How to Wet Block Knitted Lace

Knitting lace can be a wonderfully satisfying challenge, but it takes a good wet blocking to see the complete transformation from a bit of crumpled up loops and stitches to the full beauty of a lace design.  Wet blocking lace can be intimidating, but it’s easier than you think! Here is a full tutorial on how to do it, step by step.

Tools:

  • Eucalan in the scent of your choice
  • Water and a sink/bowl large enough to hold your knit
  • Towels
  • Foam blocking boards, or a thick blanket
  • Pins (rust proof/stainless steel)
  • Tape Measure

Step 1:

Fill your sink or bowl with tepid water, and add one capful of Eucalan in the scent of your choice.  Gently place your knit in the water, and gently swish it around, ensuring that it is completely saturated.

Step 2:

Remove your knit from the water (no need to rinse with Eucalan!) and roll it firmly in a towel to remove excess water and moisture.

Step 3:

Lay your knit out on a large surface. You can use a bed, blocking boards, some thick blankets, anything that works for you. When pinning out your project, follow the main shape before pinning out any details. This means that you will start with the basic outline and pin all the straight edges before concentrating on more specific design features. Here is where the measuring tape can be very helpful – if you have two straight sides, you can measure to make sure they are both the same length.

When pinning out scallops or lace loops, use as many pins as you want, pinning each loop into place. it takes time, but it is worth it.

Step 4:

If your project has straight edges, blocking wires can be really helpful. You insert the wires through the loops in as straight a line as you can, and pin the blocking wires into place.

Step 5: Leave it to dry. once your knit is completely dry, unpin and remove blocking wires, if used.

Tips:

  • If you have pets or small children, pin out your lace somewhere where you can close a door to keep them out, or on something you can move to a place where they can’t touch it.
  • If you like to knit lace, it might be worth investing in T-Shaped pins and blocking wires for really crisp definition and blocking. Otherwise, stainless steel sewing pins will work just fine.
  • It takes a fair bit of time to pin out something with a lot of detail, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to do a good job.
  • If you would like to get everything you need for blocking all at once, we really like this blocking kit from Cocoknits.

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How to Have the Easiest Picnic Ever

Summer weather often conjurs up images of picnics on weekends, but it often seems like a lot of work to plan, pack, and do. Never fear! We’ve put together some easy-peasy tips for a no-fuss, relaxing guide to your best picnic ever.

Picnic Prep

  • Plan your location. A nearby park is always great, but maybe there is a new park you would like to try, a little further away? Whatever your choice, try to check in advance to make sure there are plenty of trees for shade.
  • Keep the food simple – sandwiches, salads, fruit and other types of food that you would enjoy cold are ideal.  Or bring the fixings for a great cheese board – assorted cheese, great bread and crackers, and some fruit.
  • Try not to bring too many disposable things- melamine plates are a great lightweight choices for picnics that are reusable, and just bring your normal cutlery from home. Don’t forget napkins!
  • Bugs are no fun at a picnic- wash your picnic blanket in advance with Eucalan in the Eucalyptus  scent to help rerepel bugs naturally.

  • Check the weather report – weather can change quickly, and even though it looked clear when you checked yesterday, the forecast might be different on the day.

What to Bring

  • If you have a little wagon, it is a great way to easily transport all your picnic goodies to a great spot deep in a park, where it might be a little quieter and more relaxed.
  • While those beautiful (and expensive!) wicker picnic baskets are adorable, you don’t need them to have a great picnic. Packing your supplies in tote bags or in the wagon will work just fine.
  • Two plastic bags – one for garbage, to be disposed in the nearest bin, and the the second for keeping the dirty dishes all together until you can get them home for a wash.
  • It’s worth mentioning again – napkins! Good quality paper napkins or cotton napkins are perfect for wiping greasy hands or even giving the plates and cutlery a quick wipe before stashing in the plastic bag.

Keeping the Fun Going

Messes happen – a bit of ketchup here, some mayonnaise there. Stop potential stains in their tracks by bringing along some of the Eucalan Stain Treating Towelettes to make clean ups a breeze. Because sticky hands happen:

Don’t forget – picnics are really about enjoying being outside, not about transforming the outside into the indoors. Leave the music at a home, but bring a frisbee, ball, or other game that would be fun in a park. It’s a great way to make the most of that glorious sunshine, and the too-short summer!

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How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you enjoy wearing makeup, washing your makeup brushes is one of those things you are supposed to do regularly, but often feels like a hassle.  However, not washing your brushes can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, which is not great. Generally, you should wash your makeup brushes at least once a week, and we can show you the quick and easy way to do it. With Eucalan’s no rinse formula, you will save time because you won’t need the extra step of rinsing them! Let us show you the 2-minute method to freshen up and clean makeup brushes.

You will need:

A note about scent- Eucalan has only small amounts of essential oils that are used for fragrance, so you don’t need to worry about it being too harsh for your delicate skin. but if you are worried, you can always go with Natural, which is our unscented variety.

Instructions:

  1. Rinse your brushes under lukewarm water, to dislodge and soften any surface residue.
  2. Fill your sink or bowl (only about 1/3 full) with lukewarm water and one capful of Eucalan, and gently swirl your brush in the water. Try to focus mainly on the bristles, and not totally submerge to the metal (hard to avoid on small brushes, of course!)  If you need a bit more power, add a bit of Eucalan straight from the bottle to the bristles, and gently swirl across your palm.
  3. If the water gets really dirty and opaque from the makeup washing out, drain the dirty water and refill the bowl/sink again. But the more frequently you wash your brushes, the faster it is to clean them, since there won’t be as much makeup to remove.
  4. When you are satisfied, use a clean towel or cloth to wipe your brush clean, gently reshaping the bristles.
  5. To dry, lay your brushes flat on a clean surface, or stand them up in an empty glass.

Ta-da! Now your brushes are clean, and the lanolin in the Eucalan formula will prevent the bristles from drying out.  The best time to wash your brushes is either in the morning after you have finished applying your makeup, or in the evening, so they will be dry by morning.

You should pin this, so you’ll remember to clean your makeup brushes later!

 

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Best of Eucalan: Our Top Spring Posts

Ah, spring! A time when everything feels fresh and new, or at least you want it to feel that way! Spring is indeed a great time to freshen up your home and wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all work. Here’s a round-up of our top spring posts to get you in the mood to freshen up your wardrobe, your home, and your routine!

Click here for great Tips for spring cleaning your wardrobe.

Click here for the best tips for spring cleaning your home to get it feeling airy and fresh.

With Earth Day upon us, here are 4 ways to celebrate Earth Day all year round.

But it’s not all cleaning – you have to make time for a bit of fun! Click the links below for crafts, recipes and fun decor ideas.

Washi tape tutorial to upcycle old Eucalan bottles

Think Spring – Time for a bit of fun!

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without our most recent spring post, all about the best way to shift your wardrobe from winter clothes to spring.

Happy Spring, everyone!

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Season Shift: Packing Away Winter Coats & Clothes

Ah, spring! It always feels like a relief to be switching back into lighter clothing and jackets, getting outside to watch the leaves beginning to bud and spring flowers popping up all over the place.  With the changing of seasons, much of our winter wardrobe will be set aside and our spring and summer clothes will be coming back into circulation.  Some people have their clothes in their closets year year-round regardless of the weather, while others pack things away when the seasons shift. Regardless of your storage preference, it’s worth taking some time to properly care for the winter clothes, coats, and accessories that you probably won’t wear again for another 6 months (hopefully!).

To Prep your Winter Clothes:

  1. Gather together all the clothes that you are unlikely to wear until the fall, including heavy winter coats. Consult our handy guide fo caring for your winter coat to decide if you are going to wash it yourself or take it to a dry cleaner.
  2. Wash everything. For your sweaters (either handmade or store bought), it is worth taking the time to de-pill so that when you pull them out again in the fall they look fresh and ready to wear. Washing sweaters yourself is also very easy – we have a great video to show you exactly how it’s done.
  3. Make sure everything is dry before returning it to your closet, or store in air-tight storage containers. Vacuum seal storage bags can also be great for this. If hanging items, do not hang any heavy long sleeved items like your sweaters, as the hangers will leave dents in the shoulders when hung for a long period of time.

Winter accessories like hats, mittens/gloves, and knit scarves need attention during this time to prevent stains and keep them looking their best.  We have a great overview here on caring for your winter accessories before packing them away for spring.

Moths are a harsh reality for some. Even if you have never had any, there’s always a chance they could happen, and they are more prevalent in big cities and urban centers. As it’s extremely difficult to get rid of moths once they discover your closet is full of delicious sweaters, preventative care is really worth it.  If you store out-of-season clothes somewhere outside of your home (for example:  a garage, shed, or storage locker), you will definitely want to use storage containers that are airtight and cannot easily be opened by temperature shifts or even clever critters.

As you begin to pull out your spring and summer clothes,  they may be wrinkly and looking tired. They may even show food or drink spots you never knew were there, especially if you forgot to clean them before setting them aside for winter.

To Review your Spring/Summer Clothes:

  1. Pull out anything you haven’t worn in the last 6 months from your closet or storage containers.
  2.  If there are any items that don’t fit well or you don’t love anymore, put them aside to donate to a local charity.
  3.  For the remaining items,  wash gently with your favourite scent of Eucalan, either by hand or in the washing machine, according to their care instructions. Hang items to dry, away from sunlight or strong heat sources.

Now you are ready to wear your beautiful spring clothes!

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Pet Care with Eucalan

Eucalan is wonderful for all sorts of delicate washing for fine garments, knitwear, lingerie, and quilts, but it is also brilliant for pet care –  Did you know that you can wash your dog with Eucalan? It’s true! The natural formula and essential oils mean that it is non-toxic and supremely gentle on their fur and skin. Try the Eucalyptus scent to help repel bugs and ticks!

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

And of course, you can wash your cat. Sometimes cats get into sticky messes and need a bath, too.  You can use Eucalan just like you would any other pet shampoo.

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

How to Wash a Pet Bed

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

For washing a dog or cat bed, you can easily wash it at home in your washing machine with Eucalan.  Pet bed too big to fit into your washing machine? Go to a local laundromat and take advantage of the oversized machines! To wash a pet bed in the machine:

Step 1: Using a pet hair brush, lint roller, or sticky tape; remove as much pet hair from the bed as possible.

Step 2: place the pet bed into the washing machine, open end down – the bottom of the pet bed should be facing you. This is to help ensure an even wash through the machine and prevent water collecting in the bed during the spin cycle and making it overly soggy.  Add one capful of Eucalan (or one travel pod) in the scent of your choosing. Eucalyptus is great for deterring bugs, and if your pet has especially sensitive skin, go with Natural – it’s unscented.

Step 3: Once the washing machine has completed its cycle, remove the pet bed and let dry in the bathtub or shower. If the spin cycle of your washing machine has done an effective job in removing most of the water and the fabric is not at risk for shrinking, you can put your pet bed in the tumble dryer on a short, low-heat cycle.

How to Wash Pet Toys

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

Pet toys should be washed regularly, even if they have only been played with indoors. You know how gross and wet toys can get after a pet has really given it a good chew! Here’s how to wash all sorts of pet toys with Eucalan:

Step 1:  Remove as much pet hair as possible from the toy, particularly if it is a knit or fabric toy. Use a lint brush or sticky tape.

Step 2: Fill a sink with cool water, and add one capful or one packet of Eucalan in the scent of your choice. We recommend Natural for toys, which is unscented.

Step 3: Put the toys in, and let them soak for about 5 minutes, then gently agitate the water.

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

Step 4: Drain the water, and roll the toys in a clean towel. Let toys dry away from heat or light.

Pet Care with Eucalan | Eucalan.com

While the time it takes to wash your pet can vary, washing their toys and bedding is a snap. Having a regular routine for washing their bedding and toys reduces pet odors significantly and helps reduce allergens in the home as well.

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The Best Way to Wash Your Bra: Valentine’s Day Edition

How to Wash Your Bra : Valetine's Edition | Eucalan.com

While we talk about it in February,  remember that you are worth new undergarments all the time, no matter the time of year! We are all guilty of occasionally hanging onto a bra too long, even though it’s discoloured and stretched out, and the straps have lost their elasticity. As women, a bra is likely the most complicated garment we wear – modern bras have a fair bit of engineering not to mention elastic, metal, plastic, and often padding. Considering the effort you put into finding a good bra that you feel comfortable and beautiful in, it’s worth taking care of it.

Choosing a Bra That Makes You Feel Beautiful

How to Wash Your Bra : Valetine's Edition | Eucalan.com

Chances are, you already have a comfortable bra or two that you love and reach for more days than most.  When shopping for something new, look for bras that have the same elements that you love- is it a smooth band, a no-frills cup? Is it wide straps,  or a full coverage cup?  Find bras that have those key elements, and details that you might not have tried before- our example here is the Dame de Paris bra from Marlies Dekkers, a European designer who has a core line that is specifically designed to be comfortable while also being a little out of the ordinary. If you like what you see, you can find this style and others at these sites:

www.peacheslingerie.com
www.lineaintima.ca
www.thebrabarboutique.com

How to Wash Your Bra : Valetine's Edition | Eucalan.com

You might think that the straps on the top would be strange, but the bra is incredibly comfortable, and the straps are low enough that unless you are wearing a deep v-neck, most shirt necklines are well above the straps and will not show. A matching bottom is a wonderful treat for yourself – if you find a great bra that you love, go ahead and buy the matching bottoms. While not every day is a matching-bra-and-underwear sort of day, when you do it you will feel extra put together, even if no one sees it but you!

To prolong the life of your bra you should wash it regularly, after every 3 or 4 wears. The exception is if you were heavily perspiring in your bra, then it should be washed sooner, to avoid bacteria build up and sweat stains. Body lotion, sweat and even your natural body chemistry can cause the elasticity of your bra (think straps and the band) to deteriorate over time. Washing regularly helps prevent that.

Hand Wash

Fill your sink with cool water, adding one capful of Eucalan (we recommend Wrapture for your undergarments, which is lightly scented with jasmine essential oil) while the water is running. Put your bra in the sink and lightly agitate, squeezing the fabric very gently to help ensure that the bra is totally saturated. To save time, feel free to add more than one bra (or bottoms!) to the sink and wash them in batches. Let everything soak for about 10 minutes, then agitate them again through the water and take them out. No need to rinse when you use Eucalan! Do not wring them or squeeze them too aggressively, especially if you have padding or underwire. Have a clean, thick towel ready to lightly roll the items in to absorb excess moisture. Hang away from heat and light- your shower is probably a good place for them to dry.

How to Wash Your Bra : Valentine's Edition | Eucalan.com

We have a great video right here if you want to see how it’s done:

Machine Wash

Before washing, make sure that the bra hooks are fastened to avoid snagging any fabrics. Place in a mesh lingerie bag, and add one capful of Eucalan to the washing machine. Set washing machine to delicate cycle. Hang to dry away from heat or bright light – your shower is probably a good spot.

Important- never put your bras in the dryer! The heat will destroy the elastic very quickly, and likely cause underwires to get distorted and cause damage to the cups, if there is padding.

 Additional Tips:
  • When hanging up bras to dry, don’t hang up by only one should strap. Either drape them evenly over the shower rail or hang them on a clothes hanger on the shower rail. This is especially important for underwire bras, when the weight of the wet bra could cause fabric and the underwire to stretch from the weight of a wet bra.
  • If you have sensitive skin, wash your bras and underwear with Eucalan before first wearing them. The clothing manufacturing process often uses additional chemicals and fabric agents to help ensure that garments don’t look too wrinkled when they arrive in stores.

  • If you want to save time, pick one evening a week when you will batch up the washing of your bras and delicate underwear all at once.

When you take care of your undergarments, they will last longer and be a joy to wear.  And they will love you back! Or at least, smile at you from the sink:

How to Wash Your Bra : Valentine's Edition | Eucalan.com

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How to Keep Your Workout Clothes Looking (and Smelling!) Like New

How to Wash Your Workout Clothes | Eucalan.com

After all the cozy comforts of December, a lot of us are focusing on getting our exercise routines back on track, or jump started for the first time. You likely started eating more healthfully and have some nice new workout clothes, but do you know how to keep them looking -and smelling- their freshest?

Let Your Clothes Dry Before Putting them in the Laundry

If you ball up your sweaty workout clothes and chuck them into the laundry hamper, you are going to have one smelly pile of clothing come laundry day. Hang up your gym clothes to dry as soon you can. Throwing them balled up into the laundry hamper or letting them stew in your gym bag is a recipe for bacteria growth and stinky smells. Let your gym clothes dry before putting them in the laundry hamper.

Stubborn Odours? Here’s How to Deal

If odours have already settled into the items, let them soak in a mixture of half water and half white vinegar for about 20 minutes. This will help kill bacteria-causing smells and freshen everything up.

How to Wash Your Workout Clothes | Eucalan.com

Washing Your Gym Clothes Step-by-Step
Keep everything smelling fresh and looking new!

  • Before washing, turn all your gym clothes inside out. This not only helps protect color fading from frequent washing, it helps Eucalan wash to get straight to the parts of the fabric that need the most cleaning power.
  • Set your washing machine to cold. Hot water can contribute to fabrics shrinking, and speed up the breakdown of technical fibres like spandex.
  • Add one pod or a capful of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the washing machine. We recommend Eucalyptus, Grapefruit or Lavender for their naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, as they are made with pure essential oils.
  • If you’re combatting some really smelly gear, add another half cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine.
  • Air dry your clothes.  Heat from the dryer can make fabrics shrink, and degrade high-performance fibres. Hang away from sunlight and direct heat to help keep the fabrics looking new.

These tips and instructions work for athletic gear, as well- so if you or a family member plays sports and their uniforms or gear are getting a bit ripe, follow these tips to get them looking and smelling fresh again.  Don’t forget your outwear that you exercise in, too! If you do a lot of winter running, you know that your hats, gloves and jackets can all get sweaty.

How to Wash Your Workout Clothes | Eucalan.com

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Caring for Fabric Holiday Decorations

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

Pulling out our treasured holiday decorations, many of which are handmade or have been passed down through generations, really brings out the love of family and togetherness this time of year. But sometimes fabric decorations- like stockings, soft ornaments and tabletop decorations – can begin to show their age (or some smears of chocolate)  more than we would like. Here’s how to care for all of your fabric holiday decorations, even if they are very delicate or very old.

Take a close look at all of your holiday decorations.  Sometimes it can be hard to notice water spots or other discolorations until they begin to yellow with age and being shut in a box for most of the year.  Or maybe some little ones got into the holiday treats and then picked up the knitted snowman that was on your coffee table display.  Whatever the reason that your decorations need a clean, read on!

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Check for any loose threads, beading, sequins, or any parts that might not be fully attached to the decoration. Take the time to reattach any loose bits before cleaning will help ensure that your precious pieces don’t loose their decorative details over the holiday season.

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Fill a clean sink with tepid water and a capful of Eucalan in your favourite scent.  Submerge your decorations, being careful not to put too many in at a time- you want the water to have good circulation around each item.  If they have some stubborn spots consider using a Eucalan stain treating towelette to help get the marks out.
  • Hang items to dry somewhere away from sunlight (which can cause yellowing).

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Iron any items that need it, such as tree skirts, table linens, and stockings. Make sure that the surface of your iron is very clean. Using a spray bottle to spray the fabric’s surface to ensure a smooth finish.  If your piece has any applique,  beading or sequins; use a light heat setting, in case the applique is made from polyester or other man-made fabrics. We recommend using a white pressing cloth (or clean white tea towel) to protect delicate fibers.
  • Enjoy! And remember,  give your decorations a clean again when the season is over before putting them away, and wrap them in white tissue paper to help prevent moisture and colour transfer from one decoration to another. This can help protect your decorations for many years to come.

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And if you are looking for fresh ideas for celebrating the holidays, we have a great Pinterest board full of stunning crafts, patterns, and great recipes!

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How to Wash a Party Dress

How to Wash a Party Dress | Eucalan.com

It’s coming – party season! It won’t be long before your evenings start to fill up with gatherings of friends, family,  work parties, and holiday parties. The next eight weeks are going to be some of the busiest all year long – so you don’t want to have your favourite party clothes stuck at the dry cleaner, or giving yourself the extra chore of taking dresses to the cleaners, waiting for them to be ready, and then picking them back up again. Not when you can take care of all your dressy clothes at home with Eucalan.

Eucalan is non-toxic, biodegradable, free of optical brighteners, phosphates, synthetic fragrance and dye – so it’s a perfect choice for taking care of delicate fabrics or items that have some beading or sequins, which seem so appropriate for dressy winter items.   Besides, washing it yourself is easier (and faster) than you’d think! We can walk you through the whole process step by step:

  1.  Add Eucalan to your washing machine or sink with tepid water.
  2. Immerse dress in water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Squeeze dress with your hands to incorporate soap and water through the fabric.
  4. Soak dress for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Eucalan does not require rinsing, but if you wish to, give it a gentle rinse under fresh tepid water.
  6. Remove from water and squeeze or spin out excess water.
  7. You may roll in a towel, but go slowly and be careful not to get any beads or sequins stuck on towel fibres.
  8. Hang to dry away from direct sunlight or heat (your shower is probably a good spot).

That’s it!

When it comes to preparing for a night out, it’s worth having a Eucalan stain treating towelette in your bag. It’s brilliant for cleaning up any deodorant marks that can get on sleeveless dresses, or remove any food spots.

How to Wash a Party Dress | Eucalan.com

If you are looking for some dressier clothes for the holiday party season, or just looking for some dressing up inspiration, you should check out our Dressing Up Pinterest Board!

How to Wash a Party Dress | Eucalan.com

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