Oil Dry versus Turface- head to head comparison

justaguy2(5)April 5, 2008

I am a fan of Turface MVP, but it is a bit pricey and only one place in 50 miles sells it (that I have found) so like many (judging by the queries I read in this forum) I thought it would be great if I could find something more readily available and lower cost.

I have read where many have said Oil-Dry (and kitty litter) is more or less the same thing as Turface and I have read Tapla's (Al's) gentle warnings that to be safe the product should be soaked in water to ensure it was fired at a high enough temperature to not revert back to muck when saturated.

I went to oil-dry.com and read the MSDS info on oil-dry and it said it was insoluble in water. Great! I went out and bought 100 lbs of it. Other than a color difference it appeared identical.

Figured I would soak it overnight, just to be safe. After 2 hours soaking, this is the end result after a hand squeeze. Oil-Dry on the left, Turface MVP on the right.

I am guessing I don't have to explain why one is preferable to the other ;-)

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Thanks justaguy for posting your results. My own comparison yielded the same results you experienced. The oil dri collasped into a muck that I dare not use in any of my plantings. I was hoping that the oil dri would have been a viable alternative to turface, because it is easier to find and cheaper.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 9:42AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes - agreed - some of it is just fine and a perfectly acceptable substitute, but the rest of it ..... Thanks, JaG.

Pretty plate. ;o)


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 10:45AM
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I tried that test with the oildri I bought and it didnt mush at all. I wasn't even sure it soaked up any water as it remained hard as a rock. Do you think the bags could be different or the brands? Just wonder if I need to check some of my other bags.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:10AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Those products do vary by manufacturer and by batch because their intended use does not require high-firing, so if you're using something other than Turface (kitty litter or oil-dri) it's wise to check it all with a soak before you use it. Remember: If you're in a pinch & only need a little, Schultz bags Turface MVP in 25 lb bags and labels it as their 'Soil Conditioner'.

JaG - I forgot to mention earlier, how disappointed I was for you - to learn that you bought a fair amount of unusable product. I hope you can return it?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:31AM
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I could return it, but we have 2 cats so thinking about trying it as kitty litter. It's actually a bit cheaper than the kitty litter we have been using.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 11:00AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It makes a great kitty litter! That's what we use it for.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 12:52PM
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cool! Thanks Rhizo. I thought it would work, but hearing from you that it does makes me a lot more comfortable.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's SOOOO much cheaper than branded kitty litter, too. I think we pay about $3.50 for a 40# bag of the stuff.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 2:52PM
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