize and clean clothes. Others use it to clean around the house. Also, boric acid can help fight mold.

Boric Acid in Pools

Pool owners use boric acid for maintenance. It can help stabilize the pH level of the water and prevent problems with algae. Using this product decreases the amount of chlorine you need in the pool. The compound can help keep the water clear and sparkling.

Boric Acid in Urine Sample Bottles

Urine sample bottles often contain boric acid as a preservative, which maintains the quality of the specimen as it travels to the lab. The clear bottles tend to have a small amount of boric acid powder at the bottom. Research shows that the addition of this substance helps lower false positive results. It also preserves white blood cells in the urine for analysis.

Boric acid has multiple home, medical and industrial uses. This versatile substance can appear in products ranging from urine sample bottles to insecticide treatments.


About the Author

Lana Bandoim is a freelance writer and editor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Butler University. Her work has appeared on Forbes, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, Lifescript, Healthline and many other publications. She has been a judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She has also been nominated for a Best Shortform Science Writing award by the Best Shortform Science Writing Project.