TSP Running Out; Soon to be Replaced

Reading time: 158 words, 1 page. ½ minute.

Using TSP (trisodium phosphate) is a supplement to laundry detergent to make clothes cleaner and brighter as well as https://geroldblog.com/2012/07/02/rug-doctoring-carpets-need-tsp/.

Some time ago, I talked to a rep from one of the paint companies, and he said they would phase out TSP and replace it with something else which he hinted would not work nearly as well.

According to an astute reader; the time has come (hat tip to IndenturedServant). The ‘new’ TSP is now sodium metasilicate and labelled “Phosphate-free”. I haven’t tried it, but as with most replacement products, I doubt it will be as good as the old TSP.

Today, I picked up the last six (900 gram) containers on the shelf of my favorite hardware store. They’re going fast. Consider yourself warned.

August 6, 2016

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I'm back in stocks. I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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4 Responses to TSP Running Out; Soon to be Replaced

  1. Silverton says:

    Didn’t this also happen 12 or so years ago? For a few years TSP was unavailable at the big box stores and the substitute was on the shelves. Then, in about ’08, TSP came back on the market and has been available again.


    Amazon has it, as does the local paint store here. I’m just posting this to show that almost a year after you advised stocking up, it’s still being produced and sold, not to be critical of your writing, but to show that rumors at the paint store aren’t always true.

    • gerold says:

      Good points, Silverton. I wasn’t aware it disappeared for a while then came back. However, I didn’t hear it as a rumor at the paint store, but from a rep from one of the paint companies.

      So, the lesson might be “don’t trust salesmen.” Yes, I still see it at some stores, but the rep didn’t say WHEN it would be discontinued. And, I’m not going to succumb to Normalcy bias.
      I stocked up. If nothing else, it’ll be a great barter item if the SHTF.

      – Gerold

  2. Roy says:

    Interesting that you go to a paint store to buy TSP (trisodium phosphate) which you present as a laundry detergent. TSP’s primary use was to wash walls prior to painting so the paint adheres better. Using unleaded paint on dirty walls will require more frequent repainting helping GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by requiring more labor and materials. Here in the US TSP has been replaced by TSP90 which contains no phosphate, a phosphorus salt.

    The Greenies claim using Phosphorous for domestic use adds to pollution of streams, lakes and oceans by facilitating algae growth. The amount of phosphorous used for domestics is dwarfed by industrial agriculture. The three most important elements of the twelve necessary for plant growth used to be listed in percent’s in order, N nitrogen, P phosphorous, K potassium. All necessary nutrients for plant growth are elements and there is no substitute and they cannot be synthesized.

    Liebig’s Law, “Growth is limited by the scarcest resource, not by the total amount of resources,” For plant growth the scarcest resource is phosphorous. No North American fertilizer company can achieve vertical integration because they have to import some Phosphorus.

    Seventy percent of the worlds phosphorous reserves are located in Morocco, twenty percent of the worlds oil in Saudi Arabia. Morocco is a Sunni Kingdom so far friendly to the West. From the standpoint of the Worlds food supply Morocco is the most important county on the planet. The depletion of phosphorous will cause the worlds food and population to decrease on some form of Seneca Cliff to what can be supported by permaculture,

    The other entity causing the return to permaculture (excluding extinction) is the depletion of diesel fuel. Diesel fuel can only by be made from crude oil of certain specific gravities. It cannot be made from tight, light oil or the oil sands tar. Volumes and BTU (British Thermal Units) are irreverent since BTU value of gasoline and diesel are much closer than the 106,000hp developed by the largest diesel engine and the largest practical gasoline engine. Also gasoline engines are 25 to 30% efficient vs. 50% for diesel.

    Until the invention of the internal combustion engine gasoline was a waste product dumped in the rivers (before EPA). Gasoline engines eliminated a waste product, provided employment for millions but provide vehicles that basically run around in circles. All the heavy lifting was done by diesel. Industrial agriculture is totally dependent on diesel as well as the military and most transportation of bulk goods.

    It takes Mother Earth millions of years to make crude oil that can be used to make diesel. This is the real reason for the push to get diesel cars extinct. Flatten Out the Seneca Cliff of the depletion of phosphorous and/or diesel. With the depletion of phosphorus and/or diesel we are back to permaculture and the life style of my heritage, the Old Order Mennonites and a much smaller World population.

    • gerold says:

      Thanks for your very interesting comments, Roy.

      In addition to prepping walls prior to painting, TSP was also excellent for degreasing driveways and garage floors. However the most common usage ‘used to be’ (past tense) in laundry soap which has been discontinued resulting in today’s grungy clothing despite repeated laundering.

      I wish I had kept the article where it explained that less than 1% of the phosphates in waterways that causes algae blooms were from laundry soap and more than 99% was from agricultural run-off (fertilizer and manure). So they kill laundry soap and do nothing about farm run-off! Irks me no end!

      I never realized Morocco’s importance as a major source of phosphorous. As you say, they are “so far friendly to the West” yet that could change in a heartbeat considering the increasing instability we are seeing globally. Imagine what would happen to our ‘Green Revolution’ if that was disrupted? How come we never hear about peak phosphorus?

      Seneca Cliff is scary stuff and like the Pareto Principle applies to untold numbers of human activity. Seneca Cliff is like a stock market crash; it goes up like an escalator and down like an elevator. It reminds me what Ernest Hemingway said about bankruptcy; it’s slow at first, then sudden.

      And, of course, brainless governments are reactive, not proactive. So, they won’t prepare until the shit hits the fan and then they’ll over-react. Good thing I have popcorn stockpiled. Nero fiddled, but I’ll eat popcorn, at least for a while.

      – Gerold

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