Sodium borate, or borox, is a mineral and a crystalline compound of the chemical element boron. In its powdered state, it consists of colorless and soft crystals that easily dissolve in water. It is found in deposits produced by seasonal lakes that repeatedly evaporate.
It has many different uses, most commonly in a variety of household and industrial cleaning and laundry projects, and as an agent in lotions and mouthwashes. It is also widely used in glaze for enamels, detergents and cosmetics, as well as a fire retardant and water softening agent. In some countries it is used as a food additive, and has been used as a replacement for mercury for extracting gold. Its other diverse uses include as an anti-fungal foot bath, as an ant and pest deterrent, to treat thrush in horses' hooves, to treat woodworm, in the production of fiberglass, and to stop leaks in car radiators.