Borax is a natural mineral with a chemical formula na 2 b 4 o 7 u2022 10h 2 o. borax also is known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. it is one of the most important boron compounds. the international union of pure and applied chemistry (iupac) name for borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate.
The term borax is used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content, but usually refers to the decahydrate. commercially sold borax is partially dehydrated. borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in tibet and was imported via the silk road to arabia. Borax is the short name for disodium tetraborate pentahydrate u2013 a white, odorless, naturally occurring salt compound that forms as residue on dry lakebeds. itu2019s been around for thousands of years, but borax was a rare and expensive substance until it was discovered in californiau2019s death valley, not long after the gold rush of the mid-1800s.