Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunlight, Lux and the Quest for Cleanliness

"Mondays were dominated by washing and the pungent smell of sunlight soap for tough items, Lux flakes for woollens and the nasty smell of wet wool, and the huge boiler that was used for dirty items that needed a really hot wash. The full benefit of Sunlight soap was enhanced by rubbing it against the clothes and using a washboard for friction.If the weather wasn't fine enough to hang the washing outside there would be lines inside and lots of damp stuff draped over clothes horses. My aunt had a mangle to extract some of the water. Mangles looked like two revolving rolling pins, turned by a handle, through which the clothes were squeezed. The lingering smell of wet grime permeated the house in the morning, followed by a smell of soapy damp in the afternoon. There wasn't much joy for anyone on Mondays, least of all mothers. The day would end with warmed up food of some sort, usually involving some rather evil looking left-over gravy, rigorously thickened and browned with gravy browning."

BBC Radio 4 Memory Experience


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