Cleaning remedies

Frequently asked questions:

Below are some of the questions we’re asked on a regular basis.  I hope they’ll answer your queries, but if there’s anything else you’d like to know please email me:


Where does your name come from?

We inherited our wonderful cleaning recipes from housekeeper Bette Smith, who went into service at the age of 14.  When she moved to Gloucestershire in 1949, to get married and raise a family, she set up a thriving laundry business.  She became known as ‘Mrs Mangle’ (long before the character in the Australian soap, Neighbours!) and her daughter Margaret was known as ‘Little Miss Wringer’.  

I notice that your products have acetic acid in them – do they smell strongly of vinegar?

Our products contain acetic acid but there is only a mild smell of vinegar and it quickly disappears.  We use acetic acid because it was in Bette’s original recipes and we were astounded at how well it worked as an ingredient in natural cleaning products. We also add Bette’s secret recipe lemon oil so there is a lovely citrus smell too.   Because it is naturally antibacterial, removes strong odours and is completely safe we felt acetic acid was too good not to use.

I notice all your products are unfragranced. Why don’t you use fragrances?

Our recipes were created in the 1930’s when most products weren’t scented so the recipes we inherited were unfragranced. 
Fragrance is added to cleaning products made from synthetic detergents to mask their strong and unpleasant smell. Most manufacturers have turned this into a selling point and we all now expect the products we clean with to smell of ‘mountain rose’ or ‘summer breezes’.  However, all these fragrances are synthetic and, research suggests, possible allergens.  We like to err on the side of caution.

Will you make some fragranced products in the future?

For the moment we prefer to keep our products smelling of nothing, but we are researching the antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of essential oils so these may be added to our products in the future.

Do you really make the products by hand?

Yes we do!  We make all products in small batches and are very proud that they are made by hand in the UK in exactly the same way they were originally made.

Your products are quite expensive.

We work very hard to keep the costs of our products down, but as described in the previous answer we do make all our products by hand, using people rather than machines.  Our soap is made by hand in the same way it would have been made by Bette’s mother over 70 years ago and because it is left to cure for a month it’s not a speedy process! 
We use organic coconut oil from a women’s co-operative in Ghana and most of our ingredients are food grade so cost more than the ingredients in other cleaning products.

At the moment we are small company, but as we grow and sell more products, we hope to buy ingredients and bottles in larger quantities and pass on the savings to our customers. We hope you’ll tell everyone about Mangle & Wringer because our products really are unique!

Do your products have a shelf life?

All products are given a shelf life of 3 years

What sort of soap is in your products?

All our soaps are made with organic coconut oil or organic coconut and organic sunflower oil.  They are made using the cold processed method, which means they are combined with a strong alkali to saponify them, after which they are left to cure for a month.  They are different from commercially made soaps because they naturally contain glycerine. This makes our soaps soft and gentle and without the drying effects some soaps have.

Do I need fabric conditioner with your Pure Laundry Soap?

No, because our Pure Laundry Powder contains pure soap made of vegetable oils and retains the glycerine, your laundry should be soft and clean without the need for fabric conditioner.

Does your soap contain palm oil?

No, we don’t use palm oil in any of our products.  We use just organic coconut oil and sunflower oil in our soaps and our glycerine is also palm free.

Are any of your products tested on animals?

No! None of our products are tested on animals.  We make sure that the ingredients we use aren’t tested on animals and that our suppliers do not conduct any animal testing either.

How long before my order arrives?

We aim to dispatch all orders within 24 hours on weekdays and all orders are sent by courier on a next day delivery service.
However, because we make our products in small batches by hand, it may take a little longer if we have a very high volume of orders. We will always let you know by email if there is a delay.

I want to keep the bottles – can I get a refill?

We think that’s a great idea and we are going to talk to our stockists about being able to offer refills very soon