Boron in cleaners and detergents

Industrial cleaning solutions benefit from borates’ tough cleaning power

For more than a century, cleaning solutions have benefitted from borates’ multifunctional capabilities. Their versatility makes them suitable components in a variety of industrial formulations targeting different surface types.

Sourcing high-quality, refined borates or perborates enables you to produce effective and safe industrial cleaning solutions. That’s critical as more industries are demanding cleaning products that lower maintenance costs and reduce health and environmental risks. As a trusted partner across several industries, we can help you find the right product and concentration for your specific application.

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By adding borates to your industrial cleaner formula, you can:

  • Stabilize enzymes
  • Boost surfactant performance
  • Buffer alkalinity
  • Enhance stain removal and bleaching
  • Control viscosity
  • Soften water
  • Control bacteria and fungi
  • Easily remove grease, rust, scale, and other particulates

Borates and perborates for metal cleaning

Keeping metal clean is essential for maintaining material integrity. Borates make it easier to maintain metal surfaces by:

  • Controlling pH

  • Softening water

  • Acting as a mild to moderate abrasive

  • Fighting corrosion and tarnish

By buffering the pH of an industrial cleaning solution, borates break down chemical bonds, increasing the solubility of oils, grease, and other deposits. That makes it simple for you to remove and keep your metal surfaces clean.

Beyond better cleaning power, borates possess anti-corrosive properties. A boric-acid-based solution, such as Optibor® not only removes corrosion, but keeps metal protected with a thin passivation layer.

Read more about how borates clean and fight corrosion in metalworking

Clean hard surfaces with sodium borates (perborates)

Schools, hospitals, and restaurants all share the relentless challenge of keeping hard surfaces clean. People’s health and the functional integrity of equipment depends on cleanliness.

Borates are especially adept when it comes to cleaning hard surfaces found in industrial and institutional environments. Plus, their versatility makes them easy to utilize into your specific formulation.

There are two common types of borate suspensions used for industrial cleaning solutions:

  • An aqueous borate suspension that’s converted into a hydrogel polymer

  • A borate-in-polyethylene glycol suspension

By using borates, you can ensure hard surfaces are cleaned right the first time and stay clean longer. That results in significant time and money savings.

Borates for glass cleaning

Need an effective industrial cleaner that’s suitable for a large glass surface area? Use borates for glass cleaning. Borates perform well even if your surfaces are exposed to low temperatures, or your solution uses cold water.


We developed Neobor® especially for use in cold water.

Borates for other industrial cleaning applications

New powder and liquid industrial dishwashing detergent formulations are using borates and perborates as alternatives to traditional additives that could pose environmental and corrosion concerns. Benefits include:

  • Extended shelf life

  • Great cleaning properties

  • Bleaching without chlorine-releasing compounds

  • Moderate alkaline buffering

  • Perborates have a biocidal property (EPA registration required)

Why partner with U.S. Borax for your industrial cleaning needs?

Expertise, quality, and several product options can deliver what you need.

Unparalleled quality

We’ve been a global leader in refined borates for more than 150 years. Our experience ensures you’ll receive only high-quality products that are effective. That means your formulations will have inputs that support powerful cleaning action.

A rich cleaning history

Borax cleaning powder played a central role in our company’s origin. While we no longer directly sell consumer cleaning products, we’re still globally recognized for our product development and research. Because we introduced borate-based cleaners to the market more than a century ago, our technical team has an extensive knowledge base to draw from. When you partner with U.S. Borax, we can advise you on the right borate product and concentration for your specific cleaning application.

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Recommended for industrial cleaning solutions

Borax decahydrate by U.S. Borax logo

This product is an excellent pH buffer making it suitable for dry blending or use in a solution.

Learn More  

Boric oxide by U.S. Borax logo

For industrial cleaning applications that require anhydrous borates, boric oxide makes an excellent option as its water-solubility rate is slower than boric acid.

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The slow release of Dehybor in gel or solid suspensions softens water to prevent scale buildup, deodorizes, and inhibits stain formation.

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Neobor logo

This multifunctional sodium borate is easy to handle and store. It provides metals with anticorrosion protection and works well as a glass-cleaning compound in cold water..

Learn More  

Optibor logo

A widely used borate in industrial cleaning applications, Optibor is effective at keeping metal surfaces clean and corrosion free.

Learn More  

As a component in industrial cleaning solutions, Polybor helps emulsify oils, acts as a soft abrasive, and can control viscosity. Polybor is an effective hard surface cleaner.

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Potassium tetraborate by U.S. Borax logo

An excellent buffering agent, potassium tetraborate makes it easier to remove dirt deposits, oils, and grease from surfaces.

Learn More  

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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