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Thread: borax/borates as softener

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    borax/borates as softener

    I've decided to stick with my 3 step bromine method for ease of use and because we don't use more than a couple of times per week. I have seen mention that using Gentle Spa OR a combo of Borax and Acid can turn your spa water into silky goodness for the skin. Although we have lovely softened city water, my skin tends to dry out when I use the spa and this sounds very appealing. After a little more research, I'm seeing some warnings that Gentle Spa may not be the best way to go because of the imbalance it can create and it is expensive. So Borax it it!
    Question 1 - is this truly worth using to "soften" the water? That's really my only intention with it.
    Question 2 - what is the muriatic acid and where do I find it? Are there any "already in my home" substitutes such as vinegar?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: borax/borates as softener

    1) Purely your opinion if it is worth it ... it can help stabilize the pH too.
    2) Available at any hardware or pool store. No substitutes: Recommended Pool Chemicals

    You could use boric acid instead of the borax + muriatic acid.
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: borax/borates as softener

    You can get boric acid from Duda Diesel or The Chemistry Store.

    I'm not so sure you will experience the "softening" you want by using borates. They are primarily used as a pH buffer particularly in spas that have the TA level be low when using bleach as the disinfectant.
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: borax/borates as softener

    Borates seemed to make my water feel nicer. They definitely don't make it worse. We also have some epsom salt in there too. Maybe 1000 or 2000 ppm of salt would soften it more?
    TFP Moderator
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