Carrom Board Powder: 8 Things You Should Know

In Carrom Board, Games by Steve CunningtonLeave a Comment

Carrom Board Powder

In this post you’ll going to learn 8 things that you should know about carrom board powder.

I have covered the types, toxicity, cost and a lot more so be sure to read them all.

If you have ever thought about “which powder to use for carrom board?”, let me tell you asked a very good question.

This post will surely going to educate you to pick the perfect carrom powder depending on the criteria you are going to set.

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1. Is carrom powder borax or boric?

The title of this subheading already clarifies that borax is not the same as boric acid.

But, there’s a lot of misunderstanding that we need to tackle first.

Borax and boric acid are not the same compound. In fact, borax is a salt of boric acid.

Borax is sodium borate and boric acid is hydrogen borate.

The most commonly used carrom powder especially in Asian countries is not borax but, boric.

Borax is never used as the carrom board powder.

2. Is carrom powder harmful?

Is carrom powder harmful?

The people seem to be asking this exact same question again and again.

Let me clarify.

The question itself is wrong. The question should be:

Is boric acid harmful?

Yes, it is.

Now, you maybe wondering what do you mean by “boric acid” since it’s the standard carrom board powder.

Well, it is not. A lot of the people have this misconception that boric acid is the standard powder but, it is not.

In fact, most European countries don’t even know that boric acid is used as carrom powder in Asian countries especially in Pakistan and India.

They use potato or other vegetable starch.

Some countries use talcum powder.

There is no standard powder of the carrom and it varies from country to country.

3. How to apply carrom powder evenly?

When you apply carrom powder no matter what type it is talcum, starch or boric you have to spill it in moderation at first.

The excessive amount could make things opposite i.e the striker will not slide well on the surface.

I personally use a small bottle cap filled with whichever powder I’m using. Starting from the center I sprinkle in circular motion until I hit the edges.

After sprinkling, take a striker and try to evenly distribute the powder all around the surface.

If you see empty places just sprinkle a little bit of powder and use the striker again.

4. What are the alternatives to carrom powder?

Potato Starch

As you already should have guessed there are different substitutes to boric acid like:

  • Potato startch
  • Talcum/baby powder

But, there’s another one which we haven’t covered yet. It is the disco powder. Also known as the dancing or pink powder.

This powder is made up of tiny pink balls that works like wheels for the striker and carrom men.

Slight pressure on the striker is enough for you to pocket and score.

It’s not really commonly used but, in my opinion it’s one of the best types available in the market.

The people who uses this type of powder usually combine it with the talcum, boric or potato starch powder to enhance the gameplay.

Some people believe that this type of powder damages the surface of the carrom but I’m not pretty much sure about it. Let me know in the comment section down below if you have experienced anything like this before.

5. What’s the best type of carrom powder available in the market?

Well, let’s compare potato starch, boric acid, talcum and disco powder altogether.

I’m going to use this set of criteria so you can select the best carrom powder available in the market.

  • International usage
  • Tournament usage
  • Slides well
  • Cost
  • Toxic
  • Irritating on fingers

International Usage Tournament Usage Slides Well Expensive Toxic Irritating on Fingers Pros Cons
Talcum Powder Average No Average Average No Yes 1 2
Potato Starch Average Average Average Average No Yes 1 1
Disco Powder Average No Yes Yes No No 3 2
Boric Acid Average Average Average Average Yes Yes 0 2

Note: Average is not used neither as the pros nor as the cons.

6. Can you play carrom board without powder?

Can you play carrom board without powder?

Carrom powder is just like a lubricant for the carrom surface.

Though, you can play the carrom without using it but, there will be a lot of friction I bet you could not even tolerate.

7. What are the carrom powder rules?

There is no such thing called as carrom powder rules but the obvious one you can think of is to evenly distribute the powder on both the player sides.

8. How to make carrom powder at home?

Well, there is no need to make it yourself.

With an option like talcum powder, there’s really no need as it’s already easily available in every home.

Though, if you’re still interest in learning how to make it yourself than here’s a quick 4-minute video that shows you how to produce boric acid from the borax salt.

The thing is you have to have something to produce something.


Alright, so we have covered a lot in this post about the carrom powder and which ones are good or bad in terms of toxicity, irritation on finger etc.

Let me know if you know any other type of powder that is used. Maybe I have missed something.

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