In this age of front-loaders and home delivered dry-cleaning, hand washing of wool sweaters seems like an old-fashioned, time-consuming chore. Whenever I describe how I wash my sweaters in Eucalan to my students in knitting class, there is always a hush in the room, as if I am passing along some ancient domestic secret passed down by women from generations to generation.
I explain to them how I fill the washer with cold water and Eucalan, swish it around and dunk a couple sweaters, let them soak a bit, fish them out, spin out the dirty water and then let the sweaters spin a bit to get the excess water out. Then I lay them on a bed covered with towels, smoothing them into shape, turn on the ceiling fan and leave them to dry. Sometimes I return to flip them over or turn them inside out to speed up the process.
When they are dry, they get a nice folding and go back into the cedar chest. They smell as nice as a baby just out of the bath, and they feel their silky softest, too. I find the whole process very satisfying, and I love wearing a freshly washed sweater - it feels just like new.
When I bought this new bottle of Eucalan at the shop, I said to the shop owner that I thought a big bottle of Eucalan would make a nice gift for someone. We had a little laugh over that - not a lot of people would get it, but we would!