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How Borates Keep Swimming Pools Clean

Author: CC

Aug. 31, 2022

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Tags: Chemicals

Boron is a unique and exciting element. Over the years, it has proven to be a constant challenge and stimulus not only for preparative chemists and theorists, but also for industrial chemists and technicians.

Borates are a family of ubiquitous flame retardants that exist as boric acid and various salts, notably sodium borate (borax) and zinc borate. Along with the sodium salt called borax, boric acid was one of the first flame retardants used.

In halogen systems, zinc borate is often used as a component replacement for antimony oxide; providing possible cost savings and, in many cases, improving certain aspects of fire performance, including smoke and afterglow suppression.


Potassium (bromomethyl)trifluoroborate


Swimming Pool Maintenance

It is important to maintain your pool's total alkalinity (TA) and pH at the recommended levels; if either is out of balance, it can affect the function of all chemicals in your pool, including chlorine. If you want to simplify pool maintenance by better keeping your pool's TA and pH in balance, then borates are the answer.

When pH is out of balance

Many situations occur when the pH of your pool water is unbalanced. Take a look at the following information.


pH level exceeds 7.8:

Chlorine stops working, clouding the water and promoting the growth of water bacteria and algae.

High pH levels can lead to calcium scale on pool surfaces, pipes and accessories, especially in saltwater pools.

High pH levels can cause health problems such as burning eyes and nose, dry skin and scalp, and itching.


pH levels below 7.0:

Erosion of pool components

Plaster and grout damage

Corrosion of metal fittings

Metal stains

Metal corrosion causing water discoloration

If you don't want this to happen to your pool, you should consider adding borates to your pool. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of using borates as part of your pool maintenance.


Benefits of using borates

Helps stabilize pH - Using a neutral pH borate helps stabilize the chemicals in your pool water.

Helps prevent algae growth - Since borates keep the pH balanced and chlorine works effectively, algae has no room to multiply and start growing in your pool.

Less chlorine - Since borates help prevent algae growth, you can use less chlorine, which means you can save money on your monthly chemical bill.

Soft, shiny water - Borates help the water stay cleaner longer. Chloramines don't develop as quickly compared to those who don't include borate reagents in their pool maintenance. Good borates contain chlorine stabilizers that prevent UV light from depleting the chemicals.

An added benefit - borates not only make the water healthy, but they also prevent dry skin and red, itchy eyes in swimmers.


potassium trifluoro(tetrahydro-2H-pyran-4-yl)borate



Borax was known worldwide in ancient times for its use in the preparation of glazes and hard (borosilicate) glass. High purity boron (>99%) is a product of this century, and various crystalline forms have only been obtained in recent decades, mainly because of the element's highly refractory nature and its rapid reaction with nitrogen, oxygen and most metals at high temperatures. If you are going to use borax in your home, there are precautions you can take to ensure safety, such as wearing gloves and Wash your hands thoroughly after using borax. If needed, seek medical help to prevent exposure.


This is an introduction to borates and borax. If you need any other pharmaceutical intermediates or chemical products, please contact us.