Chunks of soda ash?
  • I find that from time to tiime I find big clumps of soda ash in the bottom of the tub or Ziploc bag I use for soaking clothes in soda ash water. The last time I had to literally PRY the stuff off the garment. It's been thru its 10-minute rinse but not the laundry yet (I have a few more items to finish dyeing, rinsing, and then laundering and water isn't free! :)), so I don't know how, if at all, it's been affected by this phenomenon.

    Did I just use too much soda ash to dissolve in that much water and this is the leftover? I did make sure to agitate the water LOTS before I addded clothes and I guess it must have still been suspended inthe water since I didn't see it in there when adding the garments.

  • You're probably seeing calcium carbonate, a white solid which forms when sodium carbonate reacts with hard water. Try dissolving a teaspoon of sodium hexametaphosphate in your water before you add the soda ash.

    Jacquard Products sells sodium hexametaphosphate under the name Calgon, but don't confuse it with the liquid Calgon products sold at the grocery store. Liquid Calgon contains polycarboxylates, which might interfere with dyeing. You want the Calgon powder. You should be able to get it from your dye supplier.