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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
 

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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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Quote:
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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
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
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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!
:
 

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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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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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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!
 

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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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