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Can't find 'water softener' - as seen on TV!

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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-09-06 07:36 PM
Original message
Can't find 'water softener' - as seen on TV!
Edited on Thu Mar-09-06 07:37 PM by crikkett
Hi,

We just got our copy of "Haley's Cleaning Hints" after watching Graham Haley pitch for PBS donations all week.

This book frequently calls for "water softener" and GH poured some out of a box on TV to do some amazing demonstrations. The box was about the size of a box of dishwasher powder with about the same consistency.

We can't find water softener in stores. My fiancee just got back from the hardware store - they carried it in 40 lb bags of these huge crystals the size of gravel.

Any ideas where I could get hold of this stuff? It isn't in Safeway or Walgreens. Thanks in advance.

Scrubbing away,
Crikkett
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-09-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. i use vinegar to soften our rock hard water here and vinegar cleans
almost anything with no harsh chemicals

just plain old cheapo white vinegar

http://www.artisticflair2.com/cleaning.html
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. OK! I am going to get a jug of white vinegar
and try it on the mineral toilet ring in my new (old) Prescott house with hard water.

If it doesn't work, I guess I'm stuck with the pumice stone!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. you'll have to let it soak for a few days at a high concentration for
AZ water

if it's just the discoloration that's bothering you, pour in about 3 cups of household bleach first but don't mix the two!
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. No, it's white mineral deposits
on a beautiful (NOT) OLIVE GREEN toilet! :puke:

I will turn off the water supply and lower the water level, throw in a jug of vinegar to bring it up & cover the ring & cross my fingers.

Well, at least olive green will look nicer without a white ring.

I know I could just bite the bullet and go with pumice... but ya know.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. olive green huh? pumice would probably damage it anyway
I'd definately try vinegar first on that one
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-09-06 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. The one I have used is made by Calgon.
Edited on Thu Mar-09-06 10:41 PM by calico1
The box is mostly blue with some white. I find it in the laundry section of my supermarket. It also comes in a liquid form and that is about the size of a small fabric softener bottle.

Here is a link:

http://www.teebop.com/cgi-bin/item/RB20400&source=froog...
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, I'm sure calico is correct about it being "Calgon"
What sort of amazing demonstrations?
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I am very curious myself.
The only thing I use it for is adding to all white clothes in the laundry.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. He cleans silver with it
He's the guy who uses a Calgon solution with salt in a small tub of water lined with aluminum foil. You dip the silver pieces in it and they clean up. Here's a link to HGTV where they explain how it works to clean tarnished silver. http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/at_home/article/0,1801,HGTV_32...
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Hmmm...
he calls for "washing soda(water softener)". Washing soda would be 'Arm & Hammer Washing Soda'. It is considered a softener. 'Calgon' is basically the same thing, but with fragrance added. Arm & Hammer may be easier to find in the grocery store.

Tell ya a story about washing soda. I make rugs from recycled 100% wool fabrics, and one way to remove dyes from existing wool fabrics (in order to redye) is to use a soak of washing soda. Once, I soaked a little too long, and the lovely (expensive) wool came out feeling revoltingly slimy like seaweed, totally ruined. So beware to use washing soda carefully, it is a strong chemical.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I tried the Calgon/soda soak for silver pieces
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 04:46 PM by eleny
It works okay but not "as seen on tv". It takes a while and needs some scrubbing. I get better results from the silver cleaning cream.

I hope you can post some pics of your rugs. Where do you find your wool fabrics? I once got a nice bag of wool remnants from an ebay auction for small craft projects. Some nice pieces in there and very inexpensive. Do you braid them into rugs? Just curious about any and all kinds of hand crafting.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. No, not braided rugs....
Hooked rugs (NOT latch-hooking!). 1/4" wool fabric strips pulled up into loops through burlap backing. Mostly I design my own. Wool fabric comes from where ever ya can find it... old clothing from thrift stores, yard sales, and some "off-the-bolt" fabric (mostly online, as wool fabrics are not usually in stores any more). I mostly do my own designing.











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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Your rugs are beautiful!
Each one so different but still I can see your style coming through. The richness of the neutral colors is striking. I love the chubby bunny! The pattern of your stitches adds so much. Same with the floral. It makes them sort of active. I hope you start a thread to show these to everyone.

I've never tried this kind of rug. I've done a few latch hooked ones. Are they hard to work on? I've seen some how-to pictures with instructions but get a little confused. I always wonder how the lengths of wool don't pull out from the backing. Seems like it's a punching technique and I don't get how the wool strips get anchored on the back. So, I'm confused for sure.

Thanks so much for posting your photos.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Thank you for your nice comments!
Edited on Sun Mar-12-06 12:11 PM by troubleinwinter
Regretfully, the 'floral' (pomegranates) is not my own design. I do love it.

"The pattern of the stitches" is, I think, what drew me to the craft.

No, they are not hard to work on. A hunk of burlap or linen with an outline pattern drawn onto it is stretched taught onto a working frame, the wool strip is held behind the fabric and loops are drawn through to the front with a hook (similar to a crochet hook).

The craft has been around for perhaps 150-200 years or so (no one really knows). It is recognized as perhaps the only truly AMERICAN developed craft. Seems to have originated on the East coast of U.S. and Canada (where it is most popular today). It started with sailors at sea using handmade hooks and using rags pulled through sail canvas. Then farm women used feedsacks and worn out clothing to make floor rugs and bed rugs for warmth.

Today, people most always use pure wool fabric and linen backing, because a lot of work goes into them and the best quality materials look/feel/last the best.

These rugs are incredibly sturdy and there are some old ones that have been walked on for a hundred years. Some new craft artists make them for floors, some for wall hanging.

The loops are held in place by the pressure of the other loops (kinda like magic!). They don't pull out with regular wear (only rare really BAD BAD kittens pull a few out, but they are easily repaired).

It's about as easy as latch hook, but the final product is a nicer quality. They are very dense, and a lower pile (1/4" - 1/3"). Usually, latch hook is synthetic yarn, but pure wool fabrics are generally used for this 'traditional rug hooking'.

One can start testing it out for an investment of maybe $30. To get all the bells & whistles, I have about $250 into a really good lap swivel hooking frame, a good crank machine to cut 1/4" strips and an excellent hook.

Then comes the adventuring through thrift shops for wool skirts, jackets, dyes, and sometimes new off-the-bolt wool.

Patterns are purchased from designers (I am one), or self-designed. People often use coloring book pictures. Designs are simple, they are just drawn onto the backing with a sharpie. No charts! "Primitive" is very popular in this craft.

If you want to know more, PM me!!

Thank you again (maybe this shoulda gone into the Do-It-Yourself/Craft forum, but, OH WELL!).

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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Thanks for all the details!
Yes - do post in the crafting forum!

Interesting how the stitches hold each other in place all snug and the rugs can still take the wear on a floor.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. I don't have the patience
to really do a large size for the floor, so I started doing smaller 3-dimensional stuffed pieces.

'Henrietta'


'Pumpkin Make-Do'


'Dolly'


'Spring Rooster'


'Spring Sheep'


An 'in-progress' rug.
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jeanarrett Donating Member (813 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-14-06 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Wow! These are just fantastic. Do you sell them?
If you don't you definitely should! The sheep are exquisite and I love the rooster and hen!!! I would buy one of these from you--do you have a website?
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. ooo pretty.
Thanks for showing the pics!
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. too late to edit so I'll reply 2x
I really like the pattern with the house and trees. Very nice!
Congratulations - do you sell these or is this just a hobby? How long does it take to make one?

Quite pretty.
C
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I used to sell the designs
drawn onto the backings, for rug hookers to do their own hooking. I turned the business of my designs over to another woman. Now it is a hobby for me again! There are many designers who sell designs on backing.

How long? Hahahaha! It depennnnnds! Slow going when you start, but some very experienced people hook like the wind! It depends partly on whether you are doing an intricate part of the design or a plain part. I'm pretty slow. I would say it takes me about 4 hours for a square foot, if it's a simple part & I don't have to make a lot of decisions. It is relaxing once you get going... a nice thing to do in front of the TV in the evening (after spending all day in the kitchen dyeing wools on the stove, getting the perfect 'mottled texture', for your special project!).
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
11. Found some in the laundry section
"White King Ultra Water Softener & Detergent Booster"
by Huish Detergents Inc. of Utah.
Box says, "contains sodium carbonate and sodium tripolyphospates ... Do not use for bathing...."

Arm & Hammer baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. I don't know what the "Washing powder" is.

Thanks everyone!




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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. From Haley's Hints, Kitchen & bathroom uses for Water Softener
From Hayleys Hints, uses for Water Softener, summarized for DU!
(this is only one way to clean things, for example i've always used vinegar for the coffee maker)

DESCALE WATER KETTLE w/ 2 TB water softener (w.s.) and a full kettle of water. Boil for a few minutes, rinse, repeat as necc.

COFFEE MAKER - fill reservoir, add 2TB w.s., Run machine, Run again with plain water to rinse.

ELECTRIC COOKWARE THAT CAN'T BE IMMERSED IN WATER: fill half full with water, a little dish soap, cook at medium for 1/2 hr. add 2TB w.s. for stubborn dirt, don't let the water boil away.

ENAMEL BROILING PANS: cover bottom with 1/4 in. layer of water softener, place wet towel over the area, leave for several hours to loosen baked-on grease enough to wash it off w/o a lot of effort.

SIX-SECOND SILVER CLEANING (as described elsewhere in this thread) THE WARNING IN TINY PRINT IN THE VERY BACK OF THE BOOK READS:
"IMPORTANT: the silver-cleaning hint on pg. 38 refers to 'washing soda'. Do NOT use WASHING SODA CRYSTALS. They can react with the aluminum foil causing noxious fumes. Use powdered lime-scale remover (sometimes called water softener) sold for use in washing machines.

Geez, I wish somebody would just say what the chemical is.

Things you can clean by soaking in a solution of w.s. (2 Tablespoons!) and warm water:
THERMOS
TEA AND COFFEE STAINS ON CERAMIC/EVERYDAY DISHES
STAINS ON GLASS
BATHTUB RINGS

ACRYLIC BATH AND SHOWER STALLS, and
MOLDY SPOTS ON TILE/ACRYLIC SHOWER WALLS:
rub w/ solution of 1TB ammonia, 1TB white vinegar, 1TB w.s., 3/4 cu warm water. Rinse, buff.

Super-size that for TILE WALLS and TILE FLOORS:
1 cu ammonia, 1 cu vinegar, 1/2 cu water softener in bucket of warm water. Do NOT follow with a bleach cleaner.
(Note to 11th-graders everywhere: pay attention, because we use chemistry every day, all day long.)

RUBBER BATH MAT: soak 2 hrs in 1 cu. w.s. + 8 cu. water. Scour and rinse, repeat as necc.

One last tip that I can't resist:
1/2 cup of mouthwash to 2 qts warm water for tiled bathroom floors.


xo,
C
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Neato!
I have a problem. I moved into a new house 5 weeks ago. Hard water. The toilet is a very modern (as of 30 years ago) OLIVE GREEN :puke: . There is a white mineral ring around the water line. I have tried 'CLR' (have NEVER had any luck with that stuff). I'd love to find something that will work before I get desperate and go the pumice stone route. I suppose I'll try vinegar. Any ideas?
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. NO.
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is carbonate. Totally differet product from the A & H Baking Soda - bicarbonate.

But glad you found White King (man, what a phrase from my childhood!).

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