With the end of winter steadily approaching, now is the time to start thinking about washing and storing your wool and merino items for next year. We often get emails and posts asking about how to remove stains from and wash these types of fabrics, especially from white woollens that have not been stored correctly. Many moons ago domestic goddesses knew about the art of sudsing. This method was used to clean and freshen wool pieces while keeping the fibres in good nick as they can easily be ruined if crushed, rubbed, or stretched in the washing process.
Our best-selling book, “Recipes For A Cleaner Life”, has a section on sudsing and caring for woollens. The link below contains an updated, easy to follow version of the original sudsing method from the 1900s. I recommend using a thicker version (by halving the water content) of the Natural Laundry Liquid that we shared last week. This is much more gentle than wool soap jelly that is made with Lux flakes – these contain Etidronic Acid and synthetic fragrance which can cause allergies and eczema in sensitive people.
Here’s how to sud …
For each two litres of lukewarm water dissolve 2 heaped tablespoons of thick natural laundry liquid and mix well before adding clothes or blankets.
Add each item you’d like to clean, one at a time, and souse them up and down in the mixture rubbing together with your hands, do this as quickly and carefully as possible, then take out and stretch a little to maintain it’s shape, wash once more in the same way. When you’re happy the item is clean, rinse in warm water, take out and shake well, pull the item gently to make it close to it’s former shape then lay on a drying net in the sun to dry. Merinos and flannels can be rolled in a dry towel to remove excess water then dried the same way. If you have any tips to add to this method please comment in the review section.
If you’d like the original Soap Jelly recipe it’s in our book ‘Recipes For A Cleaner Life’