An Accidental Science Experiment


I’ve been sewing up Cashmerette Appleton knit dresses for myself and a couple of other people, and I used a fair amount of Solvy and Sticky Solvy wash away stabilizer while sewing the hems. After washing the last dress in my front-loading washer, I reached into the pocket formed by the rubber door seal to clean out the lint and whatnot that collects in there, and got a bit of a gooey surprise.

I freaked out for a few seconds, then got up the courage to pull the thing out. It was a perfectly clear glob of firm slimy stuff. It took me a minute, but I figured out what it was, since it looked just like the slime I made in chemistry class when I was in school. The PVA stabilizer reacted with my laundry detergent (Charlie’s Soap powdered detergent) to make slime! Amazingly, it came out perfectly clear even though the dresses are black. I dissolved some more stabilizer in a bowl of water and added a little laundry detergent just to check that that’s what had happened, and yes, it solidified into a gooey ball.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the intermittent error messages I’ve been getting on my washing machine?

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3 comments on “An Accidental Science Experiment
  1. Fadanista says:

    Oh, this is interesting! I’m not sure that this is good for the washing machine, and I’ll be interested to see if other people get the same thing. I don’t use Solvy, but have been tempted to find it – having second thoughts now.


  2. Leila says:

    I think next time I use Solvy, I’ll soak the garment in plain water, put it in the washer for a rinse cycle without detergent, then wash it normally with detergent. That should keep the reaction from happening.


  3. […] If you use water soluble stabilizer, either soak it and rinse it in plain water or put it in your washing machine on the rinse cycle before washing it, or the detergent may react with it and make a gooey surprise. […]


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