Thread Number: 31871
Calgon (liquid) or Borax(powder)
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Post# 480577   12/9/2010 at 18:09 (2,777 days old) by supremewhirlpol ()        

Which works best for a water softener?

Post# 480594 , Reply# 1   12/9/2010 at 18:53 (2,777 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Two Different Animals

launderess's profile picture
Calgon liquid is mainly sodium citrate, and while borax is a decent water softener it does have drawbacks.

Post# 480711 , Reply# 2   12/10/2010 at 06:29 (2,777 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The liquid Calgon, at least for a while, also had surfactants in it and while it could be used as a detergent booster, it could not be used in rinse water, according to the manufacturer. A friend of mine called them and got this information when the product appeared as she was a big Calgon user and so was I at the time.

Post# 480717 , Reply# 3   12/10/2010 at 07:14 (2,777 days old) by wringersteve ()        

How does Arm & Hammer washing soda compare to either Calgon or Borax?

Post# 480729 , Reply# 4   12/10/2010 at 08:04 (2,777 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Washing soda or sodium carbonate or sal soda, like borax is a precipitating type of water softener, which is not as bad with detergents as it was with soaps, but it is a very harsh alkali which needs buffering agents to prevent corrosion of metal parts. Sodium metasilicate is one of the buffering agents used for this. Washing soda also needs to be well rinsed from the fabrics or they will feel harsh when dry.

CU did a test on wringer washers to see how resistant machines were to corrosion from the alkaline agents used to break the water before soap was added. They filled the machines with water and the alkaline compound and let them sit either overnight or for 24 hours. When they examined the machines, some tranny shafts were almost eaten through and they published pictures.

This was one of the major ingredients in Arm & Hammer laundry detergent which "contained baking soda" and hoodwinked people into believing they were washing in something gentle and phosphate free. Washing soda is not nearly as effective at handling the calcium-magnesium salts in hard water as phospates. Whether from not using enough to overcome the minerals in hard water or from insufficient rinsing, this product helped mineral up a lot of washers. Also, crystals of minerals left in fabrics lead to microabrasion that weakens the fibers and prematurely ages them, making clothes wear out faster. When people had to do laundry by hand, it was the strong alkaline products like lye soap and washing soda that caused such severe irritation to the hands and arms exposed to the washing solution as the clothes were scrubbed.

Post# 480808 , Reply# 5   12/10/2010 at 18:52 (2,776 days old) by pekedogs ()        

I have always found that White King water softener works well. I especially liked it when one could also get White King soap or Citrus soap. Unfortunately, Huish got the rights to both of the soap products and responded to my e-mail that there is no plan in the near future to start making soap again. I mean soap, not detergent. White King D was a detergent. At one time, White King came in little gelatin packets that dissolved in hot water with a combination of soap and softener. I miss the smell of White King soap. But the water softener is available in most markets right next to the borax and Calgon.

Post# 480833 , Reply# 6   12/10/2010 at 21:19 (2,776 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
White King

stan's profile picture
White King water softener might be your best choice, the MDS sheet says it has a blend if phosphates in in it?? along with sodium carbonate? I`am currently trying to find out for sure myself, Hoping it may be a alternative to ordering TSPP on line? We shall see! if I find out for sure, I will post a thread! Stan

Post# 480890 , Reply# 7   12/11/2010 at 05:24 (2,776 days old) by pekedogs ()        

I finally broke down and bought some TSPP from The Chemistry Store. I must say that with my FL machine, a couple of measuring teaspoons along with some Sears Ultra Plus really makes a difference. It took a couple of times through but now my whites are "whiter than white, brighter than bright." And I also add it to the dishwasher, 1/4 measuring teaspoon along with a somewhat reduced amount of detergent and the dishes come out noticeably cleaner. I bought 11 pounds of the stuff so it should last me for a while.

Post# 481090 , Reply# 8   12/12/2010 at 01:09 (2,775 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        
White King

supersuds's profile picture
Must be a regional brand, as I've never seen it or even heard of it except on these forums. if it has phosphates I'd like to try it....I hunted for an online source but came up empty. Any ideas?

Post# 481139 , Reply# 9   12/12/2010 at 09:04 (2,775 days old) by pekedogs ()        
White King Water Softener

White King Water Softener is produced by Sun Products. Their safety data sheet shows that it contains phosphates. Who knew? No wonder it works well. At least it says phosphates under the heading of symptoms. I do love their disclaimer at the end.


Post# 951218 , Reply# 10   8/2/2017 at 06:02 (350 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

I know this is an old thread but I didn't want to start a new one..

I just got my delivery of Borax, would 1/2 cup be alright in the wash?

Post# 951239 , Reply# 11   8/2/2017 at 08:11 (350 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
What sort of washer?

launderess's profile picture
For a front loading/H-Axis machine 1/2 cup of borax may be too much. OTOH with top loading it could be fine.

Borax can be difficult to rinse from fabrics, so you might want to go with less and then adjust dosage as required.

Dosage also depends upon what you want the stuff for; one uses borax for washing that has a bit of a whiff, and 1/4 or less in either the Miele or AEG is fine. But then again also vary dosage by what sort of detergent is being used. That is liquids or powder.

Post# 951241 , Reply# 12   8/2/2017 at 08:16 (350 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

Launderess My top loader is a High Efficiency so maybe I should use less, I was planning on using it as a water softener/laundry detergent booster with my powder, liquid & pods. would a 1/4 be alright for that application?

Post# 951243 , Reply# 13   8/2/2017 at 08:17 (350 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
If you can open the lid during the wash phase, just start using a bit and add a bit more until the water feels softened (silky).

Post# 951244 , Reply# 14   8/2/2017 at 08:22 (350 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

foraloysius Smart! The lid doesn't lock it just pauses the selected wash program : )

Post# 951373 , Reply# 15   8/3/2017 at 02:27 (349 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
I use Borax on occasion

stan's profile picture
Old top loader...But I always pre dissolve it in hot water, then pour in. Once you determine the amount you need, you could try adding it the same way?
I only use it if I'm using a liquid detergent (PH neutral) just for a little boost

Post# 951382 , Reply# 16   8/3/2017 at 04:17 (349 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

Stan - thanks, I usually pre-dissolve powder and I was actually going to do what you suggested :) here it goes.. wish me good luck lol time for laundry

Post# 951699 , Reply# 17   8/5/2017 at 15:13 (347 days old) by Cyn (Idaho)        

MrAlex, how did your laundry turn out and do your towels smell fresh?

Post# 951705 , Reply# 18   8/5/2017 at 16:37 (346 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

Cyn - I used 3/4 cup of borax and they're fresh and seem a little bit softer! :)

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