Thread Number: 80715  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Simethicone experiment
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Post# 1047054   10/7/2019 at 08:21 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        

I tried Persil discs. As I expected, just one made a bad oversuds in the FL given my softened water.

I knew the new Tide powder uses simethicone to control suds, so I took some simethicone liquid for babies, diluted an eye dropper of it in a cup of water, and poured it in the detergent tray.

The suds collapsed!

After about 10 minutes, though, the halfway up the window suds mountain returned.

Post# 1047069 , Reply# 1   10/7/2019 at 12:21 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I used to have to add fabric softener when I had an Affinity FL washer after P&G changed their powder formula from "he" to "for both" types of machines.  I bought a bottle at the dollar store for this purpose, and it did a good job of knocking down suds.  The permanent solution was to stop buying P&G powdered detergent.


I don't think this would be as big of an issue in the Neptune FL I have now.  Its wash action is more gentle than that of the Affinity, but the machine makes up for it with far more thorough rinsing than the Affinity ever provided.

Post# 1047206 , Reply# 2   10/8/2019 at 21:24 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Welcome To My World

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Have been going on about defoamer (silicone based) for yonks now.

While many oils will act to control excess suds/froth, various silicone are not only better at knocking down suds, but keeping them from coming back.

Prior state of the art (such as in early low sudsing detergents such as Dash) was fish oil, soaps (which are made from oils/fats), etc... But now virtually all TOL and even down to MOL detergents of all sorts mainly go with silicone. Some still use various amounts of "soap", but there you are.

Am never without a bottle of defoamer in my stash, especially considering collection of vintage laundry detergents.

That liquid silicone for babies is same thing in adult products such as "Gas-X". Back in day mothers/caretakers would give babies all sorts of teas or things like barely water to deal with wind; not it's silicone based products.

Post# 1047220 , Reply# 3   10/9/2019 at 03:39 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Like the vast majority of European detergents Persil Discs and most likely their American cousins as well only rely on soap as an anti foam instead of silicones.
Soap does not only act as an additional surfactant and water softener in detergents, it also knocks down excessive suds and unlike silicones it is easily biodegradable.
Big downside of soap is that it needs at least a tiny little bit of water hardness to form some soap scum which then is the cause of its anti foam properties.
Never owned a whole house water softener myself, but isn`t there some sort of control to get soft water that isn`t totally over softened?

Post# 1047225 , Reply# 4   10/9/2019 at 07:21 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
@reply 3

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Am I right in thinking that if you have a whole house water softener that one tap/faucet in the kitchen has to be unsoftened for cooking and drinking etc? Or does it only have to be so if you have high blood pressure as sodium in the water would push it higher???


Post# 1047229 , Reply# 5   10/9/2019 at 08:03 by appnut (TX)        

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For the first time ever, since I bought my Duet November 27, 2011, I began using last spring the Precision Dispense liquid detergent dispenser after Tide introduced their Tide Heavy Duty 10x.  I have hard water and there's an adjustment for the dispenser for soft, normal, and hard water.  I began using the Tide with Hard Water setting.  Solution was nice & silky as to be expected.  I did adjust the hardness level to normal for a load or two and found the water barely had any silkiness to it.  After using the Tide, I decided I wanted to try the Persil ProClean + Stain Fighter.  I actually think the Persil cleans better than the Tide for stains and I like the subtle scent.  The froth level hasn't been bad, just a little more suds splashing on the window vs. Tide.  About a month ago, I washed a load of 6 sets of bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths on Allergen, Sanitize wash temp.  Toward the end of the wash phase, I went to watch the washer and to my horror, it looked like shaving cream in there.  For the first time in 7.5 years, I got a suds error after the wash water drained.  So, I adjusted to Normal hardness level.  Things still got clean, but missing that silkiness feeling of the water and I know that might not be good for the machine.  Last weekend I did my month/6 week load of kitchen cleaning cloths and meal napkins.  I had it set for Normal Hardness and Allergen, Sanitize, and stain treat/steam option.  I added just a little bit extra Persil by putting on one of the cloths.  Everything came out spotless and there wasn't any over froth.  The clean/stain fighting level wasn't the same results with the Tide Heavy Duty 10x from a load last summer.  I ended up having to rewash some items that didn't have all the stains released with the same settings, but had to use Biz.  then all the stains came out.  So the Persil is performing better without adding Biz, which is my goal.  So it seems there's a higher froth level with much hotter wash temps.  I did change the setting back to hard water too.  Then I did a load of 5-6 winter lounge pats (flannel and such) as well as 2 fleece jacks, a light one and a medium weight one in the load and dark sox.  It aws over 75% full.  Warm water, light soil.  The wash phase was for 8-10 minutes.  Suds developed quite quickly, much to my amazement.  It did do a suds lock after it tried spinning, but didn't throw a suds error.  So when I do a load of 11 sets of dark towel this weekend, I'll see what the suds level is with normal hardness, allergen wash temp.  But I"m hoping there's still a way for me to contibnue using Persil over the Tide.  

Post# 1047230 , Reply# 6   10/9/2019 at 08:20 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Liquid detergents tend to go wild with sudsing at higher water temps ... Sanitize cycle.

Post# 1047271 , Reply# 7   10/9/2019 at 13:20 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I thought water softeners were generally installed on the hot water supply side only.  I would certainly not want to cook with softened water or use it in the garden, and it seems like a waste (NPI) to use it for flushing toilets, although I assume it would eliminate mineral rings.

Post# 1047276 , Reply# 8   10/9/2019 at 14:16 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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Now that would make sense but how would it work if you had instant hot water ? We do not have tanks with hot water in much these days but have instantaneous gas water heaters instead and most of our appliances are cold fill only so it would not benefit them either....


Post# 1047280 , Reply# 9   10/9/2019 at 14:44 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Water softening systems

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Come in several flavors.

One can have entire house/building systems where all water entering goes through water softener. Then there are under sink or other end use point systems such as in a kitchen, utility area.

For whole house systems it is possible to plumb in one or more bypass so say the water for garden house isn't softened.

Much will likely depend upon severity of water hardness along with other impurities such as iron that wants removing.

Most homes treat *all* incoming water otherwise it defeats its own purpose. Mixing untreated cold water with hot water that has been so is likely a waste. Depending upon ratio of cold to hot water used hardness will return along with all associated problems one sought to eliminate in first place. Also it leaves cold water pipes/plumbing susceptible to issues caused by hard water.

Softened water has about as much salt in an eight ounce glass as a slice of bread. However those using such systems often will drink bottled water, or again maybe there is a bypass, though drinking water heavily laden with rust, sulfur, and so forth isn't very appealing either.

There are also systems which use various other different substances instead of Zeolites to soften. These don't require a brine flush, but never the less things need to be recharged. In some instances this means sending filter pack/cartridge back to factory or wherever and they do the dirty work.

Back in days when soap was queen of laundry day many commercial/industrial laundries would have system wide water softening systems installed. The technology goes back to early part of last century, and it was a boon to reducing soap use and getting better overall results.

Yes, you can use phosphates and other builders, but relying upon them when using soap causes problems. If water is that hard and or otherwise filled with impurities then pre-soak/wash, main wash, and first several rinses should be done in soft water. This would mean adding soda, silicates or whatever to several rinses (not recommended), or using phosphates for same (ditto).

Consumer reports wasn't a huge fan of "built" wash day soap powders that contained phosphates. Their rationale was while yes the products overcame issues with hard water in wash; none of the products tested left enough phosphates around for rinse(s). This meant all that soap and muck from wash could (and likely would) be bound to laundry soon as it entered rinse tubs/cycles.

Indeed as have always stated, the disappearance of suds (from soap) when going from wash to rinse doesn't mean all the soap is gone. Rather contact with hard water has caused the froth to diminish (or vanish), but soap residue still remains.

Post# 1047282 , Reply# 10   10/9/2019 at 15:14 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Potassium chloride can be used for whole-house water softeners instead of sodium chloride, if sodium content in softened water is of concern.

Post# 1047292 , Reply# 11   10/9/2019 at 16:03 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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Thank you for setting that straight for me :)

Post# 1047313 , Reply# 12   10/9/2019 at 20:30 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Thing is bathing with mechanically softened water can make one's skin feel slimy. If you've ever felt water softened with say STPP that has a slippery feeling, there you are.

Imagine soaping up then rinsing off but still feeling "slippery".

Post# 1047314 , Reply# 13   10/9/2019 at 20:34 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Potassium chloride

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As noted in "This Old House" video clip above many local areas are beginning to restrict mechanical water softeners to potassium chloride, or anything else but using salt.

Reason was as given in clip, for areas with hard water a majority or all of homes/businesses/industry that use water will likely have some sort of mechanical softening system. This can lead to issues with sewage due to increased levels of sodium which must now be removed.

Post# 1047321 , Reply# 14   10/9/2019 at 21:45 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Softened water + slippery skin after rinsing = mostly because that's how the skin really feels when there's no mineral residue and/or soap curd left behind.


Post# 1047335 , Reply# 15   10/10/2019 at 00:50 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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What he ^ said!  The natural feeling of clean skin.  I hate it when we go on vacation and the hotel has hard water.  It makes my hair uncontrollable and I want to claw my skin off.  As far as salt in the water goes, from a healthcare professional (former heart nurse) if one is on a sodium controlled diet, one just needs to account for the sodium in the water and decrease sodium consumption somewhere else.  Love my water softener.  I've had to do the fabric softener trick a few times when the washer was foaming too much from DH using too much liquid detergent...hence the reason we now use pods most of the time.  Bold or Ariel powder used for towels/whites and have it down to a science how much product to use for zero issues.

Post# 1047337 , Reply# 16   10/10/2019 at 01:28 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Honestly, people who complain about softened water feeling slimy crack me up so hard.

I grew up and lived in areas with natural soft water my entire life.

Just like Greg and Glen mention above, areas with hard water make me feel like I can't remove the dirt from my hair and skin.

Soft water may take a little longer to rinse but it's no big deal.

Another thing that makes me crack up is how the "minerals" in hard water are "healthy". Honey, puhleeeaze! That is so little in the way you need everyday to survive that if you're counting on getting your minerals from hard water, you'll be in deep trouble soon.

And, since I'm up, I'm here to talk about the "problem" of hard water and places trying to regulate if you need to use sodium or potassium in your softener.

I'd like to tell the administrators in those places to grow the frak up.

They should be able to remove most of the minerals (and bring the water minerals to a bit under 4 grains/gallon, which is "naturally soft" and doesn't cause too many problems) at the treatment plant before distribution, in fact, they *should* be doing that for multiple reasons. Flocculation/agglomeration, for example, is used very often to purify water and, when done properly, can remove not only calcium and magnesium, it will also remove bad stuff like arsenic, which is a problem that occurs naturally in many places.

This is yet another area in American culture where "individualism" bites us in the butt, because water softening with resin (ion exchange) is annoying and expensive, and there should be *no* need for each person to do it in their own homes, when it should be done more cheaply at the treatment plant.

I'm not saying we should ban water softeners, btw, I'm saying those should be reserved for people in rural areas with private wells. People on city water should receive good quality water, not stuff we need to soften, filter, purify further.

And I'll say more, people outside US keep seeing our exported media and pressuring their local administration to offer clean, safe, drinkable water "the way they do it in US" when they see our media portraying people drinking from water fountains and/or drinking from the water faucet.

Little do they know, it's not actually true in many places, like the place in WI which got a lot of people sick about 20 years ago to this very day in Detroit, among many other places. More's the pity.

Post# 1047342 , Reply# 17   10/10/2019 at 03:45 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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I bet the house and farm that the fish oil mentioned in early Dash formulations was actually saponified whale oil, in other words soap made from the cheapest available fats of those days.
For what it`s worth the Persil Discs over here are a one enzyme detergent.
Maybe they`ve cranked up surfactant levels to make up for that and to give better overall cleaning, hence more sudsing.

Isn`t too soft water generally very corrosive? It etches glass in the dishwasher, I also noticed that the chrome plating of faucets even in natural soft water areas often look worn and corroded.
I wouldn`t feel comfortable drinking there if pipes are made from zinc plated steel or copper.
In my area there is usually a protective coat of calcium buildup in the pipes, Ph is almost neutral, sodium levels are very low but recommendations are still to better not drink stale water that has been sitting in pipes.
I also find hard "mineral" water tastes better than soft water but this might be an acquired taste of course.

Post# 1053199 , Reply# 18   12/5/2019 at 03:45 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        
Update on Persil Discs

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Checked again the ingredients disclosure and it turns out that Persil Discs in their home market contain 4 different enzymes, just like the former Duo Caps.

It can be looked up on a PDF and apparently page 2 was either missing or I have overseen it. So just for the records it`s not a single enzyme detergent.
Sorry for the misinformation!
But there`s still no silicone to be found, just soap, so you need a tiny little bit of water hardness to get the soap based suds supressing system going in this detergent.

Post# 1053203 , Reply# 19   12/5/2019 at 06:01 by tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I guess the reason for the intense perfume in DASH was to cover up the smell of the fish oil. Making that detergent must have been a stinky process if you think about how strong oily fish smell. I checked on when the US stopped hunting whales and it was in the 1920s so whale oil was probably not used as a suds supppressant in Dash.

Post# 1053226 , Reply# 20   12/5/2019 at 11:06 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Years ago when my father was battling with high blood pressure and a restricted salt diet, home plumbing was bypassed to supply the cold side of the kitchen sink (and drinking water filter) with non-softened water. The area has it's water sourced from wells in a limestone aquifer and typical hardness is 18-22 grain/gal. After my father passed away I almost immediately removed the hard water bypass.

When the kitchen cold water was hard, the faucet needed to be rebuilt almost yearly. Ice from the icemaker was dusty and lots of fun debris floated around in your glass or ice water. Softening hot only would bring this hard water problem to every fixture and causes the toilets to need more frequent cleaning.

There is no doubt that the softened water mandates far more caution in dosing laundry detergents (or avoiding some types completely). I don't have any issue with bathing feel as I would never use soap for anything anymore. I suppose as long as the water supply is reasonably soft, perhaps 5 grain/gal, I wouldn't waste the money and water with softening, but with our water I wouldn't consider not softening the whole house.

Post# 1053237 , Reply# 21   12/5/2019 at 15:47 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Even if the US stopped whaling in the 1920s it doesn`t necessarily mean the oil wasn`t used anymore. Buying raw materials cheap on the world market has been done in the past too. For example Wikipedia mentions Sperm Oil (a type of whale oil) to be used in the US in automatic transmission fluids until 1972 when it finally got banned.
Hydrogenation reduced the fishy odor of whale oil and as a fat in a solid state vs a liquid oil it became useful for soap and margarine long after its peak time when it was mostly used as a lamp fuel.
Can`t find anything about Dash in particular and my statement was just an assumption of course, but margarine based on whale oil seems to have been around until the early 60s.

Fish oil in early Dash formulations has been mentioned repeatedly on AW without going into depths what kind of fish or what technology behind, so I was wondering if it was the raw material for a low sudsing surfactant or for soap.
You never know but just putting an oil into a detergent formula to cut back the suds would be kind of counterproductive because the oil would consume a lot of the detergent`s detergency, wouldn`t it?

But then again soap as a suds suppressant used in modern detergents works in a similar way. The soap per se does not cut back the suds, it is the part of the soap that forms soap scum (lime soap) with hard water minerals. The greasy lime soap then cuts back sudsing and in theory as long as the detergent isn`t underdosed is the scum should be held in suspension by the usual man made surfactants and finally be rinsed off fabrics.


Post# 1053421 , Reply# 22   12/7/2019 at 08:11 by Rolls_rapide (0)        
Henkel's Persil 4in1 Discs

These seem to have an awful lot of perfume ingredients... 23 perfume ingredients for the 'Universal', 25 for the 'Color'!

Post# 1053436 , Reply# 23   12/7/2019 at 12:08 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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I think it`s all about transparency which is a good thing if a manufacturer has nothing to hide. Or maybe they`re just getting prepared early for upcoming strikter laws.
25 scent ingredients really isn`t that much, there can be hundreds of scent ingredients hiding in the word "fragrance" that currently don`t have to be listed except for the well known potential scent allergens that have to be labeled.
In the case of Persil Discs that would be only two that have to be listed by law and this is geraniol and linalool.

Post# 1053505 , Reply# 24   12/8/2019 at 04:14 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Just to make a point of what could be found in a detergent`s scent, there`s a long list of scent ingredients that P&G commonly uses in their products.
At the end of the list a couple of ingredients are listed that they either don`t use or at least don`t use anymore. Not exactly what I`d call ideal transparency because you`re still left in the dark of what is exactly in a certain product except for the few most potent allergenes that must be listed, but at least it`s a start in the right direction.
Still thinking 25 perfume ingredients in Persil Disks are an awful lot?


Post# 1053602 , Reply# 25   12/8/2019 at 15:46 by Rolls_rapide (0)        

I rather think you'll find that detergents are covered by EC Regulation 648/2004, which states that the Material Safety Data Sheet has to be available to medical personnel on demand - and a list of ingredients made available for the rest of us.

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Post# 1053617 , Reply# 26   12/8/2019 at 17:45 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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But this is not an MSDS what you posted, is it?
There is an MSDS of the Persil Discs online as well but it doesn`t list scent ingredients, only a few chemicals of concern are listed.
In this case it`s mainly two different surfactants and the enzyme protease (due to a high concentration) which are considered dangerous.


Post# 1057496 , Reply# 27   1/13/2020 at 17:50 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
180 mg Simethicone

Had some towels getting a little frothy. Dropped two 180 mg simethicone gel things in the detergent dispenser and all suds was gone and stayed gone through the rinses.

Post# 1057502 , Reply# 28   1/13/2020 at 19:15 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I find adding a teaspoon to an ounce or so of STPP to each wash load handles the mildly hard water here just fine. I use a bit more if the wash load is heavily soiled, such as work or gardening clothes, since STPP not only softens the water, but helps to break mineral based soils from fabric.

Since this is a Mediterranean climate, the tap water hardness varies through the seasons, harder towards the end of summer, softer after winter rains, and it gets harder after a period of prolonged drought. At least that's my impression.

For watering the lawn and garden, I use well water, which is VERY hard. However it's not potable, and the one time I tried using it to top off the fish pond, lost a number of fish. Oh well.

Post# 1057532 , Reply# 29   1/14/2020 at 05:47 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I don't know why the simethicone thread keeps getting hijacked by water softener talk. At least we've tried to make the information available.

Post# 1057534 , Reply# 30   1/14/2020 at 07:16 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Tom, because   ;-)

Post# 1057552 , Reply# 31   1/14/2020 at 10:21 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Maybe it`s because OP had an oversuds situation in mechanically softened water?

Am I the only one who appreciates the freedom we`re given in this forum to change the subject as subjects would change in a real life conversation too?
I think this is exactly what make so unique and intimate compared to moderated forums.

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