I sprinkled granulated A & H washing soda into the was machine. The machine
wasn't agitating. It was a large load with about two tablespoons of Tide
detergent in it.
The dry washing soda granules went into the water and immediately clumped,
forming quit hard lumps. It appears that it did disolve when the machine was
What caused it to clump?
On 18 Aug 2003 15:16:14 GMT, email@example.com (TOM KAN PA) wrote:
Stir powders in warm water until dissolved before adding clothes. I
use a 3-foot paddle to stir powders in the washing machine as the
water is filling up--30 seconds of stirring is all it takes. Washing
soda and Boraxo have the tendency to clump as water is absorbed and
the product recrystalizes. Sugar, salt, and baking soda do the same
I don't remember seeing any of these materials clump when added to
water, but I think I know what happened.
Soda ash will easily absorb one water molecule per sodium carbonate
molecule to form sodium carbonate monohydrate. If you dumped a pile of
it in water, it would grab more water to form a clump of sodium
carbonate decahydrate. Washing soda is supposed to be sold as sodium
decahydrate, which won't clump when dumped into water.
The problem is that sodium carbonate decahydrate is unstable: water can
evaporate from it in storage. The stuff Tom poured into his wasping
machine must have had lots of sodium carbonate monohydrate, and that's
why it clumped.
Confidential to Phisherman: [Please don't read the following, for it
would upset you.]
Boraxo is a hand soap, not a laundry additive.
My washing soda was always very hard despite storing in a plastic
container and I used to break off bits with a hammer. Then I read the
packet and noticed the instructions:
" If hard add 1 tablespoon of water to the packet and wait 20/30
minutes" and that worked.
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