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Making Bouncy Balls - but where to get Borax in Ireland?

I have found an article on the interwebs about making bouncy balls at home.
I have always enjoyed fun home science projects and wanted to make some myself.

The recipe for a bouncy ball calls for:

  • Two plastic cups
  • Two craft sticks for mixing
  • Water
  • Measuring spoons
  • Borax
  • Corn starch
  • Glue
  • Food coloring

I have all of those ingredients except for Borax.

Borax, which as far as I'm aware is sodium borate is a common ingredient in a lot of slime-like and rubber-like projects, but all the ones I have stumbled upon, now and in the past, were written by and targeted to residents of the USA. Apparently Borax is very commonly used there as a detergent. Getting Borax in Irealnd, or in the EU for that matter, is a completely different story.

Apparently a European Union Directive that went in force in June 2009 re-categorised boron salts as toxic, which means they are no longer widely available. This information is from Borax Free website, I am still looking for the relevant documents in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) archive - they are nearly impossible to find.

[Edit: documentation now enclosed, found on ECHA website]

There are some posts on boards.ie that suggest that Borax can be bought from a pharmacy or from a DIY store (boric acid seemingly has had been used to treat wood and get rid of ants) but none posted since June 2009 so it would appear stopped looking for, or finding Borax anywhere in Ireland after that time.

I will be still looking around, but it would appear that without Borax my dream of home made bouncy balls might be over before it even started.