Wool Wash with Polysorbate 8


We all have hobbies, jobs or activities that make a mess of our clothes. Every soap, lip balm, lotion and scrub maker has spilled oils or other things. Unfortunately to get the stains out, we are spending a fortune in stain removers! Here is a wash you can put on your laundry to help oils come out of your clothes. Whew! It is nice to have something come to the rescue.

Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Pipettes
Immersion Blender
Containers for Finished Product

Here are the ingredients you will need.

Ingredients
Polysorbate (I used Polysorbate 20)
Peppermint Essential Oil
Water, Reverse Osmosis

Here is the recipe in percentages. This can allow you to adjust the batch to fit your needs.

Recipe In Percentages
33% Polysorbate (I used Polysorbate 20)
1% Peppermint Essential Oil
66% Water, Reverse Osmosis

Here is the recipe in grams. This recipe will make 100 grams of product.

Recipe In Grams
33 grams Polysorbate (I used Polysorbate 20)
1 gram Peppermint Essential Oil
66 grams Water, Reverse Osmosis

Weigh the Polysorbate, Peppermint Essential Oil and water into a container. Use an immersion blender mix the solution well. You might get a thick clumpy texture, but don’t worry as the clumps will blend out. Once the solution is completely mixed, pour it into a container of your choosing and it is now ready to use!

If you want a scented wool wash but you do not wish to use Peppermint Essential Oil, I recommend you select an essential oil. The goal of the wool wash is to clean your laundry and lightly scent it. When selecting an essential oil I recommend you avoid those with low flash points. Your dryer gets warm enough that excessive use of a product with a low flash point could cause a problem. We want you to be safe.

Using the Wool Wash:
This is not only for washing wool. I put it in with my laundry from work, garden, or even the kitchen. If you are trying to get a stain out, I recommend covering the stain with the wash, rubbing the fabric, and then tossing it into the washing machine. If you are worried you can add 1-2 cups of solution to the whole wash water. This is something you can add to every load, if you so desire.

Spot treatments can be left for the next load of laundry. Most fabrics and colors are safe with this emulsifier. I use this on cottons, man-made fibers and on wool or silk. The polysorbate can easily remove the last traces of lanolin from wool fiber locks.

If a spot is particularly stubborn, you can dab the polysorbate on the spot in undiluted form. Make sure to allow good movement in the washer so the polysorbate can dissolve.

And now, a Brady Bunch inspired song. Here’s a story about a man named Dirk. He was a programmer in the MMS world. One day he helped the warehouse by moving an almost empty drum. The spill was almost like the ocean and splashed his brand new shirt. His brand new shirt! At home he placed the shirt upon the washer and he thought “I’ll get to that when I return” so he left for an important meeting and that’s the way the stain was set because his darling daughter came along to wash and dry. His brand new shirt! When Dirk got home to do his laundry it was more than just a hunch. The absence of his new shirt from the washer made him cry with anxiety. It was his shirt that somehow had been washed and dried that made him approach the empty garbage can. Now Dirk had a very smart wife who took that shirt and treated it with polysorbate (80 that is) and she rewashed the brand new shirt. The stain came out with no trace left behind, and that is how the shirt stayed with the family to make everyone happy. 😉

Note: It does not matter what type of polysorbate you use. They will both work. We just grab the one most available.

Enjoy!

Taylor

Finished Wool Wash

Finished Wool Wash

Collecting Ingredients

Collecting Ingredients

Weighing Polysorbate

Weighing Polysorbate

Adding Water

Adding Water

Adding Peppermint Essential Oil

Adding Peppermint Essential Oil

Mixing the Wool Wash

Mixing the Wool Wash

Pouring the Wool Wash into container

Pouring the Wool Wash into container

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About Taylor

I'm a twenty something happy, animal loving, curious experimenter. I love reaching back into history and trying old recipes for cosmetics or foods. I'm constantly asking "Why?" My curiosity has me trying new things. I love taking walks with my dog as well as staying at home to cuddle with the dog and my cats. Some of my favorite scents include Hinoki Wood, Rose Garden, Jasmine and Gladiator.


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8 thoughts on “Wool Wash with Polysorbate

  • Amy Warden

    Now why didn’t I think of this? I have so many oil stained clothes from this business – plus I ordered extra poly 80 on accident, so I’m ready to give it a try!

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  • Pat

    I have been making liquid laundry soap for about 6 months now and trying different formulas. I used Poly 20 with my last batch but am not quite sure how much I should be using. Would you recommend 33%? Here is my formula/recipe: 2 cups grated soap (I use the scraps that my sister gives me from her handmade soaps), 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Washing Soda, mixed per instructions in 5 gallons of water.

    My sister and I have discussed this and are thinking perhaps she will make a small batch of “stronger” soap using animal tallow instead of her mild formula’s using gentle oils. I am determined to get this recipe to a point that I really like how it cleans.

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  • Taylor Post author

    Stronger soap is made just by increasing the lye and leaving less excess fat.

    Excess lye will drain the color from your clothes and make the soap
    less valuable than commercial
    detergents. You can certainly use Borax and Washing Soda but it is
    probably best
    to use the emulsifier (polysorbate) if your laundry is particularly oily.

    This is my solution for clean laundry:

    1) use a whole-house water softener so your detergents/soap work
    better with less
    2) know the soil (oily clothes need different processing than dirty
    clothes and sick/infected clothing needs a different process all together)
    3) pretreat any potential stains
    4) launder in the hottest water you can get to your washer (we have
    been poorly trained the cold water washes well)
    5) do not over use detergents or soaps which can leave your clothes
    feeling rough and scratchy
    6) dry immediately after washing, time in the washer just encourages
    mold and mildew.

    Good Luck!

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  • Amy Warden

    I had to make a batch of this today!! Huge oil spill… my jeans, socks, tennis shoes, plus all the towels I used to clean it up! It’s in the washer now. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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  • Amy Warden

    I think I may have added too much to the wash! However, I just added a scoop of my homemade laundry soap and washed everything a second time. All the oil came out! Yea!!

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  • LuAnn

    Found a correction for you, the directions say “blend” instead of “blender”, there are several commas missing too!:)

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