For a make-it yourself fire retardant mixture, mix 7 oz. Borax, 3 oz. boric acid, and 2 qts. warm water. Stir to dissolve completely. Either dip the fabric in the mixture or spray on to thoroughly saturate the material until it drips. This product will wash right out without damage to the fabrics so if you have to use a bedsheet for stage curtains, it won't damage them for at home use.
Source: Drama team
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
My brother reminded me of this tonight (he's a fireman) :)
Making children's clothing flame retardant: Mix together nine oz. 20 Mule Team Borax and four oz. boric acid in one gallon water. If the article is washable, soak in the solution after final rinsing, then dry. If the garment is not washable, spray with the solution. This solution, recommended by fire departments, may wash out of clothing and should be used after each washing or dry cleaning.
By Laurie from Nevada
Great tip, Laurie! I never knew this solution. Thank you and please thank your brother!(11/13/2006)
Just a reminder to use caution when handling Boric Acid since it's POISON, according to the label. It killed all the Hawaiian MONSTER roaches, they called "water bugs", when we lived there, and would likely kill pets according to the warning label, too.
Wear gloves, keep away from children, unless you have such a small concentration in lots of water that it's no problem. Are you certain the fire dept. said to use it on children's clothes? I'd like to know. : ) (11/13/2006)
When my oldest child was born, I was instructed by my doctor to boil a pint of water, when cool add some powdered boric acid powder (a small amount, perhaps 1/2 tsp.) and use a cotton ball dipped in this solution to wipe off my newborn's eyes! It certainly did not harm him or his eyesight! I have used boric acid powder in various strengths and for various applications almost all my life, as have most folks I know, and there have been no ill effects. There is no need to be paranoid. (11/14/2006)
By Grandma Margie
I came across this in helping my son research a science project on flame retardants. I can say that my research so far does point to boric acid in combination with borax as the most common homemade flame retardant.
As far as toxicity, Boric Acid works as an insecticide by attacking the exoskeleton, not by interfering with the insect's chemistry. It's LD50 (the Dose which is Lethal to 50% of the test subjects) is 2,660 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (I believe this was a test in rats). For reference, aspirin has an LD50 of 1,000 and table salt has an LD50 of 3,000. There's a fact sheet at http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/borictech.pdf.
20 Mule Team Borax is Borax. Boric acid is commonly sold in 100% form as Roach Killer. Borax and Boric acid are two different components and both are used in conjunction in many different recipes from flame retardants to wood preservatives. (01/29/2009)