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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Animal Repellant, Wool Wash

Just another day at the office..

The Office - Matakohe Quarry

Derek found this great office shack on his work travels - love it! I can't imagine there would be a lot of high tech in there.

Repel those pesky animals from your garden
Quite some time back I posted here about Wormwood that I had planted, with the fact that it was supposed to repel rabbits, possums, deer etc.

This year I broke off some huge branches and hung them in the peach and apple trees. If you have followed my blog, you will know that last year possums ate nearly all the fruit on our peach tree. I don't know if it was coincidence, but they didn't get one peach this year, and they only ate the apples that had fallen on the ground. As a disclaimer, we had also trapped a lot of possums, and I did put a wire netting deterrent around the base of the peach tree (but not around the apple). I feel like the wormwood may have helped too. 

Wool wash mix
I'm always on the look out for things that I can make so that I won't need to buy another plastic bottle. When my wool wash ran out a while back I went searching in some of the vintage householding books from my grandmother's era. Here's one that I found and it works just fine.

The cloudy one, I shook before using

Whisk together:
2 cups of grated soap (I used Sunlight)
4 cups of boiling water
Add 1 Tablespoon of eucalyptus oil 
1/2 cup of methylated spirits
Whisk again.

Use 1 Tablespoon in warm water to handwash woollens. Leaving them to soak for about 10 minutes, before gently rinsing twice. It is recommended that you turn garments inside out before washing, to protect the outer surface, roll them in a towel to remove water and lay them flat to dry.

About the methylated spirits - it turns out that this is an environmentally friendly product (apart from the plastic bottle), distilled from natural substances rather than being a petroleum product. We already had some of this so I didn't need to buy it,  as I am trying to not buy more plastic.
I think the methylated spirits is in the mix to boost the cleaning power. 


  1. Interesting recipe. I would have thought denatured alcohol (as we call it here) would be awfully harsh on wool. My dad used it to take off certain stains on clothing and tar from our feet or sandals from the beach.
    I just use a natural soap or even gentle shampoo on our wool clothes and when I wash wool before I spin it. I was wondering if the addition of eucalyptus is a bit moth-repellent?

    1. Methylated Spirits must be ok on woollens, they recommend using it on the Australian Woolmark site. Eucalyptus oil is a good cleaner too, but agreed, probably good moth preventer.

  2. I love that office, here it would be torn down as unsightly. I wonder some days how anyone was able to grow enough food back in the day before supermarkets to feel their families with all the pests that compete with us for that food.

    1. I'm so glad they don't automatically pull down old tatty buildings here - we love coming across them. I think the pest numbers may have increased here Lois, the possums, which some fool introduced here for the fur, certainly have.


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