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Thread: Washing Soda?

  1. #11
    rkmiec's Avatar
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    just so you know , doollars are an even exchange for dollars even with the dollar being so low

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    Washing Soda here in the US

    Read this thread and then happened to head for the local Publix, a Florida chain. I had seen Arm & Hammer Washing Soda there in the past, and there it was, $2 for three pounds or so. Pretty amazing since this particular store is smaller than the average and the selections are less.

    Now, I did buy two boxes, but not for photography. It's the standard cheap treatment to raise swimming pool pH, which I needed to do.

  3. #13
    CBG
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    I found 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda at: www.soapsgonebuy.com They do mail order, so perhaps thay may be useful.

    C

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    here in Pittsburgh washing soda seems to be hard to find, but a pool supply store (or Kmart?) will often have something to increase ph levels... the one i found at Kmart was from Aquachem and is called ph Add... i've also seen another product called ph Up.

    http://www.aquachem.com/products/pha...rs/ph_add.html

    good luck,
    tom
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  5. #15
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    Washing soda has been for many years the common name listed in the CRC Handbook for Sodium Carbonate decahydrate, which has 10 molecules of water of crystallization in each molecule. We usually use either the monohydrate or the anhydrous salt. Washing soda SHOULD be cheap. It used to be very commonly available and used for cleaning auto radiators and general cleaning. Now it returns with a flourish that makes it seem quite special. The chances are that pH Plus or other brand of swimming pool "medicine" will be more suitable, although I did use in days gone by washing soda in developing printing paper. I had a stabilazion processor that used special paper that could be developed in a strong alkali and fixed in standard fixer. A handful of washing soda in a gallon or so of water made a very fine developer for that stuff. The paper was double weight fiber based and good for exhibition prints, but that's another story.

    If you need a more precisely measurable carbonate and all you have is washing soda, you can heat a pan of it in the oven at about 200 F. Weigh it before you start and stop heating when it stops losing weight. You can do the same with baking soda. It will not burn and the gas emitted at that temperature is water vapor. If you are sure it really is washing soda, you can allow for the water in it by using 2.7 times as much.
    Gadget Gainer

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    Washing soda has been for many years the common name listed in the CRC Handbook for Sodium Carbonate decahydrate, which has 10 molecules of water of crystallization in each molecule. We usually use either the monohydrate or the anhydrous salt. Washing soda SHOULD be cheap. It used to be very commonly available and used for cleaning auto radiators and general cleaning. Now it returns with a flourish that makes it seem quite special. The chances are that pH Plus or other brand of swimming pool "medicine" will be more suitable, although I did use in days gone by washing soda in developing printing paper. I had a stabilazion processor that used special paper that could be developed in a strong alkali and fixed in standard fixer. A handful of washing soda in a gallon or so of water made a very fine developer for that stuff. The paper was double weight fiber based and good for exhibition prints, but that's another story.

    If you need a more precisely measurable carbonate and all you have is washing soda, you can heat a pan of it in the oven at about 200 F. Weigh it before you start and stop heating when it stops losing weight. You can do the same with baking soda. It will not burn and the gas emitted at that temperature is water vapor. If you are sure it really is washing soda, you can allow for the water in it by using 2.7 times as much.
    Very interesting!

    Is it really almost 2/3 water? Wow!

    When I need controlled heat for dehydration or similar, I use the toaster oven. Very easy to control. Wish I could get my Ohaus Centigram in there, ha ha.

    I checked out Arm & Hammer's website and found this: "ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda is 100% sodium carbonate. It does not contain fragrance, surfactants or other additives."

  7. #17
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    Ah Ha! They call it "Super Washing Soda"! Hard to tell what it might be. You could try heating some to see how much, if any, the weight changes. I haven't found any of it here in my hills, even though it used to be common when it came in a blue box. But I can't get Red Devil Lye anymore either. Too many drug-related uses to allow home made soap anymore.
    Gadget Gainer

  8. #18
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    Gainer: I CAN get 100% lye, but it isn't Red Devil anymore. Menard's carries it in Iowa.

    Edit: Whoops, it's Roebic (http://www.roebic.com/catalog/clog.htm) and it can be found at Lowe's stores nationwide in the US, apparently. I swear I saw some at Menard's, though.

    The washing soda that I can find (At K-Mart, no less) is Borax. $3.79 for quite a bit.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

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    No Red Devil here at the Queensbury, NY Lowes. I guess we have a lot of druggies in the foothills of the Adirondacks.

    FWIW, I'm told that A&H SWS will become monohydrate if you accidentally leave the box open in a dry room, ie, not the basement.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    No Red Devil here at the Queensbury, NY Lowes. I guess we have a lot of druggies in the foothills of the Adirondacks.

    FWIW, I'm told that A&H SWS will become monohydrate if you accidentally leave the box open in a dry room, ie, not the basement.
    *******
    I asked the Arm and Hammer folks years back about this, and they responded that under these conditions it will "tend" to become a monohydrate. Talk about hedging. I just keep it in a tightly sealed container and use it as if I were using crystals. I have also heard of mixing it into a saturated solution in water and using it on a percentage basis. But being no good at math mesself, I just keep it dry.
    And no, washing soda is not borax. That's something different.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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