CALGON - take my residue away! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First the background. Abi suddenly and without much warning decided to try potty training. So literally within a day I was saying bye to the diapers. I have not had a chance to really wash them good and store them for new baby so I decided to do that tonight. I wanted to strip them good. They were already clean, so I soaked them in hot water with 2 cups of vinegar for 30 minutes. There were no suds at all so I felt pretty good that my new wash routine was preventing build-up. I rinsed, then decided to try something different.

We have really super hard water and I've been struggling with different methods to compat this. Started using White King softener and way less detergent, and it seemed to be okay. But then read that Calgon water softner was more effective and rinsed cleaner. There are two classes of softeners and Borax and White King fall under one type, Calgon is under the other type.

On the box it said that it stripped detergent residue and prevented build up, so I filled the washer again with hot water and put 1/2 cup of Calgon in there. Oh MY the suds!! I could not believe how much detergent it released! It was not the water softener because I dissolved some in plain water to see if I got the same suds and I didn't. They will soak for an hour then I'll keep rinsing until the water's clear. I know the drill, been through this before. But I *thought* the dipes were clean!!

I'm hoping that the stripping will make them softer. They are terry and started gettng scratchy the longer I owned them.

Anyway just wanted to pass on this info. in case you want to be amazed by the diapers you think are free of build-up.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#2 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 03:54 AM
 
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Water Conditioners
There are two types of packaged water conditioners: non-precipitating and precipitating. Generally these names do not appear on the labels.
Non-precipitating water conditioner characteristics:


ties up hardness minerals in the water and holds them in solution (sequestering). No visible particles are formed.
water remains clear
usually contains phosphates
water feels slippery
safe for all washable fabrics
used in automatic washers
Examples: Calgon (a mixture of non-precipitating and precipitating chemicals), White Rain, Blue Raindrops, Spring Rain

How they work:

This type of water conditioner softens the water, breaks up the soil in the wash and keeps the hardness minerals from depositing on the clothes. These conditioners also trap the iron in the water if it is only a low concentration.

When using non-precipitating water conditioner add the conditioner to the wash water before the detergent and again during the rinse cycle. It is especially important to add the conditioner during the rinse cycle. It will again lock up the hardness minerals to keep them from combining with the detergent left in the clothes from the wash.

The amount of water conditioner you use depends on the water hardness as well as the amount of water and detergent. Read and follow the manufacturers' instructions for the amount of water conditioner to use. A correct amount will feel slippery between the fingers.

Fabrics that have become discolored from detergent build-up can be restored or brightened by washing them in warm water using a cup of water conditioner without a detergent. The conditioner frees the trapped detergent and soil from the fibers. If you see suds appear as the clothes are washed, you know excess detergent and hard water deposits are being stripped from the clothes. When suds no longer appear on top of the water, it indicates the complete removal of trapped dirt and residue of washing additives.

Precipitating water softener characteristics:


combines with hardness minerals to form a visible, insoluble precipitate that floats on top of water
makes water cloudy
particles cling to fabric and to the inside surface of the machine
the deposit makes fabric harsh, somewhat abrasive and dulls colors
highly alkaline
adversely affects wool and certain dyes not recommended for automatic washers
Examples: Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, Raindrops, Blue Dew, Borax, Climalene, Melo, White King Water Softener, Borateem

How to use:

Use only in the wash water, not in the rinse water. If the softener is not thoroughly rinsed from fabrics, it can irritate the skin and affect the natural characteristics of the cloth. Fabrics that hold any residue become harsh and may scorch when ironed and yellow while in the dryer.

Precipitating water softeners work satisfactorily in wringer-type washing machines. The soap curds and mineral residue are squeezed out of the clothes as they move through the wringer. In an automatic washer precipitate softeners form a residue which clings to fabric and the machine and is hard to remove.

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#3 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 04:21 PM
 
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Precipitating water softeners work satisfactorily in wringer-type washing machines. The soap curds and mineral residue are squeezed out of the clothes as they move through the wringer. In an automatic washer precipitate softeners form a residue which clings to fabric and the machine and is hard to remove.
Wow! There's some back-up to the claim of how baking soda can cause build up on FLEECE!! VERY INTERESTING.
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#4 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 06:01 PM
 
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Very interesting! We have hard water, and we used to have a water-softener hooked-up, but it bit the dust and we never replaced it.

Anyway, I decided to try using some water softener in my laundry, and when i was at the store, the had White King and Calgon. I bought White King because it was cheaper

Welll, I used it on my diapers, and didn't notice any increase in suds or anything....I guess I will go and get some of the Calgon......
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#5 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 10:49 PM
 
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are you talking about calgon the bubble bath?
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#6 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 11:01 PM
 
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No, Calgon makes a water softener, too. I think you would find it in the laundry isle. Is that right, Darshani?
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#7 of 32 Old 06-21-2003, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you would find it in the laundry isle. Is that right, Darshani?
I found it at Walmart for $4 something a box. They also had liquid for the same price. Kinda expensive but it worked great to strip the dipes. I'm going to use up all the white king on my reg. clothes before I use any more calgon (we are not washing dipes regularly anymore-- sob!). But it seems to be worth the cost. Even vinegar didn't strip them like the calgon. I think I'll wash as usual and add it to the rinse cycle to help bind the residues and wash them away for a cleaner rinse. Then an extra rinse after that. I can't afford to use an entire cup for each wash-- each box only does 16 loads.

edited to add: the calgon box says "no added phosphates" so that made me feel better too.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#8 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 06:07 PM
 
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I just got a box of the Calgon. Did you all use this on all diapers, or just those of natural fabrics? I'm wondering about my AIOs which have PUL/Windpro in them, if I should separate them out when I use this.

Also, what's the verdict, use it in a cold prewash, hot wash or warm wash AND the cold rinse (first or second one?). Did you use it in addition to detergent, or did you do this post-normal wash or only do it on clean diapers as Darshani did?

Thanks

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#9 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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I'm curious about the Calgon too. I've used it off and on, but never got a good system going with it. Its like $5 a box and I felt like I was running trough it too quickly. I've gotten the impression that you need to use it in every fill-up of the machine to be truly effective. Is this true? If you're using it to strip, do you put it in each fill-up until you see no more suds.

I've got very hard water and I'm always having fits trying to get my diapers clean without wearing them out!:

Sorry so many questions!
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#10 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 10:30 PM
 
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This was a GREAT tip, thanks Darshani!!

I live in the Chicago area and have water that isn't too hard and isn't too soft, but my hemp was getting so STINKY! I did a long cold wash, adding a cap and a half of Calgon liquid water softener to the beginning of the wash cycle (no detergent, nothing else). Didn't even see many suds in the machine, so I proceeded with my usual hot cycle with half the usual detergent, then on to the dryer. Oh, my, I couldn't believe how soft my (DS's?) dipes are now! And the stinky hemp problem is gone!

Rather than using this every wash (since it is expensive), I plan to use this stripping routine every few weeks as necessary, and hopefully it will continue to work for us!

Lori & Colin 9/28/02
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#11 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 10:48 PM
 
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We have a water softener so I thought I wouldn't have that problem, but honestly the last month or so I felt like the clothes and diapers weren't coming clean! So I tried this tip today on all my prefolds that were already clean and dried. I just ran a hot wash with no detergent and 1/2 cup Calgon water softener. OH MY GOSH

For one thing I saw suds once the agitation started. Not a ton but enough to make me realize we've got detergent buildup. I did one more wash and there were no suds. When they came out of the dryer they had quilted up SOOOOO much. And they smelled heavenly. Not like fragrance, but just like pure clean cloth. Ahhhhh....

I did this on all of our laundry today (12 loads) and the rest of our diaper stash (2 more loads). WHEW! But it worked so well for me that I had to keep trying it out.

THANKS FOR THE TIP!!
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#12 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 10:51 PM
 
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Calgon mixed with oxygen bleach and clothes allowed to soak in it (my whites over night) wow do they come out clean and bright!

I bought the White King cause it was cheeper, BIG mistake. it doesnt clean worth anything.

IMO Calgon or the types like it are worth the extra they cost. I love clean bright looking clothes!
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#13 of 32 Old 07-08-2003, 08:17 PM
 
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I just wanted to revive this thread with another rave about calgon for hard water areas!!!!!

I knew that I was having a bit of a detergent build up problem but I had no idea that my diapers had gotten so dingy!!!! They are sooo pretty and clean now. I used 1/4 cup calgon + 1/4 cup detergent and all but a few truely awful stains are completely gone.
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#14 of 32 Old 07-08-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by natashaccat
I just wanted to revive this thread with another rave about calgon for hard water areas!!!!!

I knew that I was having a bit of a detergent build up problem but I had no idea that my diapers had gotten so dingy!!!! They are sooo pretty and clean now. I used 1/4 cup calgon + 1/4 cup detergent and all but a few truely awful stains are completely gone.


If I don't have calgon can I use borax instead? I'm not even sure what kind of water I have!:

Stephanie + Dh= Super blessed parents to 1 ds, and 4 dds!
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#15 of 32 Old 07-08-2003, 11:42 PM
 
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I am so tired of boiling my Joey Bunz. Do you think this would work on them?

Also, would it be safe to use on the Fuzzi Bunz with their fleece and PUL?
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#16 of 32 Old 07-08-2003, 11:51 PM
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Help! What is Calgon? Does it have ingredients on the box?? I have constant repelling problems, but as I live in New Zealand these products aren't called the same names. Can anyone tell me what Calgon actually consists of so I can give it a go?
TIA
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#17 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 12:25 AM
 
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Hi Pippa! I'm from NZ too (ChCh) now living in California

I did a quick search and this is what I found:

"Calgon is sodium hexametaphosphate, a short chain polyphosphate, and is commonly used in municipal water treatment. I believe it is also the primary ingredient in the Amway product Basic-H. Note: anhydrous ammonia should never be injected into micro irrigation systems."
HTH...they sell Amway in NZ I think (my Mum used to buy it, LOL) so if you don't have any luck at the supermarket, mayber try them?

Take care!
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#18 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 12:56 AM
 
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Thank you all so much! I just got some of the Calgon liquid and am washin dipes now! I have been dealing with stinky dipes off and on for the last year (as my older dd was pottylearnin). I am soooo excited that something may make them less smelly and even softer!

Larissa, mom to my 3 girls (07/10), (05/02), and (09/98)
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#19 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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I'm definitely going to try this. We have extremely hard water and I've been feeling extremely guilty about putting scratchy dipes on ds. Thanks!
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#20 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 03:26 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the tip. I have pretty new dipes (less than 8 wks) that have started to smell and regular stripping has not worked. I have hard water too. Just picked me up some Calgon at Stater Bros. xxxx Crossing my fingers its gonna work for me too!!
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#21 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by olismama




"Calgon is sodium hexametaphosphate, a short chain polyphosphate, and is commonly used in municipal water treatment. I believe it is also the primary ingredient in the Amway product Basic-H. Note: anhydrous ammonia should never be injected into micro irrigation systems."


Take care!
Basic H is a Shaklee product http://www.shaklee.net/healthywealth...product/BasicH but I didn't realize it was THIS. I grew up on this specific product on a farm and we used it for EVERYTHING!! I did work great, hmmm maybe it's time to go back to shaklee.

edit to say: I emailed Shaklee asking if it is in Basic-H, will let you know the response. (where is the crossing fingers icon?)

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#22 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally posted by LilMamiBella
If I don't have calgon can I use borax instead? I'm not even sure what kind of water I have!:
You should call your local utility company. Also if you see white residue around your water focets that means that you have hard water.


Borax is a water softener but it works differently than calgon. As I understand all this, laundry boosters like borax, baking soda, washing soda... do soften the water and enhance the detergent cleaning power as a result but they cause the calcium in your water to fall out of solution (precipitate) and build up in your diapers, leading to even more scratchiness.

Calgon is different because it softens the water without causing mineral precipitation.

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure I have my facts exactly right but if you search this forum for calgon there are lots of threads addressing this topic that have more detailed information.
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#23 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 03:05 PM
 
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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread! I bought some Clagon last week and HOLY SUDS!!! I can't believe it. We have super hard water and the rinses were clear but I had build up anyways. :

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#24 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 03:14 PM
 
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Anyway, I'm not 100% sure I have my facts exactly right but if you search this forum for calgon there are lots of threads addressing this topic that have more detailed information. [/B][/QUOTE]


Thank you Simone for answering my question!

Stephanie + Dh= Super blessed parents to 1 ds, and 4 dds!
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#25 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 06:29 PM
 
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OK , Shaklee emailed back, quite interesting, but still didn't aswer the question.

me:There is a discussion about what Basic-H is made and used for. We are under the impression that it has sodium hexametaphosphate in it which is the primary ingrediant in Calgon water softner. Is this true and can it be used as a water softner in laundry to get out the extra detergent build up? Thanks for your help,

them:Thank you for visiting our Shaklee distributor website and for your inquiry. Haven’t heard of that one before, though we do know there are no phosphates in Basic-H. Basic-H does break the surface tension of water, making water “wetter” and therefore is used as a soil conditioner and the water can go deeper into the ground with Basic-H. It’s primary ingredient is soybeans and totally biodegrades within 7 days! It has a 1,001 uses and we have attached a PDF file that lists some of the many uses of Basic-H.

in the PDF file (email me if you want ALL of the stuff it's good for) it says "Diapers: use 1/2 teaspoon of Basic-H and 1 drop of Basic-G to pail. Removes oders in wash room if diapers must stand. Woolens, ...fine fabrics: use 1 or 2 teaspoons in a basin of water. For spots apply a drop or two directly on the spot and press w/ thumb. Immerse garment in cold water solution of 1 tsp. per gal. of water, let stand a few min. then rinse by squeezing water through. Let dry.


It may not hurt to try, who knows?

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#26 of 32 Old 07-09-2003, 06:50 PM
 
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I actually emailed the calgon Calgon people before using it wanting to know if calgon contained phosphates and this is the reply that I got

"We are delighted that you are interested in using Calgon and we can confirm that Calgon is a phosphate free formulation and therefore environmentally friendly."

The reason I emailed them is that their new box say's that it doesn't contain added phosphates. But I found a really old box of calgon (it could easily be 10 years old) in a closet at my work that lists sodium phosphates as an ingredient.

So I'm sort of wondering if this is still true....
Quote:
Calgon is sodium hexametaphosphate
I suspect that they may have had to change their ingredients to comply with modern environmental regulations.
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#27 of 32 Old 07-10-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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Okay, so I must confess that this stuff has been sitting in my laundry supply cabinet (arsenal?) for over a year now because I really just don't know how to use it regularly. So when I saw this thread I thought I'd try it, but then never got around to it. Today I noticed that my homemade prefolds are holding stains VERY badly, and that the stains smell (I'm okay with some staining, but smelly stains are still DIRTY, IMO). And I'm planning on trying to sun some of the stains out tomorrow (assuming we have sunshine, that is!), so I thought I'd soak the dipes tonight.

I put in two HE scoops of calgon, hot water, no soap and let the washer fill up and start agitating. OMG!! You would think I had added BUBBLE BATH to the stinkin' washer! So I'm letting them soak overnight in it and then will let it finish agitating and rinsing tomorrow.

Does anyone know how to add this to your normal wash routine to PREVENT the buildup? I was thinking of maybe buying the liquid (I've got powder right now) and putting it into my fabric softener dispenser so that it would be released into the rinse after the detergent wash, thus removing any detergent residue. Or should I add it *with* the detergent to prevent buildup?

Also, it's really strongly scented (which is part of the reason I haven't used it much). Is anyone having problems with the smell remaining in the diapers? I'm not much on scented laundry, but hey...it's gotta be better than stinky diapers, right?

Thanks!!

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#28 of 32 Old 07-10-2003, 02:44 PM
 
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Does anyone know how to add this to your normal wash routine to PREVENT the buildup?
I'm a new calgon user myself so I can't say for sure, but as a preventative I'm planning on just using 1/4 cup in with the detergent wash with 1/4 cup detergent and then a plain rinse. My theory is that it will let me use less detergent to get the diapers clean and therefore there will be less detergent to rinse out.

So I've only done these proportions once so far but I can say that this small ammount of calgon didn't leave any fragrence that I noticed.
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#29 of 32 Old 07-11-2003, 03:04 PM
 
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ok, how do I know if I have hard water? There is a bit of mineral build up around the faucets... I just thought it was cause this house is so old! LOL. Is there another way to tell???
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#30 of 32 Old 07-11-2003, 03:16 PM
 
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Call your local utility company. Also if you have well water and live in a limestone rich area you probably have hard water.
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