How to Grow Borax Crystals

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How to grow borax crystals at home? Growing borax crystals is a great place to start if you want to do a fun and easy science experiment. It’s surprisingly easy to make fascinating borax crystals, which are both educational and entertaining. This is an excellent activity for everyone, whether you’re a STEM science buff or just looking for something creative to do with the kids. And we have several STEM Science and Lego Activities here.

how to grow borax crystals

We will explore what borax is, whether borax crystals melt, how long it takes to grow borax crystals, and how long the crystals themselves last. Let’s dive in and learn everything there is to know about borax crystals.

Do Borax Crystals Melt?

borax crystals from chenille stems

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Borax is a mineral that can be found in nature and is also used as an ingredient in many household products. Borax detergent booster crystals are made from borax powder, which is made from boric acid and sodium tetraborate. As with most substances, the melting point of borax crystals depends on their purity and composition. In general, the purer a substance is–and therefore fewer impurities it contains–the higher its melting point will be. Such as:

  • A sample containing only boric acid will have a higher melting point than one containing other compounds, such as sodium carbonate or calcium sulfate (which are both insoluble).
  • The more sodium tetraborate in your crystal mixture (as opposed to just plain boric acid), the more you’ll get a higher melting point too!

Let’s Grow Borax Crystals

Ingredients needed to make borax crystals from pipe cleaners

What Ingredients do you need to make Borax Crystals?

2 cups water

¼ cup Borax detergent booster

You will also need:

Chenille stems, 1 for each crystal


Wide mouth jar or glass

Thread or thin string

Popsicle sticks

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

To create the crystal structure from a chenille stem, twist one chenille stem into a stone shape.

Ingredients needed to make borax crystals from pipe cleaners

Attach a string to hang the chenille stem in the jar. 

crystal project using pipe cleaners

Place borax powder in the wide-mouth jar.

make crystals using pipe cleaners and borax

Place borax powder in the wide mouth jar.

using borax to make crystals project for kids

In a medium-stock pot, bring the water to a boil. Slowly pour the water into the jar. Pour slowly to allow the jar temperature to adjust so it does not crack. Stir the mixture until all of the borax powder is dissolved.

Carefully drop the chenille stem into the borax solution and attach the string to a popsicle stick so that the chenille stem hangs in the middle of the jar without touching the edges or bottom.

using borax to make crystals project for kids

Crystals will begin forming as the mixture cools. Crystals will form on the chenille stem in as little as two hours. For best results, avoid disturbing the chenille stems for 24 hours.

make crystals from borax crystals science project for kids stem project

Remove the chenille stems from the jar and allow to dry completely.

make crystals from borax crystals science project for kids stem project

Use the thread to hang the chenille stems or cut the string if desired.

How Long Does it Take the Borax Crystals to Grow?

The time it takes depends on several factors. These include:

  • The amount of moisture in the air. If you live in a dry climate or keep your house very dry, it may take longer for your borax solution to evaporate than if you live in a humid climate or have an incredibly moist house.
  • How much borax is in the solution (more concentrated solutions will evaporate more quickly)?

How Long Do Borax Crystals Last?

Borax crystals are very stable and can last for years if kept in an airtight container.
Borax is a mineral that has been used as a cleaning agent for thousands of years. It is found naturally in the environment, but most people use the borax detergent booster (a mixture of sodium tetraborate decahydrate and water) to grow their own crystals at home.

different color crystals homemade crystals stem project

Pipe Cleaner Borax Crystals

If you’ve ever used a pipe cleaner to clean your pipes, you know that they’re made of twisted strands of wire. When you dip them in water and let them dry out, they become stiffer and more rigid than they were before.

This is because the water has caused some of those wires’ metal atoms to bond into crystals!
You can use this same process on purpose by making your own pipe cleaner borax crystal:

  • Take a length of pipe cleaner (about 4 inches) and wrap it around your finger until there are about ten loops on each side.
  • Place this bundle into a small container with about 1/4 cup hot tap water (or distilled), cap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil so no air gets inside; let sit overnight at room temperature (about 70 degrees F). You’ll notice that when you take off the cap tomorrow morning there will be lots more crystals than before–this happens because as soon as you added them some minerals dissolved into the solution while others were still growing slowly over time due to evaporation from being exposed directly under the sunlight during daylight hours when temperatures were high enough outside during summer months.

What is Borax?

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral salt compound made up of oxygen, sodium, and boron atoms. It has been used for centuries to clean and disinfect all kinds of surfaces. Today, it is still widely used as a laundry booster and all-purpose cleaner.

Borax also has many creative uses in crafts. It can be used as an adhesive for gluing items together or making slime out of glue and water. You can also use borax to create beautiful crystals that look like tiny snowflakes or diamonds when suspended in water or on a string. Finally, borax can be used to give fabric dyes more vibrant colors by increasing their saturation level.

Homemade Bouncy Balls Made with Borax

Free Scientific Method Printable Worksheet

different color crystals homemade crystals stem project

With just a few common household ingredients, it is easy and entertaining to grow borax crystals. An afternoon spent crystal-growing can be educational as well as entertaining. You may make stunning and unique crystals with string or pipe cleaners, water, and some borax powder. Why not try it and see what kind of crystals you can make? Who knows, you might even find a new interest or hobby along the way.

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