So there is Soda Ashes (Na2CO3) in game. With adding Limestone similar to Slaked Lime (Ca(OH)2) and heat the mixture hot enough in a kiln you can get rid of some CO2. You could end up with something like Natriumhydroxid (NaOH).
I know it is similar to glass making. But bare with me. I want Natriumhydroxid.
If you add Water to Natriumhydroxid you have half of the soap making process. Add some oil, let it set and you have a soap bar.
So i thought maybe instead of letting clothes decay they could be washed to reset the timer on the decay.
And with something like a washboard we could clean the clothes:
i saw a similar looking board in game already called krautboard.