More on Borax Crystals

Okay, so after that last email we sent about substituting laundry whitener for sugar, we received a flurry of emails, asking for more specific directions!  Well, here they are…

Grow beautiful crystals using laundry soap! In an OLD saucepan (like one you only use for science experiments), add a few cups of water and enough borax so that you can’t dissolve any more borax into the water (you”ll see sediment particles on the bottom of the pan). Turn on the heat to medium and stir with an OLD spoon (again, from your science tools) and when the sediment disappears, add a bit more borax… and stir… and when that disappears, add a bit more borax… and stir… and when that disappears… you get the idea!

You’re creating a super saturated solution here. When you can’t dissolve any more borax to the solution, and a bit of water and turn off the heat. Let cool to 130 deg F and pour into awaiting glass pickle jar. Balance a pencil across the mouth of the jar and suspend either a length of string or a pipe cleaner twisted into interesting shapes (like a snowflake, or a dog, etc…) Leave for about 6 hours and then check back. Crystals will grow to full size overnight if you’ve set up your solution just right.

Keep your eye on it, though, because these crystals not only grow quickly, but once the crystals from the pipe cleaner touch the ones growing on the sizes of the jar, you won’t be able to extract your shape! (Unless, of course, you want to grow a geode…)


  1. Perri Albert Said,

    March 29, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    for my science fair project i am making borax crystals with a twist, i am not boiling my water, and i am using rainwater , tap water, and bottled water.

    i am wondering what the effect of the rainwater with the borax is going to be difernt becasue the minerls in the rainwater and the borax will have a chemical reaction , making the outcome of the crystal different then the bottled and tap water.

  2. I Lost Thirty Póunds in Thirty Days Said,

    May 5, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

    Hi, cool post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for blogging. I’ll probably be subscribing to your blog. Keep up great writing