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If you can’t seem to get squeaky clean after your shower, it may be because your building has added sodium silicate to your water.
“In the old buildings with some iron pipe in them, it stops the rust. And in the new buildings sometimes, to cut down on brown water they actually end up coating the iron particles,” says Phil Kraus, the president of Fred Smith Plumbing & Heating Company, which services around 850 Manhattan co-op and condo buildings.
“I don’t recommend using it if you don’t need chemicals in the water, but it’s FDA approved so I’m not going to say I don’t approve,” says the plumbing expert. “If you put too much sodium silicate in the water it doesn’t necessarily make it sudsy but it gives it a slimy feel like if you take a shower and can’t get the soap off—it’s like a film you can feel in your body. It can come and go from one day to the next.”
We find this kind of shocking – how about you? We’d love to hear from anyone who can help assess the health risks of sodium silicate, if any.