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Subject: Detergent


From: Richard Fuller <frichard<-a>
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Stephanie West <west [at] connerprairie__org> writes

>... Does
>anyone have recommendations for a grocery store brand of manual dish
>detergent that is suitable for a variety of items. ...

Years ago I had to do a similar search. I needed a mild, neutral
detergent without fragrances and unnecessary ingredients to be used
in cleaning kits I prepared for use by interpreters working in
historic buildings at a 'living history' village. After searching
through domestic consumer products that could be used (none were
suitable) I discovered an 'animal shampoo' product sold at a local
Co-Op store. Sounds odd, but it was identical to W.A. Paste or
Orvus, i.e. containing SLS--Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (Sodium Dodecyl
Sulphate)--and was sold in large jars for a very reasonable price.

In fact, a brief web search reveals that Orvus is available as a
'cattle wash' product in seven and a half pound jars from a
livestock supply company, likely at a reasonable price. This is a
very versatile anionic detergent that goes a long way dilution-wise.

Having said that, I should think that the choice of detergent is not
that critical for 'program-use' artifacts. Everyday 'wear and tear'
and how they are washed and handled are more significant
deterioration factors than the detergent you choose, in particular,
if you have to use bleach in the rinse process for health department

We purchase old 'period typical' cutlery to be used for interpretive
programs and, although these objects should be given reasonable
care, it is expected that they will wear-out eventually and will
need to be replaced. These are identified as program-use objects to
prevent potential confusion with collection artifacts.

Perhaps the more water-sensitive materials, such as wood and bone,
could be replaced with more water-resistant items, especially in the
context of unmonitored day-to-day use.

Richard Fuller
Doon Heritage Crossroads
Kitchener, Ontario

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:16
               Distributed: Thursday, September 22, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-16-009
Received on Tuesday, 20 September, 2005

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