Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Boric acid + Isopropyl alcohol = ?

  1. May 26, 2013 #1
    Boric acid + Isopropyl alcohol = ???

    Hi...I've made some ant killer solution:

    4.9 grams of boric acid,
    39.4 grams of table sugar (sucrose?),
    in 250ml water

    Works fine. Take 1/4 of a paper towel, fold into a small rectangle, place on inverted saucer,
    and saturate with ~1 tsp of Ant-B-Gone. When the paper pad is dry, dispose, rinse saucer,
    and replace with new pad+solution. Wash hands, because boric acid is toxic, but not so much
    that you can't use it in the kitchen, for example.

    (Included this level of detail for completeness and because it might be of general use.)

    OK. This evening I went to the jar of Ant-B-Gone to renew a pad, and saw floating toward the
    bottom a ~2cm sphere of very fine fibers radiating from a denser center. Not a crystal, but
    probably a fungal growth of some sort. I fished it out with a spoon and added 2 tablespoons
    of 91% isopropyl alcohol to sterilize the solution, thinking that on application the alcohol would

    Funny thing is, though, when I swirled the solution to mix it, a cloud of very small bubbles

    Question: did a reaction occur, resulting in something that isn't boric acid any more, or (perhaps)
    did the addition of the alcohol bring dissolved gases out of solution?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Boric Acid and Glucose reacts to form a complex. Maybe that has something to do with this.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook