Making Crystals at Home | DIY Borax Crystals

DIY Borax Crystals 

Get ready for instant gratification with the household ingredient, Borax! 

Borax can be used as a laundry detergent booster or a garden aid but also makes crystals as a bi-product of being added to hot water! 

Let's do this!

Safety

Children should be supervised by adults as Borax is an irritant and may be harmful if exposed to in large quantities.

Use borax in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to change your clothes and wash after working with Borax.

If you handle Borax with care and wear the right protection, you have nothing to fear! This activity is low risk. 

Signs of Borax exposure include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Passing Out

Poison Control # 1-800-222-1222

Emergency Services# 911

Materials

  • Drop Cloth
  • Gloves 
  • Dust Mask 
  • Borax (20 Mule Team Borax)
  • Container or Jar
  • String
  • Pencil/stick 
  • Base materials (what the crystals will grow on)

Process

  1. Clean your workstation and put down a drop cloth or protective sheet. Borax can be messy, but it can be cleaned up if needed!
  2. Put on gloves and mask to protect yourself from Borax powder.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Prepare your container and the base materials you will be growing crystals on.
  5. Dissolve a minimum of 3-4 tbsp. of Borax for every cup of hot water (Tip: more Borax = more crystals. You can even sprinkle extra Borax on top of the base material while water is hot to produce bigger crystals).
  6. Attach your base materials to string to hang on Pencil/stick OR place directly in container (Tip: anything touching the sides or bottom of the container may become stuck. To avoid this, move them every 15min-1hr).
  7. Wait anywhere from 2-48+ hours and remove your materials to dry. Once the solution cools, there are only so many more crystals that can be made and built upon. 
  8. If you are not satisfied with the amount of crystals, you can remove your materials and heat back up the solution, add more borax, and start the cooling process again. If those materials are added while the solution is hot, they may dissolve. If they are added when the solution has cooled, more crystals will grow on top!

Science

Essentially, we're making salt crystals!

Borax, also known as Sodium Borate, is a combination of Sodium, Boron, and Oxygen.

When dissolving borax in hot water, Borax's molecular structure changes from a powder to a solution. The supersaturated solution cools and because there are more molecules inside the water than the water can hold, the borax molecules cling to each other, forming crystals. The more borax there is, the bigger the crystals will be. 

These crystals can be dissolved again by adding hot water. 

 Check out my process video on Instagram for a visual! 

Have fun and let me know if you tried it!