Clean your handknits with a homemade no-rinse wool wash that uses just a few simple ingredients. It’s a great budget alternative to shop-bought washes. This recipe was passed on to The Knitter by reader Samantha Lane.
“You might be interested to know that Eucalan say their product was inspired by a no-rinse, home-made product the founder encountered in Australia,” says Samantha.
“For decades Martha Gardener, on ABC radio, would read out the recipe for a no rinse wool mix at least once a week. There was no internet back then and so people would ring in again and again to have the recipe read out. The recipe also appears in the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union Cookbook, and, in the days when women knitted to clothe their families, it was an important part of the domestic culture. The jumpers my mother washed with this wool wash were beautifully maintained.
“Nowadays you can buy a commercial no-rinse detergent bearing Martha Gardener’s name but you can still find the recipe in many places online,” she says. “Here it is:
No-rinse wool wash
You will need:
- 4 cups of pure soap flakes
- 1 cup of methylated spirits
- 50ml of eucalyptus oil
Mix the methylated spirits with the soap flakes.
Add the eucalyptus oil and stir.
Store the wool wash in a wide necked jar.
To clean your knits using this wool wash, use one tablespoon of mixture per garment. Dissolve in a small quantity of hot water and then pour into a basin of lukewarm wash water. Soak garment.
No need to rinse. Squeeze and roll in towel to remove excess water. Dry out of direct sunlight.”