Thread Number: 59755  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
First wash in TSPP
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 823820   5/17/2015 at 04:56 (1,129 days old) by midcentnurse (Lake Charles, La)        

midcentnurse's profile picture
So ordered a 5 lb bag on amazon of tri sodium poly phosphate ( I hope I'm not twisting the order again!) so tried out a teaspoon in the sink and it was amazing, it made the water so soft even without soap it felt really slick. There were a few small clumps in the bottom, it looked like some of it didn't dissolve but it was little clumps apparently the minerals in the water, I'm not sure the term, I could ask Scott the chemistry teacher ;) but it's the minerals binding with the TSPP. So in the wash, seemed to work great. Being a FL I couldn't feel the water but the water was somewhat sudsy, I did spray a lot of shout on the clothes but there did seem to be more suds than normal. Not foamy suds but soapy suds. They smelled really nice after too. I used the members mark liquid.
So am planning on using it in my homemade detergent mix. I think this is what it's been missing. Should be fun experimenting..

  View Full Size

Post# 823826 , Reply# 1   5/17/2015 at 05:56 (1,129 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture

STPP (Sodium Tripoly Phosphate)

Post# 823830 , Reply# 2   5/17/2015 at 06:28 (1,129 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

joeypete's profile picture
I just ordered mine too! Though I decided to go with the Chemistry Store, even though the shipping was outrageous. Theirs comes in a little bucket. Next time I'll probably order from Amazon and put it in the bucket :)

Excited to see how it works on my whites.

Post# 823839 , Reply# 3   5/17/2015 at 08:03 (1,129 days old) by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Brady..where do you get that big jug of odoban??
I don't know what those little lumps are but I've never put any in a sink to test it out..I will today lol. As you said you sprayed a lot of shout on that load so that could account for the extra suds but I have noticed more suds with some detergents since I started using stpp but I think someone here told me the stpp wouldn't cause more sudzing. Well good luck with your new order of stpp I think you will notice good washing results. I'd like to hear about your homemade detergent. Cheryl

Post# 823887 , Reply# 4   5/17/2015 at 14:30 (1,129 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Will "clump" if you throw a little into the sink, unless there is already some warm water already in the sink. I've used about 1/2 tsp in my dishpan to enhance hand dishwashing, and it works very well.
Over the years, I've noticed that liquid dishwashing detergents don't clean and rinse like they use to..if you add 1/2 tsp of STPP to your dishpan (while it's filling) it won't clump, and will clean and rinse exactly like no body's business!
STPP didn't cause the minerals in the water to clump together, it "complexes" with them.

Post# 823889 , Reply# 5   5/17/2015 at 14:33 (1,129 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
STPP didn't cause the minerals in the water to clump

because it is a non-precipitating water conditioner.

Post# 823919 , Reply# 6   5/17/2015 at 17:44 (1,129 days old) by midcentnurse (Lake Charles, La)        

midcentnurse's profile picture
I thought that was backwards ;) I found that odoban at Sams, it came with a bonus spray bottle of diluted, works well on the trash can and the seats and carpet in the car. I put about a teaspoon in the fabric softener drawer, a little goes a long way Scott's not a big fan so I try to use the minimum but it makes everything smell crisp and professionally clean. My new recipe for detergent will be 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, grated Fels naphtha, although I may try another bar, and maybe 1/2 cup STPP. Will keep posted on the results

Post# 823930 , Reply# 7   5/17/2015 at 19:41 (1,128 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

STPP is a far superior component in calcium magnesium salt sequestration than washing soda, especially in hard water, and leaves fabrics softer. It also loosens the bond between soil and fabric better, too. For decades, soap and STPP were the standard building blocks for institutional laundering formulas.

Post# 823938 , Reply# 8   5/17/2015 at 21:13 (1,128 days old) by Mich (Hells Kitchen - New York)        

mich's profile picture

Also aids in removing, built up detergent & soap residue in fabrics significantly softening them. It's really noticeable on bed & bath linens. 


And who doesn't love soft linens? ;) 


The key is... you can USE too much. So, dose carefully. And don't use it all at once. It's a magic potion.. and should be treated as such :) 

Post# 823940 , Reply# 9   5/17/2015 at 21:25 (1,128 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Im sorry,
I only used the word "complexes" because that's the word used in chemistry.
STPP is a standard "complexing" agent.
When enough STPP is added a soluble 1:1 complex [ CaP3O10]3- is formed. This effect it is known as the threshold effect.
Na5P3O 10(aq) + Ca2+ (aq) - [CaP3O10] 3- (aq) + 5Na+ (aq)
It is therefore important that the concentration of STPP is sufficient to form the soluble complex rather than the insoluble salt.
It's my understanding that if not enough is used, STPP will soften water, but but insoluble calcium and magnesium salts of STPP are formed which "precipitate" out.

Post# 824128 , Reply# 10   5/19/2015 at 08:28 (1,127 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Since one can use STPP with dishwashing liquid, could one use a teaspoon or so in a dishwasher?

Also, if it removes residue and softens linens.... would this not also cut down on wrinkles?



Post# 824137 , Reply# 11   5/19/2015 at 08:56 (1,127 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
... could one use a teaspoon or so in a dishwasher?
Surely.  I added STPP to dishwasher powder until I found a few boxes of old Cascade Complete w/phosphates at a local store, then later discovered Institutional Cascade.

Post# 824175 , Reply# 12   5/19/2015 at 13:23 (1,127 days old) by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Brady thank you..I have been looking for odoban..I will have to get to sams. Thanks Cheryl

Post# 824219 , Reply# 13   5/19/2015 at 19:01 (1,126 days old) by SYLLAHOSIRIS (AUSTIN TEXAS)        
Moving to Corpus Christi, Tx

syllahosiris's profile picture
Can I use STPP with the Corpus water or will It harm my dishwasher

Post# 824222 , Reply# 14   5/19/2015 at 19:08 (1,126 days old) by SYLLAHOSIRIS (AUSTIN TEXAS)        
Bubble Bandit

syllahosiris's profile picture
Just found Bubble Bandit on Amazon
Has anyone tried it?

  View Full Size
Post# 824250 , Reply# 15   5/19/2015 at 21:54 (1,126 days old) by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

I gave my STPP a nice challenge. son called and ask for some laundry detergent. .I took him some sears( orange box) mixed with stpp, when I got there he was getting ready to wash jeans covered in black grease that he said was from a week ago..I threw them into the machine standard top loader with 1/2 dose of the detergent/stpp mixture and started them on the 20 min soak and 4 min prewash in warm water..I checked them when they were done before I started the main wash..all the black grease was gone not a trace remained I knew the sears detergent and stpp worked good but this was amazing so I had to share with you all...I am woman hear me cheryl

Post# 825237 , Reply# 16   5/26/2015 at 12:31 (1,120 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Does Odoban produce suds?

Post# 825265 , Reply# 17   5/26/2015 at 15:58 (1,120 days old) by midcentnurse (Lake Charles, La)        

midcentnurse's profile picture
^ no not that I've seen. I only use about a tblspn though. And in the fabric softener drawer.

Post# 825269 , Reply# 18   5/26/2015 at 16:48 (1,120 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Thank you. I wonder if it is a quaternary ammonia-based product.

Post# 825270 , Reply# 19   5/26/2015 at 17:05 (1,120 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        
Water softener...

askolover's profile picture
would STPP benefit any in already softened water or would that just be overkill and oversuds?

Post# 825272 , Reply# 20   5/26/2015 at 17:14 (1,120 days old) by BennyBoy (Alameda, California)        

Got my STPP in the mail today. It's a bit more pure than the stuff in your pic, but most likely will have the same results. I'm doing a load now. Fyi, it seems to cut down the suds level, which is a plus in my book.

You can see the suds level in this video. Without the STPP, there are about twice the suds.


Post# 825281 , Reply# 21   5/26/2015 at 17:41 (1,120 days old) by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Benny how can you tell the purity of stpp by looking at it? Also congrats on your getting your stpp you will love it did you notice better rinsing? I enjoyed the video. Cheryl

Post# 825283 , Reply# 22   5/26/2015 at 18:04 (1,120 days old) by BennyBoy (Alameda, California)        

Just the package. The label in the pic is one I was looking at. I sent an email to the seller and asked, he replied 75%. I found some other brand for a little more money that is 97%.

Post# 825291 , Reply# 23   5/26/2015 at 18:54 (1,119 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I checked the material safety data sheet and it is a quaternary ammonia-based disinfectant with some alcohol added to carry the eucalyptus oil fragrance.

Post# 952115 , Reply# 24   8/8/2017 at 07:16 (315 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

Just to be on the safe side, is this the right product for adding to the wash?


Post# 952117 , Reply# 25   8/8/2017 at 08:11 (315 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Yes, it is, although food grade is a purer form than you need for laundry.

Post# 952119 , Reply# 26   8/8/2017 at 08:41 (315 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
As wonderful as

panthera's profile picture

STPP is, if it is exposed to moisture, it turns pretty quickly into TSP - not that there's anything wrong with that, it's a wonderful cleanser. Just - it's available at every paint counter or major food ingredient distributor for a fraction of the cost.

It's really important to read and follow the storage instructions on STPP exactly.


Post# 952120 , Reply# 27   8/8/2017 at 08:46 (315 days old) by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Hey Alex


That link you provided is for TSPP (tetrasodium pyrophosphate).  I don't think this is exactly what you were looking for.


What is normally used for laundry is STPP (sodium tripolyphosphate).

I have bought it from this company.  Now that phosphates have been recently removed from dishwasher detergents, my parents-in-law use it in their dishwasher with fantastic results.

Post# 952129 , Reply# 28   8/8/2017 at 09:21 (315 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        




Marky_Mark - I actually had bookmarked the exact link ! Thank you for the reminder! :) 



It's a bit more expensive than my Borax powder but I really want to try it!

Post# 952643 , Reply# 29   8/12/2017 at 04:33 (311 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Mr. Alex... You'll love it.

I don't use LCB anymore. STPP not TSPP

Post# 952727 , Reply# 30   8/13/2017 at 10:27 (310 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I ordered more STPP last night. According to my account history at, 55 pounds lasts me close to 4 years. When you order, they award you bonus points. Last night I checked and I had $15 and change so I used that and it brought the price of the 55 lb quantity down to $100, or less than $2.00 a pound and $2 and change a month, which is not bad.

This post was last edited 08/13/2017 at 13:12
Post# 953291 , Reply# 31   8/17/2017 at 19:01 (305 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

A good indicator of the status of stored STPP is whether or not the powder flows easily. If it does, it's probably NOT turned into STP. If it's as hard as a brick, it's probably turned.

The laws of physics stipulate that entropy is always increasing.

STPP is a higher energy molecule, and of lower entropy than TSP. So there is a tendency for it to degrade into the lower energy molecule. But I don't think it's as much of an issue for STPP that is properly stored as some here would have us believe.

Still planning on doing some testing with well water to see if my long term stored STPP is still active.

Also, a simple mnemonic to help remember which is which: The "T" stands for "Tri". The power of STPP is that it's got three (poly) phosphate groups in one molecule, hence "Tri Poly Phosphate". TSP has only one phosphate group, but three sodium atoms for every phosphate group. Thus, "Tri Sodium Phosphate".

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy