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Picture of Homemade Flame retardant

This is my first instructable, so please bear with me. Many times in the course of building / re-purposing items for various projects I have encountered a need to add some level of flame resistance to certain elements of the project.

While this procedure won't make any items flame proof, it will minimize the probability of ignition. In this tutorial I will offer a possible solution for flammability problems along with the recipe and the results from a quick and dirty experiment. This technique will only work for natural materials such as wood, cotton, jute, and paper or the like. It will not work for synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, polypropylene or anything else that did not originally come from a plant or tree.

 
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need

Borax (sodium borate) laundry booster

A measuring cup

A 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon

An old sauce pan

A storage container

Some sort of applicator ( paint brush, spray bottle, etc)

Step 2: Procedure

You want to make a saturated solution

Boil 1 cup of water

Add 2.5 tablespoons of Borax to the boiling water

Stir until the Borax dissolves

Allow to cool to room temperature. Some of the Borax will precipitate out as the solution cools. This is normal, the clear liquor left is the flame retardant mixture.

Pour the clear liquid into storage container or spray bottle.

Step 3: Application

You can use a spray bottle or brush

Wet the heck out of the item to be protected. Make sure it is saturated.

If you run out of solution, make more, because the item has to be absolutely positively soaked.

When you think its wet enough, wet it some more

Allow to dry

Once the solution dries, it is very important to keep it dry as any water contact will wash the protection off.

GDC (author) 4 months ago

Are you trying to spray while it is still hot? It needs to cool to ambient temperature before use. Some of the borax will fall out of solution as it cools. Don't worry about this precipitate. As applied, the solution should be a saturated at the application temperature. Saturated solutions are temperature dependent. Low temperature means that the carrier (water) can hold less of the solute (Borax), higher temperature, more. I have never tried to apply it hot but would expect exactly what you describe. If you want to apply it hot, a brush might be a better applicator or maybe you could scale up the solution and dip your part. Sorry for the delay in responding I was traveling and just got back . I'm not sure about other carriers, I don't think that Borax is soluble in alcohol or mineral spirits.

Hope this is helpful

Good Luck

KyleeB4 months ago

"(B4O5(OH)4)2-" Boiled In "H2O" Re-Solidifies Too Quick & Clogs Orifices...

GIVEN:

1. My Borax re-solidifies when it begins cooling and that clogs my stuff, dude!

2. At 160F, I observed the Borax began to separate from the clear water slightly.

3. At 110F, I observed the Borax separate almost completely and pile up.

QUESTION 1: Should I boil for longer?

FYI, I boiled it a second round for 7 minutes: it still re-solidifies around 110F.


QUESTION 2: Will adjusting the pH have the effect of lowering the working temperature to a magnitude that won't melt my spray bottles and allow the borax to flow past the tiny pump mechanisms and the orifice?

QUESTION 3: Is there anything besides water (such as rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits) that will work better and not interact with #1 and #2 plastic spray bottles?

Majornav1 year ago
Great instructable!
Most recipes include adding boric acid to the solution.