Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Smelly woolies...continued

As a "smell" theme seems to be developing over the past two posts, this topic might as well be stretched to three in a row and have done.

A couple of business trips ago, my husband got dragged into a cigar bar by some old buddies. A few days later at home, when his clothes were unpacked, an unbelievable stench filled the air. The clothes he had worn into that bar had permeated every single thing in his suitcase, despite having been segregated in their own plastic bag. Even the (different) clothes he later wore on his person smelled horrible. Everything washable went straight into the machine.

This left the non-washables. What to do? Dry cleaning a suit and sport coat could cost a lot and his woolens...what a lot of work to clean them all. After thinking a bit, a memory floated up about my German grandmother.

My "Oma" as we called her, had a Swiss housekeeper, Frau Annie. The pair of them were formidable. They aired everything. Every day, rain or shine, the linens everyone had slept on went out on the balcony under a little roof to protect them from getting wet. (The bedrooms were aired too--winter or summer.) Neither Oma nor Frau Annie were big on washing things--there was a washing machine but it took a long, long time. Pants and shirts were aired over a bar in the closet, then folded for re-wearing, dresses were hung over the inside of a closet door to air, but woolen items -- heavy sweaters, coats and jackets especially -- were aired outside after every wearing.

So, after the cigar-bar incident, and to the amusement of our neighbors, out on our mini-balcony went everything smelly, on a folding laundry rack. The sport coat and suit came out alright after two days in the open air, but a woolen sweater still smelled bad. A trip to the supermarket turned up "Febreeze" fabric freshener, and this, followed by a trip through the air-fluff cycle of the dryer, did the trick.

A bad incident with m*ths in a cedar closet convinced me not to rely too much on the vaunted smell of cedar, and mothballs now rule that closet. Everything in that closet naturally has to be aired for a day before it can be worn, so a constant supply of smelly woolies is close at hand, and out on the balcony they go.

If the weather is bad, it is not possible to air smelly woolies on the balcony--unlike my Oma's balcony, ours has no roof. So, together with a shot of "Febreeze" or with a fabric softener sheet, into the dryer on air-fluff goes every garment except for sport coats or suits. Those air out on a bar over the door in the bathroom with the door shut to prevent that mothball smell from taking over.

And how about you, dear readers? If you are feeling bold, perhaps you will comment about how you get bad smells out of your woolies. This mini-series on bad smells may as well come to an good end with your good ideas--

(You have been reading TECHknitting on: smelly woolies.)