I get to this time of the season and inevitably, my whites are looking… well… less than white! So, it’s time to pull out all my “not so whites” and brighten them up.
I collect a lot of vintage fabrics, particularly linens and laces. They really have to be handled with care. I avoid commercial bleaches, the chlorine destroys the fibres and causes yellowing.
So here’s what I do…
STEP 1. I know this will seem ridiculous to point out, but I’m going to anyway… sort your laundry carefully. ALWAYS wash your whites separately to prevent colour transfer. So, whites only… no creams, no whites with coloured embroidery, just WHITES!
STEP 2. Try lemon juice or white vinegar on a stain. If that doesn’t work I do have another trick up my sleeve… dishwashing liquid! Just rub it into the stain with your fingers… it really works!
STEP 3. Don’t overload your machine, your fabrics need room to move to clear the detergent residue. Don’t cram your washer, the fabrics will wear on each other, causing the fibres to break down. NOTE: I always use a cold wash so as not to “bake” in stains.
STEP 4. I really like to take the most natural option possible; try adding a cup of bicarbonate of soda directly in with your clothes and then 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your final machine wash rinse. If you want to soak your fabric, do it in a solution of water and lemon juice.
STEP 5. Always make sure your fabrics are completely rinsed.
STEP 6. Natural fibres love the sun, the ultra violet rays brighten and whiten your fabrics, so after washing, hang your whites outside.
STEP 7. Pull up a chair in the sun and what those lovely whites flapping in the breeze!!
Until next time…