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Dissolving Borax in water

Pete Gee , Jun 21, 2004; 12:08 a.m.

Im trying to try out Gainers modified Rodinal formula with Sodium Ascorbate and Borax. I got some borax from a potters supplies but im having a heck of a time dissolving the damned stuff. Can never seem to disolve all of it. Ive tried boiling water, and warm water both before and after adding sodium ascorbate and rodinal, but just seems to dissolve SLOWLY - like hours of stirring it would seem...

Would it be best to get a mortar and pessle and pulverise the crap out of it first? or is there some trick?

Also, can i make up a known concentrate of borax and water (say 1 gram/250 mls water or something) and use it later, or will the water effect it?


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Peter Svensson , Jun 21, 2004; 12:51 a.m.

Odd that you're having such a hard time of it. If you're in the U.S., try getting some 20 Mule Team Borax at the supermarket instead. It dissolves in a few minutes with stirring in hot tap water. I believe a borax solution in water will last quite a long time.

Peter Svensson , Jun 21, 2004; 12:52 a.m.

Ah, you're in New Zealand. Well, making a stock solution should work.

Jay De Fehr , Jun 21, 2004; 12:56 a.m.

My 20 mule team borax dissolves easily in room temp. distilled water. Maybe it's your borax?

Jorge Oliveira , Jun 21, 2004; 04:41 a.m.

AFAIK there's one type of borax that is very hard to dissolve - I've forgot which is it. maybe your is that kind?

Try dissolving it in some water (up to 3g/100cc, or the solution will saturate) and see how it goes.

John Stockdale , Jun 21, 2004; 05:02 a.m.

There was a thread on rec.photo.darkroom, in which it was stated that anhydrous borax is extremely difficult to dissolve. Laundry borax is the decahydrate, and according to a table i got from a web site once, should dissolve about 55gram/Liter at room temperature.

Al DiVenuti , Jun 21, 2004; 10:24 a.m.

The really hard to dissolve stuff (anhydrous) is marketed as 'Boraxo'

Patrick Gainer , Jun 21, 2004; 12:21 p.m.

The only stuff I have seen marketed as Boraxo is a hand cleaner that contains another detergent in addition to borax and an abrasive that will not dissolve. Do not use it for photographic purposes except perhaps for scrubbing trays.

nicholas t. , Jun 21, 2004; 04:39 p.m.

Peter, did you get "soluble" borax? It sounds like you didn't.

Pete Gee , Jun 21, 2004; 05:21 p.m.

Its anhydrous borax, it did eventually disolve, just took bl**dy ages... Processed a roll of 35mm hp5+ @320 for 7:48 in 1:48 rodinal with vitc and borax - havent printed it yet, but it looks fairly good on visual inspection. will print some frames tonight.

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