? about Washing Soda in Laudry Soap Recipes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Isn't washing soda caustic? I seem to remember being told not to use in on diapers becuase it would cause them to wear prematurely. If that's true for diapers, isn't it true for my clothes, too?

Also, is washing soda the same as the borax you buy in the laundry section? If not, then what am I looking for (should I decide to use it, of course!)?

And finally, when I used Dr Bs on my diapers, they got this nasty grayish tinge to them because of soap residue. Will the make your own laundry detergent recipe do that to my clothes?

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#2 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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Yes, washing soda is caustic, but not terribly so. I have been using it for ages, and have not noticed any accelerated wear.

Washing soda is closer to OxyClean than borax. Borax and washing soda are different compounds.

That grayish tint is soap scum.

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#3 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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No, my homemade laundry powder doesn't leave soap scum.

Washing soda is in a big yellow box and is made by Arm and Hammer. It is usually found in the laundry section.

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#4 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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If I remember correctly, washing soda is similar to baking soda but with higher pH with brightners (another step up from that is soda ash, which is used to adjust pH levels in pools). It's completely different than borax.

When you make your laundry detergent, you use 1/2c of washing soda to make 2 gallons of finished product. I would have to do the math to figure out the pH levels, but it's gentler on the clothes than using a whole cup of baking soda to do a load of laundry.

My whites were coming out dingy when I had hard water at my old house - I had to use Calgon. When I CD'ed, I had to use Sensi-Clean because no matter what I did, I couldn't get anything to rinse clean. At my new house, the water is not hard at all, and I no longer need to use Calgon.

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#5 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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Oh, if you're thinking of using homemade laundry det to wash CDs, I wouldn't do it. I read that borax leaves residue.

ETA:

Borax:
http://www.purex.com/index.cfm?page_id=56

Washing Soda:
http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Our_...shing_sod.html

If your CDs aren't rinsing clean, you might want to add Calgon water conditioner. I only used 1/4 capful, and it made a huge difference. Otherwise, you can try Sport-Wash or Sensi-Clean from http://www.atsko.com.

~Katie
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#6 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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We have high quality water. I use homemade laundry powder to wash cloth dipes, with no problems whatsoever.

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#7 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 10:47 PM
 
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A little white vinegar in your rinse cycle will get rid of soap residue. Put it in the dispenser intended for fabric softener with some water. The vinegar will also bring your clothes back to a more "normal" pH.
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#8 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Naturalyst View Post
A little white vinegar in your rinse cycle will get rid of soap residue. Put it in the dispenser intended for fabric softener with some water. The vinegar will also bring your clothes back to a more "normal" pH.
Sort of off topic so I apologize, but does the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser also soften clothes? I've read that some people use a Downy Ball with vinegar but I don't want to go and buy one. Thanks!
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#9 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is what happened to my diapers when I washed with anything but SportWash at our first house. I don't want my clothes to end up like that, thus the fear of "soap" based laundry detergent. I think I'll make some and start out with washing just towels in it, because I can bleach the buildup out of them pretty easily if need be.

With my second son, we lived in an area with a different water supply and never had the buildup issues, but I also never used soap based laundry detergent. Actually, I used a detergent that starts with a D and is a big no-no in the CD world :.

Now we live in a house with well water and I don't know how diaper laundry would fare here. Maybe I'll get to find out soon, but maybe not.

In any case, maybe now you understand my fear of soap!!

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#10 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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Vinegar rinse doesn't work in all cases like Charlotte's link explained. It didn't work for us either. It's not like our water was super hard - it was around 7 out of 10. It's whatever minerals that were in the water.

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#11 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FluffiB View Post
Vinegar rinse doesn't work in all cases like Charlotte's link explained. It didn't work for us either. It's not like our water was super hard - it was around 7 out of 10. It's whatever minerals that were in the water.
Vinegar doesn't soften hard water. The suggestion of vinegar was to address soap residue, which can leave clothes dull and "gray-ish" gray.

If hard water is the problem, washing soda will help.

In answer to the pp's question about vinegar and softening - yes, it does soften clothes when added to the rinse cycle. I don't know if that is a result of removing the soap residue or another process - but, it does work.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Naturalyst View Post
Vinegar doesn't soften hard water. The suggestion of vinegar was to address soap residue, which can leave clothes dull and "gray-ish" gray.
I wasn't implying that at all. I should've put my statements in 2 paragraphs. I meant to say that some hard water minerals make soaps really hard to rinse completely clean.

~Katie
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#13 of 13 Old 06-08-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FluffiB View Post
If I remember correctly, washing soda is similar to baking soda but with higher pH with brightners (another step up from that is soda ash, which is used to adjust pH levels in pools). It's completely different than borax.
Washing soda and soda ash are actually the same thing, just different names.

Washing soda/soda ash is sodium carbonate
Oxygen bleach (the powdered kind) is sodium percarbonate
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate

I feel like a geek for knowing that LOL.

Borax is something else entirely, I think it comes from borate.
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