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Vintage wash house sells soap flakes, crystals and white vinegar which work 'just as well' on laundry as modern detergents

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  • Vintage Wash House pops up at Handpicked Hall in Skipton, West Yorks.
  • Sells white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, Borax substitute and starch
  • Director Linda Peake says 'allergen-free alternatives' clean effectively

By Deni Kirkova

PUBLISHED: 08:23 EST, 15 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:41 EST, 15 December 2013

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A vintage-style shop selling 1940s laundry products has opened in Skipton, West Yorkshire.

And director Linda Peake maintains her basic offerings can match, if not beat, the results achieved by popular laundry detergents of today.

The Vintage Wash House lines its shelves with soap flakes and crystals, white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, Borax substitute and starch for washing dirty clothes.

The Vintage Wash House at the Handpicked Hall in Skipton is open from Wednesday to Sunday

The Vintage Wash House at the Handpicked Hall in Skipton is open from Wednesday to Sunday

'Soap flakes, for instance, clean effectively and efficiently but contain no perfumes or allergens, making them perfect for delicate laundry and cleaning without aggravating skin conditions,' says Linda.

The shop invites customers to leave the modern world at the door and step back to the WWII era where more basic cleaning and laundry methods were popular. 

Dressed in a classic housewife costume and headscarf, Linda demonstrates the simplicity of vintage laundry methods and has on sale the range of traditional and natural cleaning products, including her very own hand-knitted 100 per cent cotton dishcloths. 

'I wanted to set up a totally unique stall showcasing vintage laundry methods and demonstrating how traditional products can work just as well, if not better, than their modern equivalents,' she said.

The stall is complete with an authentic washboard and mangle, and even has blitz-style paper crosses on the windows.

Despite the huge range of washing products on sale in supermarkets, Linda is a firm believer in the simpler the better.

The traditional products that she stocks are made by family-run manufacturer, Dri-Pak

The traditional products that she stocks are made by family-run manufacturer, Dri-Pak

The traditional products that she stocks are made by family-run manufacturer, Dri-Pak, are experiencing something of a revival of late, thanks to their simple and effective cleaning power.

The allergen-free alternatives to modern cleaners are made from sustainable sources and are extremely versatile.

'Soda crystals alone have hundreds of uses around the home, from unblocking a slow-draining sink, to clearing a driveway of moss and removing laundry stains like grease, ink and blood,' says Linda.

'They really are a true-multi-use product.

'Scrims are one of my best-sellers. They're 100 per cent linen and you use them to clean your windows. There really isn't anything on the market that matches it today.'

Linda started the business after getting increasing demands from friends and family for her hand-knitted cotton dishcloths.

'Soda crystals alone have hundreds of uses around the home, from unblocking a slow-draining sink, to clearing a driveway of moss and removing laundry stains,' says Linda

'Soda crystals alone have hundreds of uses around the home, from unblocking a slow-draining sink, to clearing a driveway of moss and removing laundry stains,' says Linda

The allergen-free alternative cleaning products are made from sustainable sources and are versatile

The allergen-free alternative cleaning products are made from sustainable sources and are versatile

She started the business after getting increasing demands from friends and family for her knitted dishcloths

She started the business after getting increasing demands from friends and family for her knitted dishcloths

'I have been knitting them for years but they became so popular that I thought I could do something with this,' she says.

'They last for months and you can use them all over the house.

'Then I thought of the endless products I use in my own home that some people would fondly remember from their own childhoods, and thought people have a real need for these type of products.'

'Soda crystals alone have hundreds of uses around the home, from unblocking a slow-draining sink, to clearing a driveway of moss and removing laundry stains like grease, ink and blood'

The nostalgic atmosphere of the Vintage Wash House often encourages people to share their own experiences of washdays one by, as well as sparking questions from the younger generations.

'I really enjoy people sharing their memories of using the old washboards and mangles, and it's great teaching the younger generations how we used to do things,' she says.

'Many of the customers who come into the shop agree that a lot of the simpler, old-fashioned products deserve a place in the 21st century home.

'I love to interact with my customers, and I hope the Wash House is a lovely shopping environment where people can come in and chat, and experience proper old fashioned customer service.'

The Vintage Wash House at the Handpicked Hall in Skipton, West Yorks, is open from Wednesday to Sunday.

Linda Peake wanted to set up a totally unique stall showcasing vintage laundry methods

Linda Peake wanted to set up a totally unique stall showcasing vintage laundry methods

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