Several months ago, I purchased a box of borax so that the boys and I could make homemade slime. Since that day, the borax has sat on a shelf! I didn’t know what else to do with it, except add it to the laundry occasionally to brighten the whites.
But then this post from Gift of Curiosity caught my attention. Crystals from borax? Yes, crystals from borax . . . apparently, a classic elementary school science experiment that I missed out on years ago! I couldn’t wait to try it with the boys.
How to Create Borax Crystals
1. Bend a pipe cleaner into any shape you desire. Since Valentine’s Day is approaching, we created hearts.
4. Pour the hot borax solution into the jar. Wait 8 hours for large crystal growth.
Hot water will dissolve a higher quantity of borax than cool water. As the water cools, the super saturated borax solution becomes unstable, causing the excess borax to crystallize on the pipe cleaner (reference).
Larger crystals will grow in super saturated borax solutions, whereas smaller crystals will grow in less saturated solutions because most of the excess borax has already been crystallized. To make even larger crystals, repeat the experiment with your already crystallized pipe cleaner in the new borax solution!
Displaying the Crystals
Though fragile, the crystals will last a long time if they are handled gently. We hung our crystals from suction cup hooks in the window and have been enjoying them as sun-catchers!
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