What place does Boric Acid have in woodworking

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Forum topic by Straightbowed posted 05-07-2013 04:51 PM 1894 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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717 posts in 2327 days

05-07-2013 04:51 PM

Is it safe or should I just not mess with it at all? I read an article along time ago about how it inhances the color of walnut or something of that nature, well anyway just lookin for some opinions but really I will try anything once or twice, but I would like to be safe and leave well enough alone if it’s not safe but just wondering

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

16 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 05-07-2013 05:08 PM

It’s a great insecticide.

Maybe it reacts with tannin in the wood to bring about color modification.

I use it in jewelry casting as a flux for melting gold and silver.

I would say it is safe, at least the product I have used is safe.
Never had any adverse reaction to it at all.

I had a doctor pour some in my ear once back in the 1950s after he lanced a boil.
It didn’t run out the other ear.

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226 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 11:57 AM

Forge welding. Brighter whites and cleaner cleans. Good Luck. On Wisconsin.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2880 days

#3 posted 05-08-2013 01:03 PM

Boric acid is also used as an eyewash.


Lee (Fort Atkinson’s ambassador to Oregon)

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3766 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 02:15 PM

I buy Borate powder in 5 gallon buckets and mix it in a 15% solution to treat wood against termites, boring beetles and any other bugs that eat cellulose. It will last at least 40 years in a crawl space. It is also used in many garden pest products to control pests.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4154 days

#5 posted 05-08-2013 03:54 PM

I have sprinkled it all over and through stickered maple to keep the insects out, and it hasn’t seemed to impacted the color. Seems like a relatively mundane insecticide. If you’re using it in powdered form I’d wear eye protection and at least a dust mask, if not a respirator, but I do that for pretty much anything finely powdered.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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Gerald Thompson

979 posts in 2264 days

#6 posted 05-08-2013 10:11 PM

View Louigi's profile


4 posts in 1854 days

#7 posted 05-28-2013 08:04 AM

Boric Acid is great for preventing dry rot in wood. Mix it with some glycol and paint it over your wood. Glycol is pretty good at penetrating the wood resulting in a better preventative treatment.

And as the others have said, it’s a great insecticide when sprinkled around crawlspaces to guard against termites and roaches.

-- Lou, Melbourne Australia,

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389 posts in 2056 days

#8 posted 05-28-2013 08:19 AM

Years ago, some telemarketers sold bottles of boric acid with a name of roach pruff on it. LOL, they made a fortune on it by marking up a cheap common material up so high. As mentioned it has medicinal uses as a eyewash for eye infections, and it is a great insecticide. Pull your fridge out, sprinkle it in that area, push fridge back, and you will eliminate your roach problems for about a year. Roaches love the warmth and moisture there. Bake cupcakes with boric acid and crumble or place them near a fire ant or any other ant area, the workers will happily take that to their queen. End of problem. Aphids on roses? same deal, crumble some boric acid laced cupcakes, 90% of aphids are actually cows with clipped wings farmed by ants. Ignore the cows, kill the farmers. Boric acid is super mild to all higher life forms. If your kid or dog eats the laced cupcakes, it no worse than if they ate a orange, in fact the orange is much more acidic.

In the 20th century, people soaked hay in boric acid and used it as insulation and as a insect repellant and fire retardant. There was a mansion in my town that is now a museum and they were pulling all that stuff out back in the 80s while I did some landscape work for them. It had been up there apparently for over 100 years.

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185 posts in 1921 days

#9 posted 05-29-2013 12:38 AM

i use boric acid to cleanse and soak infected fingers in (from wood slivers). Have done this for years. Softens the infection and raises the sliver to the surface for easy removal.

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

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3104 posts in 2316 days

#10 posted 05-29-2013 01:29 AM

Boric acid is not an insect deterrent, it’s a silent killer. It’s use should be targeted and used by professionals. Many insects are beneficial even if we consider them pests. I would not kill any insect or bug without really good reason. Plus careless use could affect bee colonies which are already down by 1/3 of their populations which threaten food shortages.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2893 days

#11 posted 05-29-2013 01:49 AM

Boric Acid has many kinds of uses. Some wood is treated with it to deter termites and other insects. My understanding is it needs to be used with Ethylene Glycol “as a carrier” when treating wood .

Just understand the toxicity of it and the proper usage before-hand.

View Planeman40's profile


1179 posts in 2790 days

#12 posted 05-29-2013 05:26 PM

Hmmmm . . . .

I’ve got a problem with cat fleas in my shop. I wonder if boric acid would get rid of fleas? Any suggestions?


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2056 days

#13 posted 05-29-2013 06:17 PM

boric acid will not help with fleas. In carpeted areas you can mix sevin dust with those carpet deodorizing powders like carpet fresh and that will help, in concrete or linoleum ares you can spray spectracide on baseboards etc and that will help, however do NOT do either of these if you have cats. This will make your cats sick cause they will pick it up on their feet and cats constantly lick their feet. Don’t seem to be a big issue with dogs though.

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1179 posts in 2790 days

#14 posted 05-29-2013 06:53 PM

Yeah, after I posted that I did some investigating online and found boric acid can make cats sick is they ingest enough. But . . . I did run across another solution that is non-toxic to people and cats and that is FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth. I am going to give that a try. You can even rub it into the cats fur and the cat can safely ingest it. You might want to Google food grade diatomaceous earth and cats. Its is interesting.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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4 posts in 1854 days

#15 posted 07-01-2013 08:41 PM

Boric Acid is very effective on fleas. If they’re around your shop, in the carpet for example, you can sprinkle it on the carpet and brush it in, leave it for an hour or so then vacuum it up. You’ll need to do this every couple of days or so until the fleas are gone. If they’re in the cages, BA isn’t a good option.

@Planeman40 has it, diatomaceous earth is excellent for treating fleas and mites in cages. I use it to keep my chooks flea-free. Just sprinkle it in the cage and you’re all done. Food grade is consumable so there’s no need to vacuum it up. It should greatly reduce the numbers, if not eradicate.

-- Lou, Melbourne Australia,

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