Calgon Take Me Away… a View From Rancho La Zaca –

Do y’all remember the commercial of the harried Everywoman who longed for relief, preferably in a bath of warm, fluffy bubbles created by Calgon soap powder? “Calgon Take Me Away!” she’d say, and whoosh, there she was naked and luxuriant in the bath, (here, if you want to see it).

Rancho La Zaca - The San Rafael Mountains in Pink
Rancho La Zaca - The San Rafael Mountains in pink.

As we continue in the shifting and shuffling that are among the Joys of Moving in New York or anywhere, looking at this view from Rancho La Zaca* gives me a little Calgon moment. In case you need one too.

And if want to dazzle your friends (born before 1970 or so) this week with your prodigious knowledge of utterly useless information, you can tell them that Calgon was actually a water softener named after a European dishwashing powder, that is a portmanteau derived from “calcium gone.”

Btw, thanks for your patience with me and my goofy posts lately. The style and substance to which you have become accustomed in this blog will return, I promise…

*For new readers, Rancho La Zaca is the other place I call home, with my husband His Grace, et al., in the Santa Ynez Valley of California, 8 miles from the nearest drugstore, so I keep a good supply of Calgon on hand.


  1. Love it! yes I was born before 1970 and remember it well. Maybe that’s why women seemed less stressed then – they had those – “Calgon take me away!” moments… good luck with the move… moving in NYC is always a nightmare!

    1. Maybe so, Laurette! And they didn’t have to worry about dropping their iPads in the tub!…And hey readers, Artist and designer Laurette is sooooo creative – and adorable and funny – you can follow her on Pinterest (, and also on Instagram and Twitter ( She makes Calgon moments on a regular basis.

  2. Thank you for another beautiful view…. How do you get anything done? I would stare out of the window all the time? Becky

  3. Yes, those mountains are magical! Great photo! Can’t wait to get back out to our ranch there. Busy moving out of condo in P.B. As you know, moving is the pits; and I can’t imagine how
    difficult it must be in NYC! Thanks for the Calgon moment!

  4. Goofy’s good with me! Your writing is so entertaining, the substance almost doesn’t matter:-)
    And the view is exquisite –

  5. They’re all another wonderful part of you, and we love all posts! I have gone through a little move myself in the past two weeks…afraid of what might happen at this point if I asked that Calgon take me away. I did however, find myself flashing on the Bayer aspirin commercial, “Mother I’d rather do it myself!” xxoo P

  6. So funny. Love knowing that it stems from calcium gone! Next we need Madge with the funky hair and that suspect Palmolive she dipped everyone’s hands in.

  7. Growing up, my mother used Calgon every day(Hmmm? did she did it because of me??) She says not-It was because it kept a ring around the tub from forming. I think it is still carried in Walmart

  8. Gorgeous view! Really, really miss those mountains. I remember those commercials well, I wanted my Dad to buy the car that had the bathtub in it!

  9. Not exactly right on where the name comes from. Originally it was German photographers’ slang for sodium hexametaphosphate, and while I’m not sure in German the “-gon” ending meant exactly “gone”, it was some action ending for nouns, possibly from “antagonist”, and the “cal-” part does refer to its action related to calcium. The Pittsburgh-based Calgon Corp. formed to manufacture it, and it did have wide use as a non-alkaline, nonprecipitating water softener to prevent boiler scale, bathtub ring, etc. It then became a trademark for both cleaning and maintenance products, and toiletries, containing it, now produced by different firms and not always even still using the original calgon as an ingredient. Theoretically, in lower case the word can still be used generically for sodium hexametaphosphate. However, people today are sometimes surprised to learn that the same powder was sold as both a laundry additive and bath salt — since it functions the same way in bath and wash water — or even that companion products for those purposes were sold under the same name. Well, what the heck, in these days of specialized products they’re surprised to see old ads where Ivory bar soap was promoted for bathing and dishwashing.

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