Two Table spoonful of coal oil, one table spoonful of Babbit’s Potash, two table spoonful of Salsoda, four gallons of water.
Directions for use—to the water add the last named ingredient with sufficient soap to lather; stir well, then add the other ingredient; stir & mix well, soak the clothes, rub soap on all the
solidsoiled spots, boil well stir while boiling take out in warm water & rinse well. G. W. Young.
I wonder if Grandpa George was the clothes washer for the family, or perhaps his job was to concoct the washing fluid. “Babbit’s Potash” is lye. Salsoda, or washing soda, was a common cleanser. I read that taxidermists immerse animal skulls in a solution of salsoda and boiling water to break down the meaty tissue and degrease the bones.
Between the lye, the salsoda, and the boiling water, I suppose the clothes got really clean. The whole process sounds like a lot of work.
I am the keeper of Grandma’s Bookcase and this is what I found.