Wednesday, February 8, 2012

washing the woolens

It's been a kind of strange Summer around here. Weather-wise at least. We have had highs of 40 and lows of 4 degrees. Which has kind of played havoc in my garden, but that's a story for another day. It has also meant that wool washing has continued on and off this season. 

I have been making my own wool wash for a few months now and thought I'd share it with you today. It's not really so very different from an ordinary washing gel recipe, only in different quantities.

I only made one jar this time around and used just one (140g) bar of Dr Bronner's Lavender soap.  (I love the smell of Dr Bronner soaps )You could easily substitute this for any other pure soap. Depending on how much soap you have on hand you can easily make double or more of this recipe. This recipe makes one large jar.


250ml water, boiled
140g bar of pure soap
1 teaspoon borax

Grate soap into saucepan. (Good job for the kiddies). Add borax.

Pour boiling water over the grated soap and borax.

Bring saucepan to the boil.
Stir with a whisk or spoon until the soap flakes are dissolved. This takes several minutes.

Pour into a glass jar. The mixture will cool into a white jelly.

I use a heaped tablespoon to a large sink (of lukewarm water) or in the (front loading) machine. Yes, I do use the wool cycle on the washing machine for many of my woolens. But I only recommend this if you really trust your machine. When I do handwash, I quite enjoy the slowness of it. The pleasant smell of the warm soapy water and a chance to ponder over each knitted item while carefully cleaning it. Then the process of laying the wool in a towel and gently rolling to squeeze out the water.

Happy wool washing!


  1. Tania, I enjoy Dr. Bronner's soaps as well. My favorite is the peppermint. Thanks for this lovely tutorial. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this tania...i haven't seen the Dr Bronner soaps so may have to do some searching!

    I know what you mean about the summer weather..certainly hasn't been the norm so far has it? I miss all those sunny days that you know will dry whatever you wash in an hour!(especially when the twins seem to generate washing by the hour, lol)

  3. I think we are all having some strange weather as our winter has be crazy warm!
    Thanks for the woolen recipe and I just happen to have all the ingredients to make a batch. Lavender has become my all time favorite scent so this is perfect.

  4. I too will have a look into Dr Bronner's soaps. Are they available in regular supermarkets?
    I'm making my own laundry liquid with borax, washing soda and lux flakes but would love to use a natural soap! :)

  5. Oh, yay! I've been researching this very thing! I wanted to try using an olive oil soap, since one of my fiber artist friends recommended that for washing woolens. Do you think that might work in place of the Dr. Bronner's in your recipe?

  6. you are an inspiration for all things homemade. i love that checkered blanket. xo

  7. oooh, I will definately have a go at making this ~ especially with baby being due in the middle of winter! I'm always a bit dubious about the scents in store bought stuff, especially with sensitive newbie nostrils. thanks :o)

  8. Sounds like we're all having crazy weather! I was wondering if you have a natural alternative for fabric softener, or could I use this recipe, for normal everyday clothes?

  9. I'm hoping the local Flannery's has this soap now, as I am keen to try this recipe! Thanks Tania! :)

  10. Ngo Family Farm - I think olive oil soap would work quite well with this recipe.

    Rebekah - I purchased mine from an IGA supermarket but you can get them online here :

    Linda - vinegar is an excellent natural fabric softener. I posted about my normal washing powder here :

    Down to Earth also has a good liquid recipe here :

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I haved made laundry detergent before but never woolwash. I am quite excited to try it!

  12. Brilliant! Thanks so much. Love Dr bronners soaps x

  13. awesome, I am so definitely making this, now pinned on my DIY board

  14. Blessing blog post.will recommended a great tips.i like this soap

    Buy Castile Soap Peppermint


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