DIY Fire Retardants

Updated February 21, 2017

Fire retardants are items that are doused with a fire-resistant solution to prevent them from being susceptible to ignition by flames. Almost any material can be made fire retardant by wiping a specific solution onto its surface. If you wish to make fabrics or surfaces in your home fire resistant, you can make a homemade fire retardant solution with several ingredients.

Bring two quarts of water to a rolling boil. Pour the hot water into a heat-safe container, such as a glass mixing bowl. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when making this solution.

Add seven ounces of borax, which is a laundry booster available at any store selling detergents. Stir the borax into the hot water for 30 seconds with a wooden spoon.

Add three ounces of boric acid, which is a common chemical often found in cosmetics as well as in insecticides and it is known for its fireproofing qualities. Stir the boric acid into the hot water for 30 seconds with a wooden spoon.

Allow the fire retardant solution to dissolve and cool for 30 minutes.

Fill a spray bottle with the solution and generously apply to any surface you wish to fire proof. If you're applying to fabrics, douse a section of the fabric and wait 10 minutes for the solution to dry. Spot-test the solution by holding a cigarette lighter up to the fabric. If the fabric resists the flame, continue applying to the fabric. However, if the fabric succumbs to the flame, quickly put out with water and add an additional layer of the solution.

Coat wood surfaces with the solution with a paintbrush to ensure the entire area is coated. Allow the solution to dry for 15 minutes before applying a second coat.

Things You'll Need

  • 85.1gr boric acid
  • 198gr borax
  • Spray bottle
  • Safety goggles
  • Container
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Paint brush
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About the Author

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.