Friday, June 12, 2009

Soap Saving Wash Cloths

My dad sent me this email:

I have one for your Grandma blog.

This came from the depression era and carried through the war years. (In my childhood it lasted into the early fifties.)

Two standard wash cloths were machine sown together on three sides with the forth side loosely hand stitched. Inside was placed the small leftover bits of hand or bath soap bars, that we toss out today. This was then used for your bath. No shower in our house in them days.

To which I replied:
Dude, I vaguely remember that! Did she make [my sister] and I do that too?
He replied that he wasn't sure if his mother did it that long or not... But if it wasn't grandma, then who or how?

...That woman was a saver. For example, she did hoard toilet paper. Seriously -- she had an entire pantry in the basement full of it. When she passed away, we donated hundreds of rolls of toilet paper -- in designer shades & by makers long gone by then. So it's entirely possible she had my sister and I take baths with the soap-saving wash cloths.

Thanks, Dad, for the tip & the memories!

A Wash Cloth Footnote: One of our kids continues to be confounded by the term "wash cloths" -- she calls them, much to my chagrin, "rags." This because she's almost 13 (her birthday is Sunday!) and for her entire life she's used one of those "shower gel poofs." Plus, she washes whatever dishes that do not fit or belong in the dishwasher with a sponge; so I guess the only small squares of fabric she is used to are rags for dusting, washing floors etc.


littleREDelf said...

in our house, we take that last sliver of soap and smooth the edges down over a new bar, effectively pasting it down and incorporating it.

a few turns over the hands, cloth or loofah and it's just a little bumpy hill that gets worked out and used, rather than being thrown away!

bikny said...

When my Father was young (born in 1933) he said they put the last slivers of soap into a bottle, shook it up and used that for shampoo. He never understood why his 4 daughters needed so many different types of shampoo.

Mary S. said...

Mom called them dishrags and washrags vs. dishcloths or washcloths.

Diane said...

the only problem with wash clothes is that they tend to get mildewy. I love the airy poofs the dont take forever to dry out.

Lisa K said...

Hi I just wanted to tell you I love your blog! Also I found on another blog a recipe for making liquid soap from those slivers of soap- I want to repost it but I am not sure what blog it came from and I wouldn't know who to properly thank-uugghhh!

Thank you for your blog!

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