Wednesday, July 27, 2016

folk science....plain and simple

It's still blazing hot out there. My dragonflies cling to the yucca tree, watching me as I lay wet vintage linens to dry in the blinding sun. Lucky contemplates life.

The best linen cleaning recipe I've found is the simplest one. Lemon juice and salt directly on the stain. Lay in sun till dry. Soak linens in a big pot of boiling HOT water with 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda. (Be very careful as the combination of salt and baking soda foams everywhere. I found out the hard way.)
Rinse, rinse, rinse. Dry them in the sun and let the neighbors wonder what the heck you're doing.

And it works! The neighbors are confused and the linens are snow white.

Just look how grungy the blue and sort-of white potholders were before I soaked them in the pot and how incredibly CLEAN they were after soaking a few hours! And the tablecloth stain? It was older than I am. Now, it's gone!

I know, yes, I know now, why pioneer women were always boiling things.

Friday, July 15, 2016

102 in the shade

Crazy things happen when it's 102 degrees in the shade. Lucky thought she would dig a small pool in the back yard. Durango and Pinto treed another roadrunner. A family of dragonflies took up residence in the butterfly bush. At last count there were five of them hanging out in the branches! And I decided to clean and restore my grandmother's collection of antique linens, some of which she embroidered herself.

I read up on the old school ways of restoring linens and started two experiments.
Pot #1: One gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup of kosher (don't ask me why the recipe said kosher) salt. Soak linens 48 hours, rinse, and lay in the sun to dry.
Pot #2: Boiling water with lemon slices. Soak linens 24 hours. Rinse well and wash with mild detergent. Lay said linens in sun to dry.

I'll let you know which method worked best.

Durango settled for his wren when the roadrunner flew off. And the pool Lucky so thoughtfully tried to dig for the family? I filled it in and we don't talk about it anymore.