Preparing, Sploshing With And Cleaning Up Treacle & Molasses
Updated: Jan 23
Preparing Treacle & Molasses
Treacle is available in small or large tins from supermarkets, or online in 5kg to7.5kg large bottles. To save money, look for equine molasses, it’s almost identical but a lot cheaper. There are sometimes 25kg vats available on amazon and eBay too.
Store your treacle in a very warm room or on top of a warm radiator for 2 to 6 hours before using it. For small tins, you may only need an hour. The 7.5 kg bottles need 6 hours. For the 25kg vats, decant into 10 litre buckets and store in a warm room, at least 25 degrees centigrade or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The warmth is very important. This is because cold treacle and molasses are very unpleasant to play with. It becomes too thick, too slow to pour and can be painful when poured over hair, pulling the hair out by the roots due to the extreme weight and the extra time it takes to slide down. When it is warmer, this isn't a problem.
Don’t worry about letting it warm up, it will not become too thin, just perfect and manageable.
Pro tip: Be careful not to get it in your eyes, sugar is the worst offender for stinging eyes.
Treacle and any super high sugar syrups may also cause genital irritation - follow my guide here for vagina/genital safety and avoiding infections
Cleaning Up Treacle & Molasses
A lot of wammers worry about using black treacle or molasses, but good news, treacle is actually pretty easy to clean! Its main component is sugar, as with all syrups, like golden syrup, strawberry syrup, honey, molasses and pancake syrup.
Sugar is water soluble!
It simply dissolves away. The warmer the water and the more of it, the more easily it dissolves. No problem!
Cleaning Treacle Off Your Body, Hair & Skin
Simply stand under a stream of warm water from the shower for as long as it takes. Once the stickiness is gone, just use your regular shower gel, preferably one with lemon, and as always, preferably with the help of something to scrub, like a loofah, plastic loofah or bath puff, or a soft bristled body brush.
I also recommend having a mirror within your line of sight in the bathroom so you can visually check for any missed areas. Common areas I used to miss were backs of arms, flanks, backs of legs and ankles. Always check every single crevice of your ears too!
Put a very thin coating of dish soap on your mirror to stop it fogging up with steam. I apply it with a soft cloth.
For short haired people
Warm water alone will dissolve the stickiness, so just stand under the stream of water for a while. Shampoo twice or more with a strongly scented shampoo like lemon or tea tree
For longer hair
Don’t worry, it’s easy. Stand under the stream of warm water and the treacle dissolves away. Shampoo twice with strongly scented shampoo, massaging it out each time for as long as you can from root to tip. Shampoo gently though, be careful not to rub it into your hair, rather just keep smoothing down and gently work it in with fingertips. Condition as normal, but only on the very ends of your hair.
Cleaning Treacle Off Items & Objects
Cleaning Baths, Showers & Drains
If you used a lot of treacle in the bath it may temporarily block the drain. Don't panic, remember it's water soluble. I suggest running at least half a bath full of warm water with a little soap, and swish it around with your hand or a whisk until it dissolves, then remove the plug and it will drain away. If the drain is already blocked, just keep the shower or a tap running with warm water and it will dissolve and unclog.
You can empty the treacle out by hand or with a dustpan or scoop, but that's not necessary for anything unless it has lots of bits or lumps like porridge or lumpy gunge - so just dissolve it.
I always keep some drain unfucker on hand too, just in case. Otherwise known as Mr. Muscle 15 or 30 minute unblocker. There are other brands too that do the same thing but this is one I've always used. You can pour it through standing water and leave it, and it will eat through whatever is clogging the drain.
Avoid That Situation
I recommend using a different area and a pool, a mat with inflatable sides or makeshift mess nest (heavy grade plastic sheets with towels propping up the sides) rather than the bath, as though baths and showers may seem convenient, it then means you have to clean it out first before you can get yourself clean.
If you use a different area, you can get yourself clean, get into some comfy cleaning up clothes and then tackle your messy area.
If the worst happens and you get a blockage, use some drain unfucker. Otherwise known as Mr. Muscle 15 or 30 minute unblocker. You can pour it through standing water and leave it, and it will eat through whatever is clogging the drain. I always keep some handy, just in case!
Inflatable Pools - If you want to save the pool
Keep the pool inflated the whole time through this process.
First, scoop all the treacle out of your pool into buckets. Spray the residues with cleaning spray and give it a good scrub around with a brush, twice all over to be sure, not forgetting the outsides.
Then add a bucket or so of hot soapy water and do it again. Now scoop out and tip away or flush the water. Keep the pool inflated the whole time, and clean the sides of the pool with a few microfibre cloths and a cleaning spray.
Then with it still inflated, stand it up against a wall and use the cleaning spray again, and absorbent cloths all over it. Dry it thoroughly with towels or kitchen roll and then allow to thoroughly air dry, still inflated, before trying to pack it away. If any moisture remains, it will go mouldy.
If you want to throw away the pool
If you used a small pool and a bucket or less of mess in total...
You may be able to pop the pool, squash it and put it into a bin bag. If you do this, be mindful of avoiding leaks from the edges as you squash it up, put it into a bin bag, secure the bin bag and then add another to be sure of no leaking. I often use three bin bags with this method, and with any other messy things that have to be thrown away.
If you used a large inflatable pool and more than one bucket of mess...
For large amounts, you'll need to scoop out and dispose of everything before trying to bag it, or it will be too heavy. 10 litres is one bucket, and is the equivalent of 10kg. Even if you are strong enough to lift it easily, you risk the bin bag tearing if the contents are too heavy. Follow the above advice about absorbing the excess mess with wood pellet cat litter or puppy pads and bagging it up, before doing the same with the pool itself.
I recently wrote an even more in depth guide to pool cleaning with step by step instructions from prep to finish, and my thoughts on wet/dry vacuums and lining the pool with plastic. To read that, go here
Buckets & Tools
As with the other things, lots of warm soapy water and lots of rinsing is all you need, helping it along with a soft brush or cloth if need be.
Washing Sticky Clothes
Wrap them up in a large clean towel or drop into a clean bucket so they don’t drip on the way to your washing machine. Treacle can have a lingering smell, so give them three or four full washing cycles, as hot as the fabrics will allow, all with 10% more than the recommended amount of laundry detergent or powder, and then a final wash cycle with a normal amount of detergent and fabric softener
Sticky Underwear, Lingerie, Tights & Stockings
Follow the above laundry advice but put tights and lingerie items in their own zip up mesh laundry bags, separate from each other. It's especially important to keep them separate from bras or anything with clasps or fastenings, as they will get snagged, potentially twist and rip, and be difficult to untangle.
You could also keep them separate to hand wash on their own. Bras, teddies, babydoll nighties, basques etc all need their own zip up mesh laundry bags, or like with tights and stockings, keep them separate for thorough hand washing individually.
Due to the fairly strong odour of treacle they will need extra detergent and careful attention, and likely several cycles of washing, rinsing and wringing out.
Wash them in the sink as though you were washing dishes, with plenty of very warm soapy water. Stuff them with newspaper or kitchen roll and put them somewhere warm but not on or in direct heat to dry.
If you fill wellies or other boots, take them into the shower with you, fill them with warm water and put your feet back in to squidge around and wiggle your toes as a fun way of getting all the treacle out!
For wigs, hand washing is best. Be very gentle and use hot water (but not so hot that you can't put your hands in it) shampoo twice, rinsing each time. Then liberally soak it with hair conditioner and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well and brush it out gently with a wet brush - a wet brush is a great invention and is the name of the brand. It's very gentle and good for head hair too.
To dry it, wrap it in a towel, then apply pressure to dry it a little, do not rub it. Then keep away from direct heat to dry it completely, preferably hanging on something rounded to help it keep its shape, like a mannequin head.
It's easy - don't worry at all. Warm water is your friend, and treacle is water soluble!
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