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Topic: Stainless Steel and Borax solution  (Read 23558 times)

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Offline Amitaabh

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Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« on: May 30, 2012, 03:31:59 PM »
Will stainless steel (304) react in anyway with a .1M solution of borax (Na2B4O7ยท10H2O) ? If so what are the resulting chemicals?

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Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 05:55:37 PM »
You need a "compatibility list" for "Aisi 304" from the Web. They give long lists of chemicals with the effect on the alloy.

Please remember that stainless steel is often welded, and seams have a lower resistance to corrosion. If this a worry, the 304L variant (low carbon) improves it.

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 08:24:04 PM »
I could not find a compatibility list after searching in google. I did find this http://www.pumprite.com/chemre.pdf which lists borax to have no effect on 304 stainless steel but I am not sure if applies to a borax solution.

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 12:42:01 PM »
Is any reaction with a metal considered corrosion?

Offline fledarmus

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 09:01:08 AM »
In its broadest sense, corrosion involves the removal of mass from an object. Iron corrodes not because it reacts with oxygen, but because that reaction with oxygen causes flaking and the solid chunk of iron you have gets pits and voids, and eventually disappears altogether into a pile of rust. That is why people say that aluminum doesn't corrode - under the same conditions it reacts just as quickly with oxygen as iron (if not more quickly), but the aluminum oxide forms a tightly bonded passivation layer which blocks further reaction. Since it isn't flaking, no material is being lost, and it is not corroding.

So in a broad sense, it isn't "any reaction with a metal" that is considered corrosion, but "any reaction with a metal that degrades the solid mass of the metal."

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 04:08:47 PM »
Thanks for clarifying the definition of corrosion.

Even if nobody knows the exact answer to my first question I would appreciate any educated guesses.

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 05:36:21 PM »
The reason I asked this question is because I accidentally washed my stainless steel cookware with borax and wanted to know if it is still fit for use. I am worried that it might have altered the nature of the stainless steel and it might leech something toxic when I cook.

Offline fledarmus

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 07:02:46 PM »
Oh - no, you have almost certainly done no damage and left nothing toxic on the cookware.

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 05:02:02 PM »
I am quite worried by the possibility that the borax solution (including constituent element(s))  I let sit in my stainless steel cookware has bonded with the cookware and I might be slowly poisoning myself. I would be very grateful if somebody could work out the chemical interaction and explain to me the reality of this situation . I tried to refresh my understanding of chemistry reviewing covalent, ionic, and metallic bonds and trying to get a picture of borax using the octect rule and reacting it with h2o and stainless steel but I soon realized that it was far more complicated than the simple reactions I dealt with in high school or college. Among other things I didn't know exactly how to account for the passive film of stainless steel, the geometries of the shells and how they effect the reaction and the fact that borax and water creates H2O2. I have made a serious effect to figure this out myself but I just cant do it, someone please help me.

Thank You

Offline Borek

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 05:50:56 PM »
I am quite worried by the possibility that the borax solution (including constituent element(s))  I let sit in my stainless steel cookware has bonded with the cookware and I might be slowly poisoning myself.

Sorry to say that, but you are making up stuff. Your cookware is perfectly safe.

But if you have any doubts, send it to me, I will find a good use for the pots in my kitchen  :P
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Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 10:05:29 PM »
Thank you, I'm guessing you and fledarmus are right, but I would really appreciate some kind of explanation.

Offline Borek

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 02:03:31 AM »
What kind of the explanation do you expect for the problem that doesn't exist?

There is no pink unicorn repellent, because there are no pink unicorns.
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Offline Jasim

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 08:42:35 AM »
Borax is not toxic, at least not in concentrations that we would be talking about. You'd have to eat grams of it before it would cause any damage, besides some slight nausea I'm assuming.

Borax is a common cleaning agent. It will not react with stainless steel. Borax has many uses, which wouldn't be possible if not for it's low toxicity. Wikipedia claims borax was once used to coat ham. Rest assured there is no reason to be concerned about any traces of it on your cookware. Additionally, it's very water soluble - so most or all of it will wash off with a single rinse of water.

Offline Amitaabh

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 09:16:53 PM »
I understand but what if some or one of the constituent elements of borax react with and bond to some or one of the constituent elements of stainless steel and create a new compound which may very well be toxic. Then it will eventually leech into whatever the steel contains.

Offline Borek

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Re: Stainless Steel and Borax solution
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 02:58:07 AM »
The only thing that is toxic here are your own thoughts.
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