Excerpted from this week's newsletter, which you can find in its entirety here:
I thought I would take a moment to highlight a traditional technique for cleaning wool blankets. I first learned of it a couple of years ago, but this weekend everything fell into place to give it a try. I had enough time available before work on Sunday to complete the process, and it's been so cold that the blanket of snow in Roslyn was dry and powdery--important for keeping the blankets from getting soggy.
Step one was to shake out the blankets, and hang them outside for about 30 minutes to acclimate to the temperature. (It was about 14 degrees Farenheit.) Then I spread the blankets on the snow, and used a clean broom to cover them with a layer of snow. Using the flat side of the broom, I then whacked the entire surface, and after that, retreated to the house for 20 minutes.
Returning to the cold, I shook the layer of snow off the blankets, flipped them, and repeated the process on the other side. The last step was to shake off all the remaining snow, and put them over the fence for a final 20 minutes, before bringing them back inside.
Both blankets had been folded and subject to cats sitting on and rubbing against them, so I added a step of tumbling them in the dryer on delicate with some fabric sheets to remove some tenacious hair.
You can read more here. My assessment? Cheap, fun, and effective!