Muddy socks

One of the perils of a leaky Wellington boot, as well as wet feet is muddy socks – at least it is round here, Walking out along the pill (Somerset word for creek) across the water meadows and through the puddles on the footpaths inches deep in liquid mud from the heavy rain and very high tides, it’s not just the water which enters the leaky boot but mud as well. My boots were dry today, I avoided puddles, but when I took the Wellies off my socks were very muddy with the residue from yesterday’s walk. What is more, I also discovered other muddy socks in the laundry pile today – they had been washed but the machine had not properly got rid of the dirt, but at least it was now clean mud.

Here is what Modern Practical Cookery tells me about muddy items of clothing:

Mud stains on velveteen can be removed by washing, using tepid soapy water, pressing and kneading the material.
Velveteen (not velvet) washes beautifully, but the material must not be twisted. Rinse in tepid water and hang over a pole to dry. To hang it over a clothes line would only make creases.
When partly dry place it near a fire.Iron it very gently on the wrong side and brush with a velvet pad. I don’t

I don’t possess any velveteen items of clothing so this is not very helpful  – and apart from hanging over a pole to avoid creases, I think if I did have any velveteen clothes I would wash them gently in soapy water anyway!

Mud stains on silk can be removed by washing in tepid water with soap flakes.

I think I probably would have guessed to do that as well, but maybe housewives of the 1920’3/30’s needed more guidance! I don’t think I would know how to clean leather stains from tweed, in fact I’m not sure in what circumstances leather would stain tweed; just in case this is ever a problem:

Leather stains on tweed can be removed by soaking in methylated spirit and then brushing in enough cold soap to make a lather. Continue until the stain disappears.

This sounds rather smelly, so if the occasion ever arises when I possess a tweed article and it becomes stained with leather, I will find some other way of solving the problem.

We are so conscious of health and safety, and so well protected by legislation that I can’t imagine this advice ever being given in a modern housework book. It involves leather, this time it is the victim of ink:

Ink stain on leather can be removed with either tomato juice followed by washing, or else with salt of lemon. THIS IS POISON

So I have carelessly stained my leather item with ink… do I risk tomato juice which may stain my item, or do I risk poisoning myself? Hmmm, tricky… just glad I don’t live in the good old days!

This is what Wikipedia says about salts of lemon:

“Potassium hydrogenoxalate, also known as potassium bioxalate, is a salt with formula KHC2O4… The salt is also known as potassium hydrogen oxalate,… In older literature, it was also called sorrel salt, sal acetosella, or (rather improperly) salt of lemon…
It occurs in some plants, notably sorrel. It is a commercial product, used in photography, marble grinding, and to remove ink stains.”

Then rather worrying it tells us: potassium hydrogenoxalate is strongly irritating to eyes, mucoses and gastrointestinal tract. It may cause cardiac failure and death!!

Pity those poor innocent housewives…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.