Monday, January 31, 2011

Laundry Day Tips: Antique Linens

I have spent the last few days laundering my Greatma's old linens.  I did this once before, not very well, when I went thru the "I am going to use this old stuff instead of buying new stuff" phase when I moved into my first apartment at Texas A&M.  When moving out of that apartment, they got put in a ceadar chest with hopes to use them in my next home...and eventually, after a few more moves, they just got packed up and I did not really think about them.  Now that I am finding my love of vintage kitchen thingies again, I dug them out and am now trying to get them perfect.

Right now, some are soaking and some are out on the makeshift laundry line David strung up for me.  It is sunny and 65 degrees in Dallas (yes, in JANUARY) so hopefully the "floating in the sun" methos will work wonders.

When I am out and about I will pick up some Oxy Clean or Restoration (if I can find it, or order it from ) and try some of the tips using that, such as the following found on EHow, if they still need it.

*Determine the durability of the antique linens. If you're worried that the linen won't withstand a solid soaking you might want to fold it neatly in a square and baste the edges with a color-fast thread.

*Fill a large tub with hot water and a mild soap. Restoration, Oxyclean or pure soap flakes are good options. Run the water until all the soap is dissolved. Soak the linens for several hours.

*Drain the tub. Check the linens. If stains are still present, repeat the soaking process again. After two soakings, if stains persist, try laundry detergent and bleach. Be sure to drain and refresh the water before adding a new kind of detergent, so as to avoid reactions.

*Refill the tub and add white vinegar. Let your stain-free linens soak up to 20 minutes.

*Drain tub again. Refill with fresh water and let linen soak for 15 minutes.

*Iron linens when they're still quite damp, but iron them only if you intend to use them right away. Iron them on high and keep the iron dry.

(Note:  I left out the part about not putting the linens in the sun because I just do not agree with this.  Greatma put her linens  out "on the line" for years and they are still here....just the stains from storing improperly are hanging onto these particular goodies.  You should do your own research and make your own decision as to how you will care for your precious textiles.)
If I ever get all the stains out, I will post some great tips I found on properly storing your linens.  
Happy Laundry Day!!!!


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