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Thread: Washing Soda?

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    Washing Soda?

    I'm down in Mexico and have a desire to brew up some caffenol, however, I don't know where to find any washing soda. Could anyone tell me the chemical name of washing soda? It's not sodium carbonate, right, isn't that baking soda?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    John

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    mjs
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    I used to be able to find Arm & Hammer washing soda practically anywhere -- went to buy some a couple of weeks ago and can't find it anywhere, so if you know what it is under another name, I'd like to know, too!

    Mike

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    eclarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
    I'm down in Mexico and have a desire to brew up some caffenol, however, I don't know where to find any washing soda. Could anyone tell me the chemical name of washing soda? It's not sodium carbonate, right, isn't that baking soda?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    John
    It is Sodium Carbonate, baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate....EC

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    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Na2CO3 = Sodium Carbonate = Washing Soda - This is what you want.

    NaHC03 = Sodium Bicarbonate = Baking Soda - It may work but I think you would need a lot more of it.


    (I think I have it right. If not, I'm sure I will be corrected!).

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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    Akki14's Avatar
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    I don't think baking soda (sodium BIcarbonate) would work. no matter how much you add, it won't raise the pH enough.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

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    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I was not too sure about the baking soda. My response was just repeating something I read once on a thread about Caffenol.

    It's probably best to just get the right stuff.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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    If you have access to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a cooking stove, and a clean pan, you are all set. Simply heat the bicarbonate until it stops "frothing" (not bubbles, but a curious fluffy appearance) and when it cools down you will have sodium carbonate. The decomposition reaction occurs around 100 C, but sodium carbonate doesn't begin to decompose before about 400 C, so no great precision is needed.

    You should be aware that this process will yield anhydrous sodium carbonate, whereas photographic formulas are probably written for the monohydrate (about 15% heavier per mole). You can either keep the anhydrous salt dry in a sealed container, or let it naturally hydrate in the air until the weight stops increasing, and use it as the monohydrate.

    Food-grade bicarbonate is quite pure (at least in the USA) but washing soda or the "soda ash" sold for adjusting pH in swimming pools may be questionable for photographic purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs View Post
    I used to be able to find Arm & Hammer washing soda
    practically anywhere --went to buy some a couple of
    weeks ago and can't find it anywhere, so if you know
    what it is under another name, I'd like to know, too!
    For our convenience the washing soda has been
    packaged with the detergent. We've been spared
    the effort and time consuming chore of hauling
    it home, measuring it out, and tossing it in the
    washer. Be thankful. Dan

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    rkmiec's Avatar
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    i found mine at kroger(a grocery chain) here in georgia it is called arm and hammer all natural super washing soda.it was in the detergent isle i believe.3 doollars for the box i think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
    I'm down in Mexico and have a desire to brew up some caffenol, however, I don't know where to find any washing soda.
    Googling for "carbonato sódico" led me to the Spanish version of the MSDS for the sodium carbonate made by Solvay Chemicals: http://www.solvaychemicals.us/static...Sodaash-sp.pdf
    It looks like they call it "ceniza de soda" (and the MSDS is explicit about being intended for use in Mexico, so I expect it's idiomatically correct). The synonyms given are "sal de sosa", "cristales de sosa", and "carbonato disódico".

    I would think that if you walked into a shop and asked for cristales de sosa or carbonato sódico, and then tried to handwave through an explanation of what it's used for, you'd stand a fair chance of finding it.

    Watch out for "sosa caustica" or "soda caustica", however: lye!

    -NT
    Last edited by ntenny; 04-01-2008 at 07:11 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Oops, HTML entities don't parse!

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