This Space for Rent

A spectacular proof of “wool doesn’t stink”

On Saturday, I spent all day and most of the night rowing around northwestern Oregon and finally returned home with my clothes caked with a layer of sea salt, road grime, and crystalized sweat. The smell of death was strong, so I took everything I was wearing and shovelled it into the washing machine for a good cleaning. Now, our washing machine is one of those super-efficient frontloaders, but it’s also fairly finicky about what the load is, and if I put in a small load with one or two heavy items, it will just not bother to spin dry the clothing after they’re washed.

So the clothes went into the wash late in the evening on Sunday, were pulled (sodden, and with a faint whiff of evil to them) out on Monday morning, hand-wrung, and thrown into the drier to attempt to dry them out.

When they were dry, I pulled them out. Still a faint whiff of evil. So I laid everything (yes, I machine-wash my woolens. Why do you ask?) out to air dry, and left them there for the morning.

I started scooping up the clothing around noon. The woolen clothing (long underwear, socks, multiple layers of shirts, gloves, and little pink hat/scarf thingie) smelled like, well, wool. But the plastic clothing (nylon knickers & a please-dont-kill-me-yellow vest) smelled as if the Grim Reaper had come up and micturited all over the basement, then soaked it up by piling dead squirrels over the puddle.

And this was after just one long loop. Fortunately, an emergency hot water wash with regular caustic washer soap burned the foul smell out of the pants (the vest is sitting in the back room getting blasted by the sun, though I’m probably going to buy a yard of cashmere and replace the neckband with a woolen one that won’t carefully save the nasty smells for future rides.)

Too bad knickers are so expensive; if I follow the sales, I can buy four pairs of these nylon ones for the price of one pair of woolen ones :-(


The missus rewashes funky clothes with vinegar. It seems to do the trick.

rone Thu Apr 15 23:59:28 2010

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