Wool Soap?!

June 29, 2011 at 1:04 am (Tutorials) (, , , , , , , , , , )

That’s right.

It’s completely possible. And you can make it for cheap, especially if you have scraps of wool laying about like I do. All you need is:

  • A bar of soap of your choosing
  • Wool batting or roving of your colour choice
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • A shock tank a.k.a a container filled with cold water
  • A nylon knee high stocking

Bars of soap run anywhere from $2 a bar to $0.65,or  less if you buy a pack of three or more; roving and wool batting can be bought online in just about any colour, it can be found in 1 oz or 3 oz packages at craft stores; and nylon knee highs can be found 2 pairs for a $1 at some places.

Instructions:

  1. Take your bar of soap out of it’s package [duh] and then use your roving or wool batting to wrap around your bar of soap. There’s no real specific technique to this, especially if you use batting. It can get tricky to cover the rounded edges with the long strips of roving, especially if it’s thin.
  2. Once your bar of soap is covered evenly in wool, place it all the way into the toe of the knee high stocking. Making a knot to keep it snug inside.
  3. Have your hot water [NOT BOILING! It should be hot enough for you withstand.] ready along with your ‘shock tank’. Now place just a little bit of dish soap on either side to get it started. Once the wool is thoroughly saturated and you start rubbing the bar of soap will provide the neccessary suds.
  4. Now dip the wool covered soap into the hot water, submerge it even to get it completely wet.
  5. Start rubbing. Gently at first as to not disturb the wool too much. Once suds appear and you can feel the wool start to cling rub a bit more vigorously. More suds will appear and those will be from your soap.
  6. Keep rubbing. While you rub make sure to dip the wool covered soap into the hot water and occassionally into the cold water to ‘shock’ the fibers into shrinking and knitting together even faster.
  7. Keep rubbing.
  8. Keep rubbing and applying firm pressure.
  9. Keep rubbing until you can see bits of wool coming through the nylon. At this point you can untie the knot – or just cut it if it’s really tight – and pull out the wool bar of soap. It’ll be tricky since the wool fibers will be firmly attached to the nylon. But not so firmly that you won’t be able to get it off with a little elbow grease.
  10. Test to see if it’s completely felted. You can do this by attempting to pull the wool away from the bar of soap. If the fibers give way and form a ‘tent’ you have some more rubbing to do. If the fibers are putting up a fight and staying close to the soap you are just about done!
  11. Keep rubbing, without the nylon stocking, for a few minutes for good measure or until the wool won’t budge from the soap.
  12. Wash off excess suds and you’re done!

Your bar of soap will have shrunk a bit but not by a lot. Blot it with a towel and let it dry. It should only take a day, at most, to completely dry.

The Cool Stuff:

You’re probably thinking: ‘All that work for something that sounds gross?’

Yeah, okay, I admit it, it does sound a little…off. But it is a lot better than using a wash cloth! Wash cloths are usually made of cotton that when wet attracts mildew, germs, and other icky things. Not to mention you tend to lose them, forget to take them with you into the shower, forget to take them with you when traveling etc. etc.  And the grossest thing about it is that if your wash cloth is ‘infected’ with a mildew borne germ you could be toting it around with you and leaving that germ everywhere.

Wool on the other hand is nature’s anti-microbial and anti-fungal fiber. It wards away all the bad stuff and leaves you feeling clean and gently exfoliated. It’s safe on sensitive skin and areas such as the face. Not to mention it comes in a very cool colours, blends, and effects! And when was the last time you saw a wash cloth that was tie dye, if ever?

Hm, this project also eliminates the need for those portable plastic soap dishes that collect gross soap water if left in the shower for too long…

Do it! You won’t regret it!

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