General Consumer Questions

Is borax or boric acid safe for home use, including crafts, food preservation, and personal care? What should I know about diverting water wash to my garden?
Read more in our Product Stewardship section. Or, email us at rtbproduct.stewardship@riotinto.com with your specific application and information needs.
Can I use borates for flea control or food preservatives?

U.S. Borax’s products are not intended for use in food applications and are labeled accordingly. Therefore, our borate products shall not be used as (or to manufacture) food additives or preservatives. Read our Statement on FDA Status of Borates.

U.S. Borax does not sell any product into the borate/borax flea control or carpet application businesses. In keeping with our product stewardship commitment to our customers, we recommend against the use of borate products for carpet applications. These applications include boric acid, borax, or other borate-containing products intended for use on carpets as deodorizers or flea control agents.

These carpet-use patterns are different from all other borate product uses in that they present the opportunity for small children or pets to ingest borates directly from the carpets. It is not feasible to assess the extent of exposure to children and pets under all possible scenarios, due to the variety of parameters that determine exposure from carpets (eg variation in carpet type, borate product type, application method and rate, vacuum efficiency and frequency, and individual behavioral patterns of children or pets). Without adequate exposure information, U.S. Borax cannot determine the level of risk that may result from carpet-use patterns; therefore, we do not support the use of borate products for carpet flea control applications by anyone, especially consumers.

It should also be recognized that any compound used for the purpose of mitigating “pests” is considered to be a “pesticide” which is regulated by state and federal authorities (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Learn more:

Can I use borates as flame retardants, wood preservatives, insect/pest control, or agricultural end uses?
Read more at borate function by application. Or, visit our related applications pages: If this still doesn't answer your question, send an email with details about your needs and interests to: rtbproduct.stewardship@riotinto.com.
Do you still make 20 Mule Team hobby kits?
These model kits originated as a promotional program for 20 Mule Team Borax in 1954. Unfortunately, they have been discontinued.
How much is my historic U.S. Borax artifact worth?
While we’re proud of our heritage, we do not maintain records of the value of U.S. Borax posters, model kits, advertising, photography or other memorabilia. You may be able to find some items for purchase at the unaffiliated 20 Mule Team Museum in Boron, California.

Learn more about U.S. Borax history.

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 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 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.

Copyright © 2020 Rio Tinto. All Rights Reserved.