Have you ever wanted one multi-purpose item that takes the place of many handy household items but doesn't contribute to landfill waste at the end of its life? Did you think that one, healthy life hack can take the place of cosmetic wipes, sieves, food preparation and more? Something as baby-soft as it is aesthetically pleasing? Muslin cloth is the age-old, healthy, eco friendly solution that ticks all these boxes.
What is Muslin?
Muslin is a plain-weave cotton cloth known for it's soft and floaty texture. The word muslin derives from the French Mousse because of its soft, foamy feel. Different types of muslin cloth have differing degrees of delicacy and open weave and some have a course texture more akin to calico. Mostly, muslin is known for its open breathable weave.
Muslin originated in the Indian subcontinent and was the perfect textile for use in the high humidity due to its open weave. Like lots of new, ground-breaking things, it was introduced to Europe in the 1600's by the English and Dutch East India Companies. In the eighteenth century, muslin was used for petticoats, aprons and kerchiefs and became popular for children's clothing. The popularity of muslin has endured due to its versatility.
Cheesecloth is another name for muslin.
How to Use Muslin Cloth Around the Home
Muslin is a versatile, multi-purpose cloth used in dressmaking, furniture polishing, theatre sets and even medicine. Muslin fabric is healthy, often organic, and can be put to good use around the home without spreading chemical residue, and, most importantly muslin material is reusable and stops the cycle of waste. Here are our waste-saving suggestions for using this soft, durable cloth:
1. Muslin is a baby's best friend
Because it is soft, breathable and natural, organic muslin wraps are the perfect cloth to be near baby's sensitive skin. Large muslin squares can be used to swaddle your newborn for sleep. Perfect for hotter climates and summertime when you don't want to overheat baby. A muslin cloth is also great as a cover to drape over baby when you are breastfeeding and for mopping up any little spills. It can also be used as a light cover for your pram to keep the sun off your baby's skin. Lastly, place a muslin on top of your change table to keep it clean and then toss into the wash.
Muslin baby clothes are also popular in warmer climates such as Australia.
2. For cooking
Muslin cloth is handy for many uses in cooking, such as sieving jam, nut milks, and making butter and cheese.
Homemade jam is the best. The yummy, fruity texture and natural sugar taste is unbeatable. It is so noticeably different from the store-bought variety and not as difficult to make as you might think. Use the muslin cloth to strain the mixture and remove large lumps of seeds.
The muslin cloths for cooking available at Biome are:
3. Cheese making
This Mad Millie butter muslin cheese cloth here is perfect for straining the curds from the whey and is washable and reusable. Some cheesecloth is not as soft and versatile and has to be discarded after each use. Muslin is the superior choice for easy cheese making and Mad Millie are the experts at helping you to make your own. This cloth is a huge 90cm x 90cm.
Tie up a square of muslin fabric, or use a ready made bouquet garni herb bag to infuse your cooking with homegrown herbs and spices, such as cloves, without leaving the stems in your food!
A nice blend to use for cooking is: sage; peppercorns; parsley; thyme; bay leaves and rosemary. Simply place the herbs into a muslin cloth and tie the top with string. You can then pop into your favourite soup, casserole or stew for lovely, homegrown flavour. Especially good for larger herbs and spices like bay leaves, cinnamon quills and lemongrass. Find our muslin bouquet garni bags here>
5. Squeezing citrus
How does a muslin cloth take the place of a squeezer? You simply cover the citrus wedge with the cloth and squeeze! This method naturally catches the pips and strains the liquid. No need to buy a plastic citrus squeezer that ends up in landfill at the end of its life! Green Living's muslin cloth is a wonderful option. Find that one here >
6. Skin care
When cleansing your face or applying a face mask, you can use a length of muslin to tie around your tresses and keep them clean and shiny.
A muslin washcloth is also a good alternative for removing makeup and gently exfoliating and cleansing the skin. It is much more gentle than some exfoliators on the market and helps to prevent broken facial capillaries that can occur from some traditional harsh exfoliants. The Black Chicken Muslin Face Cloth is very popular.
7. Dusting furniture
Due to being completely lint-free, muslin doesn't leave a residue when cleaning and is perfect for dusting furniture and surfaces. It is also heaven-sent for windows and glass.
8. Room freshener or pest control
Take a muslin cloth and fill with pot-pourri, sprinkle on some pest repelling essential oils, then tie at the top. This can be hung in bedrooms and wardrobes or can sit in drawers to nicely scent and freshen the air.
You could also soak a cotton ball or two in peppermint oil and put into a muslin cloth to repel creepy crawlies. Great for keeping moths out of wardrobes.
9. Shabby-chic gift wrap
Save on paper and make your gift wrapping on-trend amd reusable with an organic muslin baby wrap. Tie with chunky twine or a pretty ribbon for the gorgeous shabby-chic look. Make your gift stand out from the crowd!
10. Shine those shoes
Muslin is very good for shining shoes as it doesn't leave any residue and can be reused. Used regularly it keeps shoes shiny without the need for harsh chemicals.
As you can see, muslin is a versatile material to keep around the house. Such a nifty, natural living hack that will biodegrades at the end of its life and doesn't contribute to landfill, reduces chemicals in your home and looks great! If you have any creative ways of using muslin cloth, please let us know in the comments section below.