Washing Oversized Items with Eucalan

Christmas is over, the new year is around the corner, and we know you’re breathing a sigh of relief that you’ve survived another holiday season! If your house needs some attention after the holiday festivities, today we’re going to focus on how to clean oversized items such as blankets, quilts, and comforters with Eucalan.

Spot Cleaning

For specific problem areas on oversized items, Eucalan is great for spot cleaning. First, check for colour fastness on whatever you plan to clean. Then, ask yourself if the item has been washed before – if this is its first washing, there is an increased possibility of colours running or bleeding.

To test for colour-fastness, place a swatch of the fabric or yarn in a jar with water and a small amount of Eucalan. Shake the jar and see if the water changes colour and how many suds you get. Alternatively, you can dampen an inside seam, wait a minute or two and blot with a white cotton cloth. If colour appears, use caution. Most dyes used on yarn are reactive dyes and stand up to washing in 120 degree Fahrenheit water; if a yarn was dyed at a high temperature it can stand up to that temperature without shrinking or fading.

For spot cleaning, treat any problem areas with full-strength Eucalan. If you’re looking for more information about how to treat specific stains, sign up for our newsletter and get a free pdf download of our handy new Guide to Stain Removal!

Washing

If you have a washing machine big enough to handle a quilt or comforter, the good news is that you can use Eucalan in the washer!

If you have a top loading machine, set your washing machine to the delicate cycle and fill the drum with cool water. Add approximately 4 tablespoons of Eucalan for a large quilt or comforter. Then submerge the item in the drum and run through the gentle or handwash cycle.

If you have a front loading machine, place your item in the drum. Set the machine to the delicate cycle and cool water. Add 4 tablespoons of Eucalan to the detergent compartment and run the cycle.

Drying

To dry your oversized item, you have two options. First, you can hang it to dry – just make sure it’s away from direct sunlight which can cause whites to yellow or colours to fade. Your second option is to machine dry, provided your materials will stand up to tumble drying. Set the dryer to low or cool air and dry the quilt or comforter gently; it’s important to avoid high heat so that your items don’t shrink.

Extra Care for Woolens

If the item you’re washing is wool, you may need to stick to handwashing to avoid agitating, felting or shrinking. If you’re concerned about using the washing machine, your best bet is to fill a large tub or basin with cool water and add anywhere between a capful to 4 tablespoons of Eucalan, depending on the size of your blanket. Then gently submerge your blanket in the water, pressing gently to ensure that the blanket is completely wet. Avoid agitating the blanket to prevent any felting of the wool fibers. Leave the blanket in the tub or basin for approximately 15-20 minutes. Then drain the water, and press the blanket gently to release excess water. Take care to avoid squeezing and wringing the blanket so as not to cause friction, or to stretch it out of shape. If your washer has the option to do a spin cycle only, you may wish to place your blanket in the washer to spin additional water out. Otherwise, roll the blanket in clean, dry towels to absorb any moisture.

Once you have gotten as much excess water as you can out of your blanket, you can dry it using the instructions above, or gently lay it out on more clean, dry towels, press it into shape, and let it dry.

We hope that we’ve helped you conquer some of the oversized items on your to do list!

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Joyous and Crafty Holiday Get-Togethers

The holidays are almost here and parties are in full swing! It’s not too late to organize your own get together. Try centering your gathering around a theme such as a festive holiday craft, a cookie baking or cookie exchange party, or revisit our post about hosting a gift wrapping party!

Craft Parties

If you don’t have a project idea, but would like to plan a holiday-themed evening of crafting with friends, we have a Pinterest board full of Holiday Cheer ideas!

Pick one of these DIY Modern Christmas Trees, make a yummy Sugar Scrub, craft beautiful wreaths (for Hannukah or Christmas), or craft something that isn’t holiday related but will add warmth to your home over the winter like our Easy DIY Fringe Wall Hanging with Pom Poms.

Cookie Parties

This season is full of sweetness and it starts right in your own kitchen. Invite guests to bring their favorite cookie or baked goods recipes and bake them all together in your kitchen. Stock your kitchen with basic ingredients and ask your friends to bring anything special they may need, plus copies of the recipes. Be sure to bake enough that everyone leaves with some to share; we just love this cookie wrapping station so everyone can take home their favorites.

Or invite friends over for a cookie swap. Have each friend bring their favorite baked good (RSVP with item in advance so you don’t end up with duplicates) with enough to share among all the guests. Again, bring recipes to swap so everyone can remake their favorites! Also set up a lovely hot chocolate or coffee station, and enjoy relaxing with friends and cookie tasting.

If you’re looking for some extra fun and games for the evening, check out these adorable Cookie Exchange Party Printables. Cookie trivia anyone?

Lovely Holiday Extras

No matter what activity you decide to do at your party, you can ensure a lovely evening with yummy bites and fun music.

For hors d’oeuvres, how about this beautiful Caprese Wreath, these tempting Apple Bacon Brie Bites, Gravlax with Mustard Dill Sauce, or any of these last minute make ahead recipes to name a few? Or surf Pinterest or rediscover your cookbook shelf for ideas. Don’t forget to check out our tips on how to set a beautiful table!

For music, curate your favorite list of holiday tunes on Spotify, turn on Pandora, set up a playlist on Youtube, or set your music collection up to shuffle and provide the evening’s entertainment. Or turn on the Yule Log (always available on Netflix) to set a scene with a roaring fire!

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for how to host a crafty and yummy holiday get together!

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Jen’s Top 10 Holiday Décor ideas

Christmas is almost here! Today I share some of my favourite decorating tips to add a warm touch to your home during the holiday season. I hope these festive ideas inspire you to make merry – and if you need some great baking ideas, check out last year’s Top 10 list, found here!

1. Choose a theme / colour scheme. Start by looking for inspiration in your local stores, magazines or online. My inspiration for softer muted colours hit me a few years ago when I saw a set of ornaments I loved. Everything else fell into place after that. Yes, I try to make sure my gift wrap coordinates in some way, too!

2. I’m a sucker for little lights whether they are from candlelight, the fireplace, the Christmas tree…or all three! In particular, I’m inspired by French Country Cottage.

3. A simple and elegant table setting looks inviting during the bright daylight or in the evening. I love this one from Shabbyfufu. You can also check out our last blog post, 4 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Table, for more ideas.

4. If you’re inclined to decorate with food…sugar cookies fit any theme or décor! I tried my hand at them for the first time last year with all the supplies and instructions from Sweet Sugar Belle. I came across and old aluminum serving tray which fit them just perfectly.

5. I love how Christmas smells! Placing some simple, fresh ingredients in a pot of boiling water on the stove really sets the mood. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest, but here’s a link to a cute idea with a free printable to make gifts for your loved ones.

6. If lights and food and scents aren’t quite enough, music will surely put the finishing touch on any holiday event. I love classic crooners like Diana Krall, Anne Murray, and Michael Buble. And this underrated gem: Barenaked Ladies “Elf’s Lament” with Michael Buble:

7. Faux greens can really elevate a display (not to mention, they’ll last through the season!). Stone Gable has some tips and ideas on how to use good quality fakes and where to find them.

8. Gingerbread houses really fit into many categories. They’re food. They’re décor. They’re a great craft for adults and kids. The possibilities are endless! I’ve started my own Pinterest board for inspiration.

9. How about getting creative with snowflakes? They can be left up all winter long too!

10. Whether you imbibe or not, a bar cart is a great way to decorate and isn’t just for alcoholic beverages. I just love this one from Setting For Four.

11. One extra tip / idea that I love is to whittle down what you use for your decorations each year. If you don’t put out some of your décor for a couple of years it may be time to get rid of it.  Consider donating those items if no one in your family wants them. Someone else out there will love them as much as you used to.

Happy Decorating!