When the fabric is washable and the color fast, ordinary soap and water are sufficient for removing grease and the ordinarily attendant dirt; but special soaps are made which may possibly be more effectual.


Powdered borax. ...     30 parts

Extract of soap bark     30 parts

Ox gall (fresh).....   120 parts

Castile soap........   450 parts

First make the soap-bark extract by boiling the crushed bark in water until it has assumed a dark color, then strain the liquid into an evaporating dish, and by the aid of heat evaporate it to a solid extract; then powder and mix it with the borax and the ox gall. Melt the castile soap by adding a small quantity of water and warming, then add the other ingredients and mix well.

About 100 parts of soap bark make 20 parts of extract.


Castile soap.......... 2 pounds

Potassium carbonate.. 1/2 pound

Camphor............ 1/2 ounce

Alcohol.............. 1/2 ounce

Ammonia water...... 0.5 ounce

Hot water, 0.5 pint, or sufficient.

Dissolve the potassium carbonate in the water, add the soap previously reduced to thin shavings, keep warm over a water bath, stirring occasionally, until dissolved, adding more water if necessary, and finally, when of a consistence to become semisolid on cooling, remove from the fire. When nearly ready to set, stir in the camphor, previously dissolved in the alcohol and the ammonia.

The soap will apparently be quite as efficacious without the camphor and ammonia.

If a paste is desired, a potash soap should be used instead of the castile in the foregoing formula, and a portion or all of the water omitted. Soaps made from potash remain soft, while soda soaps harden on the evaporation of the water which they contain when first made.

A liquid preparation may be obtained, of course, by the addition of sufficient water, and some more alcohol would probably improve it.