Monday, June 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Not really... There has been very little spring cleaning going on. But one thing I did take care of was our wool-filled mattress topper. Here's how I did it.

I filled the bathtub with warm water and added a little liquid laundry soap. I think dishsoap or shampoo would also work, but I grabbed the laundry soap. When I say "a little," I mean it. I swished the water and soap around, and mentally noted that it was about dishwater temperature. 

Then I put the topper in the water. I found out that washing wool is sort of like cooking noodles--you need more water than you think. After submerging it and flipping it over a time or two, I let it set for an hour or so. It's very important not to agitate or scrub wool, as this will cause it to felt. 

After the soak time, I drained the water out. This was as good as a session in the gym, as a water-logged mattress topper is heavy. I had to hold it out of the way, or it acted as a dam in the tub. Then I had to hold it up a bit, to let it drain out. I scrunched it all up near the end of the tub that is away from the faucet and refilled the tub with the same temperature water. Nice and warm. Not hot. I flipped it over a couple of times, to make sure that it all came into contact with clean water. 

I drained the water, and repeated the rinse step one more time. After it was sort of drained, I set up a clean plastic table outside in the lawn. I parked two laundry baskets on the floor next to the tub. Two of us lifted the heavy, wet (still dripping) topper into the two laundry baskets and we carefully carried it outside, dripping a bit here and there. (Note: sweeping the floors and picking up any throw rugs in the exit route helps with the mop-up job later.)

We laid the topper over the table and let it drain out for a couple of hours. It's helpful to put it in the sun for this part of the process, as the sun has amazing bleaching powers. After it was drained out, I hung it over a couple of the clotheslines. Unfortunately, it wasn't dry at bedtime, so we had to sleep on one of those thin polyester mattress "pads" that I used to use before I was enlightened. Boy, was the bed hard that night. I was never so happy to go to bed the next night with our clean, fluffed-up wool-filled mattress topper back on the bed! Luxurious, to be sure...

Cleaning any bedding product filled with wool batting would be similar to the process I've described here. Don't be afraid! If I can do it, anyone can. It does help to have clotheslines, but if you don't have them, get creative. The plastic table was a wonderful first step for drying. 

Any questions?


  1. I've never slept on one... but I imagine it's a lot like handmade soap, lol. Once you try it, there is no way you can go back! lol

  2. What a chore - but some things as so worth it!!


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